Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lucky Number 21

Our lucky number is 21. That’s how many eggs were plucked from my ovaries this morning. It all went well and I don’t think I disgraced myself by swearing under anesthesia or thrashing around and hitting the closest person leaning over me when I woke up (this happened when I woke up from surgery in 1994 and I kicked and hit the anesthesiologist, who, embarrassingly, also happened to be the mother of one of my work colleagues). I was also very graceful when presented with my ginger ale and crackers, consuming them in a very measured fashion.

Our team of 21 were going to be allowed to hang out for a few hours in the dish before being manually injected with J the Elder’s sperm in a delicate procedure called ICSI (intracytroplasmic sperm injection). The total count was 86 million sperm, of which 50% were motile, which basically means they swim in a straight direction instead of staggering round and round in circles as if in a drunken stupor. 50% is what they like to see so we’re very pleased. This means that the embryologist has the enviable task of selecting 21 tip-top-looking sperm from a pool of 43 million. I have visions of them still sitting there now, at 9pm, trawling through them all and carefully selecting those that are not two-headed, tail-less or otherwise aesthetically and reproductively challenged. In reality, they were going to perform ICSI this afternoon, at about the time we were driving past CCRM on our way home. As we spotted CCRM from the interstate, we cheered on our brand-new embryos from the sidelines, shamelessly bribing them with promises of everlasting unconditional love, toys galore, lovely trips to Europe, fabulous grandparents, aunts and uncles and very cool older cousins on both sides of the Atlantic. Surely these incentives will be too compelling for them not to develop into super-embryos.

We will get a call from one of the embryologists tomorrow morning, telling us how many eggs were mature and how many then fertilised normally. Waiting for this call, and the subsequent two calls this coming week, is worse than waiting for calls from new dates, schools and universities with exam results and companies with job interview news all put together.

Other than some pretty severe abdominal pains, for which I’m taking pain killers, and some fatigue, I’m feeling good after the surgery and we’re looking forward to making our way home over the next two days. We made it to Raton, New Mexico tonight, which has shaved about four hours off our twenty four hour journey.


  1. I realized after I left CCRM this morning that I didn't know how many you got! When I came to meet you, the embryologist hadn't come out for you yet.

    21 is AWESOME!!! Congrats, and yes, sending bribing thoughts to help create super embryos may just do the trick!

    Good luck for the fert report - I look forward to your update!

    And safe travels - take care of yourself, and let J the Elder do the driving! We are flying back tomorrow afternoon too. I can't believe we haven't been home this whole year! LOL

  2. 21, that's great!!!! Can't wait to hear your fert report, hoping for a great report! Hugs!