Sunday, January 16, 2011


It has been awhile since I've popped a pain killer so my mind is a little less foggy and now I'm able to share our experience of our first (and hopefully only!) egg retrieval.

The retrieval was scheduled for 8:30 on Friday morning so we had to be at the clinic at 7:30. This was at the main clinic, up in Birmingham, which is a 2.5 hour drive (each way) on a good day. Because the last hour of the trip is all stop and go traffic with stoplights every 100 yards, we have to plan some cushion time in our travels. Because of that, we left the house at about 4:45am. We arrived at the hospital (my clinic is part of a large hospital and they have their own floor in the Women's Center area) a little after 7:00. The Coach was starving, of course, so he asked if we could stop by the cafeteria quickly. I was dying of thirst and hunger but I obliged. He got his biscuits and gravy and coffee and he ate it in a hurry. As soon as he was done we headed up to the clinic. We checked in and only had to wait for a few minutes before my IVF nurse came to get us. My clinic has their own private little OR and recovery room at the end of the hall and that's where we went. She introduced us to the nurse who would be with me, told us we were the only ones in the OR that day, so we'd have the OR/recovery room all to ourselves and showed me where to change into the gown and lock my clothes up.

Once I was changed and all settled into bed the nurse went over the procedure with us, had us sign all of the necessary paperwork and started my IV. Then we waited. My RE had been in surgery in the main hospital OR that morning and wasn't back to the clinic yet. We talked with the nurse about the weather...and dogs...and celebrity gossip. And we waited. Finally she got the call that the RE was back in the clinic and she was to set me up in the OR. The nurse sent The Coach off to give his sample and wheeled me through the door of the recovery room into the OR. She apologized for the freezing temperature..apparently the ice/snow storm that Birmingham had earlier in the week had messed up their outdoor heating/cooling unit and it wasn't working properly yet. She said the day before it had been 85 degrees in the OR, Friday it was 60 degrees.

I moved over onto the operating table and she hooked me up the oxygen, heart monitors and blood pressure cuff. Then she stepped out to take a call. Suddenly this little window off to my left swung open and this incredibly peppy, energetic voice filled the room "Hello there! How are you? My name is Sheri and I'm the embryologist...I'll be taking care of your little eggies today!" I told her I was fine and ready to go and she said great and just as quickly as she appeared, she was gone.

A few minutes later the nurse came back into the OR and said she was going to give me a little dose of drugs...not enough to knock me out though, because she still needed me to move into "the position". After she pushed the first round of drugs my RE came into the OR. She asked how I was and said we were about to get started. I got my legs all up in the stirrups and then the nurse pushed another round of drugs. She asked me if I was sleepy and I said no. She gave me another round. Then my RE started to prepare the area, get all of her tools situated and asked how I was doing. I said I was fine so they pushed the 4th round of drugs and said because everything was time sensitive, they were going to start but I should be out before anything really happened.


I felt everything. I felt an insane amount of pain when the needle punctured the follicle. I heard the RE say "Egg number 1".....pain again...."Egg number 2"...and so on. Then she said "Ok, 4 eggs, we are done". And then I don't remember anything else. I think this is when the meds finally kicked in. Next thing I remember was opening my eyes in recovery and seeing The Coach. I said "We only got 4, right?" and he said " do you know that?" and I told him I was awake during the procedure. He told me he talked to our RE and she said she knew I would be disappointed that we only got 4 but from what she could tell, all 4 looked good. Apparently there really was 10-12 eggs but only 4 were mature. She thinks that has been our problem all along and explains our lack of pregnancy and our chemical pregnancy.

Then, since I was awake, the nurse gave me some crackers and Sprite and took out my IV. After a few minutes she asked if I felt well enough to get dressed by myself or if I needed The Coach's help. I told her I was fine so she sent me into the changing room and him down to get the car. After I was all changed she put me in a wheelchair and took me down to the patient pick-up area. On the way down I asked her if she knew anything about the eggs we got and she said she only knew we got 4.

I fell asleep as soon as I was in the car and woke up when we got back to town. The Coach dropped my Rx for pain killers off, got me Chick-fil-a and settled me on the couch. By the time he got back with the pain killers, I was in a lot of pain and needed one immediately.

Since then all I've really done is veg on the couch and sleep. The pain killers knock me out. The pain is much worse than I was anticipating but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was awake and tense during the procedure.

Now we wait. We wait until we get that next call from the embryologist tomorrow telling us the status of our embryos. I'm so scared. I just don't feel like 3 is good enough. I'm terrified we will end up with nothing to transfer.

1 comment:

  1. T&P for you. I hope everything else does well for you!