Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball anyone? (Egg Retrieval)

Well hello Bleaders, I have survived...somewhat barely it seems.  Let me recount the events of yesterday for you.

Our appointment wasn't until 11 am, so J and slept in a bit, showered and got ready, fed the animals and then I waited downstairs (not drinking or eating anything) while J did his duty in the cup.  You are supposed to keep the cup warm and upright, they actually recommend placing it between your thighs or breasts to keep it at body temperature, so that's where it went...between the ladies.  By the way, my abdomen feels like it is about to burst all morning.  Just so very full of follicules and eggs!  We get to the doc's about 10:45 am and check in, deviled eggs in hand.  They wanted us to hold on to J's sample, so he kept it warm while we waited.  I went up to pay so we wouldn't have to do it later, and I was kind of afraid it would break the credit card so wanted to be awake to call Mastercard if necessary, but the $4,950 went on without issue!  $4,950!!  Holy least we get air miles on that!?

Finally, a woman I'd never seen called my name.  She said she was the anesthesiologist, and told me to leave all my things with J.  So I figured I would be back in a minute after they took my blood.  She walked me into an entirely new room that I had never seen before and I thought, "oh man, I don't think I'm going back out there."  She showed me where to put my clothes and gave me a nighty and socks to wear, then left for a bit.  I had put my mp3 player in my purse to listen to Volleyball Queen's remix while I was under, so didn't have that.  Then I hopped up on the OB table/operating table.  It looked like an OB table on crack.  Instead of just stirrups, they had kind of ski boots at the end, I guess when you are out your feet would fall out of the regular stirrups.

Dr. A (the anesthesiologist) told me where to sit and started to talk about blood needed.  I told her about the lab losing my STD tests and that I hoped they could pull it out now.  She went to find Holly to figure out how much she needed, etc.  Holly came in dressed in her scrubs, and we discussed the blood work issue.  And I told her what I had brought them and she freaked out saying, "I love deviled eggs!!!  You are so funny!" and proceeded to tell Dr. A that if it weren't for me she probably wouldn't have eaten for the first part of June.  They determined that Holly would draw that blood out of my left arm, while Dr. A would put the IV in.  So Holly took two vials of blood I think, while Dr. A found a vein in my right hand and put a bit of numbing solution in it, then the IV a moment later, the numbing solution hurt more than the IV thankfully.  Holly had disappeared at this point to go have a deviled egg.  Then the questions started from Dr. A (or it might have been questions before the IV, I can't remember), when did you last eat and drink (before midnight and 2:30 am - I double checked Holly's math on the drinking water thing and it was off by an hour, I didn't know if that meant we might not get to do things until noon, or what, but I didn't dare risk it, so instead of getting up at 3:30 am to drink, I got up at 2:30 am and drank probably 24 ounces of water - which they said worked because drawing blood was easy and putting the IV in was too), how much do you weigh (not telling you guys, sorry), how tall are you (5"6.5"), what level of pain are you in now (8!) and what did you put in the deviled eggs -"they are delish!" (they had both snuck away to grab one).  Then all the other machines get hooked up to me, blood pressure cuff, heart monitors, fingertip pulse thingy, and oxygen mask.

Finally, the drugs start to flow and after my legs are strapped into the stirrup boots, Dr. H comes in and says hello and gets started.  I recall telling Dr. A and Holly that I felt dizzy and possibly felt a speculum go in, then I was out.

MEANWHILE, out in the lobby, (per J telling me after everything was done) J was wondering when I was coming back and when he looked at his watch he realized I'd been gone about 20 minutes and they had probably started.  But he still had his cup, which he isn't supposed to, so he asked the receptionist again, and finally they came to get it.  He also realized the deviled eggs had been out for a while so went to give them to the receptionist to be put in the fridge.  He also had the job of going to the pharmacy to get the remaining drugs for the transfer.  So he walked over to the pharmacy and they kept asking him if my name was Jasmine, not Nikus.  He kept repeating my name and they said they didn't have any prescriptions for me.  I had written out the drugs needed and sent him with my protocol, but they couldn't make it work.  So he walked back to the doc's office and they called to double check the prescriptions.  J walked back and waited there for a while, getting antsier by the minute, wanting to be in the doc's office when I woke up.  The second time he walked out of the pharmacy he saw Holly standing outside the office waving him over.  So he rushed over to her and she told him I was done.  So he came in and I had told Holly previously that I wanted him to take a picture of me hooked up to everything.  (Holly wanted me to note that even though the photos below look like there's not a doc in sight, there are actually two in the room, so no worries everyone, I wasn't left alone like that.)

Ok, back to me.  At this point I am now waking up and starting to feel some pain in my belly.  Holly had told me that the woman they retrieved before me had woken up a little early (once all the eggs are plucked, they turn the anesthesia off so the patient wakes up, but Dr. H was still looking at her uterus when she woke up) and she asked Dr. H "did you move furniture around in my vag-j-j?!"  And everyone started cracking up, but she was dead on!  That's what it feels like!  They gave me some extra strength Tylenol and WATER (finally). They let me wake up a bit more and were asking questions, etc.  Finally, unhooked all the machines and let me stand up, and helped me walk to the recovery recliner in a separate room.  

Sat down in the recliner, with a heating pad on my belly, and a blanket on my legs.  Let me drink a little bit more and wake up, then Holly came in to tell me that they were able to retrieve 19 eggs!!!  19!  And they may have scratched the inside of the uterus a little bit.  Also, that my ovaries are the size of baseballs.  Baseballs people!  They are supposed to be the size of walnuts! Walnuts vs. Baseballs...are you seeing a difference here?!  Then we started to go over how I should feel (in pain, like having AF and a little bit more than that), symptoms to watch out for (bleeding, fever and super intense pain), what I should eat (fruits, veggies, protein, but no carbs because that increases the bloating), and when we'll know if we are doing the transfer.  Then Dr. H came in and checked my pulse and said he was overjoyed with how many eggs they got.  He also said my IVF process has been "ideal" and things had "progressed perfectly."  Holly gave J a print out picture of my uterus, that I'm choosing not to share because it just looks black and has a bunch of random numbers on it that I don't really know what they are all reflecting.  Dr. H also asked when I was going to go to the bathroom and Holly had told me that peeing would be an "experience."  An "experience" because when my bladder was full, my ovaries kind of floated around it.  So when I peed and released my bladder, the ovaries would kind of float up back to their normal position.  She said it would feel "funny." So I tried to go pee, but since I hadn't drunk anything since 2:30 am, there wasn't much in my system, despite the fluids they had given me during the extraction.

J and I are left alone and that's when he told me about the pharmacy debacle.  J helped me get dressed back in my own clothes (while I commented, "I'll bet you never thought you'd have to help your wife GET dressed"), and about that time Dr. H came back in to tell me that the deviled eggs were so yummy!  And that he tried to get two, but someone else walked in behind him and snaked the last one.  The deviled eggs were gone before we were! I know what everyone likes now, and how to get on their good side yet again!  After I was dressed, J helped me walk out to the car and get in.  He then went back and made sure we had all my meds, fertility binder and purse.  Dr. H had been in the conference room which has a window facing the parking lot so came out again to check that we were okay.

We drove home and I asked J to drive "smoothly."  He called my Mom to let her know that we were on our way home, and she had planned to bring lunch too, but I couldn't have the macaroni and cheese I had requested from Boston Market.  Boo!  Made it to the house and J walked me in and upstairs, taking care to hold my arm and walk behind me on the stairs.  Then, he got everything else out of the car and got me settled.  He was amazing and so sweet.

About that time, the doorbell rang and Mom was here.  She dropped off the food in the kitchen, and came up to check on me.  I was really tired, so I just wanted to rest.  J left for work and Mom worked a bit, leaving me alone.  I drifted off a little bit, but I'm a side or belly sleeper and obviously that wasn't about to happen.  I may have slept a bit but then I heard Mom on the phone. I found my cell phone and checked my email to find an email from Holly saying that my LH level was .18 and it needed to be above .4 in order to do the transfer on Sunday.  Boo!  The doorbell again - Mama K was here.  I let her know I was awake, so she let Mama K in and then they both came upstairs to hear about my morning.  At one point I asked them what they were staring at because they were looking at me like I had two heads or would explode!  They laughed and said they were just listening to me.  Mom brought me up some broth and salad, and then left to get on with the rest of her day.  She was wonderful and I'm so grateful she could come care for me so J could go back to work.

Mama K and I just sat and talked for a bit, I broke down a bit when I told her that we couldn't do the retrieval and she did her best to comfort me.  I understand why they don't want to put a perfectly good embryo in a uterus that isn't ready, but I just want to be done with all this.  Now we need to wait until July to put embryos back in.  Mama K and I then decided it was time for a movie.  So we watched The Proposal and I tried not to laugh, because that hurt.  She was awesome, asking me if I needed help for anything, getting me more water and broth, and she even brought us dinner, although because it was a lasagna type dish, I can't eat it, but J could.  Her daughter, Rhe Rhe had even made me a "get well picture" of a rainbow and wrote on it "I hope you feel better" and "I love you" and "Love Rhe Rhe."  So very sweet.  My MIL called to check how things had gone and how I was feeling.  We chatted for a bit, and then she let me go.  She was grateful Mama K was here to take care of me and had brought us dinner.  Mama K and I chatted and watched Everybody Loves Raymond and about that time J texted to see if I still had company, and I responded that yes Mama K was still there.  He got home probably 20 minutes later and came up to check on us.  Mama K had crawled under the covers with me (still no making out!) because she was cold.  But no spooning! :)  She left to go home about 6:30 pm and I was very grateful that she had been here all that time.  It was also about then that I could have another dose of Tylenol.  YAY!

J brought me some more water after Mama K left, and some dinner and finally let the puppies in who had been outside all day in 105 degrees.  He was downstairs and I was upstairs trying to stay comfortable and relax, which was still painful.  Called Mom to tell her that I probably wouldn't be at the office Wednesday, if I still felt like this.  Then, I decided I needed to email Holly to tell her how I was feeling and make sure it was still normal.  I knew she had gone to bed early because she'd been at the office since 5 am and had to do more retrievals today.  I also decided that if I still felt as hurting as I was, I would call the office this morning to make sure everything was okay.  Finally started to get tired about 11 pm, and tried to sleep, however I'm not a back sleeper, so it was difficult.  Woke up about 4 am to go to the bathroom, and wasn't able to go back to sleep for a while after that.  I also took another dose of extra strength Tylenol.  

Woke up and decided that I wasn't going anywhere today and would call about 9 am to make sure I was okay.  Called my office to let the staff know that I wouldn't be in and gave them an update about yesterday's events.  They told me to rest and feel better.  Then called Holly, only was told she was doing retrievals so was passed to Nurse Pamela who as soon as I said "good amount of pain" she passed me straight to Dr. H.  He asked what was going on and I told him that I was still in a lot of pain, more than AF pain.  He asked about bleeding, fever and pain.  And confirmed that I was having the normal amount of pain and should still stay away from carbs still.  BOO!  And keep them posted, and they would let me know when we had update on our fertilized embryos.  

I think that's about all about our little adventure.  I'm still in a decent amount of pain and am afraid to sneeze, cough or make any other quick movements.  I coughed a bit, and man that wasn't fun!

The reason we can't transfer on Sunday is because the LH (luteinizing hormone) is too low, which means even though the uteran walls were thick enough, they aren't "sticky" enough to get the embryo to stick and develop.  There's also too much testosterone in my body and it's probable that the embryo would die.  So why go through all that work, money and effort to put a perfectly good embryo into a bad home? It still upsets me, but it makes sense.  And I'm kind of okay with it now because I'm in so much pain and would hate to have to do shots, etc. right now.

But on that note folks, I need to leave before the laptop shuts down.  I am alive, happy that we got 19 eggs, not so happy that my ovaries are as big as baseballs, but happy that I can be at home to recover today.  And very grateful for all the texts, emails, FB posts, and phone calls checking on me.  Thanks folks!!


  1. Good luck with those 19 eggies! I had a similar situation with my first IVF. I had Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and couldn't do the transfer because my E2 and P4 was already through the roof, and a pregnancy would have exacerbated all that. So I did an FET and I have a beautiful baby boy to show for it.

  2. All sounds well.. sorry you hurt so bad.. well at least you have time to recover so that you can be well for the transfer.. good luck girl!

  3. Getting good eggs is half the battle! I am glad that you got so many, and completely understand the disappointment you feel that you can't do the transfer this month. It's hard to wait even longer! I hope your pain gets better and that you do well in the next few days.

  4. Yulia AnreyevskayaJune 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Best of luck to you, Niki!!!

  5. I'm so so glad you posted because I've been checking for updates!! I'm thrilled with 19 eggs, so sad for how much pain you are in, and disappointed no exciting news for San Francisco. BUT! Doing it next month gives your lady bits a chance to rest up and be all healthy!!

    Yay lady, I'm so so proud of you! If you need ANYTHING, just let me know!

  6. I am so happy for you with the 19 eggs you got. good luck while you await your transfer, I pray you have successful transfer, implantation and preg.

    I am on my day 12and bad news is that my 9 eggs has reduced to 5ggs and even 2 eggs has refused to develop past the stage they were 3 days ago. So I am left with just 3 eggs I pray they develop into good embryos. I am not transferring too due to multiple fibroids.

    All the best to you.

  7. This is great info about getting your eggs extracted! I acually used your webpage to help in my project about stem cell research. But dont worry i sited it so all rights are researved... thanks!!!


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