Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Posted by Haisla Friday, 1 May 2015

Ok, so the good news is that we got 18 eggs retrieved yesterday!!!

I'll tell the slightly longer story, just in case one day I'll get to repeat it to our children and need a reminder of the full facts:

We left home at 7.30am supposedly in good time to reach Central London by 9.30am.

Everything went well until we hit traffic around Battersea. We'd had such a nice drive up until then, the sun was shining, we had good music on the playlist and were feeling fine. From Battersea on the journey was wracked by nerves and unannounced roadworks (M. had planned the journey meticulously to avoid as many traffic jams and roadworks as was humanly possible). The problem with Central London is that once you hit traffic, there is no way to back out and you just have to grin and bear it. My jaw was clenched so tight by the time we arrived at the hospital that I could have done with a crowbar to unclench it.

I'd had nightmare visions of having to ditch M. and the car to make their own way to the hospital and hopping on public transport to beat the traffic. The obvious problem with this plan was that we were both needed at at the hospital; me leaving M. behind wouldn't have really accomplished anything.

To cut a very long story short, we arrived at the hospital at 9.40am.

Another reason for feeling some pressure to arrive at the hospital in good time, was that I'd been advised to insert a rectal Diclofenac pessary approx. 1h before the retrieval. Obviously with the long drive, I couldn't do this in the privacy of my own home and no way was it doable in the car (I mean there are crazy things I would do to beat infertility, but there are also lines I will not cross!). So as soon as we arrived to the hospital (sweating, panting and slightly shaken), I slipped into the toilet and got the thing in. Not pleasant. If you have to do this thing in a public toilet, I recommend a pair of disposable latex gloves and nerves of steel. I know, I know, perhaps this borders on TMI, but listen, I'm glad I thought of the gloves before I left home. This is really just to prepare any IVF first-timers out there on what might lay ahead.

Once at the ACU itself, there was a bit of waiting around to do. I was offered a fetching gown,  a hairnet and the ugliest pair of slippers I have ever seen (see exhibit A) to wear:

Mmm ... sexy

I got to confirm my name and date of birth umpteen times, but I'm obviously grateful that they take such care in identifying each couple in order to match the right eggs with the right sperm. M. was led into a private room to do his thing, but generally we didn't really know what was going on, or what the schedule was going to be like.

I emptied my bladder a million times, since I'd accidentally drank some water in the morning just before leaving the house (somehow I hadn't managed to take in that the 'no food or drink 6 hours prior to procedure' advice included water *doh!*). I was terrified that it would wreck the retrieval (that somehow they'd 'know' and cancel the procedure) or that I'd end up choking on my own vomit whilst unconscious. Thank goodness it had been enough time for the water to travel through my system and thanks to my nervous bladder I managed to squeeze out every single drop before I was led into the theatre at approx. 11am.

The operating theatre was much more 'medicalised' than I'd thought with scary looking stirrup bed placed in the middle of the room. I climbed up on the stirrup bed, got the IV-drip attached to my hand by the dead nice anaesthetist (he had to dig around a little and it was probably the most painful part of the procedure that I can remember). He then placed the oxygen mask on my face, said something about it being time for the 'gin and tonic' (I think, although I can't be sure), I started feeling a bit woozy and then went out like a light bulb.

The next thing I remember is waking up back at the recovery room where M. was waiting for me. I woke up from what felt like a really nice deep sleep; apparently I'd been completely out of it (and snoring lightly) when they'd wheeled me in.

As I woke up a bit more, I discovered I was in quite a bit of pain (me and pain don't get along), so I asked for some extra painkillers and was given some together with my tea and gluten free crackers.

After a while, the embryologist came in to have a chat with us and confirmed that they'd managed to retrieve 18 embryos.


As M's sperm sample had been fairly cracking, too, they proposed a 50% IVF and 50% ICSI plan for scientific purposes, so they could learn a bit more about our fertility issues. We were both overjoyed by this. I'd always felt that by doing ICSI alone we might miss out on learning something valuable about why we're not getting pregnant. I'm all for gathering data. So this was like having the best of both worlds.

Around an hour later I was feeling steady enough on my feet to get changed and leave the ACU. I was still feeling a bit wobbly so allowed M. to go fetch our car from the car park whilst I waited in the lobby. By the time he got back (which did take a good 20 minutes) I was feeling decidedly odd. With hindsight, I don't think the gluten free crackers did much to hike up my blood sugar levels and I was positively crashing in the car on our way home. I just kept my eyes closed, leaned my head against the opened window and did my best not to throw up all the 90 minutes that it took us to get home.

When we got home, M. made me some cheese on toast and I drunk a large glass of water and went straight to bed. After a couple of hours' sleep I was feeling much better and spent the rest of the day on the sofa part napping, part watching crappy telly and drinking as much water as I could.

Today I am feeling much better with hardly any pain. There is still some discomfort and bloating in the pelvic / belly region (which worsens after I eat), but I haven't needed to take any pain medication since leaving the ACU. I also spotted a little yesterday, but that appears to have cleared up today.

So all in all, not too shabby at all. Now we just wait for the fertilisation report, on which I shall report later.


TwoPlusOne said...

18 sounds great! Sorry about the discomfort on your way to the clinic and back, rely on things not working out 100% perfect, eh? Anyway, alls well that ends well. Good luck with the fertilization report!

Jessica Howard said...

I can't wait to read about your fertilization report!
Good luck!

Ostrich said...

Excellent news! 18 is an awesome place to start, and I love the idea of doing a 50/50 split. If there is an upside to IVF, you get more information about what is potentially contributing to your infertility. And there is solace in knowing, I think.

Good luck with that fertilization report!

Haisla said...

Thanks luv!!x

Haisla said...

Thank you. It felt like a very long wait from retrieval to Day 5. I'm wondering how I'll manage the 2ww!!!x

Haisla said...

Thank you - it all did turn out well after all.xx

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