November 23, 2015

Retrieval update!

So! Saturday was the big day: egg retrieval. So far, it's been by far the most taxing part of this process for me. The procedure itself was as quick and sedated as advertised, but recovery has been surprisingly challenging. I guess I figured since I've been so low on the side effects ladder so far, I'd bounce back from this easily as well (...assuming no OHSS!). And I should clarify, by "challenging" I still don't actually mean "awful" - I'm typing this from work, I'm not on prescription pain meds or anything - just, well... I guess I didn't know what to expect. So I don't want to oversell the awfulness of this, just the surprising nature of it.

As it stands, I'm pretty sure I've avoided any symptoms of moderate or severe OHSS so far, which I am REALLY GRATEFUL for. I have been obsessively weighing myself, and I am pleased/relieved to report that I am NOT gaining weight due to fluid retention, and I am peeing an entirely appropriate amount in relation to my liquid consumption. But man oh man, my abdomen is SORE. I was crazy bloated on both Saturday and Sunday (I mean, I was already super bloated leading up to the retrieval, and additional bloating from having people muck around with your ovaries is to be expected.) At this point, the bloating has gone down somewhat, but my entire abdomen is awfully sore and tender. You know the feeling after having food poisoning, where your guts feel like they've been physically wrung out and it leaves you aching and sore? This feeling is very similar. Except I'm also sore even to the touch - I can't abide having a cat walk across my belly right now, for example. They prescribed me Percocet, but while this is very uncomfortable, it's definitely not in the narcotic pain reliever realm, and I'm fine taking the edge off with regular Tylenol.

I spent virtually all day yesterday recuperating on the couch. The cats helped. 

I also started estrogen and progesterone supplements yesterday, to get my body all amped up and ready to be pregnant. The estrogen is a wee pill that I pop twice a day, whereas the progesterone is *awesome* to administer... in that I have to jam it up my hooch. Seriously. It's a vaginal suppository. It's very dignified. And I get to do that 3x/day! The other bummer is that I think it's making me pretty nauseated, which is lame. I am allowed to eat and drink whatever I want for the next few days (aka BOOZE) and right now I am hardly interested in even the occasional sip of water. So, hoping that chills out today and I can go full glutton by Thanksgiving.

But, back to the retrieval itself! The process itself is kind of fascinating. This is the only procedure that I was knocked out for, and that's due to the method used to extract the eggs: they get you all set up in the standard ob/gyn chair (aka thighs spread and nether bits waving in the wind) then knock you out... so that they can stick a big ol' needle THROUGH YOUR VAGINAL WALL into the ovary and suck out each egg that way. Then they repeat it on the other side. I am more than pleased to not have been awake for that.

It only takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on how many eggs you have, and then they bring you back out and wake you up, and let you know immediately how many eggs they were able to retrieve. I was surprised to learn they "only" got 9 from me. I put only in quotes, because don't get me wrong, 9 is a GREAT number and I am thrilled to have that many to work with. I was surprised though, because.. uh... what the hell were all those other follicles doing!? Why bother getting all hot & bothered (and swollen!) with all those lame follicles, OVARIES, if you weren't even going to produce eggs!?

But putting that aside, 9 is fantastic. They called yesterday with my first update, which was that of those nine, 8 were fully mature (yay!) and of those eight, 7 successfully fertilized (double yay!). They'll call again today with the Day 2 update, to see how many of the 7 continued dividing away overnight, then they'll let the remaining embryos alone for the following two days to let them grow and divide in peace. I'll find out pre-transfer how many made it to blastocyst stage.

So for now, I just mentally encourage my 7 embryos to keep on keepin' on, encourage my body to remain OHSS-free, hope for a morning appointment for my Thanksgiving Day transfer, and hope that all turkey baster activities go well on Thursday :)


  1. Wow! 8 mature out of 9 is GREAT and 7 our of 8 fertilized? That's amazing! I was sore for about two days after retrieval and then felt pretty normal. Take care of yourself!

  2. Seven is a good number, isn't it? I mean, in the crazy-person lottery-winner-picking idea of lucky? Let's go with that. Seven! Yay!

  3. I am so so happy and grateful that you are telling us about this. I am reading along with my eyeballs about 4 inches from the computer screen.

    I do feel as if 7 is LUCKIER than other numbers of embryos!

    I feel the urge to push you to take the Percocet, but only if you need/want a little pushing: that is, what's it to me if you take the painkillers or not? Nothing. But sometimes people feel as if they ought to woman up and not take things that can make them feel better. Like, the pharmacist told me that Tylenol PM is the best invention ever because people don't like to admit to the weakness of needing sleeping pills but they WILL take Tylenol and oh look this is just Tylenol I take at bedtime, so that product flies off the shelves even though it means people take MORE products rather than FEWER. Where was I? Oh yes: that doctors are TIGHT about narcotic prescriptions, so if they didn't feel your level of discomfort FULLY JUSTIFIED it, they wouldn't give it to you. And I say, if it helps you feel better, do take it. DO. Even if it's just kind of fun to take it. But not if you prefer not to, if you see what I mean.

    1. Ha! I *totally* know what you mean. And I must have come off as a "I'll power through it" type martyr to the nurse on Saturday as well, because she went to great pains to tell me story after horror story of women who tried to suffer through it and ended up, like, calling an ambulance because they thought they were dying. I was like dude! I believe you! I will medicate!!

      ...on the other hand, I usually react RULL poorly to narcotic meds (dizziness, nausea, meth-addict-like itching all over my body) so I will admit I'm loathe to use them unless absolutely necessary. I did ask for Percocet specifically because I know I hate how I feel on Vicodin, but... I'm still hesitant to take the Percs in case I react similarly to them too.

      That said, I promise I will take them if it becomes necessary! I really am just sore, rather than in acute pain. Pinky swear :)

  4. Oh, exciting! Grow little embryos!
    Also, I'm kind of with Swistle on the Percocet. ;)

  5. Continuing to keep my fingers crossed! And hope that nauseous feeling goes away ASAP!

  6. Seven! Go embryos go! And fingers crossed you continue to NOT have symptoms of OHSS.

  7. Hope you have a little turkey in your oven!!