Hubby and I left for the Doc's office on Thursday, May 19th at 7:15am. I was very nervous and anxious about the whole retrieval process. I had read where several fellow IVF'ers had real pain and horrible experiences with retrieval. Then, the heavens opened up. Meet my newfound friend:
At 8am, in the car, the directions from the Doc were to take a little pill called Xanax (see above). About 20 minutes later, I felt a distinct wave of calm come over me. I looked at Hubby and giggled. I didn't know why. I was still anxious....I just didn't really care. He looked at me and asked me what was wrong with me because he was very aware that just a few minutes ago, I was entirely stressed. I told him I thought that this Xanax stuff was something worth looking into...and then giggled again.
We arrived at the cryogenics lab first where we had to show picture identification and sign papers to permit thawing of Hubby's sperm. I asked if we needed to direct them to re-freeze once we were finished and they assured me that, since we have a total of 9 vials of sperm, we shouldn't need to re-freeze. NINE?! I had no idea. Way to go Hubby!
Then we headed next door to my Doc's office where we were led back to the procedure room. The IVF nurse started asking me questions and I had to stop and think about my answers. I apologized to her, explaining that the Xanax was having quite the effect on me. She laughed and said it was working. She gave me a shot of Dilaudid in my hip and had me go to the bathroom one last time, take off my clothes from the waist down, and assume the position on the table. I perused a magazine and jabbered at Hubby for a few minutes.
Soon, the Dr doing the retrieval came in and introduced herself to me. I explained that while I'd never seen her, I had already heard good things about her. A friend of mine had come to this same office for numerous miscarriages and she was the Doc that she had seen. She very quickly went to work numbing me. She asked me to cough as she inserted the numbing needles, and ladies, let me tell you, this works. Don't do a little wimpy cough. Bring up a lung if you have to. I didn't feel the needles at all.
At this point in time, a little window in the wall opened and an embryologist from the lab next door introduced himself as our first babysitter. I felt a little like I was in Oz as people from weird places began talking to me. Was the Dilaudid THAT strong?
Next, the Doc brought up the ultrasound images. She began talking and we both intently watched the screen. She asked if she should just do her work or if we wanted to know what was going on and we both were adamant that we wanted her to continue explaining the process.
We could see the needle puncturing each little black circle that was a follicle. After that, each circle got smaller as she took the fluid from each. There was a tube coming from her instrument that put the fluid into a test tube. As the test tubes got full, they were handed through the window to the embryologist. They showed us the 1st test tube to be passed through and pointed out the little white flecks of flesh in it stating that there were probably eggs in it.
As the Doc continued her work, the man on the other side of the window kept stating numbers. Finally I asked what he was doing and the Doc looked at me and said, "He's counting your eggs." OH! Well, by all means, count away! I had no idea they'd be able to do that while I'm still on the table.
The Doc switched sides and began retrieving from the other ovary. By this time I was getting a bit uncomfortable as I could begin to feel some of what she was doing, but I didn't dare show it. She said that because I was doing so well, she was going to go ahead and retrieve everything that she could on that other side even though some were a little smaller. She said if I was in too much pain that she'd stop, but I insisted that she go on. I hadn't gone through all this to have her quit before getting every last darned egg! She quickly finished retrieving all that she could and they closed the little window with the embryologist's last count at 8, even though he wasn't done counting. The nurse promised that she'd get a final count for me before we left and let me lay down for a few minutes. Hubby just kissed me and told me how brave I was and how well I'd done. That was so nice to hear.
The nurse came in every few minutes and raised the table until I was sitting upright. I felt a little funny. I kept holding my arms up and putting them back down - almost like I was restless and I didn't know what to do with them. It was a strange feeling. Upon sitting me up, the nurse asked Hubby to get me dressed and she'd be in to do the final paperwork with me for the day. I was really starting to hurt by this point. (Let me tell you that the written directions from the Doc's office say that I would receive a sedative, a narcotic and local anesthetic for minor discomfort that day.) Just as I tried to stand up from the table, my whole body went limp. I don't mean a little. I couldn't stand, hold my head up, open my eyes, or even hear very well. Hubby caught me off the table and had to put me in a chair across the room. I propped my head up on the table while Hubby tried to put my pants on me. The nurse came in, looked at me, and immediately said, "Whoa!" Apparently I had no lips I was so white. They put me in a wheelchair, wheeled me down the hall and laid me down in an exam room while I regained some color.
About 15 minutes later, the nurse came in, told me that our final egg count was 10, and sat me up for a 2nd time. TEN! This time I was able to walk and hold my head up and carry on like a normal human being. It was much better this 2nd time. The nurse told Hubby to stop on the way home and get me some Sprite. I was awake for a God-awful 20 minutes in the car as I writhed in pain before finally falling asleep. I slept most of the rest of the day because it meant that I didn't know I was in pain.