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.
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog - You are so brave, in both what you’re going through and in sharing it. It’s hard to find a personal post about IVF nowadays! Please continue to share your journey, and all the best! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you Charmaine. xoox Kim
Angie Clark - Thank you for sharing! As a newlywed I’ve only just begun focusing on natural fertility which in itself is a bit overwhelming, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’ve spent most of my life helping raise other people’s children for a living & growing up w/out a mom who left when I was a toddler, becoming a mother would be a dream come true. Thoughts & prayers your way lady love during this journey ♡♡ xo
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you so much Angie. xoxo Kim
Sharon - Wow there is so much prep that goes into this day. I hope you are doing well and not feeling to bad. I am praying for you.
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you so so much Sharon. xo, Kim
Roos Fakkel-Pesch - Dear daughter of mine.
I very much admire your determination, strenght and fearlessness.
Knowing that as a kid and even young adult, you were fearful whenever you needed an injection.
My hat is off to you Kim.
I hope with all of my heart that this time things will align just wright, so that you and Blake will have the family you are hoping for and are more than ready for.
XOXO your Mom❤️
eat.sleep.wear. - THANK YOU MAMA!!! LOVE YOU!!! xoxo Your Loving Daughter <3
Amy - Soooo glad you posted this! I am going to refer back to it and buy all the necessities! Hope you are recovering faster this time around. Sending good vibes…
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you so so much. Glad I can help in any small way 🙂
Tanna Barker - I’m wishing you lots of luck. I’ve had friends go through this and I’ve seen first hand how emotionally and physically draining it all can be. I also hope hubby will have time to decompress as supporter as well.
On a TMI note, the first bowel movement after baby (c-section or vaginal delivery) is also brutal to traumatized areas. It’s almost more scary than having the baby!
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you so so much!! I CAN ONLY IMAGE. Poop trauma ALL AROUND!!!
The pink pineapple - Great post
Diana Lopes - You’re so courageous to be going through this and actually being able to share it with us! It’s nice to know we can go through this with positivity and peace at mind =)
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you for the kind words. xoxo Kim
Harolina - In prepping for my future going through IVF (waiting till after the holidays) reading your story couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you so much for sharing it all, it has given me an insight and some courage. (Crazy scared here!) Wishing you all the best! Sending you light, love and courage. Thank you, thank you!
eat.sleep.wear. - I am so glad I could help in any small way. I KNOW how scary it is looking into the face of the unknown. The treatment is intense and it’s all so much info thrown at you. But listen, you are going to be prepared and you are going to be a rockstar!!! Stay strong. You can do this. xo, Kim
Seppy - Thinking about you and sending you positive vibes sweetie!! You have a hoard of people behind you and wishing the best for you and Blake! Hope the recovery is going a bit better this time..
eat.sleep.wear. - Thank you so so much! Means the world to have your support. xo, Kim
Tanna - How are you feeling now? I check in periodically to see how it’s going for you two.
eat.sleep.wear. - Starting to feel much much better thank you so much for asking! xo
Emily - Thank you so much for sharing your IVF Journey. After a year of unsuccessful treatments, we are gearing up for our first IVF round in a few weeks. Your posts are extremely helpful and I really appreciate all of your advice and honesty. xo
eat.sleep.wear. - AH exciting to be starting IVF Emily. Crossing my fingers and toes for you. Stay strong! xo
J. - I really admire your courage and openness thoughout your IVF experience. My SIL is currently going through the process and I was wondering what have been the most meaningful gestures, words, prayers, anything that someone has given you that have given you strength? I’m struggling with how best to support her during this difficult journey.
Praying for a sweet baby soon for you and Blake!
eat.sleep.wear. - If you can, please shoot me an email and I will be happy to send you some personal thoughts on the matter. firstname.lastname@example.org
Carey Bennett - My best friend shared your articles with me when I was struggling (and still am today). Yesterday was my 1st IVF embryo transfer. Out of 11 eggs, I had two embryos left. The one they transferred and one they were watching to freeze. Unfortunately, the 2nd didn’t make it. So, I cried all day today fearing that I will have to start the whole process (and the injections) over again. Which I will do again, even if my body is screaming no way! I’m trying not to get hopeful about my current embryo. This is a terrifying, nasty-emotional process. Your blog has made me feel less alone. Thank you!
P.S. The egg retrieval prep is spot on 🙂
eat.sleep.wear. - OH Carey, I know this pain all too well. Not part of IVF is easy that is for sure. Sending good vibes for your transfer and sending you lots of strength. No matter what, DONT GIVE UP!!! xoxo
Carey Bennett - P.S.S. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!
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