Monday, September 7, 2009

Recovery

The recovery from the retrieval proved to be my least favorite part of the cycle. I developed a moderate case of OHSS and wasn't able to even stand up straight without a knife-like pain in my ovaries and side stitches in my rib cage for a week. I even had to cancel a job interview! Of course I was terrified that I would somehow end up in the hospital and have to tell my parents about the donation. Luckily, that didn't happen.

All in all, I was happy and proud that I had donated. There was something very gratifying about being able to give a childless couple hope that they might become parents after all. A day after the retrieval, I received a lovely thank you note from the intended parents, along with a gift card for a book store. I cherish that note and still look at it once in a while, nearly three years later. 

I enjoyed my first cycle and loved the intensity of the experience, although it was also stressful. I moved abroad for a job soon after the donation and did not think I would donate again. I was wrong....

5 comments:

  1. Egg Donors are the most crucial resource in the In Vitro Fertilization process and obtaining a proper match between Egg Donor and Egg Recipient is one of the greatest challenge. Learn about the process of what potential egg donors need to do to donate eggs to a recognized fertility center.

    Los Angeles Egg Donor

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,

    I have been an egg donor twice and just wanted to share some of my reflections on the Internet to help with others who may be considering going through the process. I'm glad I did it, but I was not aware of the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome I'd encounter. My sister looked online for information while caring for me, and I wanted to add to the collective information out there. Thanks!


    BEGIN NOTES:

    - Block out a little more than a week (~10 days) after retrieval date for recovery. It gets especially difficult toward the last few days.

    - Post-op, your lower abdomen will be very sore, you'll experience significant bloating/water weight gain, and your chest will likely feel tight due to shortness of breath. You may experience constipation, painful urination, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and perhaps some symptoms that I didn't personally go through.

    - Ask your nurse about bromocriptine ("Parlodel"), which is supposed to help prevent or at least mitigate symptoms of OHSS. Wish I knew about this before the first retrieval!! It's made a huge difference for me the second time around. Another major tip: check with your doctor, but administer the poll vaginally, not orally as it could cause nausea and other unpleasant side effects. Before insertion, run it through some water to make the process a little more comfortable.

    - Don't plan on much activity. A little walking at the beginning is OK but any more may prolong recovery.

    - Always have a good amount of food in your belly before taking meds, especially doxycycline and hydrocodone.

    - Have Tylenol Extra-strength at the ready. You should also get the provided hydrocodone scrip filled in case the pain is not tolerable, but beware its druggy side-effects.

    - If you get OHSS: Be sure to have Pepto-Bismol or Pedialyte on hand for nausea and/or diarrhea. For a stronger med, get a ondansetron ("Zofran") scrip which is great for nausea & vomiting. Also, have a gentle laxative at the ready (doesn't hurt to have your medicine cabinet stocked!) Of course, check one of the many drug interaction websites in case you're taking any other medications.

    - If vomiting, get electrolytes back in your body. Gatorade (I like the low-cal versions) and electrolyte-enriched water (e.g. Whole Foods brand) are good for this. Coconut water also naturally has electrolytes.

    - Stock the pantry with bland foods e.g. instant mashed potatoes, saltines, plain white bread, applesauce. Baby food and puréed soups are an awesome way to get your veggies in. Personal advice: go organic or at least "natural" wherever possible: better safe than sorry when your tummy's this sensitive.

    - Have loose-fitting clothing for bloating. You won't want to wear a bra! Work hard at staying hydrated by taking small sips of cold fluids regularly. Eat foods low in sodium. (This will minimize extra pressure from bloating.)

    - Don't plan on driving or performing heavy-duty thinking during recovery. If you need to keep business appointments, try to at least have them via phone/Skype and minimized.

    - Your back/body will hurt from being sedentary. See if you can sleep on a nice mattress or at least use pillows for props.

    - Get in plenty of exercise before retrieval so you don't lose too much muscle during recovery. (Stay hydrated & nourished for blood draws, though. I made the mistake of doing too much hot yoga and not drinking enough water. I almost fainted at the blood draw--not fun!)

    - Mayo Clinic: "Avoid sex, as it may be painful and can cause a cyst in your ovary to rupture."
    ...My thoughts; You totally won't feel like it anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello,

    I have been an egg donor twice and just wanted to share some of my reflections on the Internet to help with others who may be considering going through the process. I'm glad I did it, but I was not aware of the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome I'd encounter. My sister looked online for information while caring for me, and I wanted to add to the collective information out there. Thanks!


    BEGIN NOTES:

    - Block out a little more than a week (~10 days) after retrieval date for recovery. It gets especially difficult toward the last few days.

    - Post-op, your lower abdomen will be very sore, you'll experience significant bloating/water weight gain, and your chest will likely feel tight due to shortness of breath. You may experience constipation, painful urination, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and perhaps some symptoms that I didn't personally go through.

    - Ask your nurse about bromocriptine ("Parlodel"), which is supposed to help prevent or at least mitigate symptoms of OHSS. Wish I knew about this before the first retrieval!! It's made a huge difference for me the second time around. Another major tip: check with your doctor, but administer the poll vaginally, not orally as it could cause nausea and other unpleasant side effects. Before insertion, run it through some water to make the process a little more comfortable.

    - Don't plan on much activity. A little walking at the beginning is OK but any more may prolong recovery.

    - Always have a good amount of food in your belly before taking meds, especially doxycycline and hydrocodone.

    - Have Tylenol Extra-strength at the ready. You should also get the provided hydrocodone scrip filled in case the pain is not tolerable, but beware its druggy side-effects.

    - If you get OHSS: Be sure to have Pepto-Bismol or Pedialyte on hand for nausea and/or diarrhea. For a stronger med, get a ondansetron ("Zofran") scrip which is great for nausea & vomiting. Also, have a gentle laxative at the ready (doesn't hurt to have your medicine cabinet stocked!) Of course, check one of the many drug interaction websites in case you're taking any other medications.

    - If vomiting, get electrolytes back in your body. Gatorade (I like the low-cal versions) and electrolyte-enriched water (e.g. Whole Foods brand) are good for this. Coconut water also naturally has electrolytes.

    - Stock the pantry with bland foods e.g. instant mashed potatoes, saltines, plain white bread, applesauce. Baby food and puréed soups are an awesome way to get your veggies in. Personal advice: go organic or at least "natural" wherever possible: better safe than sorry when your tummy's this sensitive.

    - Have loose-fitting clothing for bloating. You won't want to wear a bra! Work hard at staying hydrated by taking small sips of cold fluids regularly. Eat foods low in sodium. (This will minimize extra pressure from bloating.)

    - Don't plan on driving or performing heavy-duty thinking during recovery. If you need to keep business appointments, try to at least have them via phone/Skype and minimized.

    - Your back/body will hurt from being sedentary. See if you can sleep on a nice mattress or at least use pillows for props.

    - Get in plenty of exercise before retrieval so you don't lose too much muscle during recovery. (Stay hydrated & nourished for blood draws, though. I made the mistake of doing too much hot yoga and not drinking enough water. I almost fainted at the blood draw--not fun!)

    - Mayo Clinic: "Avoid sex, as it may be painful and can cause a cyst in your ovary to rupture."
    ...My thoughts; You totally won't feel like it anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is great post. I actually searched for this type of post. Thus i am here. I read the post and amused to see its content. This is really a helpful post. Thanks for sharing this kind of informative post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this post! I had a miscarriage 7 years ago. I still can’t hold back my tears when I remember that horrible period of my life. After my loss I couldn’t get back to life for a long time. I’m glad I have my husband. He gave me support I needed the most. Together we can do everything! We wanted to have kids for a really long time. We’ve gone through a lot, but believe me, if you want something badly, you’ll get it! Don't let anyone to destroy your goals! Some people simply don't understand our problem. It's our life and our decisions. We are the only one, who can make our future better. We were looking for clinic with lower prices and at the same time good service. We used Ukrainian clinic and paid €6 900. We had 2 attempts in general. We asked our doctor to find egg donor, who will have same features as I have. I consider my girls as my own. I’m their mother, I carried them and gave them birth. I don’t even think about the procedure or donor. We were met in the airport by taxi driver, who was carrying us across Kiev by his car. He was transporting us to the clinic and our apartment, which was also provided by the clinic. We had a manager and she translated everything for us. She spoke language fluently, so there were no misunderstandings. They even provided us with food supply! All these services were already included in our package. We didn't pay some extra fees not a single time. The only thing which we cared about was de ivf procedure. Our doctor knows her job very well! We have no complains. Thanks to her professionalism I have my precious daughters.

    ReplyDelete