Egg Retrieval IVF Round 1

How to Mentally Prepare for the Egg Retrieval

I can do shots. I can do monitoring. But the egg retrieval is another story. Here's how I prepared for this dreaded day.

Since the very beginning of this journey, the concept of the “Egg Retrieval” has left me reeling: an operating table, my reproductive organs, and me being knocked out cold. Is there any other way? Unfortunately, there’s not. And now it’s here.


Today is “pre-op” day and we woke this morning at 5:00am to a dark and moody sky. We cabbed to the clinic and kicked-off the pre-op appointment with my blood work and vitals. Next we signed a thick stack of consent forms and then headed into the “information session” for a  quick play-by-play of what will go down tomorrow. The nurse who conducted the session was a no-nonsense type. I kept raising my hand to ask very detailed questions about the surgery and she finally stopped me and said: “Honey, you’re so nervous about this procedure, but honestly, it ain’t no big deal. TRUST ME!” and she rolled her eyes and quickly moved on.

Something about that sassy response instantly relaxed me and I realized that on the grand scheme of life, this 15-minute outpatient procedure truly “ain’t no big deal” and it’s time to suck it up. (On the other hand, the nurse who told me a few weeks ago that anesthesia is all about “keeping you sustained between sleep and death” needs to work on her sales pitch!)

After the appointment, we walked over to the hospital to tour the IVF suite where tomorrow’s procedure will take place. This was my idea, of course. One of my coping mechanisms in life is to arm myself with as much information as possible when faced with any fears. Having a mental picture of what tomorrow will bring really relaxed me. Of course we weren’t allowed in the Operating Room, but peeking into the IVF suite was enough for me.

It’s such a gorgeous day out, sunny and crisp with the leaves in full fall regalia. We went to a local cafe for brunch and I allowed my mind to flirt for a bit with the possibility of this being successful in the end. I say “flirt” because whenever my mind lands on this thought I push it away. I’m determined to take a “one-day-at-a-time” mentality through this journey, but today – on the eve of completing our first IVF cycle – it felt right to take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture.

And the bigger picture of this whole thing is about makin’ babies! Utilizing medical advancements to make the healthiest babies! That is so very exciting! At the cafe, there was a little girl with her dad, sitting on a stool at the bar and we couldn’t stop smiling at them and musing: “when we have our little babies, we’ll do this…”. It felt really good and really right.

My last note for today is that IVF truly is a good preparation for being parents in so many different ways, one of which is super early morning productivity. For instance, today I’ve already woken up before sunrise, gone into Manhattan and back, attended a pre-op class, signed my life away in consent forms, had my blood drawn and vitals taken, toured a surgical wing, ate brunch at a restaurant, and dreamed about my future children – all by 9:00am.😝  Before IVF, I’d be still in bed! 

Changes! Changes! But I love them all and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing at this very point in time.

1 comment on “How to Mentally Prepare for the Egg Retrieval

  1. Maria Rodriguez

    Thank you so much for sharing your IVF journey and all your research. I hope after all you went through you had a healthy baby/babies!

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