Yesterday was our retrieval day. All the work we had done, all the shots, all the pills; finally, we were going to see if it had paid off.
On Friday night, at exactly 9:30 p.m. we took our HCG shot, quickly followed by what’s called the Lupron trigger shot. The HCG induces ovulation, while the Lupron trigger, prevents ovarian hyperstimulation – a problem that often affects women with PCOS when undergoing ovarian stimulation. Then, we waited.
Saturday was uneventful. There were no shots to take, which was a nice respite after about a week and a half of 2-4 shots per day. Mostly, I was tired and sore. I could start feel my ovaries getting ready for ovulation.
Sunday morning, I had to be up by 6:30 to drink 16 ounces of water before the procedure. By this time, my ovaries were so sore and I couldn’t stand up straight. Our 8:30 appointment couldn’t come soon enough.
Once we got to Dr. Corfman’s office and got situated, they gave me some valium to calm my nerves. I didn’t feel particularly nervous beforehand, but I cared much less after the valium. Between my doctor and the nurses, they explained the procedure at length. An ultrasound probe with a needle attached would go into each one of my ovaries to remove the fluid and any of the eggs that were floating around. Dr. Corfman explained, that while each one of those follicles would contain an egg, only about 80% of the eggs on average would actually detach from the follicle wall. He told us not to be surprised if we didn’t get the exact same number of eggs as we had follicles, but assured us that based on the number of follicles I had produced, he was confident that we would get some good ones. He also assured us that we would know how many eggs were retrieved before we left the office for the day. With that, Dr. Corfman promised Lee that he would take good care of me and we left to get started.
Once I was in the procedure room, the Fentanyl started flowing. Dr. Corfman explained that they walk a fine line with administering painkillers with this procedure. Naturally, they want you to have painkillers so that the retrieval isn’t too terribly ucomfortable, but the administration of the drugs can hurt the eggs. They administer the painkiller right at the start of the procedure and will administer more as needed, but then it becomes a bit of a race against the clock before the drugs make their way to the baby maker.
I brought my phone into the procedure room with my “Chill the Fuck Out’ playlist ready to go. The nurses laughed at the name, loved how family & friends had helped me to build it and asked for a copy. They said anything on the playlist would be better than the terrible old country music that Dr. Corfman normally listened to.
When the procedure was over, Dr. Corfman brought me back in the exam room where Lee was waiting. He had good news; the average number of eggs normally retrieved is 7-10. My retrieval produced 25. Twenty-fucking-five!
We’re not out of the woods yet. We won’t find out until sometime today how many are viable. Given my age, on average 40-60% of my eggs are considered abnormal. (Add that to the list of injustices in the difference between men and women) Our transfer date is entirely dependent upon the number of viable embryos that we have. It will be sometime either Wednesday or Friday this week.
Thanks to everyone that offered well wishes to Lee and I this weekend. It means so much! We truly felt the positivity surrounding us. If you don’t mind keeping it up for just a little bit longer, we’d appreciate it. We’re halfway there, but the rest of the way is straight uphill. We’ll keep you posted as we know more!