Today was the big day!  Tyler and I hit the road at 5:30 a.m. (>_O).  Honestly, I was starting to get bored with the drive down there and back, so I was glad that Tyler was there to do the driving.  I napped on and off and did my best to calm my nerves.  I’ve only been put under once before, and I’ve been well trained by the women on my mother’s side of the family to worry about every potential hazardous outcome in nearly every situation.  I tried to stay calm, but a little anxiety was inevitable.  On a more annoying note, I wasn’t allowed to have any water after midnight last night, so I was parched and had a nasty taste in my mouth the whole way down.  They don’t even allow you to chew gum or suck on mints.

Since there wasn’t any traffic that early in the morning, we arrived about a half-hour early and had to wait in the parking lot for a while.  It was then that I started feeling not-so-hot.  I don’t know if the Lupron trigger shot I took Monday night is something that slowly kicks in over a 36 hour period or if does nothing and then hits you all at once at the 36-hour mark, but it definitely felt like the latter.  I felt extremely bloated and nauseous.  Then what felt like menstrual cramps kicked in.  Throw my nervousness and dehydration on top of all of that and I was a little bit of a wreck.  I curled up in the car seat and tried not to lose it.

The clinic opened up a little bit later, and I promptly went in and tried to stretch out on the couch and not puke.  I was called in about a minute later and led to a new, previously  unexplored portion of the clinic.  After Tyler and I were bootied up, I changed into a hospital gown and followed the nurse into a pre-op room that had a few hospital beds and some equipment in it.  I crawled into one of the beds, and the nurse put a heating pad on my stomach.  I could have cried with relief–as soon as she put it on me and tucked me in, I felt ten times better.  She said that usually people with 30 follicles can barely walk upright, so I guess I was actually doing pretty well.

My nurse was incredibly nice and very charismatic, which helped make me a lot more comfortable.  She went over some consent forms and took my vitals, and we talked about my moving to Hollywood and other exciting things.  I met the embryologist and the anesthesiologist, whose daughter, turns out, goes to the same school that I just graduated from.  He hooked me up to an IV with just water in it.  Not as good as taking some big gulps of water, but it made my mouth feel a lot less gross.

Then I had about 15-20 minutes of just waiting for everyone else to get ready, so I whipped out my DS and played some Electroplankton.  If you ever need something to calm you down, I’d highly recommend the Hanenbow one:

Soon my doctor came and checked in with me, and then I was whisked away to the operating room, IV pole in tow and goofy hat on my head.  Walking into the OR was intimidating.  Everything was so stark and sterile and rather unfriendly-looking.  The anesthesiologist helped me onto the table and I put my knees up while the nurse set up the stirrups.  As the anesthesiologist readied the medication, the nurse simply put her hands on top of my knees.  The gesture was simple, but it made me feel so much more at ease.

As he notified me that he was about to start the medication, the nurse looked at me and said, “Those lights above you are going to start dancing in a minute.”

I examined the ceiling.  On either side of me there were two nondescript florescent banks and a big, black sliding track along which the main operating lamp ran.  I didn’t notice anything odd.  Then the sliding track suddenly turned into a treadmill belt that was spinning at a very high speed and kind of wobbling back and forth.

“Oh.  There they go,” I said.

And then I woke up in recovery.

Yeah, pretty anti-climactic, right?  I read that other clinics give egg donors a local anesthetic but still keep them semi-conscious, and I just assumed it would be the same with me.  But not so!  Tyler was in the little cubicle with me, and I think I said something like, “That’s it?!”  I felt an incredible elation that after worrying about it so much, it had all turned out fine.  That, and I was still really happy from the drugs.  Exuberant, even.  The embryologist (or at least I think it was her…I can’t quite remember) came in and told me they had retrieved 18 eggs!  The average for them is 11, so that made me even more disgustingly happy.  The whole process had taken maybe 20 minutes to a half hour, tops.  The heating pad was back on my stomach, but I felt hardly any pain.  I think I actually felt a whole lot worse when I first came in than after the procedure!

Tyler and I stayed in recovery for about an hour.  The happy drugs slowly wore off and I drank cup after cup of gatorade, because I was mega-thirsty and only allowed to leave once I’d  urinated.  I was able to stand up and walk just fine, but a little shaky from the drugs.  They wheeled me out to the car and sent us on our way home.

The anesthesiologist had given me some anti-nausea medication after the procedure was done, so I was feeling just fine in that regard.  On the way back home we stopped at a Thai place, and I was able to get down delicious green curry with brown rice with no trouble.  The funny thing is that the Thai restaurant had a lotus plant outside that had a few seed pods on it, which were empty.

So that was it!  All in all, everything turned out way better than I was expecting it to.  I have a tiny bit of tenderness and pain. I’m not sure how that will develop in the next few days, but right now, I’m lookin’ good and feelin’ great!  My post-op appointment is on Friday, which is also when I get my compensation.  Expect another blog post then.  In the meantime, Happy Egg Harvest Day!harvest

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