Although I’ve not had my egg retrieval yet (it is scheduled for tomorrow morning), I have spent the past week and a half preparing for it, both physically and emotionally. And in spite of all the shots, the raging hormones, and the ridiculous amount of time I spend at the doctor every day, the past ten days (minus one day, two days ago, when we got some not-so-great news) have been wonderful. We are so blessed to be able to be moving forward with IVF, and we are so excited for what God has in store for us… whatever that may be!
Here is a list of things (in no particular order) that I have done over the past couple of weeks to prepare for the day of our egg retrieval. Doing all of these things has really allowed to me enjoy this time of preparation, and to truly experience each moment.
How to Prepare for Your Egg Retrieval
- Dont make any major plans. You still dont know exactly what day your retrieval is going to be on, so do not schedule any trips, parties, or big events during the week leading up to your retrieval.
- By the time you
are about seven days into your injections, you may notice that you feel bloated. By the day of your egg retrieval, you may realize that youve gained a couple pounds. Dont panic. This is not the end of the world.
- Try to avoid big projects at work, and if you can, try to work from home that week! This may not be realistic for many people, but if its feasible, I recommend it. By the last few days of the week leading up to your retrieval, you are going to be uncomfortable due to your huge ovaries, and you are going to be distracted. Staying home helps eliminate some stress, and lets you enjoy these few days. Plus, you will likely be at the doctors office every day the week leading up to the retrieval. That was the case for me.
- Spend several hours at the beginning of the week in the kitchen. Do all the major cooking for the week so that you do not have to plan, prepare, and cook meals during the week. I made a big batch of steel cut oats, a loaf of bread, LOTS of baked chicken, loads of roasted veggies, and a giant batch of brown rice. I also chopped a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. This made eating well throughout the week a cinch. And believe me, you want to eat well this week. You may be feeling funky already, and eating poorly will only make you feel worse.
- Consider taking it easy in the exercise department. Your stomach will be bloated, and although this may not be the case for you, by day seven of my shots, my lower back was killing me. The only exercise I did was walking, and some very gentle yoga. My walks were incredibly short, and by a few days before my retrieval, I stopped walking altogether. It was just too uncomfortable. So be easy on yourself, and just enjoy the down time! Your body is already hard at work, and you will feel it. Exercising can wait until post-retrieval.
- Be prepared to have to order more meds. This is no fun, and in our case, I had to order more of almost everything, which meant paying $2,000 for meds originally, and then $1,300 more on top of that. Dont let it throw you through a loop just remind yourself it will all be worth it!
- Dont skimp on sleep. If you are anything like me you are going to feel exhausted the last several days of your shots, because so much is going on inside your body. Do not feel guilty about napping, and if taking naps is not an option for you, at least make sure to get adequate sleep each night.
- Get together with a friend (someone that is not your husband or a relative). Discuss your IVF if you want to, but make a concerted effort to talk about her. Chances are, you have been pretty self-absorbed over the past few weeks (it’s a necessity, so do not feel bad about it). Listening to her share what’s been going on in her life lately is a good reminder that, even when you do not feel like it, you are still blessed!
- Plan not to know when your retrieval is going to be until a day or two before. This is kind of frustrating so just commit to going with the flow!
- Even though you have every reason to be optimistic, you also need to prepare for things not to go as you plan. We got a major curve ball chunked at us the day before yesterday when we learned that, due to hyperstimulation, we would be able to proceed with the egg retrieval, but not with the transfer. We learned that we will have to freeze the embryos, and wait until next month for the egg transfer. This is NOT what we had planned on or hoped for, and it caught me off guard. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. So, be prepared for something not to go the way you expected. It might make the blow a bit easier to take if and when it comes.
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