This will be my second pregnancy taking one for the team (in the backside), because progesterone is crucial to pregnancy. One of the most important jobs it has is keeping your uterus relaxed. The right amount of progesterone is important to make a happy uterus and if your uterus isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.
You see, my children seem to be in a hot hurry to get out of me. So, I’ve either got a very unaccommodating uterus, progesterone level issues, or neither of my babies were able to get a clear cable single, thus missing the entire last half of Greys Anatomy—seasons 7 and 8.
My first baby came at 35 weeks. We weren’t prepared. I was eating dinner and we had no car seat. The second baby tried to make the maiden voyage at 32 weeks. After three days in the hospital on bed rest and a week of blood pressure medication, she decided to stay put for six more weeks before sailing on out (it should be noted that she was 8 lbs. so, she did anything but “sail”).
The theory is that a drop in progesterone levels can cause contractions, so supplementing progesterone for women with a history of preterm labor helps push the pregnancy closer to full term—and by “history” I mean the baby just decided to catch the Grey’s Anatomy season finale the day it was on. Six hours before, to be exact. Studies actually show that progesterone treatment in the second trimester helps lower the risk of preterm birth, no matter how big a fan of Grey’s anatomy your unborn child may be. And though some still deliver prematurely, progesterone supplements have helped more high-risk women carry babies longer.
How does it work?
You get a really huge syringe with a frighteningly long needle (we exchange the needles for a smaller, wider ones) and inject the progesterone.
Where does the shot go?
In your trunk.
Does it hurt?
For me, it felt like a pinch, and then it really itched for a few hours.
Does it affect the baby?
The baby may miss some or all of Grey’s Anatomy. Otherwise, it doesn’t.
How long do you take them for?
Starting at week 16: same day, same time, same bat channel. Every week, until delivery.
So, to save time and the cost of a doctor visit every week, my husband volunteered to do the shots again. My doctors were fine with it as long as he came in for a refresher course, which went a little something like this:
Nurse: So, do you have experience doing shots?
Husband: No, but I grew up on a farm.
The good news is that I’m due in December, so unless this baby wants to catch the season premier of Grey’s Anatomy, we should be good. It’ll be able to catch the second half, anyway.