While preparing to cycle at CCRM, I read plenty of blogs that described the professionalism of the surgical staff. As a result, I went in there with high expectations, and I was not disappointed! Although no surgery is fun, I was impressed with how smoothly everything went and how professional the staff was. In the following account, you’ll see that it’s the little things they do that make this experience so much better.
The day before the egg retrieval, I received a call from the anesthesiologist. He asked if we had any questions and reminded me not to eat or drink anything after midnight. I’ve had a lot of surgeries, and I’ve never received a call from the anesthesiologist before. It’s the little things, you see!
We had instructions to arrive at CCRM at 8:45 a.m., exactly one hour before the scheduled procedure. The nurse instructed us to park in the garage located underneath the clinic. We pulled up to a little black box, talked to a receptionist, and the garage door opened. Our car was the only one in the garage at that time. Just inside the entrance, there was an elevator. We pressed 2 and were whisked right up the second level, arriving in the lobby of the surgical area. The staff had already been notified of our arrival.
The hubby got to sit with me the whole time before surgery. A nurse (Terri) showed me to a room and gave me blankets that had obviously just come out of the dryer. Again, it’s the little things! I changed into a gown and those dumb blue booties and hat, and rested in the bed underneath the warm blankets. Terri came back in the room with a hot towel that she wrapped around my hand and forearm. Then she injected me with numbing medicine before starting my IV. I honestly didn’t feel anything, but she said the IV is the worst part of the process for most people.
Once the IV was in, I was ready for surgery. The hubby and I joked nervously until about 9:30, when Dr. Minjarez came in to introduce herself. She is SO nice! Our friends in real life have spoken very highly of her, and she seemed to recognize their names when we told her. After she left, we felt very at ease with what was to come.
At exactly 9:45, the anesthesiologist came in and quickly administered the “happy cocktail” that relaxed me as I was wheeled to the operating room. My DH took a seat back in the lobby of the surgical area, and provided his “contribution” in an upstairs andrology area while I was put under. The egg retrieval lasted only about 20 minutes, and then I was wheeled to the recovery room.
When I awoke, a neat contraption was blowing warm air on me underneath my blankets. Again, it’s the little things! (I desperately want one of those things for my own personal use!) Before I even knew it, Terri had ushered my DH to my bedside as I gradually became less groggy. I was in a little pain, so I was given some medicine through my IV. For some reason, I had a terribly upset stomach, but a little more pain medicine helped with that. The hubby helped me to get dressed and sit in a chair next to the bed. When I got out of bed, there was a huge mess left behind that I was initially horrified might be blood, but it was actually Betadine! Terri gave me a plate of crackers and my choice of beverage (water), and I rested in the chair and ate a few crackers while I became more alert.
After a little bit, a woman from embryology arrived to tell us how many eggs were retrieved. She also talked to us about what to expect the rest of the week–the fertilization call would come the next day, and then we wouldn’t hear anything else until Day 6. At that point, they’ll let us know how many blasts were biopsied for CCS testing.
When I was ready, Terri removed the IV, and I was free to get up. Before we left, I had to use the restroom. Ouch, did that burn!!! By the end of the day, though, the burning sensation had gone away. A little spotting is normal, and I only experienced it for one day. Terri took me in a wheelchair in the elevator to the garage and dropped me off right at the passenger door.
CCRM’s policy is that you should recuperate in Denver for 24 hours before traveling home, but we left Denver immediately. I wouldn’t necessarily advise this if you’re driving, since bumps in the road didn’t feel great, but I was ready to get home. They just want you to be near the clinic if there are complications, so they recommend staying one more night in Denver. I took Tylenol for pain the day of surgery, and I’ve felt a little better every day since then.