Monday, May 9, 2016

What I Wish They'd Told Me About Egg Retrieval

Y'all, I am not going to lie, I thought recovering from my egg retrieval was going to be easy.  I planned to be at work the next day.  In my mind I was going to rock it.  I woke up from retrieval feeling like a million bucks plus we collected 14 eggs so that was exciting for me!  I thought to myself, going to work is going to be so easy, I GOT THIS!

Boy was I wrong!  It's been a few WEEKS since the retrieval and I can finally wear jeans again.  Yes, y'all....for me, this experience was difficult!  What was so difficult?  And what can you do to avoid this?  Some of these might be no-brainers, but I think preparation is key for any endeavor so I'd rather share too much than not enough!

When I woke up the day after transfer, I was not ready to tackle anything except my cell phone to cancel on going into work because I felt like a stuffed sausage!  

By this day we had 13 of the eggs fertilize with ICSI.  I sucked it up and went to work, but it was painful to walk and painful to sit down.  My ovaries were swollen and I was bloated.  My mind was a little wonky.  I made it about half way through the work day before I decided work was not going to be an option the day after transfer.  I went home, took a pain pill and went to sleep.  Y'all, just take the day off!  Can you push through the day if you have to?  Sure, but if you have the option, take the day and rest up.  There is still drugs in your body from the procedure, you are bloated and uncomfortable and pants?  Don't even try to wear them.  Just an utter waste of trying to get them to button, even with an waist expanding button or the old hair tie trick...nope, none of my efforts to fit pants worked.

What other tips can I give you?
  1. You will be bloated; it will not be pretty and in fact, I looked pregnant...what a cruel trick!  Drink lots of fluids and electrolytes to help move all that extra fluid built up in your ovaries out of your body.  You can drink coconut water, green tea, and even Pedialyte.  You can drink Gatorade too...whatever you drink, drink copious amounts!!  You should always be drinking something.  Bear in mind, this is a key to avoiding Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) as well.  So read it, write it down, take a picture....just remember to DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS!

  2. Going to the bathroom is a real pain.  No doubt its because they used your lady bits as a collection tray, but also because drugs make you constipated.  There, I put it out there y'all, I've broken the barrier, we are discussing this right now!  Take a laxative.  Eat prunes.  Drink prune juice.  Do whatever the remedy is for that sort of thing and start it THE DAY OF YOUR TRIGGER SHOT and do it for a full week after the transfer.  Yes, it took a full week and I was not prepared for you should heed my advice and eat your fiber!  You will thank me for that advice!

  3. A heating pad will be your best friend post-ER.  Holy amazing sauce I stayed really close to an outlet for a few days.  This really helped relieve the achiness I was feeling so I suggest you post up close to an outlet and get to know your friend the heating pad!

  4. Don't over-exert yourself!  Your ovaries are swollen, guess what, you can get ovarian torsion...what?  That means your ovaries can get twisted!  We don't want any of that, so while it is OK to walk, don't run a marathon or lift any cars for two weeks just to be safe!  Speaking of walking...start small.  Don't get all froggy and try to go shopping at an Outlet the local strip mall first.  Be careful with your body!  

  5. Reduce your sugars and carbs.  These yummy goodies actually increase your risk for OHSS so be sure you consider that before you eat a loaf of bread or an entire cheesecake.  Your leggings will thank you.  

  6. Speaking of leggings, wear comfortable clothes.  Don't worry about being on point with your style, just be thankful to find something that actually fits.  You know what fit me?  Leggings, yoga pants and maternity pants.  Yes, I bought maternity pants for post-retrieval.  And they are the greatest pants EVER.  I think we should ALLLLLL wear them all the time.  My friends made fun of me for wearing them, but secretly I bet they wanted those maternity pants too.      

  7. Oh and don't even think about practicing to make a baby the old fashioned way.  Again, this ties back to ovarian torsion and twisting up your lady bits as well as avoiding infection!  Don't get those pretty little eggs out only to fight an infection because you thought it was safe to practice!  Would you believe they FORGOT to tell me this information and I had to call to ask! "Yes hello, I was just calling to make sure it was OK to have sex with my husband...why are you laughing?"

I think the really important thing to remember is that you've just given your ovaries a triathlon run with no embrace even the struggles because you worked hard for this part!

I survived my retrieval and while it was uncomfortable, it was not painful!  I was not a risk for OHSS and I did not exhibit any symptoms of OHSS so either A) I did it right or B) there never was a risk for me.  I hope these tips lead to a successful post-retrieval for you!  Do you had advice for post-retrieval?  Add it to the comments below!