Egg collection day started WAY too early. When the alarm went off at 6:00am I hit snooze, rolled over and almost fell back asleep. In anticipation of the events to come I barely slept the night before. After the second snooze, we finally got out of bed, got ready to go and then headed to the hospital.
We arrived promptly at 7:10am, checked in and then were led back to “surgery.” Egg collection is an out patient procedure, but it felt very much like I was going in for some major operation. Hospital beds, monitors, nurses in scrubs, paper curtains around the beds, crash carts. Our nurse came in, introduced herself and then began to explain what was going to be happening. Lots and LOTS of information was shared with us, taken from us, double checked with us and so on. I was patient number two that morning and the actual procedures didn’t start until 9:00am so we settled in for a wait.
Luckily, we had a lot of visitors before the procedure so the time went by pretty quickly. We were visited by the embryologist who explained how they collect and fertilize the eggs, then the nurse came back to explain to Charles how and where to make his “donation” (more on that later). Next, the doctor came in and basically told us all the same stuff the embryologist had told us. At least I think he told us the same stuff. He had a very heavy accent and I really only understood about every fourth word he said. Then the anesthesiologist came in and I promptly asked him to please knock me out completely, I didn’t want to be aware of what was going on at all. He explained that although I was only being given a local anesthetic I would be heavily sedated and would most likely sleep through the whole procedure. Just what I wanted to hear. Last, was an extremely sweet little male nurse, whom I later, in a drug induced state, said smelled like cinnamon and chocolate. He was the nurse that took into the operating room and got me settled.
Just as the anesthesiologists promised, I was in lala land during the procedure. I remember him inserting my IV and telling me he was starting the sedation and then the next thing I know, I was waking up in the recovery area to someone calling my name. While I was in surgery Charles had run to the cafeteria to get some breakfast and made it back just as I was waking up. He was kind enough to take a little video of the first few moments of my post-op consciousness. As you know, I am not adverse to posting embarrassing pictures of myself as shown here and here, but I just can’t bring myself to share this video with you. It’s just a little too embarrassing. I will tell you that when asked where I wanted to go next I said “I’m going to Disneyland,” as if I was some football player won had just won the SuperBowl. Nice.
After the anesthesia wore off and I was given some food and drink the doctor came in to tell us that he had retrieved 11 eggs and they were very happy with the results. It’s kind of funny how we have been told, at every step in this process, that the doctors/nurses are very happy with the results and that we did very well. I always feel as though we are being praised for our efforts, as if we tried extra hard therefore we have had good results. In actual truth, we followed the same instructions that everyone going through IVF has to follow and we have been lucky to get good results. I TOTALLY appreciate being told that everyone is very happy and that we did a good job because that means the IVF is working, but the phrasing always sounds kind of weird to me.
My eggs were fertilized right after they were retrieved and we were sent home with instructions for me to take it easy for the rest of the day, start my antibiotics and take aspirin for any pain. The embryologist would call us the next day to let us now how many of my eggs accepted fertilization. I was feeling great when we left and figured I would take a little nap and then everything would be great. Wrong. After the nap the pain medication wore off and aspirin did little to easy it. I’ve definitely had worse pain, but post-egg collection was really not a lot of fun. Not only was I hurting, but my stomach was also really bloated. I couldn’t button my pants and could only walk at about about half speed. What’s that old saying? No pain, no gain. That’s what I kept telling myself. Over and over and over.
The next day we got a call from the embryologist telling us that out of the 11 eggs they collected three of them were immature so they didn’t really count, but seven of the eight remaining eggs fertilized. Again, I was told I did very well and they were please with the results. Seven out of eight eggs fertilized so now we have seven little embryos. Seemed pretty good to me. The next step, embryo transfer!