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Inconceivable: Getting my eggs retrieved

Posted June 12, 2018 8:24 p.m. EDT

Kathy Hanrahan with her family

By the time we went in for egg retrieval, I was walking around stuffed. Not full from food - just full from the extra fluid in my body and the large number of follicles growing. I had 20 follicles with about 15 expected to be mature enough to produce eggs. That's a lot of follicles in a small space.

I struggled to eat and drink because I felt too full. I went through lots of nausea. At times it felt very similar to my first trimester of pregnancy with my now five-year-old son.

By the time we went in for retrieval, I was exhausted and terrified. I'm so glad they knock you out because at least I got a nap!

Before the procedure, we met the woman who would be handling our eggs.

"Hi, I'm Robin! I'll be handling your eggs. Don't worry because your eggs will be safe in Robin's nest," she said before giving me a big hug.

Robin was fantastic and warm. We were in good hands, and we knew it.

The retrieval process doesn't last too long - maybe 30 minutes. My husband and I sat in recovery together watching old episodes of "The Office" on Netflix and laughing while we waited to find out how many eggs we had.

We had 20 follicles and 15 eggs were retrieved. Of those, 10 were deemed good to use and fertilize.

This is where things are a little different from traditional IVF. Instead of just going home and letting the lab take it from here, I still had work to do. The fertilized eggs were going to be put into the Invocell device and then put back into me and held in place with a diaphragm. That meant no recovery time for my body.

I couldn't feel the Invocell device, but I sure could feel the diaphragm, which sat against my pelvic bone for five days. ​The first four days were rough, but they didn't prepare me for the twists and turns that would come with the final 24 hours of my egg incubation.

More on that next week ...

Kathy is a mom of one and Out & About editor for She writes for Go Ask Mom about her experience with secondary infertility....