Retrieval Day

Friday August 4th my husband gets home from work a little after 6 just as I am getting out of the shower. We sit and talk trying to kill time before we have to leave for the office. We have to be at our appointment at 8. It is rainy out and I am anticipating excess traffic. I put on my most comfortable New Jersey Devils sweat pants , an over sized tank top, my super cute retrieval day socks, and my Motorhead hoodie and was ready to go.


We got there in no time at all, apparently no one went to work that day and there were no cars on the road. We stopped at a deli for him to get breakfast,  I sat and read Game of Thrones while he ate. When he was done we went inside to start filling out the paperwork that accompanies any procedure. I was given an orange bracelet with the wrong name on it twice, finally after cutting it off of me they printed me a brand new one with all of the correct information. I sat and waited until my nurse called us in.

I went into a room with 3 lockers, 2 chairs, and a bathroom and was told to change out of my clothes into the gown provided. Along with the gown came a paper shower cap, and paper booties.


After getting undressed and putting on my paper outfit I decided to explore this wing of the office. There were 2 doors labeled Transfer across from the changing room and down the left there was the recovery area. The nurse saw me exploring and joined me. She explained what each area was and further explained what was about to happen. I adore this nurse, she did my initial nurse visit and I have since then looked at her as a source of comfort.

A few minutes later, my doctor came into the hallway where we were all standing and started talking. He told me that my cycle was “interesting” because I had such a slow reaction to the medication. My body did not want to cooperate but once it did, it did so with a vengeance. After a worrisome beginning I had TWENTY eggs to be extracted. I was thrilled at the news. He explained what would happen after the retrieval was complete and once my husband and I had no more questions he excused himself and I was taken into the procedure room.

I was lead to the table by my nurse and instructed up. I put my legs into thigh supports and the nurse strapped me down. The anesthesiologist walked in and introduced himself. I am sad to say I don’t actually remember his name but I will say he was so kind. He joked with me and made me feel so at ease. He put the IV in my hand and started my drip. At this time, my doctor came in and we talked while he set himself up. A few moments later and I was asked if I was ready for my nap. I said yes and the white stuff got injected into my IV. A few moments after that, I was out for the count.

blurry awakenings

I woke up in recovery as my husband walked in the room. I was so thirsty! I was also in a lot more pain than I expected to be in and the nurse quickly injected me with something that was supposed to help in a minute. It did’t! She injected me once more and I felt almost instantly better. After an update from my doctor I was allowed to get dressed and head home.

The instructions were to take it easy and rest all day. No cooking, no cleaning, no walking around. I did just that, I laid on my couch and rested all day. There was a lot of pain as the day went on but I guess that is to be expected considering they did a lot in there.

The next day was back to work. For the first time in a week or so, I didn’t feel my ovaries. I wasn’t uncomfortable or achy. In the car on the ride in I got a phone call from the embryologist to update me on my embryos. (why do they call them embryos when they are only zygotes at this point?). He tells me that out of my 20 eggs, eighteen of them fertilized and are growing. WOW! I was floored. I went about my day with a glow apparently. Multiple people stopped me to tell me that I looked so happy or that I was glowing. I’ll take it!

Two days later I got the second of 3 updates. I am aware that sometimes embryos don’t make it. I am aware that you can lose sometimes most of them before they are matured. This phone call was from my nurse, she informed me that as of right now, I still have 18 zygotes growing. Thrilled was an understatement. 

Two days after that,  five days after my procedure, I got my final call. “Izabella, this is so and so from the doctor’s office. How are you?” Great thanks,  how are you?  “We have a dilemma over here” … Dilemma?  Dilemma?  All 18 of my embryos had matured enough to be biopsied for the PGD! He had to call me to get my approval on what I wanted to do. We had already paid for a portion of the testing and now there were 10 others that were not yet paid for. He told me that most people have 8 that mature,  10 if they are lucky. He wasn’t sure how to advise me in this because he had never encountered this situation in his career. (I like to trend set haha) We opted to test all 18. Too many “what ifs” went thru my mind. 

We have always only wanted ONE baby. The idea that we have 18 embryos is one that I’m still wrapping my brain around. If the genetic testing comes back and we have a lot of viable and genetically desirable embryos not only can I have my own little one but the families I can help with donation! That’s the first thing that ran thru my head, I can give someone (or a few someone’s) an incredible gift. Fingers crossed. For now, I pray that all 18 are healthy little embryos. I pray that I have one super healthy little baby. And then I pray that I can help others. 

Until then, we wait. 


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