IVF round 1 : 10. Egg Aspiration

Posted by Rose in Infertility, My Personal Journey on 23-02-2013

Aug 7, 2011

Sunday morning came and we woke up shortly after 4am. Since I couldn’t eat or drink until after the procedure, which would be sometime around noon, I tried sleeping more, and did. We left the house with Gordon’s brother at 7:30, and zipped to Belgrade on a sleepy Sunday morning. Darko was cranky when Gordon reiterrated what his mom told him the night before – that we would be several hours. I started wondering if we conditioned him to get cranky for more pay. We arrived earlier than our 8:30 appointment for Gordon to provide his ‘material’. They called him back around 8 and after he finished we had a long wait until 9:30 when I was supposed to be taken up to be prepped for the procedure. Someone had switched on VH1 – Gordon or his brother suspected they did that for the Amerikanka’s benefit. We laughed, because I probably prefer Pink more than anyone in the clinic.

The nurse called us in to the middle exam room, Gordon with his little paper bag of goodies that he tried repeatedly to make sit properly on the desk, but it kept falling over much to his embarrassment. Fragile-ly propped between us and the nurse with nothing else decorating the desktop, we continued the interview, paper-signing and small-talk about my ability to understand most of what is spoken in Serbian. My white blood count was a little high – this is the 3rd time in a row Ive had a blood test with a high white blood count, and Im not sure why. In any case I mentioned having a tooth that hurt and a bit of a sinus infection, neither of which were comletely true, so that they wouldn’t hesitate to do this aspiration.When we finished, we waited a bit longer and chatted about nothing much in the waiting area. At about 9:45 they called me to go up in the elevator with the nurse I hadn’t seen before today. Gordon came with me and we went up to the 2nd floor ‘apartmans’ which I thought to be ‘apartments’. I creatively decided previously that these apartments were for women who gave birth there, so they could spend a few days to a week there more comfortably than in the public hospital. Turns out ‘apartman’ means ‘suite’, and that’s just what it was. A beautiful, brightly lit, modern, spotless room with bright green bedsheets on 2 neighboring hospital beds with a skylight between them. The private bathroom had a glass shower with shiny silver handles and elaborate marble looking tile. The sink was a basin that sat on top of the counter beneath it. There was a compilation of small pipes, that I believe was a towel warmer, though it wasn’t warm to the touch (of course I did), I am guessing it might not have been turned on. It was really impressive and comforting. I felt like this place was new and must have the best there is to be had.

The nurse directed me to undress but to leave my bra on, and put on the nightgown in the closet, and empty my bladder. She’d come back for me in a bit. I undressed, and Gordon hung my clothes on the hanger, replacing the clingy leopardskin nightgown I slipped on. He took out white sliipes with colorful spots and propped them beneath my feet. I peed and sat on the bed some more next to Gordon who had pulled one of the rounded leather chairs beside me. We watched the wide screen TV, waiting.

The nurse called me and I kissed my beloved husband, leaving him to watch TV, read the kindle, or do whatever he could to relax during the procedure. The nurse and I travelled down on the elevator to floor ‘0’, and in the silence I told her “samo malo nervosna”. She comforted me and said it was normal, but that I was going to go, and sleep, and it would be over. I shook my head in agreement. What I was actually nervous about was the result, not the procedure.

I laid down on a table somewhat like those upstairs in the exam room, only this on didn’t have a place for my feet, but for my legs – it would be where they would strap me down. I was introduced to the anesthesiologist who was impressed I knew to say ‘drago mi je’ when I shook her hand. So many people have been – and to me I find this part of the very basic beginning conversational Serbian. I laid down on the table and they began to bustle around me, the doctor waiting below me, the anesthesiologist preparing me for sleep, and the nurse situating my free arm  inside my gown so it wouldnt dangle off the table, I presume. I felt a sensation similar to big blobs with little legs running up my arm, across my chest, up my neck and began feeling dizzy. “Uh oh,” I said, “bye-bye Meri,” said the anesthesiologist. I laughed and said, “Bye-bye!” and within seconds I was out.

I woke up with no time perspective. It was as if I just closed my eyes for a moment, and at the same time I sensed it wasn’t that near when I left conciousness. The doctor began explaining right away. “We have one egg,” she said. There were 2 follicles, but one was empty. I asked if it was the follicle from the right side that was empty. She confirmed it was. I wonder now if they actually keep them separated and identified so that she really had that information. She continued explaining that it was good they had a basis to go on next time, if we had to do this again, since they now know I react to menapur, and how I reacted to that dosage. I tried not to let it unsettle me that she sounded like she was already assuming we’d do this again.

I moved myself to the rolling bed, and we travelled to the elevator together. I was conscious, but not fully aware. I remember babbling on about how difficult Serbian language was, and that I knew French, German, Italian and Spanish, and by far it was the most difficult. I think at that time the doctor, nurse and anesthesiologist was with me, but I could be wrong. someone was saying how easy English was to learn, and that’s why it was so universal. I remembered my mom saying that English was difficult for foreigners to learn, implying those that did learn it were more scholarly than the typical undriven American. I missed my mom. The elevator doors opened and I was soon pulled alongside the bright green bed in the apartman, and I scooted over into it. The doctor explained again to Gordon that there was 1 egg, and one follicle was empty. The other follicles hand’t grown any since the last appointment. I felt his disappointment, or I guess more like a sad surprise that it wasn’t more fruitful. The doc said she’d be back to check on me in a bit, and left us alone. By then I was pretty fully aware of everything, and I told Gordon to call his brother to come up, and to text Kat.

I didn’t feel any pain at all, not even a cramp. The doctor came and pulled back the blankets and my legs, and said I wasn’t bleeding. G’s brother was there now, and we sat waiting for them to come again to let me leave. I still had a stint in my arm where the anesthesia was. Gordon kept yelling at me to stop flailing about as I talked. I felt positive, still, maybe just clinging to hope, I don’t know, but I kept trying to assure him one egg is all we need. He quietly wrestled with his feelings.

When we got home, I washed. SIL made me coffee and Gordon made me a sandwich. Little man kissed my cheek. This all has been easier to cope with having a network around me, as imperfect as we all may be. I’m sad to leave it behind when we go back home – especially with a baby coming, I know I will wish I had them around to share all this with.

I began taking antibiotics, one 500mg every 6 hours. I also started the vaginal progesterone, 2 pills 3 times a day. Soon after I was washed, fed and pilled, I was ready for sleep. It was about 4:30pm. We only wanted to nap a little, but woke up sometime around 9, when I was scheduled for another pill. We went back to sleep and I woke up at 3am for the next pill. I’ve been awake since, and am now drinking the coffee my dear hubby made me, watching the sun rise over the trees outside the terrace door. I wonder how our embryo is doing.  We’ll get the call today after 12. If the embryo is viable, we’ll go in tomorrow or Wednesday for the transfer. The total cost is 210k rsd (about $3k). If there is no embryo, we pay 110k for the aspiration and anesthesia. If we do hatching, which Im not sure they will because there’s only 1 embryo, it will be another 50k rsd (about $700). A positive result after all this is exactly $Priceless.

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