I woke up on the morning of the retrieval to tweets and messages of good wishes, light and love from so many people. I had gone to bed the night before, thinking about how my recipient might feel. This is a woman who I don’t know, whose pain and longing I’ll never have to feel … but we are connected.
I felt calm and actually quite excited – as soon as I had decided that I wanted to be an egg donor, I had been looking forward to this moment. You don’t realize at the time that it’s actually a really long road to this point. If it felt long to me, I can only imagine how long it must feel for the recipient. Waiting to hear that the donor is 150% committed to the process, waiting to hear that the hormone medication has worked correctly and finally, that “good” eggs have been retrieved.
After my last scan with the doctor (where I managed to leave my underwear in his rooms … long story) he’d said that there were around 8 follicles in one ovary and 4 or 5 in the other. Which is apparently good. I think. I’m terrible that way – I have about as much knowledge of my reproductive organs as I do about the workings of a fax machine. All I know is that my eggs are “good” (seriously, have you SEEN my beautiful kids?) and I have always been healthy … um … down below. So yes, I was good to go.
The night before the retrieval, I had to give myself one final injection at PRECISELY 22:45. Obviously Mika woke up at 22:15 with a raging fever and I spent the next hour fussing over him. When I eventually fell back into bed, I glanced at my phone to check Twitter/emails/Instagram and … SHIIIIIIIIIT! THE INJECTION! I flew out of bed and gave myself that jab faster than you can say hormonal mess. Then, in a panic (just before midnight) I sent an SMS to the clinic sister to tell her about my faux pas. She replied and told me not to panic, that the doctors always ran late, so it would have no effect on the success of the retrieval. *PHEW*
So I slept soundly and woke the next morning. I packed my post-op bag, slipped into something comfy and waited for my BFF, Murray, to fetch me. I had my cervical laser treatment at the same clinic earlier this year, so I knew the process. Check in and wait to go to the bed, change into the theatre gown etc.
Before I knew it, we were in theatre. I was chatting to one of the nurses about my Croatian connection when the doctor came in and asked how I was feeling, to which I replied “Great – really excited for my recipient!” I had the drip needle popped into my right arm and the last thing I remember was the doctor leaning over me to put the Dormucim into the needle at around 11:00 and saying, “Okay, we’re going to let you have a really nice sleep now!” And I was OUT!
I woke to the sound of the nurse showing Murray where I was. It was 13:00 and I felt awesome. I’m lucky to be one of those people who reacts well (really well) to any form of anaesthetic 30 minutes later and I was good to get up and head home. Which is when the nurse handed me a small gift and this card, which has made every trip to the clinic for a scan, every prick in the tummy with a hormone injection, every internal scan … TOTALLY worth it!
And here I am … just over two weeks post-retrieval. Tomorrow, on Friday 13 July, I’ll find out if my recipient is successfully pregnant. Tomorrow will be a day that I will never forget … I just know it.