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Day 12 – Extraction

Sporty Sandwich Lady picks me up at 6:50 this morning for THE EXTRACTION. It is much like an extreme pap smear with sedation. Being half conscious I can feel the ultrasound probe pressing into me in a distinctly unpleasant fashion but I suspect this is because I suffer from uterine pain whenever anything prods me rather than specifically to do with the procedure.

I am reasonably certain I writhe and moan throughout which can’t be too helpful if you’re Dr C aiming for a miniscule egg which can’t be seen by the naked eye. Conscious I am able to train my body not to respond to pain but under sedation no such luck.

My last thought is that I want to see my test tubes but the next sensation I have is a blood pressure belt inflating under my ribs as I lie on my side and later, waking back in the ward, wondering how I got back to into my bed. That’s when I realise I was not as conscious during the procedure as I’d thought.

They bring me toasted cheese and tea and I eat and sip only half awake until the nurse takes the tea cup from my dozing hands. I lie tucked up in blankets in the narrow bed studying my monitoring screen and thinking my blood pressure is higher than I would have anticipated and it couldn’t possibly be 16:30 as it suggested and how was I going to get my phone stashed in the locker behind the drawer holding the tea pot. Then the monitor tells me my pulse has stopped which I know for sure it hasn’t and I look up from my still cloudy consciousness to see the radiant face of Yogi Sandwich Lady who has come to find me.

The Sandwich Ladies are one of the few touchstones I have had in my life since I moved to Durban. Every Tuesday they would receive the weekly instalment of the soap opera of my life in the Domino Foundation kitchen as we made sandwiches for children of the Avoca school, with the occasional season break as I jetted off to work in London and now, when my current job means I can no longer join them. It was a fortuitous co-incidence when they found me at EarthMother taking a break from sorting out kitchenware at Dad’s. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was a Tuesday or that this is where we always went after Sandwiches for a coffee or juice.

Sporty & Yogi Sandwich Ladies stayed on to chat after the others had left and as they already knew that I have been considering Artificial Insemination I told them I have finally started fertility treatment. I hadn’t even considered how I was going to get to the hospital and back for the extraction but here they are to the rescue.

Yogi Sandwich Lady and I sit on my balcony watching the ocean and drinking green tea after my procedure. I move about gingerly but it is a precautionary measure for a pain that is not there. Today I froze two meta-phase 2 eggs, which for the lay people like me means GOOD eggs. My ovaries are not overachievers even after all those fertility drugs but two eggs are two chances and two chances are better than none.

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