Time to get the Easter Basket out
The eggies are officially ready to be collected.
Last night, I got to enjoy an evening free from shots, which feels a bit weird after spending the last 10 days watching the clock, making sure they were happening at the right time. My discomfort has come and gone over the last few days, but now it has very much settled in. It's difficult for me to stand up straight, to go from standing to sitting, to walk and going to the bathroom is also a special challenge.
As of last night at midnight, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything in preparation for surgery and anesthesia.
I'm not all that nervous about the surgery, as I've done this before and know what to expect. More nervous about what the outcome will be. While my doctor called me the other day to cheer me on, and to let me know that he's feeling really good about what we're going to get in the retrieval.
Protocol involves arriving about an hour prior to surgery. Everything is very specifically timed because of the timing of the trigger shot. They want to have you in the OR just about 36 hours after injecting the trigger medication.
When you arrive they bring you back and ask you to change into some exceptionally stylish hospital apparel. Then after answering a bunch of health questions and signing a bunch of forms, they attach the IV line. Not my favorite part of the whole deal, and definitely not when the nurse doesn't do a great job with it. The anesthesiologist then drops by to walk through all of their questions and to double check that everything you've told them matches everything they're seeing on your chart. For me, the questions always revolve around my very low heart rate - it's often at 35 in the middle of the day - so they have to be prepared to add a medication to keep my heart rate up if it starts to drop too low. I politely asked him to avoid doing this if possible.
Finally, the doctor showed up. He had been very highly sold to me, and unfortunately, I was disappointed. All that really matters is that he's exceptional at retrieving fluid from my follicles, but his bedside manner left something to be desired. He opened my chart and shoved some numbers in my face. Numbers comparing my last cycle to this one. The words came flooding out of his mouth "This cycle was not good. Looking at the eggs they counted at your last appointment, you really only have 4 mature eggs." As he talked, I had to fight back tears. That's not what my doctor and I had spoke about two days prior. He had been very positive and pleased with where we had gotten. While the maturation seemed to be a lot slower this time around, and recruitment of follicles took longer, they had rallied later in the cycle and more follicles had joined the race. While he had acknowledged that the cycle was different than last time he was encouraging that we'd still have a great retrieval. The OR doctor continued to talk about how he didn't understand why I had so many follicles but so few mature eggs. I just nodded and said nothing. He left and feeling completely dejected I waited for them to come take me to surgery.
You walk yourself into the OR and they instruct you to lay down on the operating table. The anesthesiologist hooks you up to some monitors and then as they strap your legs in, they put an oxygen mask on and put you to sleep.
I woke up on the OR table, about 20 minutes later, before they even moved me to the recovery bed. I guess it means the anesthesiologist did an excellent job, but I was definitely disappointed that I didn't get a longer anesthesia nap. Best sleep I've had since the last time they put me under 😂
I then drifted in and out of consciousness for a while as I recovered. I wanted to fall back asleep but the heart rate monitor kept alarming because my heart rate kept dropping under 35. After about 10 minutes they came and brought me animal crackers and apple juice which was much needed since I hadn't been able to eat or drink anything for 12 hours.
The nurse came by and informed me that they were able to retrieve 21 eggs. It was a lot better than what the OR doctor had said prior to surgery and much more in line with what I expected based on what my doctor had told me 2 days prior. I still had to wait to see how many were mature and would actually meet the freezing criteria but I felt a lot more confident that way more than his predicted 4 would make the cut.
The OR doctor then made an appearance. Nice of him to drop by, but again, a conversation I didn't really need to have. He expressed his surprise with the outcome, to which I replied - in true Jenna fashion - "What can I say, my eggs are rockstars." He then opted to debate me on egg freezing being an insurance policy - which it's not. I thanked him for his hard work in the OR and sent him on his way. While his bedside manner may not have been pleasing, I'm certainly grateful, and happy, that he is good at his job and was able to retrieve so many successfully.
About 40 minutes after coming out of the OR, I got dressed and very slowly walked myself out of the surgery center to my waiting mother.
You'd think that there would be immediate relief after the procedure because they just sucked all of the fluid and eggs out, but unfortunately, your follicles fill back up with fluid. It will take them a week or so to release the fluid and for my ovaries to shrink from grapefruit size back down to their normal size. So leaving the surgery center feels very similar to coming in terms of discomfort for me. It will take me a solid week before I start to feel normal, and I'm not allowed to return to any strenuous activities especially running.
The rest of my day was spent laying low and sleeping off the anesthesia.