Egg Collection Day
Wide awake before the 7.50 alarm, I never set it for the exact time which amuses Chris no end. Packed and ready to leave, Chris raided breakfast and bought me lots of cakes, nothing in the slightest bit healthy but that’s ok! Last pill to thicken the lining taken without water, why is it when you can’t have a drink, you want to all of the time. Teeth kind of cleaned, didn’t brush my tongue for fear of swallowing during the process.
The traffic getting to the clinic is bad, the heaviest we have encountered on all of our trips but still we get there with 5 mins to spare. At 09.30 we are due our scan and 10.30 I need to be in my room ready for the pick up. It gets to 09.45 and I dispatch Chris to the pharmacy to get the replacement Ovitrelle and some cash. Just after 10am I go in and the doctor explains that we have to check the lining to see whether a transfer is possible, if it is it will be on Monday.
The doctor inserts the probe, they use a glove on their probe rather than a condom, without the lube, which is what the Uk clinic use. I can immediately tell from her face that we are ok. All is good and she confirms that the lining is 8.8 mm which is perfect.
Back in the waiting area, ready to be called up to the second floor. I call Chris and he sounds out of breath bless him, he’s clearly rushing to the pharmacy which is about 12 minutes away. I give him the good news and I can hear the relief! One more hurdle crossed, now for the egg collection.
Simone comes to collect me and immediately questions where Chris is. She looks worried but I quickly reassure her that he will be back shortly. We both laugh as we agree that we definitely need him here today of all days! Today is where he is very much needed. My room which is very similar to the one I had last time, ensuite, leather chair and a bed. Simone explains that I need to go to the toilet, remove all jewellery and metal objects. She double checks that I have fasted and explains that I need to get changed into my nightshirt.
In comes another nurse to take my blood pressure and to double check at exactly that time I took my Ovitrelle, I confirm the detail. She confirms that the pick up will be at 11.00am. The nurse leaves and Simone explains the process for Chris. We have a little jar wrapped in a clear sealed plastic bag, a sticker with our names and our reference number, which he has to stick to the jar and a form to complete and sign. Once Chris done his sample he should take it to the lady on reception.
Simone also points out that Chris has a choice of rooms that he can do his sample in, my ensuite, my room or if he prefers there is a special room down the corridor, which I assume has magazines to encourage the process. She takes my breakfast order and leaves me until it is time to go to theatre.
Chris returns from a successful pharmacy mission and I explain what he needs to do. He picks up the jar and has 2 concerns. The first is that his penis is too big to fit in the jar and the second, that he will need a second jar. Do all men think the same, I guess they probably do! I explain his choices of rooms which I find very amusing and he tells me here is fine, the nurse will be along shortly to help him. Another male fantasy!
A nurse does indeed arrive, but not for Chris, she’s here to insert my cannula ready for my saline drip and the anaesthetic. She puts it in my arm which is far less painful than the back of my hand. I stare to my left so that I can’t see the needle, I sneak a quick look and immediately feel queasy.
It seems like an endless wait, half an hour in fact and every 5 minutes I’m asking the time. Even though I know it’s very annoying, I manage to stop myself asking after the first 3 times. Chris starts making a clicking noise and tapping his feet, he is clearly bored now. I ask him, whilst giggling if he can try not to be so irritating. He immediately starts laughing realising what he is doing and how annoying it is. Probably as annoying as me asking the time every few minutes!
Eventually Simone is here and I’m ready to go, a nameless man comes to carry my drip and to operate the lift. I stick very close to him paranoid about the drip in my arm and not wanting to yank it out. I then think to myself that he knows what he is doing, he must do this several times a day.
Whilst waiting for the lift another couple are waiting for the one next to it, she gives me a knowing smile. In those few seconds it felt like we were friends, she had clearly just been discharged after her pick up. We get up to the waiting area for theatre, I’m advised to take seat on a bench. Simone puts a green mesh hat on my head and green overshoes on my hotel slippers. She then puts hers’ on and then takes a seat next to me, we aren’t sure if we will be one minute or 5.
We chat, we talk about where I am from in England, my job, she asked how Jane had taken the news, we talked about her family and how her parents were visiting from Germany. And then it was time, the nameless man, wearing his theatre cap in the sort of way a French man would wear a beret, came to collect us and into theatre we walked. The Doctor introduced himself, he gave a really warm and friendly smile and told me he was doing the pick up, Simone then indicated for me to get up onto the table.
There is a little stool to step onto but even so, getting on to the bed was quite a challenge whilst trying to keep your dignity, not that that would matter in a few minutes time. Once up, I’m handed a blue cloth about the same size as the white ones used in the scanning room, this is for between my legs. My ankles are strapped up on to the stirrups, so they can’t move. The anaesthetist is talking to me about 2 inches from my face. At this point I am very aware that I didn’t scrub my tongue this morning, so am conscious of my breath.
The anaesthetist, introduced herself but there was so much going on that I didn’t catch her name. She put a pulse reader on my finger, followed by an oxygen mask explaining what she was doing. She had very pretty brown eyes and a big smile, it struck me just how friendly and reassuring all of the theatre staff were.
Next was the anaesthetic, she explained that I would soon go to sleep, I may feel a little dizzy which is normal and she would be there when I woke up. Simone told me that I would fall asleep shortly. They dimmed the lights in the theatre, I worried I wasn’t sleepy however within seconds I closed my eyes and was oblivious to everything going on.
I woke up in bright lights, behind a curtain in recovery, I’ve been here before, I could quite happily stay here. Before long the nameless man came to collect me, he took me on my trolley back to the lift and into my room. Chris was sat there waiting, doing his emails. He looks really happy to see me back, instantly concerned that I’m ok, which I am, I’m absolutely fine. Chris confirms the time, because I ask it again, not to be annoying but because I’m curious to know how long I have been gone, exactly half an hour.
A lovely nurse comes in to bring me some water. For some reason my arms are across my chest folded neatly, I’m guessing the theatre staff did this. Apparently, it’s not good as it doesn’t allow the drip to flow! She explains that the doctor will visit me and explain how it went but in the meantime, I’ll have my breakfast. I also need to visit the toilet and try to have a walk around.
Once she leaves the room I ask Chris to raid his collection from breakfast. I’m hungry so demolish the first piece of cake in the meantime Chris starts to demolish the vanilla muffin with choc chips bits. I think it must have been the look I gave that made him realise that he was eating the food that we’d packed for me knowing I’d be hungry.
He started giggling in realisation that he was munching through my breakfast. He handed me a third back, sat down and ate the other 2 cakes! The lovely nurse came back with my breakfast, which consisted of orange juice, they don’t allow you to have just water and another very small cake and croissant.
I’m intrigued about her, her English is perfect so ask where she is from. It transpires that she is from Norway and has been in Spain for 16 years, nearly half her life. I asked whether this was home now, and a touch of sadness showed in her expression, no she said, even after so long. It prompted me to ask is she’d go home one day to which she said it was unlikely as she was married to a Spaniard and they have children. Her husband, as with most Spanish she explained, are very close to their families so she couldn’t see it happening. With a very bright smile, she simply said, we all have to make choices and suddenly she looked much happier.
After an hour of being in my room waiting for the doctor I start to get impatient, I’m feeling fine. I’ve been to the toilet and I’d like to get the cannula, which is now becoming uncomfortable out, but still no sign. Another hour later, Chris pops out to find a nurse to check they hadn’t forgotten us, they haven’t of course. I was next on the list, but no I can’t have the cannula out until doctor was happy. 15 minutes later in walks a bright and cheery Simone and the Doctor, who I now see from his lab coat that his middle name is Hugo. If we didnt have a dog called Hugo and we had a boy I’d like to call him that.
He explains that all went well, they got 4 occtytes, I’m flushed with gratitude, Chris and I give a victory smile. The doctor explains no sex, exercise, swimming for 5 days and that I may get some spotting. Simone gives me an emergency number to call in case of a problem and a list of problematic signs to be aware of. We all shake hands, I thank the Doctor and Simone profusely. Simone then asks, what seems to be a very awkward question for her, how would we like to pay.
It was very sweet, clearly outside of her comfort zone but completely natural to us. Simone discharges me and brusk a nurse came to remove the intrusive cannula. She was efficient and specific with the number of strips of tape needed to hold the gauze on, it had to be four.
I dress, feeling great and very proud that we have another four. We meet Simone on the ground floor and she explains that she will call us every day starting tomorrow, to give us the progress. The first stage being fertilisation, it will then depend on how quick the cells grow over the next 2 days. Eggs that reach day three have the genetic biopsy test, along with the frozen embryos, which will be defrosted on Saturday lunchtime. I am to fly back out on Sunday ready for a transfer on Monday. This information was given with a gentle but firm reminder that until noon on Monday we will not know if here is anything to implant.
Chris and I agree that the update calls be made directly to him. If I get bad news it’s likely to make me fall apart at work and I don’t want that. It’s better that I find out of an evening and have time to process it because let’s be frank now, not all four will make it!
I really enjoy my gin & tonic on the flight home.