Egg Retrieval · Faith · IVF · Puppy

36 Hours Later – Egg Retrieval

It’s been a busy 36 hours (almost to a T!)

We got up early Monday morning (after a solid 45 minutes of Georgie time… I’m talking super early) and drove down to Gurnee for the day’s events.  My anxieties about flat tires or car accidents on the interstate were calmed as we pulled in 20 minutes early into the “Procedure Parking Lot.”  Once inside, we waited for our pre-op room to be prepared (two minutes, maybe) and from that point on things moved pretty quickly.

Yes, I purchased an IVF shirt.  I didn’t get to wear my “There’s a turkey in my oven” shirt last Thanksgiving so darn it I was going to celebrate this little milestone!

The anesthesiologist came in to ask the usual questions before attempting to find a vein in my hand for the IV.  Now, I’ve always thought I had good veins but apparently my venous system is beginning to take after my dad (who is notorious for his terrible veins).  Both hands were looked over pretty thoroughly before he finally decided to go with the right hand.  Well, the first attempt was a bust (literally… my vein burst… and made a gross little bubble under my skin… glah!  It’s even hard to type!) so he had to go back to the other previously deemed “bad hand.”  Long story short, after much prodding and squeezing I finally got an IV in the left hand.  Good to go.

I walked into the operating room with the help of the nurse and was told to lay down on the table.  I think I had to say my name and birthdate to at least three different people including the nurse, anesthesiologist, and embryologist.  I laid down on the table, and the anesthesiologist put oxygen in my nose while telling me he would now be giving me the first of two anesthesias.  This first one would not knock me out, but instead just make me “more comfortable.”  The second would knock me out.  He said this one would burn so just brace yourself.  I kept waiting for the burn, but only got a sort of weird taste in my mouth instead.  I remember saying, “My mouth tastes like metal.”

And that’s all I can remember.

I woke up and remember being back in the pre-op room with Joe,  feeling very cold.  Our amazing nurse Deena (who has been My Nurse this entire time) was great and got me a blanket right away.   However, all I cared about was how many eggs were retrieved.  I guess I asked this multiple times before coming to at this point, (even to the doctor/nurse as they were wheeling me out of the operating room).    Once Joe thought I was at a point where I could remember something he told me, he said “I’m sorry honey, but I think it’s less than we thought.  I thought I heard someone tell you ‘six’ when they were wheeling you back.”

My heart sank.  It was a number way way lower than we expected given all the follicles I had “grown.”  But I remembered what I blogged about the night before and told myself to be happy.  God is in control.  The battle is already won.  Six is better than none, and it only takes one.

About an hour passed.  Joe told me I had been saying George’s name the entire time and he wondered if the nursing staff thought I had another man in my life.  That is until I tried to shake off the oxygen reader on my finger while saying, “Stop biting my finger, George.”  Once I had successfully eaten, drank, and had a “successful trip to the bathroom” the doctor finally came in to give us the egg retrieval number.

He had a big smile on his face.

“Well, I think Perdue Farms will be calling you soon.  You got a TON of eggs!”



Count um.  19.  Not all equal, but 19 just the same.

I just about died.

Joe was smiling ear to ear.

Canned line or not, that ‘Perdue Farms’ line kept me smiling all throughout the pain that day would consist of.

Now, not all of the eggs retrieved will make it.   In fact, less than half usually do.  We were told I would get a phone call on Tuesday (today) with the “Fertilization Report.”  But for now, we were satisfied and feeling blessed.

I’m not going to talk too much about the pain because I want this to be a happy blog.  I’ll just say,  it really hurt.  Like really.    Anything but laying still really, really, REALLY hurt.  But when I woke up this morning the hurt (while still present) was SIGNIFICANTLY less, and for that I was thankful.

I tried to keep my mind busy today, but quite often I kept thinking, “I wonder how many of our eggs fertilized?”   The statistic I found online stated that anywhere from “50-80%” of eggs retrieved will result in fertilized embryos.  FINALLY at 3:15pm my phone rang.  It was the fertilization report.

Of the 19 retrieved, 15 eggs were “mature.”

Of the 15 mature eggs, 12 were fertilized.

A Boom Boom BAM!  

We are not out of the woods yet, but we are in good shape.  I don’t know the stats (or if they even exist!) on how many fertilized eggs make it to Blastocyst stage (or Day 5 Embryos) but I know it’s considerably less than what you start with.  So that “12” will go down considerably, but odds are we will get enough to put in this Saturday plus some additional to freeze for later.  Aside from PIO shots and some oral medications, I won’t have any changes to medications, or get any phone calls for that matter until Friday, at which time our transfer will be scheduled for the following day.

Nerve-wracking?  You bet.

But we are feeling hopeful and blessed.


I just hope those little embryos have a great embryologist watching over them.   Their first babysitter.  Awe.  If not, I trust that God will keep them safe until Saturday.


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