Sunday, September 25, 2005

Egg Retrieval Originally Described As Merely Uncomfortable. Hilarity Ensues.

Going into Egg Retrieval, I was calm, I was chilled out, I was relaxed.

I knew what was going to happen and I was prepared. “Pushing” was something I would experience, I knew. Also “discomfort”. There would be some “short stinging” first as the butterfly needle was slid into the back of my hand and later as the local anaesthetic was injected into the wall of the vagina. Then there would be “strange sensations” as the footlongneedle was introduced to my ovaries. Follicles would be drained and eggs removed. Later there would be some “cramping” and continued “tenderness” in the area.

Ha bloody ha.

As C and I approached The Room, a nurse was standing at the doorway, smiling. Inside was a scientist, also standing by, also smiling.

It was almost as if we were British royalty and about to examine a new country retreat, except of course the queen wouldn’t do this with her undies rolled into a ball and shoved in her dressing gown pocket.

Dr Clown helped me into the Big Chair and I popped my woolly socked feet into the stirrups. C sat beside me. So far so good.

As Dr Clown leaned in towards my lala, speculum in hand, I felt a stab of sympathy. Poor Dr Clown, I thought. Spends all his days with his head between womens’ knees hoovering up their eggs. Can’t be very nice.

This was to be the last warm and pleasant feeling I would have towards him.

Perhaps it was because I was so bloated and pumped full of follicles but every fucking thing he did hurt. The speculum? Yowsa. The swabbing of the vaginal wall? Ouchy ouchy ouch. He leaned in and pumped some of the anaesthetic into my hand and for an all too brief moment I floated around joyously on jungle juice but came back with a jolt as he shoved in the dildocam.

Dildocam and I have had our moments, our tiffs, our strong words, our little silent treatment games. But during retrieval he was an absolute cunt. Owwwww I winced and Dr Clown withdrew the dildocam.

Your bladder needs emptying he announced.

Oh, I said, I thought I did that before I came in here but nevermind I can go…

That’s fine he said cheerfully. I’m going to use a catheter.

I nearly jumped out of my chair. My hands came up in the international symbol for “stop right fucking now”.

Catheter?! Sweet mother of god.

For the past two months I have been hearing all about catheters via my grumpy grandad. Ever since his recent fall, our phone calls always begin with Catheter News where I get to hear about whether it’s “playing up” or “affecting me old feller” or on a couple of sad occasions “sprung a bloody leak”. The last call I made to Grandis began with him saying… "HOLD THE PHONE LOVE, I’VE JUST GOTTA PULL UP ME PANTS. I’M ON THE TOILET.”

Now here was Dr Clown brandishing said catheter and telling me to move my hands out of the way.

But can’t I just use a toilet? I begged. I really don’t like the catheter.

It’s alright he said, pumping a little more jungle juice into my willing veins, just imagine I’m standing in a river, doing some fly fishing and I’m about to catch some lovely trout…

And before I could say…what the fuck are you talking about? it was in and draining away like Niagra Falls into his little green tray.

Right then, he said, let’s get on with it.

Exit catheter and enter dildocam. Cue more howling and shrieking from me. Also sobbing. Also crying. There was some more pumping of the jungle juice which seemed to do NAFF ALL.

Egg on one! The scientist did her best, encouraging us to behold the sight of my ova before it was sucked up into the needle. The nurse hovered helpfully at C's shoulder.
Would you like to see the egg on monitor one?
C glanced up quickly but turned back at my pathetic sobbing. Perhaps in nine months.

There were some appeals from Dr Clown to look at the screen and see my lovely follicles. Beside me, poor C was stroking my hair and whispering sweet comforting but ultimately useless words into my ear.

At one point I did open my eyes, but through my tears I could see that fucking footlongneedle shining away and I lay back and howled.

Do you want me to stop? Dr Clown paused a second. Because you can always ask me to stop…

No, I gulped, keep goooooiiiinggggg….

Alright, he said. But you need to calm down a bit. Stop breathing like that. Stop curling your legs up like that. Look at C. Look at the monitor. Just RELAX.

Even in my agony I was aware that it was pointless kicking him in the face. The best I could do was dislodge his glasses with my woolly socks. Next time…steel capped boots.

It wasn’t the needle part that hurt. Sure there was a slight stinging and the unpleasant pushing but frankly I would have had a ten foot needle rather than that scumsucking dildocam because THAT was what was doing the damage.

It is so totally OVER between me and dildocam. I'm not responding to his semi literate text messages or passing on his chain letter emails. We are THROUGH. I felt as if my pelvis was being crushed. Oddly, it was only on the right side, when Dr Clown switched ovaries the pressure miraculously disappeared.

Now I simply cried in relief and punctuated my sobs with I’m so sorry I’m such a wuss…

You’re not a wuss, Dr Clown called out brightly, I wouldn’t go through this for quids….

And very soon, I was wheeled into recovery where finally the jungle juice kicked in and I could truly relax. Dr Clown came in to see me a few times and ended up having long kindly conversations with C about the magic of IVF, ICSI and trout fishing.

And to be fair, a surprising number of egg retrieval gals actually walked out of their room.

So that’s just me then with the pain threshold of a blubbering wussypants gnat.

Later, when I discussed the day’s proceedings with my sister AJ she pointed out that she always needs the full monty of anaesthetic and morever she always had to ask for a bit of extra time so it can take effect. And then I remembered that when we arrived at the surgery Dr Clown was running late…

While I was sleeping off my trip to hell C was summoned to the Little Room Of Pleasure to provide his half of the bargain.

Obviously, having seen me arched up in front of him howling like a banshee the last thing he felt like doing was wanking into a little jar but duty calls.

Sadly, so did the alarm on his mobile phone warning him that the parking meter was about to run out. Quickly he zipped, whipped off his little blue surgical overshoes and ran out to exchange parking ticket, had to run to three other meters because all of them seemed to be jammed, and finally returned, reshoed, to his room.

There was apparantly some problems with the towel dispenser, necessitating firm manly tugging before a satisfactory hand wash and dry could be finished. This obviously only added to stress levels. Bypassing the free scotch, C flicked perfunctorily through a couple of magazines and fastfowarded the video.

He tells me that he thought of me and I’m sure he did because as he finished the job he fell against the offending towel dispenser and the whole fucking thing broke and collapsed off the wall with a resounding crash.

Despite this, the boys/girls were good and a little while after this we were given the lucky number 7 and we went home.

As Dr Clown was finishing up, mopping away the blood from my lala, he said “reckon you’d like to do this all again tomorrow?” This was a little joke and no one in the room responded, treating it with the contempt it deserved, but in my mind I wondered, would I do it again?

And I knew, even then, the answer was yes. Not tomorrow maybe. But next week. Definitely.

But maybe I won’t have to. That’s what I’m hoping.

Today, Moonbeam from the House Of Groovy IVF Love called to tell me that of the seven eggs, five had fertilised.

Five embryos.

C and I clutched at each other, in awe at the possibility of having an entire family in one petri dish.

And the thing is, I confessed to him, I want them all.

C looked at me. So do I, he said.

That’s just greeeeedy, I said in a stupid voice.

Transfer is on Thursday and I know there are a myriad of things that could go wrong between now and then. And after.

But just for now. Just for this moment.

We were happy and hopeful.

And laughing.

eggy picture from here


betty said...

Five embies WOW!! Good work-but a horrid account of proceedings. I found it very entertaining but I'm sure you are a bit sore. Wishing you the best of luck for number 7-hope this is the one!

MsPrufrock said...

I shouldn't get that much enjoyment from your misery, but goodness that was a funny post.

I'm thinking maybe the dildocam could have hurt on one side but not the other due to a pesky posterior ovary, which I am lucky to have. My understanding is that sometimes that they are sometimes not always posterior, and hence easy to access. Other times, if they are being bitches, they hide and fuck me if the wanding doesn't hurt like a mother.

Congrats on the number. I don't know if I should wish you good luck on an automatic family of 7, but I hope you went through all of that pain for something.

Urban Chick said...

five embies? that's great!

i don't remember a thing about EC which sounds as if it's just as well...

good luck for ET!


thalia said...

Hey five sounds great. And thank you for letting us laugh at what sounds like a fucking miserable experience. Why does everyone else talk about floating away on a lovely cloud of drugs?

laura said...

OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod it sounded horrible. Bless you for telling the truth. I might've really given Dr. Clown a swift kick in the whatever. Congrats on the five-to-be.

Anonymous said...

Poor Ova Girl!! They didn't wait long enough for the jungle juice to kick in.

And five little embies... I bet they are gorgeous.

Thanks for the sweet comment on my post. It is all of us in blogosphere that inspire one another. I'd be even more bonkers if it weren't for this medium.

You're in my thoughts.

Larisa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry it was so awful. But I'm thrilled that you have 5.

I hope they all continue to do well.

And I hope you are able to recover and feel better quickly.

But most of all, I hope it works. And that you don't have to do this again.

Molly said...

HOLY SHIT that sounds awful.

I am delighted to hear that you have five, however. Hoping that they are fruitful and multiply.

Sheryl said...

Oh Poor Poor OvaGirl :( I'm sorry that it was so painful, but great job telling us the story!

5 embies is GREAT!! I'll hope they all do great and your transfer goes well!!

Pamplemousse said...

It definitely should not hurt like that and I would be writing a massive letter of complaint about Dr Clown. Hopefully you won't need to do it again!

k #2 said...

damn, damn, damn...sounded like torture!

5 embies! That is amazing! I bet you can't wait for Thursday!

Dramalish said...

Hooray and Godspeed to five growing little promises!

Trust me, my love, when you get PG and you wait those tortuous weeks for that ever-important first ultrasound, you and the dildocam will indeed make ammends.

Because the service he can do at that point is truly ambrosial.

I'll be hitting the update button on my browser... let us know how retrieval goes.


amanda said...

Holy crap. Why didn't they knock you out? Where were the good drugs? I don't remember a single thing from my retrievals, and I can't imagine it any other way. I'm so glad you made it through that in one piece. Congrats on the five!

Ova Girl said...

There were good drugs although not as good as the last time I was put under for a different horrid procedure.
Apparantly a couple of years ago the clinics were told by the govt to use a different drug because under the first drug people were passing right out and they were needing to supply a separate anaesthetist.

THey were fine enough drugs, I just didn't really feel the effects until I was in recovery. And as I say, other gals seemed right as rain, it was just me.

I'm sorry it was such a gruesome post but I too have read loads of floating off on clouds stories about egg retrieval and I wanted to make sure I remembered how ghastly it was for me...

Is it stupid to feel maternal towards the 5? Last night I said to C: who is tucking our embies into bed?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you got through what sounds like a really gruesome procedure! 5 embies is fantastic! Truely hope Thursday is a blissful day. Good luck!

Chee Chee said...

I am sorry that the retrieval was so painful for you yesterday. But 5 embies is just wonderful! Good luck this week!

LabiaLady said...

holy crap, ova girl, I'm always out for my EPU's. I didn't know you could get it done like that... sounds positively barbaric.

5 embies... good going!
Fingers crossed for thursday.

Lindy said...

Dr. Clown, indeed. That is just inexcusable. Thank you for telling us the truth (and for being so funny about it!).

Three cheers for the fab five. And no, I don't think it's the least bit strange to feel maternal toward them.

Anxiously awaiting news of the transfer.

Nico said...

Wow, 5/7 fertilized? That's grand! Thinking good thoughts for your transfer. Hopefully not nearly as painful!

Sparkle said...

Poor OG, sounds like an absolute DB!
I've had the same sort of retrieval - but I think being a cheap drunk goes in my favour and I just blabbed on most inappropriately! I did feel the stingy sensation and pressure and the swishing, but that's about all. I just wondered if the right side was the same side that caused the trouble with the (many posts back) hyster-o procedure?
Much luck with the embies - you will get to see on the screen before they get transferred!

MC said...

Five embryos that's great. I always have the full knock out, now I know why, that just sounds so painful.

surly girl said...

best of best of luck - just think, you have all these people with their fingers crossed for you...

Yidchick said...

Five little OG's sitting in their dishes, multiplying. Too amazing for words. Look how independent your kids are already! Am hoping and praying and dreaming and sending the warmest fuzzies your way.

Ova Girl said...

Well you know, C played his part I think they're little COGs....

xxxx you all.

T said...

Good God, that sounds awful - so sorry retrieval was brutal, but of course, congratulations on the 5!

Can't wait for Thursday!

Calliope said...

SHEESH!! What an ordeal that must have been. I think this is the first truthful post I have read on the subject. I am soooo excited about the 5 embies!! (have you heard of a band called Architecture in Helsinki? They have a song called 'It's 5!') Counting down to thursday!!

fisher queen said...

I don't think it's silly to feel maternal about your little five! I hope they grow big and strong in the next few days, and weeks, and months!
...And BTW I'm terrified now. I hope they knock me out completely.

cat said...

You are a trooper and thank you for speaking the truth about this. Hoping that those five wonderful possiblities turn into soemthing beautiful. You will be in my thoughts. Good luck on Thursday.

Wavery said...

Uhmmmmm, yikes!?!

Note to self, do not come back here.

Kidding, fantastic post, I'll be coming through your archives now and my best wishes to you and ET.

PJ said...

5 is an excellent number. All my bits are crossed for you.

zhl said...

Five! Five is awesome. I'm hoping that I'm be seriously knocked out when I have my own ER, because that sounded absolutely horrid. Can't what to hear how the five thrive.

Millie said...

5 is a fab number. Wishing you a MUCH easier time of it on Thursday. I can't believe how horrible your retrieval was. Here's hoping you never have to go through that again.

Em said...

It all appears very promising! I am thinking of you.

Llama said...

De-lurking to say Congrats on 5 embryos and Good Luck for the transfer!

heleen said...

Well done! I'm sure you 5 little embies are nice and warm tucked in, in their little petri dishes, knowing how many people wish them all the best!!

Anonymous said...

you poor thing.
I had it done under anaesthtic (witha real anaesthetist).l So it costs more, and is a stronger procedure - but at least I didnt' feel pain.
I was in real pain for quite a few days after though - and there was a lot of blood when I woke up. So I too was shocked that most people say they feel only slight discomfort etc.
Anyway - best of best of best of best of best of luck!

Manuela said...

Oh dear god. For the first time ever I was so completely horrified by your description of the TRAUMA you endured... that I didn't even register your wit... your humour... I'm just hoping like hell that I magically have some easier time of it than you did... your poor thing... BUT... yes... fab news about all the eggs...

Must read the next post... I'm just waiting for the nausea to subside...

janey said...

Finally, somebody else that speaks about how much the bloody process of egg collection hurts!

I too was in sheer agony, and almost passed out. They wiped my brow like I was 5 yrs old and my bp dropped drastically. They said I was wheeled out looking like a waxwork!

Unfortunately my attempt failed, so having FET in January

Can't wait to keep reading!!!

Kirst said...

I just wanted to say YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND.. Love it.. ALL of it.. After riding the infertility & IVF rollercoaster your blog is refreshing & such a great read.. and the MS.. well my dad has MS too.. you've really copped it hard huh? Ova Girl.. you rock.. and just down the road in Syd too.. Head up north to Newcastle for a visit.. we'd love to have you! I'll be returning.. Congrats & Best Wishes..