August 13, 2020 – Egg Retrieval
I barely slept last night. I haven’t been sleeping well anyway. Husband has to be at the hospital at 0530 for his surgery prep. I have to be in the Assistive Reproduction Clinic (ARC) at 0700. I’m going to go with him at 0500. Tom, his friend and fellow military member will be coming to pick us up. Husband and I will both be going under anesthesia so we have to have an escort. My mom was originally coming to help us, but I couldn’t have her fly during this pandemic. Thankfully, Husband has friends everywhere.
We got to Walter Reed with plenty of time. Husband was taken to the pre-op area and his vitals were taken. I stayed with him and Tom sat in the waiting area. Husband was clearly nervous, but he kept it together for me. I didn’t feel any nervousness at all. I sat with him and tried to be positive. The chaplain came in around 0600 and prayed with us. It was getting close to my time to report to the ARC so I headed down with Tom at about 0620. Nobody was there. The waiting room lights were off so I just walked in and we sat down. People slowly started coming in to work. Eventually, another patient came in with her husband. There are signs that say only 3 people in the waiting area so the couple made 4. Oh well. We finally get called back and I’m able to change into my hospital gown. Tom went to pick up our post-op prescriptions and then waited for me in the waiting area.
Barb was my pre-op nurse. She was a beautiful black woman and so nice. She reminds me so much of my Aunt Margaret who passed away over 20 years ago. She was a nurse as well. Barb went through everything that would happen. I’d have to meet with 4 people/groups and accomplish 4 things. After retrieval, my 4 conditions are to eat, drink, manage pain, and use the bathroom. She said I’m second for surgery and I’d be going back around 0930. There are only 2 of us today. She let me know they’d be using propofol to sedate me and that I wouldn’t be remembering anything. I’m going under anesthesia.
Dr. H talked about doing the procedure. She said she’ll be aspirating all the follicles.
Dr. Black informed me that they’re hoping for a total of 5 eggs.
None of them have my faith. I just know it will go well.
Lt. Col. O-C, the CRNA anesthesiologist came and spoke with me. Another woman of color. It’s so important to have representation in care. She was very nice and made me feel very much at ease.
My nurse, Barb, made sure she got the last ginger ale for me. I appreciate it so much. This day is ordained and meant to be.
The doctor/nurse came in around 0950 to wheel me to the OR. They actually stop the bed in the hallway and then have you walk into the theater. The anesthesiologist instructed me on what to do. She undid my gown and had me sit in the table bare butt. I turned and someone else put my feet in the stirrups. These were mega stirrups. They were tight on my calves and felt surprisingly comforting. Dr. Black spoke to me and then a nurse and someone else asked me my name and birthdate. The anesthesiologist told me she was going to start some medicine. She said it might burn but it didn’t. She told me to go to the beach or a happy place. I always choose that beach day with my nephew Richie. Then she said she’d take good care of me and I was out.
Recovery went well. I remember waking up and seeing Dr. Black. She told me they got 14 eggs!! They were hoping for 5 at best. I could not believe it. I had to keep asking. I’m pretty sure she left then and then I slowly woke up again. After a little while, I started talking to Barb about fishing and all that good stuff. I asked her again about the egg count. She said yes. She had quieted me earlier because the other retrieval patient only had 7. I remember hearing her talking when she came back from her retrieval and being jealous of her number. My husband’s urologist came down sometime during my recovery. She had great news. They found sperm. I was so happy. Everything is going as we wanted. Everything.
I felt pretty crampy in recovery but not much pain at all. In fact, I walked out of there feeling pretty darn good only an hour after surgery. I met up with Tom who had all our meds and then we headed upstairs to Husband.
Husband was completely out of it. His motions were so slow. It was much scarier than I had expected. My husband is a big, strong man. I’d never seen him like this, and my emotions tried to take over. We’re both going through so much for this. I put aside my fear and pain and tried to be as helpful and attentive as possible. Husband just underwent a lot. They had to cut into the most sensitive part of his body. He regained his normalcy about 30 minutes after I got there. We just sat and he asked me lots of questions. Some of them over and over. It was the anesthesia. I was in no pain at this time. I eventually started cramping but that’s pretty much it. I just knew I needed to be there for him. I helped him with his water and ice cubes. His throat was hurting. They apparently intubated him.
Husband walked the halls a little and just worked on getting his bearings. It took a couple of hours for him to feel well enough to leave. Tom pulled up to the front and the nurse wheeled Husband down. Then Tom dropped us off at the Navy Lodge where we grabbed some snacks before heading to the room. Tom is an angel for doing this for us.
We spent the rest of the evening resting. I was pretty tired but not in too much pain. Husband was hurting but doing well.
They’re making our embryos. Tomorrow, we find out how many eggs fertilized.