Like the last time I went through an egg freeze cycle (at NYU), I was a bit anxious the day before. I made sure to listen to my Circle and Bloom meditation CD and felt my ovaries, hoping that the discomfort would remain (indicating that the eggs were still there!) I awoke early on retrieval day and listened to the CD again before eating a healthy breakfast of steel cut oats with berries, showering, and heading to New Hope.
I arrived, checked in as usual, then asked New Hope where I was supposed to pay. They said I didn’t need to just then but that billing would call me in to take care of it later. Well, that never happened! And, even when I left the facility a couple of hours later, they just told me to go home! I’m assuming they will chase me down at some stage. To me, it’s like having an uncashed check hanging in my bank account. One day, it will jump out and surprise me, leaving me more broke than expected.
After checking in, I sat down and tried to relax. I read magazines, trolled through Facebook on my phone, watched TV, and drank some tea. I went to the loo a couple of times and then was finally called in to an unfamiliar room on the other side of the waiting area. I went through and a woman asked me to sign the consent form for the procedure. She made no attempt to explain the potential side-effects of the procedure even though the consent form indicated that she should have, so I asked a lot of questions about the procedure. She said that I seemed nervous, so I asked if she would be giving any anti-anxiolytics. She said she could give me Valium if I wanted so I said that I would like that. In short, she was pretty terrible at being the informative calming nurse I was hoping for. She took me through to the changing area and told me to disrobe and put the booties and cap on. Then I sat there and waited. She walked past, saw me sitting there and said, “Oh, sorry, you’re supposed to go through to this waiting area!” and led me to a pre-retrieval waiting area. In short, this nurse was completely inept. Thankfully, the Valium was kicking in at this point and I wasn’t too perturbed by her incompetence.
In a short period of time, I was called for the retrieval itself. My waist was swaddled in papery wraps and Dr. Chang came in. Two assistants were there too and they checked my wrists and said “where is your bracelet? Is that your name? (flashed on the monitor on the wall in front of me).” “Yes, it is!” I replied. Then Dr. Chang put a speculum inside me and said “your bladder is full. You need to go empty it!” Obviously, the pre-retrieval nurse was incompetent. She hadn’t put my ID bracelet on, nor had she told me to empty my bladder right before the procedure. (Clearly all that tea was running right through me!) So, Dr. Chang pulled out the speculum and I was led to a bathroom. A bracelet was then put on me with my name and I was led back in to the procedure room. Dr. Chang resumed the retrieval procedure with the speculum insertion and then told me to breathe in as he inserted the catheter (??) and to breathe out as he went exploring for the eggs. He asked me to do that a couple more times, and the whole time I was able to watch the action on the monitor. I watched as black things floated around the screen and bits of eggy matter were being sucked and squirted onto something. I could see the whole thing but really had no idea what I was looking at. It keeped me distracted from the physical sensation of the retrieval itself though. In about 10 to 15 minutes, the whole procedure was over. They had retrieved 7 eggs, which seems to be my norm. He finished up and I was escorted to a chair outside the room. A nurse came to explain post-retrieval procedures for me. She said I needed to refrain from vigorous exercise, to take pain meds whenever I needed it, but essentially I was free to go back to work if I wanted. They would call me by the next day with my results!
Well, I did head straight back to work. It was as if nothing had happened. The whole process was so easy that I began to think that the whole IV sedation method was a complete waste of time! I walked to the subway feeling completely normal and actually did some work. I went home at my usual finishing time and relaxed. Then, before I knew it, I received a phone call from New Hope giving me the most amazing news – ALL 7 of my eggs were mature. They were able to freeze them all!! I was flabbergasted. That was more than double my typical yield using the conventional high-stim approach at NYU. Unbelievable!! I was on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day.
I went to pick up a prescription for Generess Fe (the pill) at the end of the day. We are already getting ready for Cycle 2 through New Hope. So far I have 13 in the bank (6 mature at NYU, 7 at New Hope). I’m finally feeling positive about everything.