Um, that hurt…
I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I know that I wasn’t expecting the egg retrieval to hurt. We arrived at the office right at 10am and checked-in. I am fortunate in that my RE has an operating room at their home office, so I didn’t have to actually go to a hospital. Also, yesterday was my doctor’s turn in the rotation, so I was surround by my normal nurses and had my regular doctor in the operating room with me. I took all of this as a very good sign :).
The office was running a little bit behind, so we sat in the waiting room for about 35 minutes until a nurse was ready to review the consent forms and discuss what to expect after the retrieval. We then went to the changing room, I disrobed and put on the gowns, and then went to the back to prep for operating room. First, they took my vital signs, blood pressure, and temperature — they were all good! Next, the nurse started my IV. I hate IVs — it always hurts and it’s a little weird to have an IV thing sticking out of my hand. And, finally, she gave me a shot of demerol in my hip to reduce pain. The nurse then reviewed what to expect after the procedure and what to expect for the transfer. After the review, I was beginning to feel very woozy due to the demerol. Before I went back to the OR, the nurse took me to the bathroom, and then I walked (very slowly) to the OR. The wonderful nurses were waiting for me and helped me get into the bed and made sure I was positioned correctly — legs in stirrups, and arms out in a cross position — and then I fell asleep.
The next thing I knew was that I was waking up and one of my favorite nurses — nurse S — was telling me that the Dr retrieved 15 eggs! YAY!!! My nurse brought me back to my spot in the recovery room and that’s when I realized the pain in my lower abdomen. It was as if someone had punched me in the stomach many times and in many places. I was swollen and felt pretty awful. My nurse offered to give me additional pain meds, but I opted for a hot water bottle instead, which provided almost instant relief. My hubby came back and I tried to relax. I really wanted water — my throat was very dry, and I hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink anything since the night before — but the nurse said I had to wait because anesthesia and water don’t mix well. I waited for what seemed like forever, and then my nurse brought me some ginger ale. I drank it very slowly and munched on a rice cake. I was beginning to feel better, and the nurse asked if I wanted to use the restroom. I got up and made it to the restroom with hubby’s help, I used the facilities and started to change back into my pants, and suddenly felt very light-headed and nauseous. The nurse got me back to my recovery spot, laid me back down, and increased my IV fluids. I laid there for 10 minutes or so and started to feel much better. I sat up very slowly, and continued sipping on my ginger ale and eating my rice cake for the next 45 minutes or so. Thankfully, the additional fluids, ginger ale, and rice cakes did the trick — I finally ready to go home!
The ride home was relatively uneventful. I didn’t feel all that great — my tummy ached and the nausea resumed — so hubby stopped and got me some soda and a bland snack. When we finally got home, I relaxed with a heating pad on my tummy and then fell asleep for a few hours. The rest definitely helped, but I was still very sore and swollen when I woke up. I was surprised by the pain — I really didn’t think the egg retrieval would hurt at all. I have since realized that a needle going into a swollen ovary will cause pain (duh, yes, I should have thought about that ahead of time), but in the end it was all worth it to get 15 eggs!
I hope this doesn’t scare anyone — the procedure isn’t painful because you sleep through the entire thing — but the recovery was a little more daunting than I expected. I am sure a lot of it depends on how swollen your ovaries are going into the retrieval — mine were very tender before the procedure — as well as how many eggs are retrieved. In the end, the pain goes away — I feel pretty good today (won’t be running a marathon or anything, but could handle a nice walk) — and it’s all worth it our journey to have a baby!
Baby dust to all! Hugs 🙂