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Expletives, IVF, Needles, Justice & Equality

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do – it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you never could” – unknown

I was physically shaking.  Now, aside from my howling session in the nurse’s office prior, I would consider myself to be a pretty tough Aussie shiela.  I may have written an IVF baby memory book but I’ve also worked some long hard hours in diverse environments, I’ve endured physical labor in tough climates, I’ve given blood, I’ve been hospitalized with broken limbs, and various other injuries; stitches, and medical procedures.  I’ve killed livestock for consumption, I’ve even lived in a flat next to a triple murder, and also in a hut invaded with spiders and rodents.  Of my own account; I ain’t no pussy!  However, then there is the self-administering of the IVF needles . . .

{Extract; Persistence, Patience & Potty Mouths by Tara Mitchell}

I took the needle cap off, over inspecting these utensils that should not be seen anywhere else other than a hospital, or so I thought.  The nurse had explained it well, but it was different when left to one’s own devices, and actually doing it yourself.  Especially in this moment, looking down on that evidently sharp syringe that you are required to stab into your guts!

It didn’t help that I was also constantly double guessing myself.  Basically stuffing around and making myself more anxious.  I attached the syringe to the device, which was approximately two centimeters.  Check – I didn’t faint!  It is here my potty mouth went full throttle “Oh {EXPLETIVE} this”.  Swearing is an awesome relaxant, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, just try and keep in indoors and out of range of young ears.

I set the needle to the prescription dosage (450) and set the dose as the instructions stated and with another relaxing “be {EXPLETIVE}”!  We were along way from any neighborly earshot.  I stood up, pinched some luscious flab below the belly button, took a deep breath and slowly inserted the syringe into my flesh, swearing the syringe had grown three centimeters since I’d first attached it to the device.  With one eye open, I commenced applying pressure to the end of the needle, counting to ten seconds until finally the full dose in the needle clicked complete.

A moment later, relief.  It was a piece of cake and rather painless after all. “Okay – I can do this shit” was my worldly affirmation.

It is fair to mention the “ball and chain” as I like to refer to him, was extremely supportive whilst all this was going on.  We were down a vehicle, and mine was getting fixed.  So he was hurrying me to “get in the bloody car”.  Lucky I didn’t stab him!  But yes relatively supportive . . . well that was the case, at least until the needles came out of the bag.  At this point his reaction went from impatient man harassing wife (nothing new) to shock, horror and complete supportive male ignoramus.

When his eyes first took view of the needles about to go into my flesh, you could see the blood drain from his complexion and nothing by fear on his face.   His words reaffirmed his emotions with this exact expression “Oh {EXPLETIVE} that! . . . Oh love you are so brave . . . I’m just going out (hesitation) out here – I can’t watch that” . . . and the rest of the conversation was lost as he faded off into the distance, as fast as he could get away, not to breath a word again until I surfaced from the hut.

Years later, the “ball and chain” would participate in a fundraiser for Bravehearts Organisation; who fight & educate against child sexual assault; a justice and charity organisation that fights for the safety of kids, when governments and legal systems fail them.  Bravehearts aim is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

Part of the fundraiser was to complete the Kokoda Trek; 96kms in 96 hours, led by experienced Kokoda man Brian Freeman.  The team completed the trek successfully coming in around 85 hours, raising more than anticipated for the Bravehearts cause, and having a hard but rewarding experience.

Part of the requirement of the trip prior to take-off was getting the relevant needles for the Papua New Guinea environment.  To this day, the “ball and chain” refers to the day of his needles as “worse than child birth”.  It is since this day I am fairly certain I now know why god or universe made women the child bearers.

That was until about a week ago, when my education on the topic expanded.  I was talking to a lovely bank lender and we got chatting about “Special Me – for IVF Families” and my friendly lender just so happens to be an IVF mum too – fantastic!

But the awakening joy of this story actually comes in the form of a four letter word PESA!  And also possibly referred to, I believe as TESA!  I was not aware of this procedure previously but it is quite common in IVF given 40% of IVF cases are as a result of male infertility, and if you haven’t heard of PESA/TESA before, than I’d be honored if you would let me give you a visual . . .

A PESA/TESA is when one extracts the sperm (yes of a male!) using a needle direct from – and into the testicle! . . . YES!   There is justice in the world!  And that there is what I like to now call IVF equality my friends!