It’s complete. I had my eggs harvested on Monday. I was a hormonal mess full of emotions. I was happy, nervous, excited, overwhelmed. I will spare all the details leading up to waking up from anesthesia. You don’t need to know how a new nurse missed my vein while starting an IV and how someone else had to do it for her. Or how everyone was talking about how I was a nurse (like I couldn’t hear them). Or how I made them give me extra support for my lower back before being placed in stir-ups. Anywho…
I woke up from anesthesia in the worst pain. The worst cramping I have ever experienced. Tears fell from cheeks. Hands gripped the side rails. Body thrashed around in the bed. Hair in a mess. Grounded teeth. I demanded pain meds. Those poor nurses must have hated me. I think I make a horrible patient being a nurse. But the nurses were so kind and understanding and quickly dosed me with pain med after pain med after pain med after pain med. YUP! You read it correctly. FOUR doses of THREE different medications before the pain ceased. Now, this is not normal for your average, typical patient. I, however, am not normal. You must be asking, “Why?” Here is why…
During the trying to control my outrageous pain, Dr. Herbert, who did the retrieval, came to the end of my bed, gave me this look of shock and said, “Well, your pain is justified. We harvested 54 eggs. Well done.” And that my friends, explains why I was in so much pain. THAT IS A LOT OF EGGS! My doctor was hoping to harvest at least 24. “A good harvest is about 24 eggs.” My body responded too well to the fertility medication, which is why they were able to harvest so many eggs.
Once I settled in at home later that afternoon, I received a call from the fertility clinic. They called to say 55 eggs were harvested not 54 and out of those, 40 were cryopreserved. FORTY! FORTY! I have FORTY! Forty mature eggs of mine are waiting for the man of my dreams. The uncertainty in all this: we do not know how many will survive the thawing and fertilization process. So the more the better! In the words of my sister, I am an “over achiever.” Did I mention I have 40 eggs frozen? It was a success. A huge success. To see the joy and excitement on my mother’s face was all I needed to know I made the right decision for both of us. I will be a mother one day and she will have more grandchildren. I am beyond ecstatic. I am beyond grateful. I am beyond blessed. I am beyond beyond.
So that is the good news. The bad news: I had complications, which were expected but I was not expecting the complications to be so painful or severe. The one complication is ovarian hyperstimulation. Most women experience mild symptoms. Mine, however, were severe.
Tuesday: fullness/bloating above the waist. Felt like I got punched in the ribs. It hurt to breathe. Wednesday: shortness of breath, could barely eat, dizziness. I went to see my fertility doctor, Dr. Givens, who said I had a little fluid build up and there was nothing they could do YET. I would have to be uncomfortable and in pain until it got worse. I was to stay hydrated and take pain meds in the meantime.
Thursday: worsening of all the above, decreased urination, marked abdominal bloating and distention, and lower abdominal pains, cramps. At this point, I could not walk. If I did, I was bent over. The pain was unbearable and the pain meds were no longer helping. I could not move or sleep.
Friday: I could not handle it anymore. I gained 3lbs overnight (fluid) and 2 inches around my waist. I went back to the fertility clinic and saw a different doctor, Dr. Ryan. My physical exam revealed an increased heart rate, high blood pressure (mine is usually really low) and dehydration. The doctor recommended rehydration with IV fluids, pain management and then send me on my merry way. She said, “We could tap you tomorrow. There really isn’t that much more fluid accumulated since you were here on Wednesday.” She didn’t feel a tap would give me relief or wasn’t really necessary. I wanted to cry. I wanted MY doctor. Not this one. Did she think I was faking the pain? Did she not think I was bloated enough? Did she not see my vital signs? MY doctor said she would tap me on Friday, why won’t this one? WAAAAAH! Dr. Ryan left the room, returned shortly and said there was an anesthesiologist available and they could do the tap! The waiting game was over!
No one in the procedure clinic was surprised to see me. Everyone knew I would be back after such a fabulous harvest on Monday! They prepped me for the tap (which is essentially the same procedure they did on Monday) and then I was back in la la land…under sedation twice in five days. I woke up in recovery and the first words out of my mouth, ” Oh my! I can breathe!” I walked in there looking five months pregnant (no joke) and left looking three months pregnant (as I do today…still have minor fluid retention). The pressure was relieved and I felt so much better. THANK YOU! THANK YOU was all I kept repeating. I thanked everyone that came in to check on me. This is when Dr. Herbert came in and said, “We took out a liter of fluid.” Did I just hear him correctly? A liter? As in the size of one of those LARGE IV bags? Yup! I sure did! WOW! No wonder I felt so much better and thinner. Why didn’t Dr. Ryan think I have a lot of fluid? I think a liter is significant, especially when it is out-of-place in MY body. Dr. Herbert said he may have to tap me one more time on Monday, but I am feeling significantly better and pray I do not have to have any more taps.
So that is the good news and the bad news. I am feeling extremely blessed for having my future on ice. It was well worth the expense and complications. At least I know I will never have to this again. I have forty blessed eggs waiting for me when the time is right. Now I am at peace and feel a sense of relief.