My IVF Diary 2 – Egg Collection

1 Oct
A retrospective of my recently completed IVF cycle.
12/8/13: Egg collection. Diclofenac suppository and doxycycline capsule. Despite trying to remain calm, there’s no denying I feel positively jittery today. I simply have no idea how this is going to go, my mind is abit flummoxed
Everything that’s happened over the past 2 weeks has been so different to my previous cycles I’m just not sure what they will find. I’m hoping for a decent haul. I’ve pumped so much gonal f into my body this past fortnight I should become a shareholder of the drug company and Friday’s scan looked good, so surely I must have produced enough? For some reason the dreaded 10 is ringing in my ears. I got 10 eggs during my first ever IVF cycle which was disappointing, then 10 last time when I was expecting only 6-7, now I’m hoping for 12 but thinking maybe fate will bring 10 again.
As usual I’m also stressing that I will ovulate before the egg collection, that they won’t get to my left ovary and that my womb lining and hormone levels aren’t as they should be, but that’s nothing new.
So my hubby and I get to the clinic at 10am for an 11.30am egg collection. We arrive in the waiting room and it is busy. This immediately puts me on edge as I don’t want the stress of delays. After 5 minutes, the nurse calls us through. Great! I think. How efficient. Sadly, after going through our details and giving my other half his sample pot, she informs us that they are out of beds and we must return to the waiting room until one becomes available. I ask if the egg collections are running on schedule and she says “hopefully”, but maybe they will be 15-30 minutes behind depending on how easy the previous collections turn out to be.
As hubby slopes off to complete his one and only job of the day, I sit back in the waiting room twitching to get on. My ovaries are also twinging which just makes me more nervous to get on with it.
At 10.45am we are called through to the recovery cubicle to get ready. I change into the obligatory hospital gown, hair net and slipper socks. Gorgeous.
The nurse takes my blood pressure, which is normal in their terms (since my blood pressure is usually pitifully low, a normal result means I am seriously stressed), and the anaesthetist comes through to take my medical history and insert the cannula. Then the doctor arrives to explain the risks and gain my consent to the procedure.
This hive of activity temporarily raises my excitement. We will be on time! But once they all leave, it goes quiet and the nerves resume.
After a few minutes I hear the anaesthetist in the next door cubicle. She’s sounding very excitable. It seems that the husband next door is a doctor at the hospital. They are chatting away for over 10 minutes. Talking about jobs, backdated pay rises, hospital drama…. Yeah yeah yeah, come on already, I am supposed to be in theatre!
Finally, a nurse prompts her to stop talking and I am away.
Once into theatre, I undo my gown, lie on the bed with my feet in the stirrups, while the anaesthetist begins attaching heart monitor pads to my chest.
I see the embryologist behind the window in the next door room, and wait for her to enter with my ID card for me to confirm the details.
The anaesthetist stands over me ready to insert the sedatives and suddenly it all gets too much and the tears flow. The memories of last time, the loss of my baby, and the pressure to create a different outcome this time around.
She asks me what’s wrong, and assures me that once the embryologist is done she will give me the drugs to calm me down.
I confirm my details on the all important ID card for my eggs, and within seconds I was gone.
A while later I came round, next to my husband and was aware only of a pain on my right side. Great, they obviously got that ovary. But my left side felt fine.  I immediately started questioning how long I had been, and whether they had reached my left ovary.
My other half confirmed that I had been gone for about 40 minutes and that they had apparently reached both ovaries. Relief.
So how many eggs I asked hopefully. But he didn’t know. No one had told him yet.
I lay there for about 5 minutes before a nurse came in to check my blood pressure and to offer me tea, a sandwich and a biscuit. Then she told me to ensure I went for a pee before leaving.
I asked her how many eggs we had and she just said that we would be told all the information when we were ready to leave. But I want to know how many now!
Shortly after, the woman in the next cubicle returns from theatre and immediately starts asking for her egg count.
A few minutes pass and I see the nurses on the computer outside typing in information. I hear them talking amongst themselves and to the embryology department on the phone. I hear numbers. 13 (yay! I’ll take that!), 3 (please god no), 9 (not quite 10 but not a disaster).
I hear the nurse congratulate a couple 2 cubicles up on getting 9 eggs, OK so the 9 wasn’t me then.
But when the nurse approaches my cubicle all she asks is whether I have had a pee yet. I shake my head and tell her my tummy is hurting. She brings a bottle of paracetamol in and administers the entire contents via my cannula within 3 minutes.
Then she asks me to move out of my bed and into another area round the corner until I pee because they need the bed for someone else.
Christ, I’m barely awake and you want me out already? So much for private being better. Not in this NHS hospital!
Then she provides me with the instructions for the next few days and finally gives me the all important number:
Yes 6.
I was deflated, crushed. After two weeks, an extortionate amount of injections (my most expensive cycle ever) and all the side effects of such high dosages, I could feel nothing but disappointed with just 6 eggs. My lowest haul ever.
I immediately decided we would not make it to blastocyst transfer with this few eggs, and that the best we could hope for would be a day 3 transfer, which is only half the success rate of blastocyst.
Shortly after, I forced myself to pee so I could go home, and sulked out to the car to spend the afternoon on the sofa with just my thoughts.
That evening I ate just enough dinner to take my first doxycycline antibiotic capsule and downed about half a litre of water with it, terrified that I would projectile vomit like the last time I had it.
I sat bolt upright for 30 minutes as instructed, but was so exhausted I struggled to stay awake. I eventually fell asleep, propped up against a tower of pillows and prayed for a miracle tomorrow when the embryologist calls.

4 Responses to “My IVF Diary 2 – Egg Collection”

  1. rachael October 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    All the best for your embryo transfer. I just discovered your blog today and it had really distracted me from my own anxiously awaited call from the embryologist. Just 10 minutes to go now. I will keep alp my fingers and toes crossed for you!

  2. Victoria Welton (@VicWelton) October 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Crikey, this is such riveting reading. I really enjoyed (I hope that doesn’t sound wrong!) reading last week and have found this weeks just as interesting. I look forward to your next instalment. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  3. Anna (@FamRoundabout) October 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    This is something I have no experience of and know nothing about, so I have been fascinated and moved by your post. I wish you the very best of luck with what comes next and will definitely be back for more. Thanks for letting me into your world. x

    • ferreroroche123 October 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      You’re welcome. I hope that my account of this process will help people understand what lies ahead of them, or help friends of those going through it understand what they are going through. Thanks for reading.

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