Getting Pregnant: Egg Retrieval Time

Wow, it has been a busy week! Turns out my follicles were growing at quite a clip, and I was told last Thursday at my sonogram that it was time to discontinue injecting the stimulation drugs and "trigger" ovulation. I wasn't expecting to be at that point until next week. We were fast approaching the next big step: egg retrieval.shot in the bum
Photo by Stephanie Dennis

I had developed seven follicles, which my doc called "a satisfactory number." I tried to fight the feeling that I had just received a C grade on my follicle test. They hope to get 6 to 10. Dang follicles! My doc reminded me "it only takes one egg." It's amazing how even the smallest communication can affect my state of mind. There is such a balancing act going on in my head. I am spinning plates of hope and excitement, but also plates of fear and holy crap, too.


We were instructed to self-inject the HCG trigger shot at precisely 8:45 p.m. that night. Apparently, timing is critical. The rest of the day and evening we watched the clock. The HCG would signal my body it was time to lay some eggs. My egg retrieval would take place on Saturday.

Throughout the day on Friday, I could feel myself expanding. It was uncomfortable to have my jeans buttoned up. My ovaries were swelling to accommodate multiple growing eggs. Definitely a strange sensation.

We were up bright and early on Saturday for the egg retrieval, which is a minor surgery. Everything went smoothly. I was heavily sedated (I remember nada). When I woke up in the recovery area, I thought we were just getting started with the procedure. So trippy! My hubby was there as chauffer, sperm donor, and loving helper. My doc swung by recovery to tell me with a big cheery smile that they had retrieved six eggs. She was very pleased...and therefore, so was I.

I spent the rest of the day in bed sleeping off the drugs. Aside from a tiny bit of cramping and a slightly sore feeling, I felt fine. Off in some medical building, my eggs were being injected with my hubby's sperm. The next grade: how many fertilized. We got a call early Sunday morning. Five eggs. The doc was pleased, and therefore, so were we.

With eggs now retrieved, we begin the "intramuscular injection" portion of the program-also known as the shot in the butt. This drug is progesterone, and ground zero is my bum. Hubby is talking over for these ones. For the first shot, he stared a full two minutes at the circle the nurse drew with a Sharpie before I coaxed him to plunge the needle, and the second shot he poked his finger taking the needle off, but I'm confident he's getting the hang of it. For me, these shots have been surprisingly pain and trouble free.

Egg transfer is Tuesday. About the time this blog entry is posted, all happily developed eggs from the original batch of five will be returned home to my warm and welcoming mommy oven. It is getting increasingly scary. Will this whole crazy, expensive experiment work? It is completely out of our control. The air in our house is thick with IVF, and we are both starting to feel the pressure. We're both trying to just stay positive, and take it one day at a time.

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