IVF CD13: Retrieval Day (long version)

Good evening.  I apologize for not writing or checking in earlier.  I'm a bit tired still, but RETRIEVAL IS DONE!!


I thought I've give my boring play by play for those who may be interested.  I hope this information helps someone.  As a disclaimer and a reminder, I am not a doctor nor nurse.  I might get a term incorrect, but I'll try my best to remain accurate to my experience.  Also, your experience may be different from mine depending on fertility clinic, protocol, etc.  Happy reading.

This morning S. and I were to leave the house at 0645 for our 0830 arrival and 1000 procedure.  We were running slightly behind, but fortunate to be on the road by 0653.  The procedure center is an hour and some change on a good day, but with our notoriously awful rush hour, that could switch up badly Thankfully, the first leg of our trip was uneventful (the Interstate moved pretty quick), however the second part not so much.  We called the center and were ten minutes late, but the receptionist told us not to worry and that was a relief.

Side-note:  Now, I've told you all that I've had mild cramping all week.  Nothing major, kind of like menstrual cramps, but not a big deal.  Ladies, oh my!  This morning, I was cramping and in such pain that I could barely walk straight.  I actually had to stop and breathe through those jokers.  It was progressively worse by the time I walked from the car to the main lobby to the pre-op area.  It should be noted I get bad ovulation cramps anyway.  Really bad ones.  I can always tell which side is ovulating because the cramping is real.  This time my right side (which has been the most active) was kicking my butt, but there was an equal dull ache on the other side.  NONE of this was felt yesterday beyond minor twinges/cramps.

We walked to the lobby area, presented our photo IDs, and the reason and time for our appointment. The receptionist was very pleasant and told us we were checked in and to have a seat.  About five minutes later, our nurse H. greeted us, verified our info, and walked us back to the pre-op area.  I was asked to jump on the scale for weight.  ( Four pounds are sitting there that were not there last week. I'm blaming the bloat!) I was then invited to void if I needed to (as many times as I needed to), strip to the hospital gown with only bra and socks on, given the hair and sock covers, and told to get into the bed until vitals could be run.  An identification bracelet was placed on my arm with my name and info for the day.  Fever and blood pressure were run thereafter.

S. was escorted to the donor area to do his part of the retrieval.  I really have to get him to write his experience.  LOL.  He said the donor area was the most professional thing he has ever seen in his life. LOL.  While he was gone, a new nurse came and introduced herself, verified my information, and went over the procedure, the post-procedure, consents, and verification of information.

Post-retrieval instructions
So, there are two types of triggers for this procedure--Lupron or HCG.  Because my estrogen counts have been so blessed high and the RE and staff are trying to keep me from overstimulating, I triggered with Lupron.  The nurse explained to me that when I went in I may or may not receive an HCG shot in my arm.  It would depend on my levels and the directions received from the doctor.  She wanted me to be aware so if I woke up with a new bandage, I'd know what had happened.  I asked the nurse if my cramping so badly were normal and she said it was.  She informed me that when I was done I would need to inhale Gatorade even more so than water with my levels.  If I'm doing 64 oz of hydration a day, 40 oz. need to be Gatorade or some type of electrolyte.  She also told me to up my protein A LOT.

Soon after, S. returned to the room just in time for the anesthesiologist to arrive.  I loved him.  I mean he was one of the highlights of the day.  Funny and quick.  He verified my information, explained what he was going to do, saw my bruised arm and the tape burn, informed me he would have to use the same site, but it wouldn't hurt (and it didn't--the guy is good), and then had me all set up for my IV.  It didn't take him anytime at all.  He told me he would see me in the room in about fifteen minutes and he went to set up.

Meanwhile S. is doing an awesome job of rubbing my belly and holding my hands through these nasty cramps.  We decided it was time to pray before the nurse came back to get me, and pray we did. I love my husband.  There is something wonderful about having someone love you so much that their prayers sound like a love letter for your soul.  Anyway, a few minutes later, the nurse who took my vitals arrived and escorted me to the bathroom for one more void.  We then went by my area to say my goodbye and love you to S. and the nurse led me to the room.

Once inside, the anesthesiologist was in place and introduced me to the embryologist who verified my information and the name of my husband and left the room, I assume to get the sample.  The nurse verified my information once again and then asked me to sit bare bottom on the covered table.

I heard the anesthesiologist give the time.  I thought he said 20-25 and I turned to ask if he was referring to egg count.  He laughed, so no, just giving the time, and the nurse asked me to move up just a bit, and then I was out. (That stuff is GOOD).

I woke up back in the recovery area with the nurse beside me but no S.  He'd gone to the pharmacy to downstairs to collect my prescription for pain meds. (The nurses had sent him to do to keep me from having to wait on the way out). I felt a dull cramp that bothered me when I moved.  The nurse saw the discomfort and asked if I wanted my IV med for pain.  We agreed on half the dosage and that helped quickly.  S. arrived from downstairs, asked how I felt, and I told him I thought the nurse told me we'd had 9 eggs.  S. told me I must have been groggy and asked the nurse again in my presence and found out we have 12!  Yay!
Whoohoo!  12 eggs!

We checked out shortly thereafter complete with menstrual pad and heating pads and stopped for something to eat. As soon as we were back in the car, I fought with nausea from potholes.  I came home and chugged Gatorade.  To the young lady I told that it didn't work for me...LIES.  I felt so much better.  I used the heat pad given to me at the center and lay down for a very long nap..interrupted by the need to frequently pee, but I did keep chugging Gatorade.

When I woke up this PM, I felt much better. A bit slow and still crampy, but not enough that I have used the pain meds.  I've eaten protein, taken my post-up Estradol and will start Endometrin tomorrow.  I'll work a half day tomorrow and will get back to you all with updates as soon as I can.

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope I didn't bore you.  Tomorrow, I'll post some things I didn't know, but for those who are coming up on retrieval, the immediate.

1.  Be prepared for the possibility of major cramps on retrieval day.
2.  Make sure you have your Gatorade ready.  It really does help.
3.  You will be given a pad to wear home.  There will be spotting.  It will not be lots.
4.  Rest.  I slept for about four hours and my body appreciated it.  I also took it slow because getting up and laying down HURT.
5.  Let your lovie spoil you.  It was nice to have S. beside me and making me feel super special.
6. Try to relax.  It's out of your hands.  Whatever happens, will happen.  You've done your part.

Have a great evening!
-K

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