By the time the egg retrieval procedure came around, I felt bloated and uncomfortable from the medications and I was ready to be done with it. Because of Covid, no one was allowed in the facility with me so Ilan had to wait in the car. It wasn’t my first time under anesthesia, so I wasn’t scared, but I can imagine how difficult that would be for someone who is nervous. Covid complicates everything.
The procedure area of my facility is on the first floor, an area I hadn’t been to before. I walked into the double-doors to the reception desk and filled out all the paperwork in an empty waiting room. The nurse brought me back to the fourth curtained area on the right to change into the hospital gown and get situated. They checked my vitals, went over the anesthesia and discharge information and then got my IV set up. It was just a fluid IV, since I wasn’t able to eat or drink from midnight onwards.
When they were ready, we walked back to the procedure room. My first retrieval wasn’t done by my own doctor but another doctor at the practice. They rotate where they are in the office each day so I wasn’t surprised. Before I knew it, I was waking up back in the curtained area where I began. All in all, they told me it took about 20 minutes and everything went well. I had IV fluids going, a heating pad on and I was finally able to drink. Not being able to drink water is one of my least favorite parts of the process. It sounds minimal but sometimes I even dream about it before the procedure, because I’m one of those people that pretty much won’t be seen without a water bottle.
Anyway, it all went well and they told me that they were able to get 7 eggs. The embryologist would confirm the following day how many were mature and how many fertilized through the ICSI process. This is a more precise process that essentially allows them to directly put one sperm into one egg, maximizing chances of fertilization.
We found out that we got 7 eggs (all mature) and 6 fertilized. That was good news but they still needed to grow into blastocysts over the next few days in order to be a potentially viable embryo. We had 3 that grew to the appropriate blastocyst stage and were biopsied for PGT-A testing. Our doctor recommended chromosome testing for our specific situation so they took a biopsy of each blastocyst and sent the sample away for testing.
About 3 weeks later we finally got the call that only 1 was considered normal and potentially viable. While we were excited to have 1 potentially viable embryo, it was definitely a reality check. Honestly, we went into the process quite naive and thought we’d do one retrieval, get a few embryos and jump straight to an embryo transfer. That didn’t seem to be our reality though and we had to figure out our next steps.