Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Making half-babies - part two

The next week was a blur of appointments with the fertility doctor. Each appointment involved a vaginal ultrasound. I was most disappointed to discover that they didn't come with a vibrate or massage option. As it turns out I was very fertile and had a large number of eggs developing nicely. So barely two weeks after my lumpectomy, I was scheduled for another operation - egg harvesting. Exactly 36.5 hours before my operation, I had to give myself a 'trigger shot'. As I waited for the precise time to come, I read through the side effects I could expect. The usual side effects were there - headache, nausea and cramping. The only side effect I experienced was insomnia - from waiting for the side effects to kick in!

The next morning saw me visit the Wesley hospital yet again. I wasn't feeling as nervous as the last time I had to put on the backless gown and paper undies. As I was lying on the bed, waiting to be wheeled in, the anaesthetist came and spoke to me. I gave my usual information about always vomitting after anaesthetic, so please give me lots of the anti-vomit drugs. She kindly asked if I had any questions and there was only one question going through my mind. I thought about being wheeled into the theatre, where I would recognise only three of the 12 faces staring at me from behind their blue masks. The question was that if I had to be in stirrups for the procedure - as I wasn't that comfortable with strangers looking at my va-jay-jay! Since I was going to be in stirrups, I had one request which was that she ensure that I am well and truly unconscious before my ankles went anywhere near a stirrup. I knew I was going to lose my dignity, but I didn't want to witness it.

The operation was a success with 21 eggs harvested. Apparently the doctor told me this during recovery, but I can't remember. However, also whilst in recovery I can clearly recall using a bed pan and overflowing it and living through the nightmare of having my sheets and paper undies changed by two nurses in my semi-conscious state! I thought the body was supposed to shut out traumatic events such as being attacked by a shark, hit by a bus and wetting your bed as an adult! Especially when you are incapable of cleaning up after yourself. On the whole, the egg harvesting process wasn't as traumatic as I thought (apart from the bed wetting episode). I am not sure if it was the doctor of my body's ability to cope with the influx of hormones, but I did pretty well, so I was grateful for both.

Looking back at that first few weeks I was in a daze. It had just been over three weeks since my diagnosis and so much had happened. I was fortunate to have doctors who guided me. It wouldn't have occurred to me to get my eggs harvested. I know the IVF road is a tough one, but I think compared to what else I had to deal with, it was just another week in my imploded life. People keep telling me that I was so strong and brave. I don't think I was either, I just did what the doctor's were telling me to do. If there was an option of a cure by sitting on a tropical island drinking cocktails for a week - I would be there in an instant! I was scared and woke up often at 2am and cried thinking about what was ahead of me. I thought that the only way to get to the end of this journey was to go through it, so I put my head down and forged ahead.

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