Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If I knew then, what I know now...

Now that I am three days out from the egg retrieval, I feel as though I have far more knowledge about the whole process than I did four days ago.

On Monday, I thought the retrieval day would be a bit easier.  I knew that I would be grogy after waking up from the procedure.  I knew I would be crampy after waking up from the procedure and for about 24-36 hours after the procedure.  I knew that I would need to double up on fluids.  I thought I knew a lot about what I was getting myself into.  For the love of God, I read all of the materials - so I should be totally prepared!  I was wrong.

On Tuesday, after I woke up from the procedure, I felt pretty good.  Hello drugs.  I went home, I ate lunch, I watched TV, answered work emails and I took a little nap or three.  I thought I was totally good to go.  I was an idiot.  The next morning I woke up, ready to take on the world - well, I was until I sat up anyways.  Good gracious - hello to you too ovaries.  I showered and looked for something to wear.  Six shirts and four pairs of pants later, I settled on some leggings and a dress.  Not because that's what I really wanted to be wearing, but because that is the only thing that fit.  I went to work, prepared to be productive and get myself caught up.  Foolish, foolish little girl.  I should have taken it as a hint when Dr. Levy was surprised I had actually come to work that day.  Somehow I made it through my first day back at work without falling asleep.  I guess the anesthesia takes longer to wear off than I thought...

Day two post-retrieval, I was still not capable of wearing anything but leggings and a tunic-dress.  Thank the Lord, I am a big believer in owning leggings.  I would not have survived without them.  I was still SO bloated and I was peeing about every 45 minutes thanks to all of the gatorade and water I was drinking - my pee had never been so clear in my life.  Apparently, this was a good sign.  About half-way through the day, I realized something.  I had not pooped since the morning of the retrieval.  If you know me, you know that I hate nothing more than bathroom humor and pooping.  Seriously - my mother made me a snob when it came to the topic.  I grew up in a home where ladies did not use bathroom humor and ladies did not talk about pooping.  (Sorry Mom, you might not want to hear this.)  By the end of the day on Thursday, I would have given my left leg to poop.  I tried everything: prunes, fiber one, coffee, docolax.  Nothing worked.

Today, three days out from the procedure, I am still crampy and I have yet to poop.  My ovaries hate when I laugh too hard, sneeze, cough, blow my nose or even roll over in the middle of the night without warning them. However, today we had a HUGE milestone in my post-retrieval battle.  I can wear real people pants!  I was so excited about this I made a point to go around and share the information with my co-workers.  Today is a day that I am very happy to work in a place where "OH MY GOD! MY PANTS FIT TODAY!!!" is cause for celebration and people don't look at you like you are crazy.

So if you are in the same boat as I am and will be doing IVF, or you are thinking about freezing your eggs for fertility preservation, let me give you some advice:
1. Start taking colace a day or two before your egg retrieval and keep taking it in the days after... I do not wish this kind of constipation on even my worst enemy.
2. Do not hang out with anyone who is mildly entertaining - your ovaries will thank you... and so will your bladder.  I am 99% sure I peed a little every time I laughed because my bladder was so full.
3. Try not to go through this in the winter when the sniffles are a normal thing and blowing your nose is common practice. Ouch.
4. Buy leggings if you don't already own them: not only are they stylish, but they fit and will make you feel like you actually accomplished getting dressed for the day.
And most importantly:
5. Surround yourself with the people who love you.  I have been so incredibly blessed to have such supportive family, friends and co-workers.  I know that I would not have gotten through this without them... even if they are the reason I peed myself a little.