So much as happened in the last few weeks that I am going to try to slowly catch up on one thing at a time. I did not actually fly to Vegas or become a dominatrix, so I guess the Cabergoline didn’t have that effect on me. The days leading up to the retrieval feel like they’ve become a blur. I was visiting the doctor almost every day (5 out of 7 days that week) for an ultrasound and bloodwork to make sure we didn’t miss the exact moment to go egg hunting! They are open on weekends since your ovaries don’t understand the concept of Saturday/Sunday and Sunday afternoon I got the call that today was the day for our trigger shot. Meaning…we would give at exactly 10pm that night one last sudden surge of HCG (Novarel) to begin the retrieval process 36 hours later. I hadn’t had to take the trigger shot in a while (same one we’d used in previous failed IUI’s) so I’d forgotten just how bad that shot was. The needle itself isn’t very big, and it is the same type of subcutaneous injection +/-, but the burning medicine and the huge red swollen burn patch it left for days is pretty much not for the weary. In retrospect, I should have put it slightly higher or slightly lower, but instead I managed to place it at the perfect line to rub against my pants at work the following day. Suck factor-8). The best part about the day after the trigger though is that other than blood work at your pre-op appointment, there are NO injections to take.
By the time you stimulate your ovaries to the point of retrieval, you feel like you are about to burst. You’re swollen and crampy and bloated and sharp twists, turns, coughs and sneezes are uncomfortable. I had to stop eating at midnight the night before which was no big deal, my appetite has been less than ideal lately anyhow. The hard part was wanting to drink! Soooooo thirsty, but they’d pretty much threatened to cancel the procedure even if you ate an ice cube. I settled for some lip balm and tried to forget about the cotton mouth.
PC and I had the retrieval scheduled for 10am, but they’d asked us to be there by 9:30. I got up and showered, took off my wedding ring, nose ring and cartilage earring and settled for trusty fleecy pj pants. The instructions had been to “dress comfortably” and in my mind pajamas fit that bill perfectly. In an abundance of caution, we were there by 9:05. I mean I was not going to have traffic keep me from getting to these eggs! PC hadn’t even filled out his name yet and they called me back. I had a small panic because I wasn’t ready. I went back to the surgical center and the nurse must have understood. She relieved my nerves a little when she told me I would have a chance to see PC again before I went under. I was given my fashion forward gown, booties and shower cap and the IV line was set up. I was permitted the tiniest sip of water to down two of the Vicodin. The doctor came in to re-walk through the procedure and sometime around then PC was able to come back and sit with me in the recovery/pre-operating area. The anesthesiologist came in and reviewed my medical history and I started to get nervous. Anesthesia is scary. He asked if I had any questions and seemed somewhat surprised when I asked him if he would be monitoring me and only me the entire time. Yes-check. No students or teaching were happening in this procedure? Nope-check. There is a reason that anesthesiologists have high insurance costs. It’s because people DIE when it’s done wrong. Yes I sound paranoid, but I really like my life. A lot.
All of a sudden it was time to go, PC was ushered into surgical waiting room. I got teary. Just feeling nervous and my body decides to manifest itself in tears. In the operating room, I was asked to verify my name and date of birth the embryologist who is in charge of the dish the eggs will go in. Soon after I am out. The procedure from what I hear was about 30 minutes and PC was able to watch (not the gory details, but the ultrasound version) on a tv in the next room.
The aftermath of the retrieval is pretty well hideous. GirtyJ had warned me about some of it and encouraged Gatorade and stool softeners. She wasn’t kidding. The gut bloat that accompanies the procedure is terrible. I slept off and on most of the day with PC being an excellent nurse. I honestly don’t think I felt “back to normal” from the retrieval until Yesterday—a week later. That night the progesterone shots in the butt cheeks began and I thought PC would pass out. He was pale as a ghost, but survived like a champ. Again GirtyJ to the rescue (I will never be able to repay the advice she’s given through all of this) suggested icing first and massaging after and that has saved my life in this process. The needle pain isn’t as bad as the afterwards muscle soreness because this needle is IM (intramuscular) going 1.5 inches into your muscle. It feels like you’ve done 100 squats but without the toned ass to show for it. <Sigh> IVF is hard, but it will be worth it.