Retrieval


Hello my lovelies!  My egg retrieval was a great success; no major hiccups or anything.  I’m currently in between painkillers right now, so rather uncomfortable, but I wanted to be coherent enough to reveal the winner.

They managed to capture 31 eggs!  That’s considerably below my normal output, but still quite above the standard average.  It brings my total donated egg count to 266.  That’s a lot of potential babies.

Bill R. is the winner! As well as a lovely director, actor, and good friend.

(Aggh, Paul, you were so close.)

Bill, hit me up whenever you can to see about getting your prize and going out for drinks.  It’s been far too long since we’ve seen each other!

To the rest of you, thank you for playing, reading, encouraging, supporting, and dryly joking along with me through this whole process.

I’m gonna go back to a nice narcotic nap.

Happy Egg Harvest Day!
Happy_Eggs2012-04-07

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At my appointment this morning, the doctor officially scheduled my retrieval for the 3rd at 8am.  I’ll be taking my trigger shot tonight at 9:30pm, then reporting for duty at 7am Monday morning.  The harvest moon rises in less than 48 hours, and you know what that means….

Come one, come all!  It’s….

FERTILITY-BETTING-THEMED ASIAN MINSTREL SHOW KNOCK OFF GOOD TIMES!

"Ms. Too Many Eggs"

“Ms. Too Many Eggs”

Switching it up with the naming scheme this year.  Once again, it’s time to place your bets for the number of eggs I will produce.

Our winner last year was the venerable Joe K.  Joe’s awesome hand-knit prize is unfortunately still residing with me, as he is currently sequestered away in Japan teaching/scaring small children.  (Love you and miss you, Joe.)

I”m sure most of you know how the game is played, but here’s a recap.  A list? Let’s!

–The lucky winner who guesses the correct number will receive a mystery prize from yours truly.  I can’t go into too many specifics about the prize, but it definitely will not suck. If you’re in my neighborhood, I’ll take you out for drinks on top of it all.
–Price is Right rules apply.
— Betting pool opens at the time of publication of this blog post and closes at 8am on Monday the 3rd.
— Bids accepted through text msg, email, facebook, twitter, carrier pigeon, candy gram, or any other communication method of your choice

Here’s some insider information to help you out:

–Eggs produced per cycle: #1: 18 eggs; #2: 17 eggs; #3: 49 eggs, #4: 53 eggs, #5 43 eggs, #6: 55 eggs
— Mean average per cycle: 39
— Ultrasounds show about 10-15 mature follicles per side
— It’s been over a year since my last cycle.  I don’t know if that means my reproductive organs have been lying fallow and will now be more fruitful than ever, or if it means that they’ve been out of training for a year and will subsequently fail all the tests required to become a OO agent.

You’ve got the rules, the clues, the knowledge, and the power!

PLACE BETS NOW

Jason W: 43
Paul S: 32
Ben D: 65
Steve E: 37
Chris E: 44
April H: 57
Joe K: 29
Jesse F: 27
William H: 17
Brittany B: 42
Jake P: 52
Bill R30
Brandon C: 47
Anderson W48
Tamra M: 59
Darlington S: 50
Hamlet D: 53

5:09 Alarm goes off.  Hit the snooze button.
5:18 Alarm goes off again.  Pull myself up and out of bed.
5:19 Wash face, brush teeth, brush hair.
5:25 Pack up purse.  Make sure Ty is waking up too.
5:28 Change from slept-in PJs to not-slept-in PJs.
5:31 Check weather, email, facebook.
5:35 Sort and pack up unused medication.
5:40 Pop on my glasses and my WoW beanie and head out the door.
5:43 Depart for clinic.
6:11 Arrive at clinic.
6:14 Whisked away to surgery prep.  Put on the gown and stuff my hair into the stupid hat.
6:20 Get tucked into a nice warm bed.  The nurse goes over consent forms and more details of the procedure.
6:35 The nurse puts my IV in and takes off.
6:40 I start playing some Picross 3D (it kind of rules my world these days).
6:50 A nurse with a southern twang comes in and introduces herself as “Dusty.”  I explain the backstory to my right ovary sharing the same name.  She’s only mildly intrigued.
7:07 The anesthesiologist comes in to ask a few questions.  He pats my knee (yesssss).  He looks exactly like Ira Glass. I want to snuggle up to him so he can tell me quaint, slice-of-life bedtime stories in his youthful timbre.
7:15 They start rolling me into the OR.  Ira Glass administers some sort of relaxing medication.  He asks me if I feel it yet, and I say I don’t.
7:17 I’m transferred onto the operating table.  And I am feeling those drugs.
7:20 Each of my limbs has a nurse attached to it, going about some sort of important prep.  Ira Glass asks me where I’m from and a few other questions, but I’m too busy trying to keep my eyes in focus.
??:?? I’ve been contacted by the parents of a jr. high student that I used to tutor.  They want to hire me again.  She’s now 16 and slowly turning into a zombie.  She and her parents live in an underwater palace.  I’m swimming around trying to find her.
??:?? I’m visiting my sister.  She explains to me that a PE teacher we shared in high school recently passed away.  I’m holding my niece, Lily, and I ask her what her opinion is.  She giggles.
??:?? I’m having awesome sex.  Mind-blowing.  Earth-shattering.
??:?? The nurse is trying to wake me up.  I don’t want to stop dream sexing.
??:?? The nurse finally succeeds.  I immediately forget what was even actually happening in the sex dream.  But I don’t care, because I have enough happy drugs in me to satisfy Keith Richards.
??:?? Nurses check in on me.  I tell everyone that I am doing just GREAT.  I tell Ira that I’m feeling a little goofy, but still GREAT.
??:?? I eat about 7 packages of saltine crackers and chug gatorade like it’s going out of style.
8:?? The drugs are starting to wear off.   The nurse puts a fresh hot pack on my abdomen, checks to make sure that I’m not bleeding to death, then administers some Darvocet.
8:?? The Darvocet kicks in, and I’m high as a kite again.  She tells me that they retrieved 49 eggs.  A new record for me!  Like everything that’s been said to me in the past half hour or so, it makes me incredibly gleeful.
8:?? I wake up after a short nap.  Still feeling goofy, but much more awake and alert.
8:50: The nurse gets me up and escorts me and my IV to the bathroom.
8:52: I stand patiently while she pulls off all the tape keeping my IV in.  Once it’s extracted, she tells me I can get dressed.  “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?  No dizziness or anything?”
I say, “Oh yeah, I’m feeling totally fi–” and promptly pass out.
9:00 I wake up moments later.  The nurse is half-dragging me back to the bed.
9:02 I’m tucked back into bed and hooked up to a bunch of monitors again.
9:05 At the nurse’s request, I babble at her for a while to show I’m doing okay.
9:15 I get up again, and this time I can successfully dress myself without taking a header.
9:20 I’m wheeled out to the lobby, where Tyler is dead asleep.  My escort wakes him up, and we make our way down to the car.
9:35 We chow down on some delicious sandwiches.
10:00 We depart for home.

The rest is too boring to extrapolate.  I’ve pretty much just been sleeping since then.  I’ve been feeling way better than I did after Cycle #2, which is awesome.  My actual instructions for the next few days are to wear comfortable clothing and be a couch potato.  I think I can handle that.

So what’s next?  There are two different couples interested in maybe booking me for a next cycle.  One pair is located here and one is located in New York City.  Obviously, I’m crossing my fingers that the NYC couple will take the plunge, because I wanna go!  I’ll be sure to post as soon as any details come my way.  Until then, Happy Egg Harvest Day!

I would so be on the "Infertility" episode of This American Life.

My cut off point for food or water was midnight last night, but Tyler and I were prepared.

Around 10 we started making one of our favorite Pioneer Woman recipes: Spicy Peel-And-Eat Shrimp.  It’s incredibly easy to make; literally, it’s just putting some ingredients in a pan and then broiling it for 10 minutes and you’re done.  It left me with plenty of time to try to eat as many as humanly possible as well as gulp down a bunch of water.  It was uncomfortable, but eating a lot paid off for me in the morning.  I didn’t feel hungry or weak at all.

Drinking all that water didn’t help too much though.  I woke up at 4 a.m. totally wired and thirsty as all hell, along with indigestion and feeling like I was having a hot flash. I got a wet wash cloth for my forehead and tried to fall asleep again on the couch, but at that moment our pet rats decided to start enacting American Gladiators on the top of their cage, complete with squeaks of intimidation/protest.  It was about an hour and a half before I could sleep again.

Tyler drove me to the clinic and we arrived shortly before 9:15.  After a 20-minute wait, they took me in.  I didn’t spend too much time in the prep room this time.  As soon as I was in the gown and silly hat, they brought me into the procedure room.  The anesthesiologist hooked me up to an IV and some EKG monitors, then strapped an oxygen mask to my face.  The nurses started strapping my legs down to the stirrups.  I wasn’t all that nervous going into it, but I was asleep for most of this during my last retrieval, and getting all hooked up and plugged in and strapped down instinctively brought all of my apprehension to a head.  The doctor came in during all this and immediately took my hand and put his other hand on my knee.  Something about that hand to knee contact, man.  Calms me right down.

The anesthesiologist injected a small vial of some relaxation drugs into my IV.  I instantly felt pleasantly drunk. The doctor said something to her, and I got double vision of her as she laughed, and then I was out.

I woke up a half hour later, just as they were letting Tyler into the recovery area to see me.  I didn’t feel as goofily happy as last time–mostly just groggy.  I also had a lot more pain than last time, too.  The nurses switched out hot compresses and warm blankets while I drank some juice and shivered as the drugs left my system.  I was informed that they retrieved 17 eggs.  1 less than last time.  I hope that one slacker who got away is having a good time.

Once I felt well enough to get up, they sent me home, and I’ve been spending most of the day sleeping with heating pad on my stomach and drinking lots of fluids.  Tyler’s been taking very good care of me, and I’m already feeling much better than I did earlier today.

Nothing too funny or spectacular happened, but once again, I’m so happy and relieved that everything went down without a hitch.  My post-op appointment is on the 5th, and my very first appointment for Cycle #3 is on the 9th, so I should be updating again soon.

Happy Egg Harvest Day!!

Taken from Deviantart, username: Furryness

With follicles looking as monstrous as ever, my doctor declared that my retrieval date would be this Saturday.  Tomorrow!  Last night I took my last dose of Ganirelix (*said with a flourish*) and a dose of Novarel, my trigger shot.  Today my only instructions are to rest, drink fluids until midnight, and play some video games.  Well, some of those are instructions from me to myself.  But I digress.

Today I have to start taking Doxycyclene, which is an antibiotic.  Fortunately, they are oral capsules that are a delightful robin’s egg blue.  My instructions for taking it are interesting thought.  I’m supposed to take it twice daily on a full stomach, and I have to avoid sun exposure.  I haven’t yet asked the nurses about the sun exposure thing.  I hesitate for fear that the answer will either be terrifying (“Your eyes will fall out.”) or very underwhelming (“You’ll sunburn easier.”).  For the moment, I prefer leaving it shrouded in mystery, just as I shall shroud myself in shadows and the glow of my monitor until the antibiotic runs out.

My apologies for not really delivering an “Egg Extraction Extravaganza Week!!” this time.  I’ve spent an unusually large amount of money on video games this month, and my attentions have been fully retained by Harvest Moon: Animal Crossing (so many crops and adorable farm animals!) and Mass Effect 2 (so many alien sexual encounters and adorable sniper rifle kills!).  Anyone familiar with video games will probably have already guessed that playing both games at the same time leads to some…interesting dreams.

This definitely happened in my head last night. Don't ask me where Emeril came from.

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