Friday, May 8, 2009

Don't Fear the Reaper

Jeepers. Yesterday, the 18 oocytes clanking around in my pelvis were removed via a strange, awkward, drug-hazy process. The end result: 7 fertilized eggs. I wasn't terribly encouraged by the precipitous drop from 18 to 7, but Dr. Optimism is encouraging, per usual, and says that this isn't necessarily an indicator of the overall success of my cycle. Dr. SultryAccent (a new acquaintance) also says that these seven look "very nice." So, we'll see what that means.

As for the process itself, it began with me cringing my way into a musty-smelling hospital gown, booties, and a snood, while a nurse who clearly had some issues put an IV into my hand and secured it with a metric ton of tape. (When I managed to rip it all off afterwards, it removed a good chunk of my arm hair and left a rash. Seriously, this woman was out of control.) Hand IVs are so uncomfortable; they get on my last nerve. This one prompted my first "Oh, there has GOT to be a better way" moment of the day. 

Next, Nurse Tapesalot pulled an unappealing blanket over me (like the free ones on airplanes but thinner...and stiffer). The husband and I exchanged wide-eyed looks of "GAAAHH! GERMS!" and I was rolled into the operating room, wondering how quickly MRSA could spread. The first drug they pumped into my IV was Phenergan. This was "there has GOT to be a better way" moment #2. If you've never had the blissful experience of having Phenergan shot into your veins, let me ask you: what do you think a small-to-medium cardiac event is like? I bet it feels a bit like intravenous Phenergan. Big Tapesalot said "This one burns a little bit as it goes up your arm." 

Burns is an understatement. My arm was sore for the rest of the day and my fingers were swollen.  

I went under shortly thereafter but - delightfully - not all the way. I have some very dim memories of a speculum, something uncomfortable being inserted into me...a very bizarre experience. Then, two different doctors came in to speak to me, while I was still shaking off the drugs, perhaps for the entertainment value, like that poor little kid on YouTube flopping around his mom's car.

The recovery period wasn't bad - lots of sleeping and very little spotting. The pain was manageable with 2 Tylenol, no need to tap into the prescription for Percocet I was given. I also discovered that for me, the pain of the progesterone shots is really over-hyped. The nurses will make you think that IM progesterone shots are going to be like pounding a 12-inch hollow needle into your thick, resisting muscles, the resulting pain leaving you unable to move for days. It just ain't that way. 

I recognize that this is probably different for everyone but it would be a shame if people went into this worried about the prospect of agonizing pain. Lucky for me, my husband is used to pushing viscous drugs, intra-muscularly, into unwilling psychotics, so progesterone in sesame oil is not too hard for him. Honestly, I felt very little pain. We'll see if he loses his touch some time in the next few weeks, but for now, that, at least, is manageable. 

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