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I had my ovaries pierced with needles, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt

Nine eggs retrieved today, and, boy, are my arms tired.

No, wait.

This retrieval wasn't as much fun as the first. Either they gave me different sedation drugs or a heavier dose, because the high-as-a-kite feeling I'd enjoyed before was totally absent this time. I'm disappointed, as that loopy fugue was the thing I'd most looked forward to all cycle.

How awful a process is this, when your fondest wish is to be given medication that makes you forget just how awful it is?

I felt very heavy during the retrieval, unable to move or speak. Given the things I'd likely have said, I suppose that's all to the good.

Once I was lucid, though, I had ample reason to start swearing. Before I left the operating room, I asked for pain medication. I asked again after being in the recovery room for five minutes...and then I watched the clock and asked again ten minutes later. The ploy that finally worked was letting some tears leak out. When the nurse noticed and asked what was wrong, I told her, "I want something for the pain. It seems a simple enough request."

With that, they snapped to, and brought me...a single tablet of ibuprofen. Parsimonious bastards. I just had needles plunged into my ovaries. Have a goddamned heart.

The nurse thought I was kidding when I asked for more. "I can give you more in half an hour," she said nervously as she looked around for backup.

"I think I should have it now," I said pleasantly, though seriously. At that point the question was moot, as I had a bottle of Advil in my purse three feet away, but my firmness paid off and I was given another precious tablet.

That's right. They stick needles through your vagina and into your ovaries, and for pain relief they give you a couple of punk-ass ibuprofen. God bless America.

I'm enormously relieved to have this phase of the cycle over with. The stress of whether I'd make it through retrieval is over. Now all we have to deal with is the anxiety of whether the eggs fertilize, divide, implant, grow...