13, is the number the embryologist gave us. Each one of my follicles produced an egg. Now, this is not to say they were all mature, but there were 13 retrieved. I’m happy it’s this many, and not less than the number of follicles but disappointed there weren’t a few more hiding somewhere.
Overall the retrieval went very well. I was nervous, but actually less so than I have been for some of my monitoring appointments when I thought everything might come crashing down. I have never in my life been admitted to a hospital, no broken bones, nothing serious enough for stitches, or an overnight stay. I have been very lucky, and rather healthy my whole life. So I was nervous about the IV (they gross me out so bad), as well as the drugs. I wasn’t sure how they would make me feel, and if I would be nauseous after. I also wasn’t sure how bad the pain would be during the retrieval (even though I know I would be on pain meds). Lots of unknowns making me nervous.
We arrived at 7:20 for our 7:30 intake time. They called my name, along with another woman, and the two of us plus our partners headed back to get changed, ladies into hospital gowns, men into scrubs. After this, they took us into an area I’ve never been before. There were a few “stalls” for lack of a better word, each stall had a comfy looking sort of recliner chair and another normal chair next to it for the partner, each separated by a curtain. They placed a heating pad and a blanket on me (so glad, I am perpetually cold), and let me sit there while they went over everything that was going to happen to me. They gave me some ativan to take they edge off before they even did the IV. I personally didn’t think it did anything at all.
Once everything had been explained to me, the nurse got me ready to do the IV. I told her I don’t like needles, and that I was seriously uncomfortable with the idea of an IV. She told me she would check it out and if she didn’t think she could do it she would get another nurse. This in itself made me wish she would just let the other nurse do it. So she found a vein, poked and prodded at it with her finger, got other nurse to make sure it looked good, and then gave it a go. It hurt, and she didn’t get it in. Now I have a sore wrist that didn’t even take the IV. The other nurse came over, and ended up having to do it up by the inside of my elbow (which was already pretty bruised from my multiple blood draws). But she did an amazing job, I felt the poke from the needle and then she was messing around over there (I can’t watch). I asked if it was in, and she laughed and said it was in right after the needle poke, she is an IV master. It was still gross to me, but not as bad as I thought.
After the IV was in, I was started on a saline drip, with antibiotics. They made me empty my bladder, so I had to take my buddy, the IV pole with me. I pretty much didn’t want to move my arm with the IV so peeing was a bit tricky. Good thing I wasn’t wearing any underwear! They moved me into another room with a bed with stirrups as well as the ultrasound monitor, and a TV that was hooked up to the microscope in the embryology lab they’d be using to find my eggs. I got settled in the bed, and J sat up by my head. There was a window in the room that led to the embryology lab where they would pass the contents of my follicles to the embryologist.
We waited in that room for a while, as the nurse prepared everything. I turned to J and expressed just how surreal it all felt, the fact that we were actually doing this, the fact that we made it to retrieval, and that this may be our ticket to baby. (Please let that be the case!). He got a bit emotional, from all we’ve been through, and for what I’ve had to endure these past couple of weeks. He too, hoping this was it for us. After I was hooked up with my heart monitors, the nurse told me she was going to push my pain and sedative meds. I felt it pretty quickly after that, sort of tired, and really relaxed. My doctor came in, and put me up in the stirrups. No modesty this time, in the ultrasounds usually I can somewhat tent the sheet up on my knees, this time it was pulled right up. My doctor commented on the sparrow that I have tattooed on my lower right side abdomen, just under my hip area. Most people don’t usually get to see the whole thing as it is in a pretty private area…
I don’t remember a lot of what happened, I was watching my follicles empty, thinking of the sweet relief that would be provided. They showed us the first egg under the microscope, but I don’t really remember. I was trying to watch the ultrasound and the TV at the same time. From what I remember of the TV with the microscope findings, was it looked like there was lots of debris in my follicular fluid. I didn’t even look down to see what they were doing but J was, and he was telling me about the huge needle that went in with the vag cam. I’m glad I didn’t see that. I had some pain and discomfort, I said ouch a couple of times and I think they increased my meds a bit. Overall, it was done really quickly.
After it was finished, they put me in a wheelchair, and took me back to the room I started in. They put me back in my chair, tilted it back, put my feet up, and let me rest. J went to give his sample, and while I sort of dozed off the embryologist came by, he said “knock knock” into the curtain that separated me from the others in the recovery/waiting room. I opened my eyes, and he gave me a smile and told me we got a baker’s dozen. I thanked him, and dozed off a bit again until J came back. When he was back the nurse brought me some juice, cheese and crackers. I had some of that, and didn’t feel any nausea (yay!) so they told me if I could go pee, then I would be good to go. After a bit of a wait, and a little bit of pain I managed to empty what little was in my bladder. The nurse checked on how I was feeling, and when I told her I was doing good they said I could leave.
We went to change back into our clothes, and headed out to the car. The nurse said she would be calling tomorrow to see how I felt, and the embryologist would let us know how many fertilized. I think they said they would call again on day 3 with an update, and then again on day 6 to let us know how many make it to freeze. Our next hurdle, out of our hands, and into those of the embryologist, my eggs, and his sperm. Go team!
For now I am just resting and recuperating. I am pretty sore and crampy, with a bit of spotting, my heating pad is my best friend right now. Luckily I didn’t have any nausea or ill effects from the sedatives (besides being tired, and sleeping a lot today). I will await the next bit of information, and hope we have success with our eggs, and get some good quality embies for our frozen transfer! Thank you to everyone for their well wishes, I’ve taken comfort in the kind words and knowing the experiences of those that have gone before me.