My Egg Freezing Journey Part 4: The Reaping
After almost two weeks of pre-work ultrasounds and daily injections, it’s time for the big day, when the doctor will retrieve my eggs and freeze them. It can’t come soon enough.
My boobs feel like watermelons attached to my chest. My stomach is full of bruises where I’ve done a less-than-expert job of injecting hormones. My arms are full of bruises from the frequent blood tests, and I’ve got some rather sharp cramps going on in my abdomen. But the worst part is…I’ve been told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before the procedure. I’m not sure if the hormones have made me ravenous, or just given me an excuse to embrace my inner pig, but I’ve been an unstoppable eating machine lately. So by 8:30 am the following morning, I’m ready to murder someone and eat them.
As irritable as I am, I’ve managed to shave my legs out of politeness to whoever is going to be between them during the surgery.
After a good 45 minutes in the waiting room, which only makes me hungrier and more irritable, I’m summoned behind a heavy door and told to put on a series of surgical gowns. Perhaps because I am too busy futzing around trying to get a picture of myself doing the Angelina Jolie at the Academy Awards Sexy Leg pose:
I am sent back twice to re-do the whole thing.
Once I’ve got the correct gown configuration--one facing the back, one on top of that facing the front--I ask if I will be able to take a picture of my eggs because I want to show them off at my 20th high school reunion. The nurse responds by taking my phone away. Apparently you only get a picture if you are making fertilized embryos, and no one gets to take a phone in there.
A distinguished-looking man with salt-and-pepper hair and a charming foreign accent invites me to follow him into the operating room. He will be administering my anesthesia this morning, so I think I like him. I hop up on the operating table while a team of people in blue scrubs, hairnet-thingies, and face masks starts to wordlessly drape me with towels. The anesthesiologist asks me about my health history while trying to start an IV in my already-bruised left arm.
Here’s a fun fact: did you know that when you are dehydrated, it’s harder to get a needle in your vein? And that when you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight before a surgery—because your stomach needs to be empty for anesthesia—it just makes it more difficult to start an IV?