It started at the arse-crack of dawn… Getting May vertical without the lure of tea wasn’t quite as difficult as I feared, but I guess there were other motivations to get things over and done with.
We’re fortunate that there is a bus route that is door to door between chez May and Riverside clinic. In the pre-rush-hour traffic it took just 25 minutes, alas a rather sweltering 55 minutes on the way home.
The hospital was rather like a hotel in many ways. We reported to reception, where our names were on the list, and no sooner than our bums had touched the waiting room seats a porter had appeared to escort us to our room – a private room all to ourselves. There were brochures and numbers for room service by the phone and a lunch menu worthy of a hotel with order form.
We shuffled around nervously in our room for about 45 mins before a nurse came in and checked we were who we were supposed to be and for there for the right reason before taking blood pressure and leaving gown and slipper socks for May. The anaesthetist also popped in to introduce herself and ask similar questions. A few minutes later Dr George came in to see how we were, check our notes and treatment, echo praise for May (as a proxy for satsuma) for responding so well to the drugs and check if we had any questions. He let us know that May was about half way down the list, which approximated to 11-11:30 kickoff.
So we had a couple of hours to kill. We checked our messages of support on various blogs and twitters (thanks all), May read, I played games on my iPad. May picked omelette (eggs out, eggs in – I love her style) and ice cream for lunch. Then suddenly at 9:45 the phone input room rang… I was being summoned by the embryology lab for my ‘contribution’. Over which I draw a discrete veil, suffice to say that it was probably less traumatic and more ‘fun’ than May’s experiences, the free wifi was useful and it was certainly quicker, as I was back up in our room by 10:20. May meanwhile was told they were running very quickly and smoothly today (little did they know) and probably would get down to business at 10:30. So we only had a few minutes to share anecdotes/notes before she donned the bright yellow slipper socks and was shuffled away.
Scheduled to take half an hour and then another half an hour in recovery. I settled in with my computer games for a while. After an hour and twenty minutes I suddenly realised what the time was and started to get slightly concerned. As if by magic the nurse popped in with an update to say May was still very drowsy and needed another 15 minutes in recovery, but reassured me it went OK and she was fine, after 20 minutes another update visit from the nurse saying anoth 10 minutes recovery required… So, if your ready for wibbly-wobbly FX I’ll take you back to what happens with May and the cause for these delays ~~~
May’s dehydration (nil by mouth since midnight) meant her already recalcitrant back of the hand veins were determined to play hide and seek with the anaesthetist and her assistant. After a few minutes of painful digging they declare a rather bruised (pride for nurses, physical for May – ouchy) truce, the cannula had to go to the crook of the arm instead. Once under May doesn’t remember much (probably just as well), but apparently Dr George reported that it was the most challenging egg collection he had done. Satsuma had taken her high ground sulking stance and stuck with it. So, as foreboded, a nurse had to push down hard while an extra long probe was used. Dr George admitted he feared he might not be able to see anything, but once in position with the right forces applied he had no problems and was able to retrieve the majority of the large follicles – 13 eggs in total, the extra fussing meant not only was May’s procedure longer, but subsequently the recovery was longer too. When May started to come round they asked her about pain levels immediately, when her lower lip wobbled and she croaked she was very sore, there was no hesitation in feeding tramadol into the iv line, which started acting mercifully quickly.
While May was under room service had delivered a jug of water, so the May rehydration project began immediately. The nurse bringing her back in also made sure room service had a cup of tea on the way. A saline flush was put through the iv line and then 500ml of mayonnaise (aka intralipids), which meant May had a very leisurely recovery time of over four hours. After about an hour May was feeling up to considering her lunch, so that was duly summoned from the kitchen – a very grand mushroom omlette, which included oyster and enochi mushrooms in the mix along with a real portion of nice mixed leaf salad (not the usualy limp iceburg and cucumber chunk garnish) served under a proper cloche (albeit stainless steel, rather than silverware). The icecream was tub of proper devon vanilla with the flecks of vanilla pod in. Dr George popped in again to check on May and again see if we had questions. Having observed other’s IVF treatments via the interwebs I can certainly say that our clinic does seem to make an effort to ensure we’re fully informed (excusing the small blip before we started). After making sure May had eaten enough and was settled I ventured up the road to a deli that May recommended. It was very pleasant to escape the hospital for a little while and I had lunch with John Cleese, well OK he was a few tables away in the attached restaurant next door – I had lunch in the presence of John Cleese.
Back in our room we continued to toy with the wifi on our iDevices and I had a little snooze at one point I think. May put on the TV to watch some soothing David Attenborough, which was followed by a delightfully old edition of Antiques Roadshow – all the presenters so much younger. The mayonnaise took a long old while, but nothing further exciting to report, it was very hot and sticky – the nurse flushed and removed the canula and said we were free to go. EC day achieved and now we wait for the mixing results…