Please forgive me if this post makes less sense than usual, or rambles, as I am still awash with codeine!
Good news! We got 5 excellent looking eggs! I'm really happy with this and the embryologist said they all look the have good membranes.
By now, we may have a 7-hour-old! How crazy is that?
Started off this morning very early with a light breakfast at 5.40am (4hrs prior to OPU) and then napped until 7am. I got up, had a shower, got dressed and we packed up the car and drove over to the fertility clinic at 9am.
As normal we checked in and were given little slips of paper to take across to the other side of the building. Mine said OPU 9.40am (oocyte pick-up) and Hubby's said sperm sample! I told the receptionist that wouldn't be necessary or possible since Hubby had to have TESA sperm retrieval, but on closer inspection the form said "from andrology" so it must just have been a "defrost this please" note lol.
We were in the waiting room long enough for me to look through a couple pages of the morning paper, and then our old nurse came out to take us through to the Pre-op/post-op room with the armchair.
We got talking about diabetes and she told us how she has struggled with T2 and so has her family. It was nice to share with her, and Hubby showed her the Dexcom while I went to the bathroom.
Then started an onslaught of nurses, doctors, embryologists all checking my name and date of birth. I had yet more forms to fill out, and they must have told me all about everything at least thrice.
I was very impressed with the embryologist, T, who told us how she feels a great responsibility to take get time to search for the best quality sperm from a sample, since she is choosing the DNA of our potential future children. We asked her when exactly would the ICSI fertilization take place, and she said she would start the process at 2pm, carefully washing the eggs, then putting then in an acid solution to remove the outer membrane. She would then take her time looking for good quality sperm to fertilize all the eggs with. She reckoned that 2.30pm should be about fertilization time! :D
---- I had a break from writing, got a bit tired! ----
Anyway, after the doctor tried to come in several times only to find the nurse and I were busy chatting (she took my blood pressure too - slightly raised for me), she was finally able to put in the cannula for the IV. I only told her afterwards what a drama it was last time!
It made a lot of difference having a plan to manage diabetes, and having the medical folks take it seriously. I made sure that I remained calm (and I truly never got stressed even when I got locked OUT of the OR! Lol) as it can affect my blood sugars and make them drop rapidly.
Getting the cannula in meant that I could have IV dextrose should I need it, and having the early breakfast ensured I had a "buffer" in the tank. But the Dexcom was the absolute winner on the day. Hubby could hold on to the receiver and manage it, we even practiced with him testing my blood sugar via fingerprick test the night before. We made sure to tell all nurses and the doctor that the alarms might go off and not to panic. We were able to discuss with Dr G how she would give small boluses of 20% dextrose should I go hypo.
I was now in my stylish white hospital-moo-moo gown and I clipped the insulin pump to the neckline. I was told to go to the bathroom one last time, and then it was show time!
When I came out of the bathroom the pre-op room was empty, but I could hear Hubby's voice behind the big wooden spaceship theatre door. They were saying "push the green button!" and once I figured out they were talking to me, I let myself into the OR!
Setup similarly to when Hubby had his sperm retrieval, the bed was on the left and I had to walk around him at the head of the bed, around the ultra-sound machine at the foot, past the hatch to the embryo-makin' lab, and climb on from the other side.
The stirrups were padded, but they still freaked me out a bit. I knew that there would be lots of scary equipment in there so I guess I was prepared for it. I hopped up (carefully this time!) and the two nurses, H and P, kept wanting me to shuffle down the bed. I got my calves in the stirrups and they laid a large white towel across me and asked me to shuffle the bottom of my gown/moo-moo up.
--- got tired again and had some dinner! ---
While one nurse attached a blood pressure cuff to my right arm, and a blood-oxygen monitor to my left index finger (which kept slipping, causing me to adjust it, causing the nurse to scold me for moving my IV arm hehe!), the other nurse was placing black drapes over my legs to keep them warm. They unhooked the "bum" of the bed and suddenly the towel didn't feel like enough coverage lol!
The doctor appeared at the foot of the bed and asked me my weight, she then used this to calculate the dosage of midazolam and fentanyl. The nurse gave me these (and some augmentin antibiotic since I'm T1) and warned I would start to feel loopy. I got a rush of cold choking feeling all up around my neck and got a bit worried, but everyone quickly reassured me that would just be because the medication was cold.
Hubby was right by my side and kept his hand on my right shoulder. :D
The drugs took effect very quickly and I got loopy really fast! I was intent on watching the ultrasound screen - I really wanted to see my eggs! - but it was all mostly hazy. I don't remember seeing the hatch or hearing the embryologist to my right at all, although she was well within earshot.
I felt the ultrasound probe and then the doctor told me to take a deep breath and she went in for the right ovary. There was pain which made me wince, but it was over relatively fast. Two eggs retrieved on the right. I knew I'd seen 3 there the other day so my brain was still working, sort of. I was awake enough to make jokes and be surprised at how awake I was. The sedation was pretty light, but I was really loopy.
Another breath, now the left side. This one was a lot more painful, and it got worse in the seconds following the needle going in, a kind of wrenching movement. I described the nature of the pain later to Hubby as being similar to when you get an intra-muscular injection in your arm, well think of a wider needle, and then imagine you get a really bad cramp in the muscle the moment of the injection. Yes it hurt, but it was very short lived feeling and I got instant relief once the needle was out. I later learned we got 3 on the left side.
It was over! We had eggs! I was really happy to be through it, and to know that it was a calm, happy, exciting experience. Yes there was some pain but it wasn't too bad and it felt like it was only a total of 30 seconds.
It seemed like after all the activity, there was a lull for a minute. The doctor and nurses seemed to vanish out of the room (probably just out of my line of sight) and I recall a kiss with my Hubby and him telling me he loved me and how brave I was. It was pure relief.
Nurse H took my blood pressure one last time and then re-installed the end of the bed and helped me take my legs out of the stirrups. I was unhooked from all the monitors and the nurse put a pad in my knickers and then got me to slide into them while half sitting up.
Then came the slow ascent to sitting up, swinging my legs down to the left. They made me wait until I was steady enough to stand and then Nurse H helped me up and held me steady from behind by each upper arm as she walked me back to the pre-op/post-op room. I sat in the big armchair and she wrapped me up in one of those flannel blanket sheet things. Nurse P brought in a tray of tea, coffee for Hubby, and plain biscuits. The embryologist popped in to say there were a total of 5 high quality eggs retrieved. Dr G came in on a couple of occasions to check on me. Two nurses and the doc all explained on separate occasions how to use the progesterone suppositories which I have take for 5 days at least! Eew!
Oh, the embryologist wrote her direct dial number down as I have to call her at 10am tomorrow (Sat) morning to learn how many have fertilized.
She will also call us on Sunday to advise whether a day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer will be best. Looks like we will be back in Hamilton on Monday or Wednesday!
We waited about an hour then I was awake enough to leave and we went to get lunch at our favorite kitchen. I picked up the prescription for codeine and then we set off home. I took another 2 codeine tablets after the one at the clinic, but the ride home was fairly loopy and dozy, although we were both pretty happy about how well things went.
After the clinic meds and the initial Codeine wore off I got some sharp stabby cramps so took another tab. I have had mild to moderate cramps for the rest of the day, although not too bad. I can walk carefully but no long distances - by which I mean walking from the house to the car is plenty!
It was great to get home and see the pets. My friends and family were all texting me supportive texts, and after a yummy dinner cooked by Hubby, he dropped me around to my parents and my Mum cut my hair for me! Win!
Please cross your fingers, wish me luck, say a little something, or think a happy thought for good news from the embryologist tomorrow! Thank you! :D