Becoming an Egg Donor: The Retrieval


Diane (not her real name) has embarked on the journey of becoming an egg donor at CNY Fertility Center and will share her thoughts during the process in her blog here. If Diane’s journey and stories that she shares compels you to look in to becoming an egg donor we would love to get you started. The first step is to fill out our Donor Eligibility Questionnaire – click here to begin.
The Retrieval:

The last few days before my egg retrieval were really when the action took place.  On Wednesday, at my last appointment prior to the retrieval, I was given a shot of the FSHs again and the final shot of Cetrotide.  I was very happy to be done with the Cetrotide, as you may recall, that injection did sting a bit.  On Thursday morning I took my injection of the FSHs, which by now I was a complete pro at giving myself!  Then on Thursday evening at exactly 8pm (as my retrieval was scheduled for 8am Saturday) I gave myself the final injection of the entire process.  This of course, was the most important shot and the timing of when I gave it to myself was imperative.  They called this shot of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropins) the “trigger shot” because it provides the final phase of the egg development.  I made sure to give myself this final injection at precisely the correct time.  It stung a bit more than the FSH shot did but it wasn’t bad.
On Friday I had no more injections to take.  I did, however, experience some effects of that final shot.  All day Friday I was a bit emotional, but experienced no other PMS symptoms.  After midnight on Friday I was not allowed to eat or drink anything until after the retrieval.
Saturday morning arrived and I had some mixed feelings.  I was excited to be in the final step of the process but over the last two weeks I’d been working so intensely with the egg donor team that I was almost a bit sad that I was going to be completely done.  I had someone drive me to the appointment.  When we pulled in I experienced a bit of pre-surgery nerves which were quickly calmed by the sweet nurse who worked to get me prepped for surgery.  I was of course, given a very stylish gown to wear, along with warm socks and a little cap to cover my hair.  The nurse guided me to the surgery room and covered me with a warm blanket which felt amazingly comforting.  I was on a big chair that reclined and there was an ultrasound machine next to me.  The doctor would use the ultrasound images to guide him as he extracted the eggs.  The nurse went over the post-op instructions and put in my IV.  The doctor came in and introduced himself and gave me a great, positive pep talk.   Then the anesthesiologist entered and introduced himself.  He was like a comedian.  If anyone could make you feel relaxed about going under for surgery, this man was it!  One minute we were talking and laughing and the next thing I knew the doctor was repeating my name.  I managed to open my eyes a bit but the anesthesia still had a firm grip on me.  He told me the procedure was done and they were able to get nine eggs!
Normally the most they ever retrieve is ten, so nine was a great number.  I was happy they got so many and after hearing it I drifted back to sleep.  The nurse had said most people wake up within a half hour or so but I’ve always reacted strongly to anesthesia and they weren’t able to get me up for an hour and a half.  Once I was somewhat coherent the nurse said everything went great, although I did bleed a tiny bit internally.  They inserted a medicine that would help stop the bleeding and she warned me that over the next two weeks when I pee there may be a coffee ground like substance coming out also.  She said that would just be the residual medicine and not to worry.  She again went over what was normal to expect (some cramping and spotting) and was not normal (fever, excessive bleeding, etc.).  After this I got dressed and was escorted out to my car.  The rest of the day I experienced no effects from the surgery itself (no spotting or cramping) but was still heavily affected by the anesthesia and I ended up sleeping most of the day. It really wasn’t until 8pm that the effects of it started to wear off.
So, after all the appointments, blood draws, injections given to myself in the tummy, ultrasounds, excessive amount of hormones, and surgery, would I do this again? If another woman needed a donor’s eggs to achieve pregnancy and start a family of her own and I could help by having to go through the whole process again?  Absolutely.  I can’t help but think of women and couples that go through these procedures repeatedly with no luck.  Sometimes all they need to assist them is a donor egg.  If I can help them by going through this process, donate two weeks of time and energy, in order for them to create and build a family then I’m in.