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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Egg retrieval and Rajender’s sperms

I am sure Rajender will not be so happy to read the title :) Anyhow, let me keep this one, it sounds interesting. On the day of egg retrieval I was so happy for no reason. I was not even a bit worried, might be all the good hormones were at play! I went to the clinic, the nurses started to prepare me for the retrieval. In Malpani clinic they have a gown; you need to wear it when you go for egg retrieval and during embryo transfer. I have gone there four times and not even a single time I tied the gown correctly. Rajender couldn’t succeed too in helping me! If someone of you who go to Malpani clinic, wear that gown and tie it properly, I would easily agree that you are one of the intelligent person in this universe, a genius :) This time I and Rajender wanted to do our best to tie it correctly. We tied it; Rajender did it actually and gave me a very proud smile. I looked at him with great admiration until sister Lizzy came, looked at me, removed the knots and retied it properly :) When sister Lizzy entered the room she told Rajender that Dr. Sai was looking for him. So he left the room. I was wondering what for Dr. Sai called! Usually the sperm collection cup is brought to the room where we are. During our first IVF, in Malpani Infertility Clinic, a nurse came with a big cardboard box into the room where I and Rajender were. I was wondering what it was! She looked at us both, smiled coyly and kept that box in the table, left quickly with a much shyer body language. I was amused by her behavior and when we opened the box there was a sperm collection cup. I still remember that smile and I guess she was new there at that time. Her shy, naughty smile did make that room very romantic ;) 

After Rajender left, Sister Lizzy gave me enema (how much I hate that!) and I was lying down. Few minutes later Rajender entered the room and looked at me as if he would burn me to ashes. I asked him what happened. He burst out – ‘what do you think of yourself? Is it very important to see the sperms?’ I was totally clueless for a moment and then I understood what happened. Actually, I was the one who mailed Dr that I would love to watch the sperms live under the microscope. He must have told Dr.Sai. Sister Lizzy instead of sending me, sent Rajender. I was excited. I asked Rajender whether he saw the sperms. He said with a very rough look, ‘no, I didn’t’. I asked, ‘why?’ He said, Dr. Sai asked me whether I wanted to have a look but I said no. That appeared very ridiculous to me. They were kind enough to let him into the embryology lab inspite of their busy schedule; they were ready to show him the sperms and why should someone be angry for that! Rajender continued to talk, actually he spitted out. He said, I went to Dr. Sai and he asked me whether I want to see the sperms. I said no and came out. Shonali came and she asked the same question to me. Everyone sitting there was watching me (the patients probably!). When I was about to come out, another Sister came and she asked me the same question. I felt very embarrassed, and it is all because of you. This blaming got me too irritated. Instead of seeing the sperms, what for he is coming and shouting at me! I couldn’t really understand at that moment about how he felt, and the reason for his anger, but now I could. He was already too tensed about the sperm giving part. He prepared himself for that five minute job for days (abstinence, healthy food). When Dr. Sai called, he must have gone thinking that he must give sperms and all the little drama that happened there made him very irritated; especially, he couldn’t tolerate the fact that everyone was watching him when he was being asked whether he wanted to see the sperms. Whenever I think of this incident I smile, a happy memory! I dare not talk to him about that incident after that.

When this fight was going on between us, Dr entered the room. I had no clue that he would come. He smiled and asked ‘are you ready to give lots of eggs’. I said, ‘I hope so’. Before I could start the next conversation, he wished us good luck and he was gone. Dr. Malpani talks so fast, and if there is a Guiness record challenge about who speaks the maximum words per minute, I am sure he will easily win! :)  I needed some time to talk to him, I had some questions in mind and more importantly I had something with me to show to him. He just came like a lightening and left. All I could think thereafter was, 'I need to talk to him!'

After sometime, they called me for egg retrieval. I went, and there stood the anesthesiologist. He asked me whether I was afraid and I replied very happily that I love anesthesia and I am not a bit afraid. He again asked whether I am nervous about injections. I said, ‘I have gone through 7 IVFs (as if it was the most proud happening in my life!), I am not afraid of needles’. I saw Dr. Anjali sitting there. As soon as the needle entered my vein I lost consciousness. Someone woke me up, don't know after how long! I felt I am being disturbed from the most happy, peaceful sleep. I said, ‘I had beautiful dreams’. The next question I heard was, 'do you remember them’. I said, ‘no’. Then I asked them, 'please give me more anesthesia, I want to sleep' :) I wish death is similar to going under anesthesia - a long, deep, peaceful sleep. If it is so, I am sure death will be an amazing experience! Then I remember someone asking, most probably Dr. Anjali - 'do you know how many eggs you got?' I kept quiet. Dr. Anjali said 19 eggs. I couldn’t open my eyes but I thanked her and said, ‘ma’m you have the luckiest  pair of hands’. Then I said, ‘I want to talk to Dr’. Someone asked me which Dr. I was angry, I thought very hard (it was very difficult to use my brain!) and said ‘big Dr’:)  I could feel that I was back to my bed, heard Rajender’s voice, said to him that they retrieved 19 eggs and again repeated ‘I want to talk to Dr’, I dozed off. I heard Dr. Anjali’s voice, Rajender’s voice and then after one or two hours I woke up. I could see my husband’s face eagerly looking at me. Obviously it must have been boring and he was waiting for me to get up so that we can go to our hotel room. Happiness is waking up from anesthesia to see the love of your life waiting anxiously for you! I smiled at him and said, ‘I am very hungry’. 

After getting dressed up, I said to Rajender, ‘just wait for a moment; I will be back in few minutes’. I told Sister Mary that I want to see Dr. Sai. I was still in half-sleeping mode. I held my forehead with my hands and sat in the waiting room until Dr. Sai came out. I asked him, ‘can I see the sperms?’ He said, ‘wait a moment’, he went inside the lab and called me after some time. He asked, ‘do you want to see your husband’s sperm?’ I said any sperm sample would be fine. He took a sample from Rajender’s sperm, mounted them on a slide and showed those little swimmers. I was so happy to see them live. They are like tadpoles and were moving constantly, at least most of them were. I thought, if Rajender could see this too it would be wonderful, but, I had no guts to start the sperm topic again to him :) I looked around the embryology lab; Dr. Sai must have been busy working there. In the music system, which he had in that room, devotional songs about Sai Baba was oozing out making that place much more peaceful and desirable. I did feel comfortable that Dr. Sai will be handling our eggs and sperms and creating our embryos. He actually does the most important job, the job of Lord Brahma – the creator!

Yes, I got 19 eggs. I learned soon after that, 14 out of 19 eggs were mature. I and Rajender were happy. We have crossed one hurdle successfully! Will I get enough embryos on day 5 so that we could do ateast 2-3 transfers to Rita; this was the nagging question in my mind! I thought, I will be very happy to transfer my embies to Rita. We met her during one of our follicle growth scan and we liked her instantly. More on that soon!


  1. 19 eggs is a great number. Wishing you more success ahead.
    I would like to know about your opinion regarding having multiple IVF cycle. Are there any health hazards in the long run if stimulation drugs are used many times? I have heard that it may increase the chances of certain cancers.
    I myself have under gone few cycles

  2. Thanks for your kind wishes ! Can you please read this :

  3. WOW!! 14 mature eggs!! This is awesome news!! So happy for you and Rajender!! Love this post and the title...LOL!! All the best for the ET to Rita!! Keep us all posted please!!

  4. Hi Manju,

    you are my inspiration and you are the pillar of strength everytime i fail in this journey. I constantly compared myself to others situation and would lose strength. I had been TTC for 5 years not even a stroke of luck . I was into naturopathy and homeopathy but couldnt have ovulation. From allopathy to homeopathy now i am like what should i do now ? i havent ovulated in any treatments.So even if i had to do for IVF my ovulation has to stimulated right ? I sometimes I cry as hard as i could then get up but the void in me couldnt be filled out.. noithing intersts me just keep avoiding people but how long can i ? The only thing is i read your blogs and would always pray for you. You should be really blessed this time nad am sure you will be. My sincere Prayers and best wishes for you . Hope we both could have our Loved ones someday . Hope that day is soon for us !!!!

    Best Wishes

    1. Dear Janani,

      First, thank you so much for the heartfelt wishes and message. It felt so good.

      I feel your pain. Infertility is a hard journey both physically and emotionally. The only way to win it, to defeat it, is to stay happy and strong. Janaki, every life is different and unique. You must realize the uniqueness of your life and must learn to appreciate it. Not comparing our life with others and counting our blessings during difficult times of our life preserves our happiness. Happy people accomplish many things in life with ease. I agree that the void feeling is unavoidable, but believe that your turn to hold your little one will come soon too. Nowadays infertility treatments are much advanced and your chance of having a baby is very bright. Cheer up !

      Can I ask you some questions, please ?

      How old are you ?
      Are you diagnosed with PCOD ? Is it the reason for infertility ? Are you overweight ? Did you measure your AMH ? How far apart your periods are ? Do you get them or have to take hormones to induce menstruation ? Have you taken meds like Clomid ? What treatments have you had so far ? Is your husband's sperms tested too?

      Janani, even if you do not ovulate with low strength ovulation meds like clomid, femara etc, IVF will help you to grow enough follicles so that eggs could be harvested from them, provided, your PCOD is treated appropriately before stimulation ( assuming that you have PCOD ).

      Please do write to me so that I could help you better !

  5. Manju,

    I am 29 years old and about to be 30 in couple of months . My thyroid is normal but have male hormones in my body. I have been diagnosed with PCOD for 9 years in my life ever since last year of my college {2005} . I was given birth control pills for regularising my periods but it didnt work out so unless i work out or have a tablet never had periods .. After marriage had clomid, femara many medications i actually dont remember had a follicular study wherein the follicles grew nd had a shot for rupture nothing worked out !!! Then from last two years have been in homeopathy.. My periods for the last ttwo years are like 4 months once. my husband is very healthy and he has no problems till now. I am 62 kgs and 5 feet tall. a little overweight.My HSg reports showed no block in fallopian tube. I havent obulated in clomid but with letrozole have ovulated. Pls guide me!!! i live in US and IVF is very expensive

    1. Janani, have you checked you ovarian reserve ? If not you have to ask your doctor to measure AMH, AFC and day 3 FSH and e2.How was your PCOD diagnosed ? Is it just by blood tests or with an ultrasound ? Does diabetes run in your family ? Have you checked your blood glucose, is it normal ? Were you on metformin any time ?

      Since you say you get your periods when you work out, I guess you suffer from insulin resistance. When you work out, your body utilizes insulin more efficiently, hormones gets balanced (level of male hormones go down) and you ovulate. If you haven't been on Metformin until now, I suggest that you ask your doctor about it and take 1500 mg/ day. Normally, this dosage of metformin along with appropriate life style changes ( avoiding sugar in all forms, limiting fat intake, incorporating low calorie foods and fiber rich vegetables more in your diet etc combined with proper excercise regimen) should help you ovulate. If you haven't done this before, you must try this for 6 months with regular intercourse. You can also consider taking a good multivitamin along with extra folic acid. Myoinositol supplement can help too, please talk to your doctor !

      Since you are trying for 5 years, I would suggest that you meet an infertility specialist in your area, not just an OB. He will help you to take further decisions. If you are a PCOD patient and not somebody with poor ovarian reserve, IVF is the best option for you ( provided, metformin doesn't lead to conception in 6 months). If IVF is expensive in USA, you must find some IVF clinic nearby your hometown,.in India. Please do not waste time by taking treatments which might not help !

      Whatever treatment option you chose, your best way forward is to reduce a couple of kgs weight, have a healthy lifestyle ( a lifestyle which fits PCOD) and taking metformin.

      You can always write to me too : manjupadmasekar@yahoo. com

  6. Sooooooo how many blastocysts did you end up with?? If you retrieved on the 2nd and fertilized that day as well....

    1. Time to write my next post :) Will update.

  7. Dear Manju,

    How did they get as much as 19 eggs? That is fantastic!


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