About egg retrieval. First, I'll tell you that we didn't move to IVF
sooner because I read all about this procedure and was NOT ready to have
any of that done to me. But by the beginning of the year, our supply of
sperm was getting quite low and my patience was wearing thin. There's
only so many rounds of disappointment a person can take, you know?
So we made the switch, got that necessary millionth negative pregnancy
blood test and I started birth control pills. After a while on those, I
stopped then added some Lupron into my drug regimen. This drug causes a
lot of people some rather crappy side effects, I felt lucky that it just
gave me a headache promptly at 3 pm every day. After a while of that,
we added the Big Guns, Foll.istim, which encouraged my ovaries to work
And they did. I went into egg retrieval with 18 promising-looking
follicles. I can not adequately describe how uncomfortable that is.
Rolling over was nearly impossible and my fat pants hardly fit from all
the bloating. Good times, oh yes.
They said no more vigorous exercise after a certain point and I thought
that was a load of shit. After all, I'd had 4 and 6 follicle cycles,
why should this be different?
Ha. 18 is very different. I sat out from hockey. Yes, me.
We went into egg retrieval day hoping that all 18 could be retrieved.
My daily prayers for 1 good 5 day blast (with a ton to freeze)
continued, and my good friends inside the computer said the same prayer
on our behalf.
The effort it took to get egg retrieval day off from work was fucking
ridiculous. But every day I've needed off has required the same
ridiculousness so I wasn't surprised.
I'd dreaded it for so long but finally, it arrived. I was instructed
not to eat or drink after midnight the night before. I sat in the
clinic waiting to be called and thought oh, I'll just get up and get a
Oh wait. Sigh. My parched ass finally went in and got a lengthy spiel
about what to expect including a very pointed admonition not to put
anything in my vagina. Gee, thanks. (Never mind the 3x a day
pro.gesterone suppositories that were in my future. I guess sticking
those things up there is fine).
I got a lovely gown to change into and finally, I went in to get an IV
put in. Thanks to my many failed pregnancy blood tests, I knew where my
best vein is. That didn't stop the nurse from blowing it just a bit and
leaving me with a bruise that lasted over 3 weeks. No joke.
They had me walk into the procedure room (aka O.R) and I laid down on
the table. I remember asking the anesthesiologist to raise the head of
the table a bit and then bam, the next thing I knew I was being wheeled
back into recovery room. The nurses said '18, they got 18' and I
thought YES! then promptly fell back to sleep.
Andrea came in and sat with me, eventually I felt up to leaving so (I
suppose) I got dressed and walked wobbly bobbly to the car. I thought
of all the women I'd seen making this walk, how I had dreaded it but in
the end, desperation brings you to places you never expected to go.
One weird thing is that when I was asking the nurses beforehand, could
Andrea be with me in recovery. Somehow, that got me a list of the
things she could do while waiting for me. Huh? I was the one in there
having delicate instruments go inside my even more delicate bits. Why
would I be concerned that she couldn't figure out how to entertain
herself for 45 minutes?
This is where I'm guessing that some husbands treat this differently
than she did. And yes, that means with less compassion.
But I made that wobbly walk, 18 eggs lighter and with more hope than
we'd had in a long time. I was starving so we made a beeline for some
tasty Chinese food. Which I inhaled, then asked Andrea to drive through
McDonald's so I could get some fries.
That afternoon, I napped and that night I felt like shit. The next day
I felt better but not 100%. The next day also brought the Fertilization
Report -- of the 18 retrieved, 12 were fertilized. I found myself
weeping for the 6 who didn't make it.
Even thought I'd thrown countless eggs over these months of trying,
those 6 were different. I think, because they should've had a better
chance. But they didn't even get to try.