"The Retrieval"

Amanda Hobbs

"The Retrieval"
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Here we are! Egg Retrieval!

P.S. Egg retrieval is no joke. It's a quick procedure, only 15-20 minutes or so but It does involve general anesthesia and a giant suction needle that is inserted into the ovaries. Now, I guess I assumed that the needle would penetrate the ovaries after passing through my tummy... But you know what they say about making assumptions. 

I was wrong.

They actually insert the needle into the vagina, pass through the vaginal wall and then the ovaries, all guided by ultrasound. I am very scared! O_O

So, here we are. Mr. H was flying in that night and after not seeing him for nearly a week, in my crazy state of mind, I was more than ready for him to be there with me. I drove to the airport, picked him up and we returned to the hotel room. The rules of my surgery were like any other. No food or drink after midnight the night before.  My procedure wasn't until 1:30 the next afternoon and I knew it would be torture not being able to eat all morning. So, at 10:30 that night, I ate pizza! I stuffed myself like it was my last meal ever on this earth.

I swear, in my head, it was. I was terrified.

I didn't sleep a wink that night.

Mostly, I didn't sleep because I was terrified and partly because I couldn't get comfortable due to my melon sized ovaries. So, when my alarm went off at 7:30 I was already awake. There is something about knowing that you cannot eat or drink anything that amazingly makes you hungrier and thirstier that you have ever been. I laid in bed for a good 30 minutes after the alarm went off daydreaming about water. I was so thirsty.

So I got in the shower. I let the water run into my mouth and I just didn't swallow it... that's okay right? I was miserable!

I kid you not; I brushed my teeth 7 times that morning! 7!!

It was time.

We arrived at the clinic and we were immediately taken to the OR section of the building. I was shaking so bad I could hardly speak. I'm not sure if that is normal but I just couldn't help it. They had me change into my gown and hair net. Then they let me get comfortable. The nurse came in and took my blood pressure and pulse. Pressure was normal, pulse was 180. She told me to settle down and anesthesia would be in shortly to go over a few things with me.

When the Anesthesiologist knocked on the door I almost tossed what may have been left of my pizza. She talked with me and went over allergies, weight, height and all of that other important stuff and then she started my iv.

I am not sure what exactly it was that scared me so bad, but I could not get my heart rate down. She told me that she would give me a few minutes and she would be back to get me soon. Some of the medicine she was going to give me would help my racing heart.

"I wish we could skip this step."

A few minutes later, they came to get me. Mr. H kissed me and we exchanged our "I love you's." 

Can you guess what happened next?

Yup! You're right. I cried...

Man, I feel like such a cry baby.

I felt like we were on a Pirate Ship and I was walking the plank. Everyone I passed was staring and I was about to have to jump overboard. They laid me on a table and asked me my name and date of birth.

The Anesthesiologist said, "I am about to inject a medication and it may hurt a little."

"Okay." And it did hurt..more than a little.

My vision started to get blurry and I said, "I really don't like this feeling." My Dr. says, "Oh, I love that feeling!!"

We both laugh.....

That's it! Lights out! That's all I remember. Not so bad after-all!

Meanwhile, Mr. H is called back to give his contribution.

The next thing I know, I am back in my room, and I am having a panic attack. This doesn't happen to me normally, so I was definitely concerned about it. When my eyes opened, I knew where I was and why I was there. It's hard to explain, but I could not control anything. I felt like I was choking but I was hyperventilating, tears were rolling down my face and I had a death grip on the rails of my hospital bed. I tried to stop it. I felt so stupid but I seriously could not make it stop. I was freaking out big time. I really felt bad for Mr. H. He kept saying, "What's wrong with you," over and over. This lasted for at least a full minute but it really felt like 10. The look on his face though; he was just as scared as me.

Once I finally calmed down enough to speak, the nurse asked me if I wanted a glass of water. And I did.

Apparently I had been awake for a good 5 minutes or so before I actually woke up and we were all just having a 'normal' conversation. So it really came as a shock to them when I, all of a sudden, started flipping out. I can only imagine what they were thinking. I honestly don't remember a thing until my episode.

Mr. H says I was hilarious. He didn't tell me anything except that I just kept telling everyone that "my vagina hurt."

Oh Geez! >>>insert blushing face here<<<

I'm not sure I want to know. :/

I later found out that about 40% of people that go under general anesthesia will wake up in fright. I call that normal. I am normal.

I don't know why it happens, but I figure, in my case at least, it was because I was so scared going into it. I think it makes sense.

Once I could walk, use the restroom and drink a glass of water I could be released from the clinic. They instructed me to call them as soon as I started my period so we could get a calendar for transfer; I drank another bottle of water and used the restroom. I've never struggled so hard to pee; it was really hard.  All in all we were there for about 3 hours. Not bad. We loaded up in the car and started the 4 hour drive home. I've never been so hungry in my life!

We stopped and my sweet pea got me all of the gas station snacks my little heart wanted and we went on our way. I slept most of the way. We made it! Over the next few days, I went through a lot.  I was in pain, a lot of pain. I took my pain pills and I had the worst reaction to them. So, not only could I not take the pain pills, I couldn't take anything for fear of how my body would react to whatever else I put in it.  I will spare you all of the details, but I will just say that I really thought I was dying. I have never experienced anything like it and from that experience I have deduced that Tramadol is the Devil.

By day 5 I felt a lot better.

And we were getting updates on our little babes!

The goal is to grow the fertilized embryos out to day 5 with retrieval day being day 0. On day 5 they should have reached the blastocyst stage. If they don't make it to blastocyst stage on day 5 they will give them one more day to get there and if they don't get there they will be discarded.

They would call on day 1, 3 and 5 to give us updates.

We had 14 eggs retrieved, 11 were mature enough to fertilize.

All 11 fertilized, on day 3 we had 7 left and they were looking good.

On day 5 we had 5 embryos left and none of them had quite made it to the blastocyst stage. I asked if that was normal and the Doctor told me that it happens pretty often. They would give them one more day to grow and they would let us know what happens. At this point, I was so anxious. I couldn't stand it.  What if they didn't reach that stage? What if I had to start the whole thing over? Oh my gosh, we can't afford that! I didn't sleep at all that night. I just kept playing out the different scenarios in my head. And I prayed. I prayed a lot that night, harder than I have ever prayed before.

Of course we had to wait all day to hear back and when we did, we were ecstatic!

All 5 made it to blastocyst and all 5 were frozen that day! What a wonderful feeling!

This is the best day of my life! Oh, and I started my period, could this day get any better?

Now we just have to wait...