Tuesday, January 29

Duds and green-gowns

I have just got back after my Egg Retrieval, what a long long day, it is 8.30 pm. We left home at 2.15, head-first into the cold Israeli-wintery rain, hail and gale-force winds. On our way there the Donor told me the latest horror story from South Africa, the son of one of his business aquaintances had been murdered whilst picking up his son from a sports feild in Johannesburg last night. I still can't quite beleive it. No-one is immune from the everyday tragedy that is festering its' way into beautiful South Africa, everyone is a target.

So it was with my heavy heart that I plodded towards IVF #4 and the usual disorganised chaos that I am really NOT getting used to here. The pre-Egg Retrieval protocol is to first be checked by a nurse, ie blood pressure, temperature, and to fill out standard admission paperwork. Difference being, here (in not-so fancy-shmansy Private Hospital Assuta), this all takes place in a tiny little room with a non-stop flow of people making coffee, shouting over you/at each other, dodging blood pressure machines, stepping over cables of said blood-pressure machine. Just so so unprofessional. Then off to the ward to get changed into the super-duper green gown number. Who designed these things? Is it a dress? Is it an oversized t-shirt?

After a bit of confusion (normal Israeli-style) it was my turn to waltz through to the theatre, as I have mentioned before, this entails me walking down a corridor bussling with people, me trying not to make eye-contact with anyone, holding the back of the ghastly green gown thing so as not to reveal my posterior. The shirt/dress/gown thing comes up to your knees and you also receive colour-coordinated bright green plastic foot cover things. Oh, and I am bra-less (duh! totally naked actually) so my boobs wobble, so one hand protecting my dignity from behind and the other trying to control my D-cups. Not an attractive sight.

Once in the theatre, I have to establish a whole new relationship with an anaethetist that I haven't had before. First he has to get the needle in, which is always traumatic, I ofcourse am prepared and have done an Emla-smear across the whole area, and more, of where I knew he would be looking for a vein. I have two great blood-taking veins on my left hand side arm (they do it on the inside of your elbow, not in your hand) I know myself and my veins so ofcourse I did not feel a thing. But there is always a moment or two of deathly silence, when I think 'Oi, maybe he can't find a vein in my Emla's spot, and he will have to poke around in a non-Emla spot. Now that is trauma! Also, he needed to know about my little arrangement with the other anaethetist, and he had to comply as well, that is that he has to administer the yummy gooey la-la land stuff really slowly. So, it was great, all fuzzy and tingly and then Boom! Lights out!

I was in a lot of pain when I came around about a half hour later, so I got a Voltaren injection (with NO Emla, I am proud to say). The pain eased soon after. Groggy for a bit, and then back to really normal me. Good news, EIGHT little eggs were retrieved. Good good news.

Because of the anaesthetic, you have to hang around for a bit, eat a bit, drink a bit, and then wee. All done, I thought we could be going, when a nurse comes in and hands the Donor another 'Donor' package. He had made his 'donation' while I was under anaesthetic, so we were both a bit confused as to why they needed another one. He went to go and speak to the Laboratory Technicians to find out what the problem was, turns out there was a motility problem (swimming problem). So second donation done, we waited to see what the results would be of this second attempt. No change, Profman was consulted and he advised to go ahead with ICSI, which means:

"Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, pronounced "eeksee"[1]) is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg. This procedure is most commonly used to overcome male infertility problems. "

For more information follow this link:


I am not quite sure how to digest this new curve-ball. Either way it is irrelevant, there is IVF and ICSI, and there is hope. A year ago this same situation was the prelude to our first IVF, basic dud-sperm, and then with that first IVF and the subsequent 2 leading up to now, there had been no problem. It it is a bit confusing.

Tommorrow at 5pm I have to call the Profman about the either fertilised or non-fertilised status.

Looks like the Transfer will be done on Friday.


"Q: In which cases does removal of the fallopian tubes improve the outcome?
A: In recent years, impressive evidence has shown that hydrosalpinx (swollen fallopian tubes, filled with fluid) can reduce chances of implantation. It seems that the reason for this is that the fluid in the fallopian tubes contains inflammatory products that leak into the abdominal cavity and damage the embryo trying to implant itself in the endometrium. In cases of recurrent failure of IVF therapy, the condition of the fallopian tubes should always be assessed using a hysterosalpingogram and ultrasound scan. If the state of the fallopian tubes is very poorly, and might affect the implantation of the embryos, the benefit of their removal should be considered. The removal of oneor both fallopian tubes is performed by laparoscopy, where a laparoscope (a fine telescope) is inserted through an umbilical incision."