Today is the day. My third IVF egg retrieval surgery!! It’s been a long time coming prepping for this day. It’s taken me a prep time of 2 months to get me to this day so that is very special. In the past I have shared longer posts recapping the whole process of IVF but I thought it might be helpful to shed some light on how I prepare for my egg retrieval and recovery. IVF is a such a personal journey and I know everyones experience is uniquely different. Some ladies out there recover quickly. Unfortunately, I am not one of those unicorns. So for you ladies out there that don’t breeze through egg retrieval, or you first timers about to get started, I wanted to share some things I do each time to prep myself. Some of it is TMI but I think that starts going out the window on the day of your first infertility appointment where they shove a stick up your…
My biggest piece of advice for egg retrieval and recovery is to be kind to yourself. The process is so draining emotionally, financially and physically that it’s sometimes hard to remember that you need to give yourself as much self love as possible. I am lucky enough to work from home and have flexibility with my schedule which allows me to take the much needed time off to really prep myself. For those that are not so lucky, I highly recommend, if you have them, taking a couple extra sick days or vacation days around this time. Be kind to your body. You have been through so much. Below are the things that help me get through surgery and recovery. Again, everyones body is different and what might work for me might not work for you. But I do want to share these with you in hopes to help sooth the process in anyway I can.
Sheets + Pajamas
Since I will spending a considerable amount of time in bed, I always make sure to wash the sheets the night before my retrieval. It’s one of those things you can easily forget so it’s high on my list to make sure that everything feels cozy for when I get home from the surgery center. I also make sure to run a final load of clothes through the washing machine. I make sure to set out 2 sets of my favorite pajamas so when I get home, I change and just hop in bed. This also makes it easier if I am not feeling well for Blake to quickly grab what I need. My current favorites are from eberjey, gap body, and target.
I am not the best at hydrating normally so this part is extra hard for me. After they remove the eggs from your follicles, those follicles then fill up with fluid. YIKES. Basically it makes you the most bloated and uncomfortable you have ever been in your life. You look 5 months pregnant. It’s like a cruel, cruel joke. But, hydration is key to help with bloating and overall recover. I always stock up on these things in addition to chugging regular water: Gatorade, pedialyte powder to add into a water bottle, and coconut water. Get in as many electrolytes as possible.
Post Surgery Snacks
After surgery I am reaching for a juice box and as many crackers as I can get my hands on. I always bring a container of saltine crackers (this time I bought Ritz Whole Grain Crackers) in the car so I can munch on some on the way home. They are a great snack to keep on my nightstand for the first couple hours when I get home and I am easing back into eating. I also stock up on organic chicken noodle soup and usually have a bowl when I wake up in the afternoon.
I always have a super healthy meal the night before surgery. Roasted chicken with vegetables is always on the menu. This time we did chicken, green beens and cauliflower rice with lemon and seasons. I also stock up on other green veggies, rice, and herbal tea. Always good to have a few of my favorites on hand so cooking and shopping can be less stressful on Blake who will be taking care of me. Don’t forget you want to intake a lot of sodium so make sure to season everything up with salt. When I get to the checkout line, I also score a couple of magazines to throw on my nightstand.
So, this part isn’t going to be a pretty picture, but it has to be talked about. After anesthesia, it’s no secret that you become … blocked up. Constipation is a REAL problem. Normally this might not be as big of a deal but when they just took a needle to puncture your ladies bits to grab all your eggs, you have a lot going on already in the pain department. Constipation on top of ovary pain is a living nightmare. For my first retrieval it took me 1 week to poop. 1 WEEK. I feel like my fingers tingle just typing it. IT WAS AWFUL. So since then, I make sure to overly prepare for that. Enter Collace: Your new best friend. I take 200mg 2-3 a day starting the day of my trigger injection. Along with that, I always buy Metamucil fiber powder and they also have Metamucil fiber cookies (which I personally love). These are a must for me. Another helpful trick I have is slightly embarrassing but you know what, you do what you need to do when you need to poop. I always have my own version of a squatty potty next to my toilet post surgery. I use a tiny little stool to prop my feet onto. It tends to help things… evacuate…..! I know guys. Major TMI but seriously. If you are constipated for that long, you will do ANYTHING. Trust me, if you are about to go through IVF, go stock up on these things right now. You will thank me later.
One of the best things I ever bought was this microwavable heating pad. I actually own 2 of them. I basically rotate them and have them on my stomach as much as possible during recovery. It helps so much with the aches. I also take extra strength Tylenol. Pain and discomfort tend to get worse before they get better. Day 3 and Day 4 post surgery are pretty rough. Make sure to have have a heating pad on hand and plenty of Tylenol.
Good vibes are all you need after surgery. That is hard when you are dealing with pain but there are a few things to help put a smile on your face. I always have some of my favorite candles on hand to create a little zen spot on my nightstand. My diffuser also is ready to go with my lavender essential oil. Another thing I love to do is pre download some of my favorite rom-coms or shows to put on and try to zone out. Since we have a chrome cast in our bedroom, it’s easy for me a cast shows to my tv from my phone so I don’t have to get up. Luckily for me, I have Lola, Bowie and Miles that will for sure keep me company in bed. Never underestimate the power of animal healing. Lola will stay by my side all day and give me plenty of kisses when I am feeling crappy.