I think the worst thing about egg retrieval was the dryness beforehand. I wasn't allowed to have anything to drink after midnight on Monday. Given that my appointment was for elven the next morning, that was a long time to go without fluid, especially for me, the woman who has bottles of water stashed just about everywhere she goes. Those local to the greater Boston area will also note that yesterday was cold and dry. Really dry. The no makeup/fragrance rule added to the misery as every single toiletry item I own is scented. I could not us my body butter on my dry, dry skin. Nor could I use my facial moisturizer. My hair was dry too, because I'd used Warren's combined shampoo & conditioner on the theory that I would be able to rinse that out a lot more thorougly than my own stuff. This theory was correct, but it left my hair annoyingly dry and floatly. I have really, really fine hair. Its also long and just wavey enough to have a mind of its own. Without some product to weigh it down it just goes everywhere. It was annoying. I sure did feel like I was on Tatooine.
Because I am paranoid about being places on time, especially for something important, and because my husband loves me and has learned to accommodate me on this even if it cuts into his sleep, we arrived half an hour early. This proved to be a tactical error. They were really busy that day, and I didn't get called in until forty minutes after my 11am appointment time. They actually called Warren before they called me, though not by much. By the end there I was getting paranoid and thinking that they had somehow forgotten that I was supposed to have retrieval. I am a champion at worrying about these sorts of things, much as I really try not to.
The second most annoying thing about retrieval was the IV. The nurse insisted on putting it in the vein in my elbow, the one I've had blood drawn from nearly every day for over a week. I was surprised because I expected her to use the back of my hand like Brigham & Women's had for my surgery. The nurse claimed that the doctors really preferred to use the one in the elbow because then the anesthesia doesn't hurt going in. This turned out to be true, but the IV in my elbow bothered me the entire time and I now have a very impressive bruise there. Next time I'm going to insist that they use the back of my hand because the 30 seconds of burning pain when they introduce the anesthesia into the IV is much less annoying to me that the constant discomfort of having the IV in my elbow.
Warren had come in by the time they got around to the IV. We are clearly paranoid about different things. Its a complimentary kind of paranoia. He was underwhelmed by the care they were taking with the IVF, especially when one of the two bags they had on the line emptied. Warren pointed this out, and they tried to pretend it was no big deal, but whisked the offending bag off a little too quickly to be convincing. I'm very glad I had him in there with me, keeping an eye on them.
While I'm on the subject of anesthesia, why do people keep claiming that I won't remember things? I don't get it. Once I'd walked into the retrieval room and positioned myself on the half-bed-with-stirrups thing, the anesthesiologist was telling me that I wouldn't remember this part. I assured him that I would. I remember them putting the speculum in, I remember telling him that I could tell they had started the anesthesia (which I could still feel going up my arm, even though it didn't burn like last time), and I remember my first few deep breaths of oxygen. Then once again it was like consciousness had been turned off like a light, and then back on again when I opened my eyes to see Warren coming through the door back in the main room. I felt slightly drunk* for about ten minutes after waking up, but that was it. Otherwise I wasn't at all uncomfortable (except for the darn IV) and I didn't even bleed any, which surprised me.
Now that you've read this far, you may be anxious to know how many eggs they got. When the doctor came by before the procedure she told us that she expected to get four eggs. I was pretty.. nonplussed. All that work for only four eggs? I can make two with just Clomid for crying out loud. When she came back afterwards she told me she got seven. I guess that's a case of managing expectations. Seven is an OK number. Its not great, but the bottom line is that we want two good looking embryos for transfer on Friday. Anything over two is a frozen insurance plan for the future, but getting two is the important thing, the thing that will maximize our chances of this particular cycle working. I won't find out a thing about what we have in the way of embryos until Thursday afternoon, so I'm guessing that no news is good news at this point.
The last thing that happened before we left was that Warren got instruction on how to do the progesterone in oil shot. It made me even less impressed with the nurses at the retrieval/transfer place because they told us to just use the same needle for drawing up the medication and injecting it. Both nurse Dippy (who I am suddenly slightly more fond of) and the Village Pharmacy video tell us to switch to a different needle for the injection. The important thing to note here is that the different needle is thinner. Thinner is less ouchie. The needle on the syringe for drawing up looks... well, lets just say I didn't want to be injected with it and leave it at that. Warren did a great job with the first injection, which is to say it bothered him a whole lot more than it bothered me.
*I should note that I hate this feeling. In me its translates to feeling mildly sleepy and the kind of punchy I get from sleep deprivation. This is not what I consider to be a pleasant sensation and it boggles my mind as to why anyone would want to consciously try to achieve it. I can only conclude that I experience it differently than other people do.