Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Egg Retrieval From Hell!

**Warning, this is a long post**

I know it's been a while since I've updated you on my egg retrieval but trust me, I've had good cause to be absent - I'll get to that later... Here is a painfully detailed description of my egg retrieval day (for those of you out there like me who are relentlessly googling for information to help calm them for their ER).

The actual retrieval was scheduled for 8am but we had to be there an hour early to fill out paperwork and go through the pre-op stuff. The surgery center is in Newport Beach which is about 30/40 minutes away from my house so that meant that Mike and I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get there in time. Normally I don't mind waking up early to go somewhere as it generally means I can convince Mike to pull through McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin (what can I say, I love them) but of course I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything past midnight so I was pretty grumpy as we drove to the surgery center. Once we arrived there and got checked in we pretty much had to sign our lives away. We were then taken back to the pre-op area where I got to change into the lovely hospital gown/cap/booties outfit. Then I was set up with my IV. I must say the nurse who did my IV was pretty awesome because  I hardly felt a thing. Then again, she gave me a shot of lidocaine first to numb the spot. That shot did sting quite a bit as I felt the fluid traveling through me but the nurse assured me it hurt less than getting the IV without it. I'm glad I wasn't looking because Mike was sitting right next to the nurse and said he saw the skin on my hand bubble up as she injected the lidocaine. I'm pretty sure I would have freaked out had I seen that!!

Once the IV was in they gave me something through it that was just for hydration. Whatever it was I didn't like it! It made my arm feel cold from the inside out. The anesthesiologist came by to go over some basic questions regarding previous surgeries etc... Before I knew it I was being wheeled away and told that everything would all be over within 30 minutes. Once we were in the operating room they got right to business and said they were going to administer my anesthesia through the IV. I was out so fast that I can't even remember what their next sentence was.

The next thing I remember I was opening my eyes in the recovery room. I had an oxygen mask on which made my throat feel dry. The nurse saw me open my eyes and came over to tell me that they had gotten 31 eggs!! I remember feeling happy that they had gotten so many eggs but then I was overwhelmed with grogginess and passed back out. The next time I opened my eyes (the nurse said it was only 15 minutes later) the nurse removed the oxygen mask and went to get Mike. I was so happy to see him when he walked into my room! He just sat next to me and rested his hand on my arm since my IV was still in. Dr. Lee came in a few minutes later to tell us how shocked he was to get 31 eggs! He said everything looked really good and that I should be fine once I got home and rested (little did I know what was to come). Shortly after Dr. Lee left I started to feel extremely nauseous. I made Mike get the nurse and she told me that was a normal feeling but she still gave me some medication through the IV to make me feel better and said it should last for 8 hours. After that I felt a lot better and was able to get dressed once they removed the IV. They then let me sit in a wheel chair and wheeled me out to the car. 

Once we got home Mike helped me get set up on the couch with a bunch of pillows and blankets. I could only seem to get comfortable by laying on my side but other then that I felt OK as long as I was lying down. Whenever I moved it was pretty painful in my lower belly but I thought I'd be OK after taking it easy for a day or two. The next day however, I started to feel a lot more pain and my belly seemed to be swelling a lot. I literally looked like I could pass for 3 or 4 month pregnant woman. Then came the nausea... Whenever I moved I would feel like I was going to throw up and about every 30 minutes I would feel sick regardless of moving or not. Finally midway through the day I actually did throw up! At that point I made Mike call Dr. Lee because I knew based on everything I had read that this wasn't normal. Dr. Lee confirmed my worst fears, I had developed OHSS. He said that he was concerned this was going to happen after seeing how many follicles I had. He basically told me that there really wasn't much that he could do and I was going to have to ride it out. He also made the decision to freeze all of my eggs once they fertilized and push the egg transfer back to next month to allow me time to get over the OHSS.

The next 3 days were probably the worst days of my life, thus far. Seriously I have never been in so much pain. For 4 days straight I was only able to lay on my side to avoid stomach pain. This caused me to have so much back and hip pain, though, that I couldn't get comfortable at all. I wasn't able to sleep at night because of the pain and vomiting. I had to keep drinking water and eating food even though I knew I was going to just throw it up later. Sure enough, about an hour after eating I would start to feel sick and would just lay there and pray that it would happen quickly so that I could feel some relief. Meanwhile, all my family and friends kept calling me wanting to talk. No matter how much I tried to explain to them how I was feeling, they didn't seem to understand that i was in serious pain and was not able to just chat. Finally, after 4 days of excruciating pain, lots of tears and pleas to Mike to help me, he went to the store and bought me some anti-nausea medicine and Tylenol PM to help me sleep. I don't know if it was the medicine or just finally passing the worst of it but I feel like a whole new person today! I actually woke up in the middle of the night starving and made Mike get me some frozen grapes and tortilla chips and I devoured them all!  I woke up this morning and felt so much better. My belly swelling has finally started to go down (since I am finally peeing again) and I actually have an appetite (and am able to keep my food down now). For the first time since Saturday I've been sitting up today which feels so good on my back. I'm still taking it easy today because the last thing I want to do is over do it and then get worse. I know that I will probably still have some bloating for a week or so but I am pretty sure that by the end of this week I'll at least be able to be up and about.

As for my little embies, I got the first fertility report on Sunday. Of the 31 eggs that they retrieved, 27 of them were fully mature and 21 of them were able to be normally fertilized. I received another call yesterday with a 72 hour update and found out that 20 of them were still doing great! I won't get anymore news until tomorrow which will be 6 days post retrieval. At that point they are going to let me know how the eggs are doing and then freeze them. I am so thankful that Mike and I got so many eggs because we decided that going forward we will only be doing transfers with our little frosties. I am obviously very prone to OHSS and do not think I could go through this again. I think we have really good odds of having multiple successful pregnancies with our 20 embies but even if we only ever get 1 baby I will be thankful and consider myself blessed. At this point in time, I just don't think I can handle another OHSS experience.

I know that my experience is not really a common one and I hope that anyone reading this knows that and doesn't freak out about their egg retrieval. I'll be sure to update you as soon as I find out more...

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, and so glad to hear you are feeling better. Good news is you have lots of good eggs! Looking forward to hear how the rest of the process goes!