Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Egg Retrieval Day!

I have a lot to write, so I better get started.

I decided to dress in soft black drawstring cotton pants, a sports bra, and a pink athletic shirt. I also wore no makeup, according to their instructions, and my glasses rather than contacts. I was forbidden to eat or drink anything after midnight.

S dropped me off at the RE's office at about 7:25 AM so that he could be at work by 7:45 AM. I was supposed to check in at 8:45 AM. Originally, my mom was going to drive me, but she has to drop off my sister at her elementary school at 7:45AM, and I knew that she would hit traffic coming to my house. Thus, since I wanted to avoid the "we're going to be late" anxiety, I had S drop me off. In the end, my mom made it to the office by 8:35AM or so, but we would have been late if she had picked me up on the way there. So, I'm glad that S dropped me off.

When I arrived at 7:25, I immediately went upstairs to the RE's office to talk to them about S's specimen collection time. It just so happened that the embryologist was sitting at the front desk, checking people in before the regular receptionists arrived. She said that they would want him to come in at about 12:15 PM. I then called him so that he could move a client to accomodate that. Afterwards, I decided to wait in the main lobby of the building because I was feeling a bit nervous and I wanted to keep an eye out for my mom to arrive. I passed the hour reading two "Marie Claire" magazines... fun fluffy stuff.

During that time, Dr. W came out of the elevator and happened to notice me sitting there and reading. She called out, "HI Sarah!!" and waved enthusiastically across the lobby. She was headed for the coffee cart. I stood up and asked loudly, "Oh, will you be doing my 'thing' today?" (I didn't feel like informing the entire lobby that I was scheduled for egg retrieval.) She said yes, and then joked that the coffee she was buying was going to help her do a good job.

Soon thereafter, my mom arrived and we went upstairs to the office. Within a few minutes, they took us back to one of two recovery rooms. There were two beds and two chairs, but they said that the room could be all ours for the day since the day's other patient would be in the other recovery room. C, for sure now my favorite nurse, gave me a gown and surgical cap. I changed into it, leaving only my sports bra and socks on. I settled onto the recovery bed with its nice eggcrate mattress, reading a Vogue magazine from the lobby while waiting for my turn. C told us that I would be in the OR/procedure area for over an hour, but that the actual procedure would be about 15-25 minutes.

It turns out the OR nurse is the one nurse that I had a bad experience with, way back in December. I don't know if she remembered that incident, but if she did, she didn't show it. She was quite nice today and walked me across the hall and made sure that I had warm blankets around me as I settled onto the procedure bed. The nurse anesthetist then came and I asked her what kind of anesthesia I would be getting. "Fentanyl, Versed, and Propofol.... Do you have a medical background?" I told her that I'm a hematology/oncology fellow, but that I don't have much knowledge of anesthesia beyond the basics. She then placed an IV into my left antecubital (front of elbow) area. I was surprised to see that she infiltrated my skin with lidocaine before inserting the IV. I have never actually seen that done before. Well, hey, it didn't hurt in the least, so I'm not complaining.

She didn't tell me that she was starting the fentanyl and Versed, and I pretty much fell asleep at that point. I remember just a few things after that. One is that my heart rate was in the 40s and that she was going to give me something. I remember saying that it was normal for me and asked what she was going to give me. She said the name, but it wasn't familiar. (Much later, in recovery, I asked that question a couple more times, but I couldn't retain the info due to my drugged up state. My mom remembered that it was "rob..something" and a little googling leads me to Robinul (glycopyrrolate) which is apparently an anti-cholinergic drug. Interesting.) Luckily I slept through the insertion of the Foley (bladder) catheter. I do remember them cleaning out my vagina with antiseptic. It felt like a really giant tampon/swab going in a few times. I think I saw Dr. W, but I honestly don't remember another minute. The next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes back in the recovery room. My mom said that I was already awake when they brought me over, talking, and that my chin was shaking uncontrollably (shivering). I don't remember that part.

My first priority when I woke up was "get this Foley catheter out of me!" I felt really crampy and I couldn't tell if it was due to the Foley, the procedure itself, or what. Nurse C wanted me to wait for a while. She brought me a box of apple juice (which I downed in about 3 sips) and goldfish crackers (which I couldn't even come close to swallowing eat due to my parched mouth). With one bite, I ended up with literally a mouthful of orange crumbs that I couldn't either swallow or spit out.* I ended up begging for water and got some of that, too. I had some groggy conversation with my mom, telling her what I remembered, etc. Finally C took my Foley out and let me go to the bathroom. However, when I got there, my bladder was empty (which made sense, since the Foley had been removed about 1 minute earlier). While I was sitting there in the bathroom, my chin started shaking almost uncontrollably again. Also, there was a small amount of bright red blood on my toilet paper, which they said was normal.

I went back to recovery and got two extra-strength Tylenol at that point. It feels like menstrual cramps, but maybe 3-5x worse. Post-Tylenol, it is about the level of my worst menstrual cramps. In other words, it is not horrible, but if these were normal cramps I would take Tylenol, but I can't take any more since I already had some. I thought about asking for a prescription for something stronger, but decided against it. Meanwhile, I should mention that my heart rate was hanging out in the high 40s/low 50s, but no one seemed to mind anymore.

At some point I made a groggy phone call to S, and a while later he called to say that he was on his way over. He stopped in and visited both before and after his collection, but then had to go back to work. This entire time my mom was sitting in the chair in the room with me, and we were both reading magazines and chatting. I eventually managed to get dressed, and then we waited for the embryologist's report.

Finally, at about 1:00, the embryologist came in and told us the statistics. I had 17 eggs retrieved. Of these, 8 were mature, and 6 were "intermediate." 3 were immature. This sounded fine but not stellar. However, she explained that the 6 intermediates may mature over several hours in vitro and become mature and thus able to be ICSI'd. S's semen was 19 million/mL (a little low), but his volume was 4.7 mL and motility was fine. The embryologist will call me tomorrow and let me know how many eggs were fertilized. At that time, they will probably also tell me whether I will have ET on day 3 or day 5.

C gave me some additional info about OHSS and what to look out for. She also mentioned that she would be doing IVF sometime soon, too! I was surprised and touched that she shared this info with us. Of course I am curious to hear more details, but I didn't want to pry.

I "refused" the wheelchair as I felt too silly to ride at that point and I wanted to stop at the pharmacy anyway. I turned in package of Follistim 300 units that I had obtained last Friday (prior to my E2 shooting up). I got back $199; they kept 15% as a "restocking fee."

We stopped for a little lunch and then my mom drove me home and I've been here on my computer (reading a bit, then doing a bit of work that I needed to email before 5PM, and now composing this message) ever since. I started taking my Medrol (a steroid) and doxycycline, and I'll be on both for a few days. I'm still pretty crampy feeling, but I should be able to take Tylenol again in a few minutes.... phew!

S wants to make me dinner, watch whatever I choose (probably "Sex and the City"), and generally pamper me tonight. He is so good to me!

Speaking of "Sex and the City", over the weekend TBS played the really touching episode in which Miranda has an unintentional pregnancy while Charlotte is dealing with infertility. I find that show so funny in general, but many of the longer story arcs touch on a lot of powerful themes, and the acting and character development is generally very good. I love it!

*The geek in me decided to read a little bit about Robinul, the medication that they gave me for my slow heart rate. I forgot that medications in this class (anticholinergics) also are known to dry up saliva! No wonder I was so thirsty!


Jill said...

A foley? I'm shocked! It's such a quick procedure, but I'm sure your RE has an explanation for it. I would NOT be a fan of it either.

I'm glad to hear about your retrieval--8 mature eggs are wonderful! I hope they all fertilize--can't wait to hear your fertility report tomorrow. GL!

Finally, I love SATC too. I have always thought of myself as most like Charlotte and now after going through IF, I think I am even more so! That's a good episode!

sarah23 said...

Yeah, I didn't know I would have a Foley until today! On the other hand, I was apparently in the OR/procedure area for well over an hour, and I was asleep for most of that time. Maybe they've had experiences with people losing control and peeing on them or something.

I know from a past experience that I am physically incapable of peeing on a bedpan, too. So maybe the Foley also helps if the person is too groggy to walk to the bathroom, but unable to use the bedpan.

I'll be curious to read whether you get a Foley cath, too.

JJ said...

Happy 8 eggs=) Ive been thikning about you--and Im anxious to hear the fert report and how they are progressing!

Love that SATC episode...I cry every time!

alison said...

Glad the ER went well! I can't wait for the fert. report. Hope you're feeling better today!

Hilary (The Trying Game) said...

Nice! Can't wait to hear the fertilization report!

Lauren said...

I'm glad it all went well! I hope good things for you!

Pink said...

Hey! Congrats on the 8 mature!! Can't wait to here the fertilization report!

I have all the seasons of SATC and can't wait for the movie MAY 30th!!!

Maria said...

Congrats on your ER!! Keeping everything crossed for your fert report!!

Jen said...

Sounds like you had a good experience overall! Hopefully the intermediates catch up in the lab so that you have lots of embies.

I love that SATC, too. I also love "One" which is the one with Brady's 1st birthday, when Charolotte just had a miscarriage, but finds the courage to go to the birthday party anyway. I might have to violate my bedrest to go see the movie!

Cindy Nguyen said...

wow, great detailed description of your day. I read this like five times, just to take it all in.

Cannot wait to check in with you tomorrow. I don't know the statistics on how many eggs is good, but eight sure sounds good to me....way to go!!!!

I'm glad hubby is taking good care of you. SATC rocks! I love all of them, and cannot wait for the movie.....