The RE's office called Monday afternoon to confirm that the "trigger" shot worked and that we were a go for the retrieval surgery the next morning. I was elated--by Monday afternoon I was in a fog of hormones, couldn't concentrate, felt fairly crummy, and just wanted it to all be over with already. Got my wish!
The RE's office told me to arrive at the surgery center by 7:30am on retrieval day. You're supposed to have a family member or friend drive you to the appointment and back (because, anesthesia), but everyone local that I knew that would have been up for the task was coincidentally out of town or had important work commitments that morning. So, I ordered up a ride using one of Austin's Uber-equivalents. This made me nervous--ever since Uber and Lyft left Austin the remaining ride share programs have proven a bit... unreliable--but I made it to the surgery center on time.
Once at the surgery center, they confirmed my identity, asked me to sign various releases and other forms, had me gown up, checked my vital signs and started my IV. The anesthesiologist came in to ask some screening questions. The embryologist also paid me a visit to confirm the plan for any retrieved eggs. Finally, the RE stopped by to say hello (the first and only time I saw him that day). I texted my family to let them know I had arrived at the surgery center and that I'd text them again once surgery was over.
At 8:30am on the dot we were rolling towards the operating room. They had me walk in and get on the table on my own. In short order, there was an oxygen mask over my face and I could feel the anesthesia running through my IV and up my arm. That's the last thing I remember before waking up in the recovery room.
I woke up to one of the nurses checking my vital signs. I texted my family to let them know that I was out of surgery. A nurse confirmed that the RE had been able to retrieve 25 eggs. By 9:59am I was in a cab on my way home.
Later in the afternoon, the embryologist called to confirm that of the 25 retrieved eggs, 18 had been mature and all 18 froze successfully. My family is full of questions about how many frozen eggs are needed to achieve one pregnancy. I don't have a clear answer to this, but at my age and thinking forward to how old I'll likely be when I can use these eggs, I'll be lucky to have one child and hopefully 18 frozen eggs will be enough to achieve that.
Yesterday, similar to when I went through the process as a donor in my early 20s, I felt fine after surgery. There was some abdominal cramping, but nothing debilitating. If the anesthesiologist hadn't told me that I wasn't allowed to drive all day or make any significant decisions, I would have returned to the office. (As it was my out of office autoreply telling clients that I was in surgery and would not respond until the following day was not a success... I ended up joining three client calls yesterday.)
Today, I feel even better. The mental fog from all of the hormones has subsided and I'm ready to get back to life as usual.
Often, when I read an article about egg freezing, women who have completed the procedure say that they feel like they now have the luxury of time to find the right partner and focus on their career. I can't say that I have those feelings. The weight that has been lifted is the worry over whether I should even try to freeze my eggs. It seems I've been debating the question for years. I'm happy to take "freezing my eggs" off my to-do list.
I'll post one more time under the "freezing my eggs" tab to discuss the cost of the process, but am waiting for all of the final bills to roll in before doing so.