All about egg retrieval (and the agony of waiting)


It’s 8.30am and I am waiting to hear if my four eggs have managed to fertilise.

Egg retrieval was yesterday and I was so wound up that I went into the operating theatre weeping. The staff were lovely – which is actually what set me off. As long as everyone was normal around me, I could hold it together. But the moment the kind anesthetologist called me darling, the tears started.

The kindly drugs man gave me intravenous valium, something for the pain and something to knock me out. It worked beautifully – I woke up 45 minutes later speaking Spanish, and asking everyone who entered my room how many eggs they’d retrieved (short term memory was shot).

Apparently in Sydney they let you stay awake and watch the procedure, but who the hell would want to do that? The tension of it all is excruciating enough.

In my groggy state I listened to the comings and goings of the theatre and pressed a nice hot pack to my left lower side. I had a little pain, but only a twinge, like period cramps. A nurse made me a nice cup of hot tea and a slice of buttery raisin toast – food for the Gods! – and then my mum and dad came in, looking nervous.

My specialist came in to tell me my response had been “adequate” (not a word that inspires confidence, but then nothing about this process inspires confidence). The thing I really like about her, though, is that she is very precise and honest. We only need one good one, she said. All the nurses and science bods also told me “quality over quantity”, which I guess is true, but how I would have loved to have 10 quality eggs to improve our odds.

The spermologist (still don’t know his proper title) was also lovely, and told me he was taking my eggs off to try to fertilise them. We would know tomorrow how well that was going.

On the way home, I ordered my parents to go past Bruno’s Truffles, where the aforementioned Bruno makes divine pastries, danishes, cakes and chocolates. We bought $35 worth and headed home.

Rufus was waiting on the other end of a skype call, about 14,000km away more or less, in our apartment. It was so reassuring to see his face. And now I’m waiting, trying to think positively, or maybe not think too much at all, about that phone call that is to come. It’s a wasted effort – all I can do is give myself inner pep talks, or make private little bargains with God and universe, or silently beg, please please please let this work.

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