Egg Donation Chronicles: The Retrieval

16 Jul

Egg retrieval day has come and gone. Here’s the DL:

To begin at the beginning, we need to go a few days prior to retrieval. 3 to be exact. It’s Friday morning and I’m at the doc, and they’ve been doing regular ultrasounds, so they know that my ovaries are producing nicely. I’m feeling pressure in my uterus, mostly in the area where my ovaries are, but sort-of-generally-all-over down there too. I mean, my ovaries are, at this point, hugely swollen. I can feel them when I walk, but it’s not that uncomfortable, just weird. So, they do another ultrasound and they’re like “Huzzah! Your retrieval will be Monday!” And I’m all “Score!” since I totally planned for that day to begin with, and taking off of work was challenging enough without them having to push it back any. So, go ovaries! You rock! I get one more shot of the Follistim and the one that makes you not ovulate (can’t remember the name…).

2 days before retrieval: One more shot of Follistim, none of that other nonsense (which is cool because that other shit burned. Like a lot.) And then they handed me a sheet that covered the basics for the next two days and the morning of my surgery. The gist: You need to give yourself these two shots that we’re going to call in to a local pharmacy for you at EXACTLY 10:30pm tonight. Keep them cold. On Sunday night/Monday morning, no food or drink after midnight because surgery, duh. Also, take this antibiotic starting tomorrow morning until it’s finished.

So, my friend is looking for an apartment in NYC, and this is sort of relevant to this post because she dragged my ass all over g-ddamn Bushwick looking for a room on Saturday afternoon. I’m a nice friend. Seriously. Here’s why: My abdomen is swollen, it’s 100-fucking-degrees out, and walking around isn’t appealing at all, but I go all the way from Columbus Circle (where the Columbia Center for Women’s Reproductive Care is) to friggin Harlem (not too bad yet) and then ALL the way to Bushwick, which is like a half-hour into Brooklyn (for a total commute of an hour and a half just to get to the place where we can see apartments). You guys, NYC subways suck, if you didn’t know. I couldn’t really sit, and it was crowded and hot. Whatever, I’m just trying to explain why I chalk my later outburst at her up to the heat and the hormones. So we find her a place that she likes, she jumps on it, and then like a half a second later (but long enough for us to get onto the subway) starts second guessing herself. To the point where she was going back and forth about getting her deposit back. My patience lasted for about 45 mins of this nonsense before the aforementioned drugs and heat took their toll and I started yelling at her. I tell this story because the hormones, for the most part, treated me well. I didn’t feel badly on them. I didn’t hyperstimulate. I was good! And then I had this outburst. Sigh. It wasn’t a perfect melding of my body and hormones…

The final thing on this day is to give myself these shots. They changed me from the intramuscular shot, which I was super not looking forward to, to 2 subcutaneous ones, and I was thrilled. Yes, I can totally and without practice, shoot myself in the belly with two incredibly short, thin, pre-filled syringes. Walk in the park, y’all.

1 day before retrieval: Easiest day ever. Blood work (ONE VIAL! THAT’s it!). Boom. Done.

Morning of: I get there an hour early for no reason whatsoever. This is entirely unnecessary for any of you who may choose to go through this process. Just get there when they tell you to or you’ll get stuck in the waiting room for an hour reading your Kindle.

They take me into the outpatient surgery area. I strip all but my bra off, put the silly robe on (facing front! my favorite kind!), and then wait until the anesthesiologist is ready. Eventually, they put an IV in my arm (elbow area, which I appreciated because I HATE the wrist ones), and bring me into the surgical room. The anesthesiologist is a nice guy, but the surgeon starts to talk to me, and he’s talking over her, asking me questions about myself, and I can’t hear her (the surgeon) instructions. So that part was kind of annoying. He was a really nice guy though.

I was a little concerned that they didn’t weigh me before they did the anesthesia, but then I figured that this guy does this for a living, so I should probably chill out about it. He did the injection right into my IV, and for like 10 seconds I totally fought the anesthesia. For those of you that have never been under, there’s this period of time where you can ABSOLUTELY feel the medication starting to work, but your brain is fighting its absolute hardest to be like “NO. Fucking NO! I will not allow you to put me into a quasi-coma right now.” Once I realized that I was doing that, I let myself fall asleep.

Blessedly, the surgeon and her staff waited until I was out to so much as put a speculum in. I’m so unbelievably grateful that they did that. I’m sick to death of people putting things in my vagina at this point (and I can’t be the only person on the face of the planet that thinks that transvaginal ultrasounds hurt… not the wand part, but the actual ultrasound waves. I’m telling you, painful!).

I woke up 15 mins later because of the pain. This is certainly not a pain-free experience, so if anyone ever tries to tell you that it was easy-peasy, they’re lying. I walked to a chair and they gave me some pain stuff and I think an antibiotic. A few minutes later, they hand me some saltines, a survey and my CHECK! Then they ask about the pain and I’m being whiney about it, so they gave me a shot of something into my IV to make it bearable. About a half-hour later, I’m walking out the front door to meet my friend who was picking me up.

That’s the story of the retrieval. But the recovery is something special, let me tell you. I’ll have another post in a few days with how that’s going (it’s going…). Thanks for reading and for the support!

One Response to “Egg Donation Chronicles: The Retrieval”

  1. makeladydress July 17, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    You are so lucky. why could you got this?

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