May 15 2011

IVF Part Five: Retrieval

Published by at 8:39 pm under Infertility,IVF,The Man

The day after I took my HCG (or “trigger” shot) I had to go in for blood work. The lab work form that I got said I was in for a “Pregnancy Test – HCG”, so I guess that HCG makes you appear pregnant when properly administered. I was then told that I had to be back in at 6:30 the next morning to get ready for my retrieval at 7:30 AM. I could eat or drink nothing from midnight on.

So, bright and early at 6:30 AM, The Man and I presented ourselves at the office. Only, the office was locked. So, we stood in the hall for about five minutes until Kris came out of another door and said, “Hello, my dears! I’m going to take you in the back way!” This door led right into the prep/recovery room. I was taken into a locker room and told to get totally undressed, put my clothes in a locker, and then put on a hospital gown and footies. I did that, and went back into prep/recovery, where I was laid down on a bed while The Man sat in a chair next to me. Kris took my vitals and then went over a bunch of consent forms with me. Then, The Man and I just sat around and chatted until the nurse anesthesiologist got there.

The nurse anesthesiologist (I don’t remember her name) came in to ask if I had any medical conditions or allergies that I knew of, and to explain that I would be sedated (but not under full anesthesia, so I wouldn’t have to be intubated.) After that, Dr. Singh and Dr. Bannerjee (his Fellow, a GYN in training to be a RE – WSU is a teaching institution, obviously) poked their heads in to ask how I was feeling and let me know they were going to go change and start to get ready. After that, Kris came and tried to put my IV in, and she tried to put it in the crook of my elbow, where blood is drawn from. I’ve never had an IV before, so I was expecting a little extra pain, but this was like…um OW, OW, OW. She asked how it felt and I said, “Well, it kind of feels like someone is pinching me very hard right there, and not letting go”. Apparently, this is not how it is supposed to feel, because Kris called in the nurse anesthesiologist who said, “Oh yeah, that’s not in right”. She pulled it out and put the IV in my hand, which was a lot better. The initial pinch was a little worse than blood draw, but after that, there was no real pain.

Kris had to go prep another girl who was also in for retrieval, so another nurse took me to the bathroom and told me to empty my bladder. After I did that, I got to go say good-bye to The Man, and get walked into the procedure room. I’ve never had any kind of “surgery” before, so this was a new experience for me, and I really didn’t enjoy it, just because I’ve never felt more like a lab specimen. Kris, Dr. Singh, and Dr. Bannerjee were in the room, along with the nurse anesthesiologist. Some other guy came in just to verify that I was wearing the right name bracelet.

I got laid down on the bed. My arms were placed out to the sides, kind of like I was being crucified. Kris started putting monitors on me. Dr. Singh and Dr. Bannerjee positioned my legs in some low stirrups and then sort of wrapped them in towels (I THINK…I was flat on my back at this point, staring up into one of those big round surgical lights). Kris put an oxygen tube on me, and the nurse anesthesiologist said “I’m going to give you something to make you feel sleepy.” This went into my IV. I remember looking up at the light and thinking “Wow, that light is getting fuzzy”. And that was it. That was the last thing I remember until they were wheeling me into recovery and someone was asking me “How do you feel?” I think I told her I felt “OK”. They had apparently been talking to me before that, but I don’t remember.

They brought The Man in, and I managed to open my eyes for him. I felt kind of groggy, like I just woke up from a deep sleep, but I didn’t feel nauseous or sick. Dr. Singh came by to tell us that they had retrieved eight oocytes, which is what they expected, based on the number of follicles they had seen during all of my ultrasounds. I think I asked if that “was good”, but I didn’t get an answer.

I laid around, waking up, and talking to The Man for awhile. The other nurse – I believe her name was Laura – came in to take my vitals and ask how I was feeling. I told her I had some mild cramping, nothing terrible. She asked me where I fell on a pain scale of 1 – 10 , and I told her about a 2 or 3. Then she asked me if I remembered how many oocytes I was told they retrieved, and I said eight. She said, “OK, good. That’s one of the ways we judge how well you’re coming out of anesthesia.”

A little while later, she gave me a graham cracker and a cup of apple juice. A little while after that, I got more apple juice and two Tylenol. Then Laura took me to go to the bathroom, telling me that I had to empty my bladder before she could take my IV out. So, I did that, she took out my IV, I got dressed (The Man went and got the car while I was getting dressed), and Laura put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me out to the car. It was around 9:30 AM when we left the doctor’s office. I had stayed in recovery for about an hour. The procedure took about 30 minutes, from what I was told, and we were about an hour signing paperwork and prepping for the procedure.

The Man and I drove back to the hotel and I managed to stay awake for maybe an hour before going back to bed for a nap. My alarm went off at 12:00 PM because I had to take my doxycycline and my methyprednosolone. I woke up still feeling tired, but not too bad. My cramping was still mild. They had told me that if I wanted to feel OK instead of terrible, I needed to keep drinking a lot of fluids and drinking my protein shakes.

All I had to do now was to wait for the call to tell me how many of my eggs were successfully fertilized. They told me before the procedure that they always expect that around 70% of the eggs retrieved would be suitable for fertilization, but not every one would be successfully fertilized.

(My retrieval took place on May 16, 2011)

The IVF Series

Part One: Making the decision

Part Two: Flurry of tests and consents

Part Three: Drugs and money

Part Four: Stimulation

Part Five: Retrieval

Part Six: Transfer and waiting

Part Seven: Pregnancy Testing

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