Awake at 5am, not because I needed to be but because I think I was worried about my bladder. I got up at 2am to pee, and I needed it refilled to very uncomfortable for the embryo transfer this morning. Having a full bladder helps push the uterus into an optimal drop off position for the transfer and is one of my few jobs today. Get my shot, take a shower, don’t pee, lay with a flat pelvis afterwards.
So, needless to say I was awake at 6am when my actual alarm went off. I’d been thinking about and praying about our little embryos in the dark while I waited, excitedly nervous-hopeful. At 6:45am we were greeted by my nurse Jeneka’s smiling face, she’s a favorite, I was very happy to see her. I got changed into my gown, socks, hat, and mask -the extent of my OR prep today. Yay! D put on coveralls over his street clothes, booties, hat, and mask to accompany me this time. I got comfy on the gurney, we signed consents, Jeneka asked what I remembered about retrieval. When I told her I said “just a pinch” when it hurt so they wouldn’t stop she said she guessed it was more painful than I let on and maybe having tattoos prepared me to handle it so well.
Dr. Shari came in, that was our first face-to-face meeting and I was glad I got to shake her hand. She had the picture above to give us with the encouragement that they divided and compacted together just like they should, they look great. She also said we have 4 more about that stage and so we’ll see how they do over the next couple days to know how many we can freeze. We stared at the picture a little in awe that life begins so small, so miraculously, and that medicine can touch magic in such a way.
Dr. B came in and we were ready to roll! I did roll in fact; gurney to OR, scooted over onto the table and tried to relax while I looked around a bit at all the things I missed from being drugged a few days ago. Jeneka set the ultrasound on my pelvis, Dr. B explained what we were watching on the monitor, and then sneeky-as-can-be he dropped off the embryos via catheter. Bodies are so sensetive as to how things get delivered sometimes, geesh. He then drained my bladder for me so I could remain flat for the next 45 minutes and not be in agony. It’s the relief of 2am on a cold winter day and not having to leave the warm nest of your bed to walk across a cold floor to the bathroom. He talked over my going home instructions while we waited. Pelvis horizontal until Wednesday night (let’s call it Thursday morning), no activity that strains the lower abdominal muscles -heavy lifting, crunches. We need a nice gentle home for implantation. Then, I scooted back to the gurney, rolled back to the prep area and relaxed a while.
Dr. B told me my retrieval was one for the memoirs, and such a good story. He said it was hard work for him and so had to be hard for me. You’re so strong. He said, and I teared up. Apparently he’d almost given up on that right side ovary. He’d tried, and it was stubborn and there was a section of bowel in the way he couldn’t risk hitting to get to it. He’d started breaking down the instruments and decided he’d give it one more shot. I’m just stubborn. He said, Couldn’t leave it alone, so I checked one more time. That’s when we had you do the hyperventilating. He grinned. When you took a deep breath it changed the pressure in your belly just enough that the bowel moved aside and I could get a straight shot into the ovary. (This is with Hilary also aiding us by pushing on my belly from the outside.) He was afraid he couldn’t just have me hold my breath forever…to which I said he could have, I’d have held my breath as long as it took, that’s all I was thinking about. I’ll do anything. He said Yes. exactly what he feels too, we do whatever we have to.
So, with the needle in the ovary I let out my breath and the bowel pressed on the needle shaft while he extracted an egg. Then he asked me to take a deep breath to move the bowel so he could safely reposition the needle for the next egg. We did that over and over and it worked. He laughed It was the darndest thing. A most unique retrieval. I told him about how I had all these people praying Move, ovary, move. He said that was prefect and surely it worked.
It’s so humbling to have a doctor tell you you’re a strong person. Because oh my gosh I don’t feel that way. Keeping my smile, being willing to do the process, he knows it’s not easy and he notices those things. When I tell you that Dr. B and his staff are an important part of our journey this is why. He didn’t give up. Not all doctors would do that.
While I waited to be released to get up, get dressed, and come home I daydreamed about how maybe this time next year we’d be asking them all to stay late after work. We’d bring our baby(s) to introduce them to all the hearts and hands that worked so hard to create them. We’d have a photographer friend come and take ‘family’ photos. We’d celebrate. I’m praying in that direction, one day, one day.