Well after many blood tests and scans, our retrieval date was set. So on Thursday, February 21, 2013 I went into our fertility office like many times before, but this time would be different. This was the first step that Dan and I have been waiting so long for. Another difference this visit had was I took a valium (well the generic version) as soon as I got to the office. Wish that was standard procedure every time I went in. The medicine worked pretty quickly since I had an empty stomach.
We were at the medical center about 45 minutes before the procedure time. We were escorted to a back exam room. This time not only did I have an outfit to change into (2 gowns so I wouldn’t flash the whole clinic), but Dan did too. He had scrubs to put on over his clothes because he would be coming with me for some of the following activities. We got dressed and waited. The next part was the worst of the whole experience…the dreaded IV.
I’ve been conquering my fears pretty well with shots, but I was still nervous for the IV. The valium helped, but I was very aware of what was going on. I have good, but little veins and of course they contract when nervous so they were extra small. One nurse tried in my right hand, but couldn’t get it. She was very friendly and really wasn’t digging, but she decided to look at the left. For IVs I prefer the hand, but I could tell I wasn’t going to get my wish. Another nurse took my arm and after some work got it in my left forearm. She did have to dig a little. Not pleasant at all, but fairly quick and in the whole scheme of things not bad. The only thing that made the pain from the IV worth it, was knowing this was the only way to receive the twilight drugs and I did not want to be awake or “with it” for any part of the actual procedure.
After the IV was in, Dan was lead to a recovery room down the hall. I was taken to the restroom. I don’t know if it was the valium, or all the hormones I’d been pumped with in the last month, or the fact I didn’t get good sleep the night before, or just the fact we had to go through IVF, but something triggered a meltdown. So again I was crying in the bathroom.
Well I pulled myself together, wiped my tears, and the nurse took me to the recovery room where Dan was waiting. We went through a door I had always seen when visiting the medical center, but never went through. I was always curious what was behind that door. So I was a little excited to find out. There was a desk where my doctor was sitting and 2 or 3 rooms. Everyone behind those doors was wearing scrubs and looking very “surgical.” The nurse had me go stand on a big blue mat which was sticky. She put blue booties on my feet and put my hair in a net. She told the doctor that the valium was working well on me, that was a little embarrassing but probably true. Dan and I waited in the recovery room for awhile, I was very glad the bed was cushioned, much comfier than the standard beds I always had to sit/lay on. The nurse hooked my IV up to some antibiotics. I always hate the feeling of cold liquid inside me, but I knew it was for my own good.
Again I had a little meltdown when it was just Dan and I in the room. I remember saying…I don’t even know why I’m crying. I wasn’t upset, so I’ll just blame it on the valium. Eventually it was time for the procedure. They hooked me up to oxygen and wheeled the bed into a different room. Dan was left in the recovery room to wait. In the other room, they changed my IV to the twilight drugs. As I said before I didn’t want to remember/feel anything so there was numerous times during this whole appointment that I made my wishes clear to the nurse. They did good, because before you knew it I was out or at least incoherent. I vaguely remember hearing people talking but I don’t remember what was said. Anyway, before I knew it the procedure was over and I was being wheeled back into the recovery room.
Dan was still there waiting patiently. The procedure took about 30 minutes. I “recovered” for about an hour. The nurse brought me some water and crackers and I even thought to myself…i bet the crackers will be itemized on my final bill. Oh well I was hungry. I was still hooked up to an IV (fluids now), which was the only uncomfortable part. There was a TV in the room and they had the screen showing the embryologist picking out the eggs they had retrieved (under a microscope of course). It was pretty cool to see.
I asked Dan how many eggs they collected, he said a number I wasn’t expecting…21! The doctor had popped his head in and given Dan the good news. I was thinking they would get 8 to 10, maybe 15, but was shocked with 21. No wonder I felt “large” in the abdomen region. So far our IVF was off to a great start. I had survived all the shots and hormones SO FAR and they retrieved a good number of eggs. We were and are on our way!
Well, not too much to say at the end of this appointment. I went back to a standard exam room, and Dan went to do his part. Unfortunately my skivvies were tucked in Dan’s clothes which were in a different part of the building, so I had to wait a little longer to get dressed. That was a little embarrassing ..telling the nurse I was missing my undergarments. We’ll blame it on the valium again! 🙂
I was very hungry. I hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before and our appt. lasted from 8:15 am until 12:30 pm. So on our way home we stopped at Chipotle and Dan picked us up some delicious food. I went home, ate, and took a nap. I had some abdominal pain, but nothing too bad.
Unfortunately I wasn’t out of the woods regarding shots and hormones. My progesterone shots would start the night of my retrieval, but I’ll leave that for a different post.
I want to mention that we give God all the glory for this procedure and of course appreciate the expertise and kindness of the doctor and nurses. God has been with us every step of the retrieval as well as each part of this infertility journey. I know His hand was in it, especially with such a good number of eggs! Now the waiting game begins.