May 11, 2016

IVF Update: Egg Retrieval #1


I hope all you mama's and future mama's had an excellent weekend!
The weather was beautiful here!

So, I had my first egg retrieval last week.
I wanted to clue you into our story in case some of you are Googling what to expect.
I have read stories across the board, both good and bad, and I must preface this with everyone is totally different. 
Some stories are similar, but none will be you.

In case you are new here....WELCOME!
You can catch up on our journey from when we got our calendar, the first half of stim injections, and the second half through trigger.

Did you read everything?'s A LOT right?

Glad you're back. Let's recap.

Last Tuesday morning I was stabbed with my last trigger needle and we were off to Highland Park early Wednesday for our egg retrieval.

The procedure is performed at the IVF center, not a hospital.
We were asked to arrive by 7am and I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight.
I was parched!
I was debating what to wear, assuming I would be in a lot of pain afterward.
I chose to wear a maxi dress, slip-on flats, and a cardigan.

I also brought some thick socks in case I wasn't given any. I wasn't.

Prior to arrival, we had completed and submitted our consent forms and picked up my Rx for Tylenol with codeine for post-retrieval pain.

The nurse escorted us back to a small room, where we proceeded to sign off on yet another round of forms.

She showed me my attire for the main event; a paper-thin ass-less dress, paper-thin sheet (for modesty) and my party hat (the blue lunch lady hair net).

I was getting cold while we waited for her return, and let me tell eggs were READY to come out. I was starting to get intense lower abdominal and back cramping, like I would just explode at any minute.

When the nurse returned, she brought the holiest of grails....a HEATED blanket.

She sat on a small garbage can and went over our paperwork, then told us it would only be a few more minutes.

Shortly after, we heard another couple being escorted to their holding tank.

I noticed she went over, in great detail, the risks of OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) with the other couple because their estrogen was rather higher and they had A LOT of follicles.

Funny....I said to Mark....she never said a word about any of that to me! 
Do you think we're in the clear?

Obviously Mark has no idea what OHSS he just muttered I'm sure you'll be fine.....


Another nurse pops their head in and tells Mark it's time to produce a sample.
She forces us to kiss each other and he heads off.
While he was gone, I am escorted to the procedure room by the anesthesiologist, Dan.

As you all know, I have a certain love for the Doctor that dopes me up.

So I assumed this round would be no different.
I get into position, and as he is taking my left hand for the IV, I try to steer him away with some advice....So I'm a lefty, maybe you want to do that in my right hand? Also, the IV never works in the top of my hand, but always works like a charm on the side under my thumb.....

He completely disregards what I'm saying and stabs the top of my left hand.
He is pushing SO. HARD. to try and get the fucking needle in, and all I can do is try to stay still.
I'm tearing up, it hurts terribly.
Finally he stops, and I blurt out...CAN WE TRY IT MY WAY NOW?!?!?!

Shockingly, the needle slides right in just under my thumb. Weird how that works?

He pipes up...looks like the patient was right for once.


I have another guy getting me all spread out down there, ready for the procedure.

He sits next to me, grabs my right hand, squeezes it tight and whispers, we're gonna take good care of you okay sweetie? 

We are all waiting for the tech to come in and confirm my identity, so Dickhead Dan can put me under....and he is trying to make small talk in the meantime.

I am having none of it.

The procedure is less than 20 minutes and I woke up back in the little room we started in.
Mark was next to me, as I would bob in and out for a bit.
We would be chatting and then I would randomly fall asleep, then wake back up and continue the conversation.
I think that went on for a good 30 minutes.

I heard the nurse enter the neighboring couple's room.


My turn.

She walks in, and much more quietly, exclaims.

You got 6.

Waterworks. Everywhere.

The anesthesia was still doing its thing, but I just wanted to get out of there.

All of this fucking work for six measly eggs.
All I kept thinking about was how we need to be between 6-10 embryos and now we are already starting at such a low number, I may never get to it!

My goal at that point was to get discharged as quickly as possible.

Mark could sense my frustration, so he helped me up to get dressed, and told the nurse we were leaving. My stomach is huge and bloated at this point, and bending over was nearly impossible.
I highly suggest wearing a dress!!

Side note: it's not like a normal hospital where you have to pee before you leave.

I was bummed.
On the car ride home, we stopped at Mariano's for coconut water and recovery food.

It's suggested to drink a ton of electrolyte liquids, salty foods, and ease up on the carbs.

I texted Mark a list of stuff I thought would be good, and off he went.

Coconut water, tomato soup, salmon, veggies, guacamole and chips, string cheese....and cupcakes. :)

Mark was gone for no more than 30 minutes, but my anesthesia was wearing off and the pain was kicking in.
The ride home was tough.
I was sucking down coconut water, and every bump made my stomach hurt.

You have to take the pain killers with food, so the second we got home, I shoveled what I could in my mouth, popped a Tylenol codeine, and went upstairs with my heating pad to bed.

The rest of the day was mostly bed rest with bathroom breaks.

I'm not going to lie...peeing was scary that first day.
And the anesthesia backed me up, so nothing else happened....and I'll leave it at that.

During the night, I think I got up six times to pee.
It was like all the built up liquids were finally making their way out of me.

The next day I was still a bit bloated, but the pain had mostly subsided.
I was (slowly) walking around, and determined to run a few errands.
I ended up stopping at Target and then Home Depot to grab some flowers.

I am fully aware the nurse told me not to do this, but I was honestly feeling fine, and didn't push anything.
Once home, I sat in the yard and filled my planters with the new flowers.
My parents stopped over to check in and we got my fertilization report.

Of the six eggs retrieved, five were mature, and only three fertilized normally.

We wouldn't get any further updates until Day 5, when any embryos should be making their way to what is called the Blastocyst stage, or the final stage prior to hatching and implanting.

Overall, my recovery was super easy. The worst was over after the day of my procedure.
I was back to my old self by Friday.
I mean, I went for a 4 mile walk on Sunday, and have been to the gym each day this week so far.
(Taking it easy, obviously...but I need to MOVE to combat this insanity!)

I guess my best advice for an egg retrieval is....get all the opinions you want and then listen to your body.  I did not have the pain and suffering that many have had, and feel lucky because of it.

Just take it slow and work your way back to normal.
I was not doing a fresh transfer, so the amount of medication being pumped through my body was minimal after my procedure.
I simply finished my z-pack and started Endometrim.

I'll have another update later this week with the results of our embryos.

Take care and thank you for reading!! XO


  1. Tia, wow. Can I just say I love reading your experience with it all? I've had so many friends or family go through this and this just provides a better glimpse of how it all was for them. I can't believe what you all have had to go through.

    I am cheering super hard for those 6 eggs!!!!

  2. Thank you for being so open about all of this! I am about two weeks behind you in my first IVF cycle so I am really appreciating your honest take on things. Fingers crossed for those little embryos to grow, grow, grow!

  3. Fingers crossed on the other side of the world for your 6 precious eggs.

  4. I have big hopes for those 3 normally fertilized eggs. I love the glimpse into what this has been like for you.

  5. Glad you survived the first one without too many problems. It does sound scary and painful...but rather quick. Hope you get up to the 6 you need!!