And so yesterday was the Big Day. Donation Day. D-Day, if you will.

Getting there

I was scheduled to go under at 12pm, so that meant no food or drink from 6am. I set my alarm for 5am to manage to shove a banana and some water into my mouth before going back to sleep. I also popped two paracetemol tablets as the Lucrin (the two trigger injections) tend to make me very crampy by D-Day – and this time, I hardly felt anything at all.

I had organised to do some work from home to keep my mind off things, and I still ended up bathing and then blow-drying my hair to kill the time. All of that, of course, was a waste when you consider how hot and dry the wind was in Cape Town yesterday – and the fact that I ended up taking the train didn’t help. By the time I arrived in Claremont I looked like I’d tried out (and failed) for a terrible 80s glam rock band. I was also wearing my neon yellow sunglasses – which added to the illusion 🙂

Exhibit A. R30 at Mr Price, for N’s “Neon” 21st.

I love taking the train, though I don’t do it often enough – although my immense need to be entirely self-sufficient (Read: I’m not good at trusting people to do things properly and am even worse at asking for help when I need it) – means that I get bizarrely stressed out about taking public transport, especially when I need to be in a specific place at a specific time.

Still, I got to the station, purchased my ticket and ended up chatting to two military women who were in full cammo (I nearly passed out when they addressed me, all the semi-illegal things I’ve ever done popped into my head at once!). All they wanted was to look at my phone – the Galaxy S3 (I’m in love). I got onto the train, plugged in my earphones and cranked up the new Taylor Swift album (wonderful train music, don’t judge me) and by the time I got to Claremont, I was much calmer. I’d given myself time to kill, so I wandered off to Cavendish and looked at coasters.

Then, bizarrely, I thought that if I died while under anaesthetic and they had to go through my belongings, they would have found coasters. Which would have been weird. So I didn’t buy them. (Hey, I have never claimed to be sane).

In the Clinic

I love waiting rooms. I love the Clinic waiting room so much, I think, because it’s filled with Hope. I managed to catch the wonderful Heidi before I went in, who wished me luck and thanked me for being so wonderful to work with. Then, just around 11.45am, Florence – the nurse in the procedure and recovery room – came to fetch me. She’s looked after me each time, and this being round four she’s now christened me “Candy” – and I love that. She pretty much left me to my own devices – led me to the corner chair where I could undress and climb into the gown and what not.

I had managed to shed my clothing and get the gown on when Dr H stuck his head in – and was promptly greeted with my naked (thankfully more toned than in previous months) ass. He came in to say hi, check how I was, and tell me we were good to go – normally the first time you see the doctors is in the procedure room because they’re so busy, so I was quite touched that he popped by. Then it was the usual questions from the nurse – when did you last eat? are you allergic to anything? – my admission tag and the consent form, before the anaethetist came in (the same one who did my first donation, and told me I was getting Propofol – the drug that “Michael Jackson liked too much”) and asked me her usual questions.

Then, another nurse – a new one, and I’m sad I didn’t catch her name because she was so bubbly – who noticed my tattoo as she helped me re-tie my gown. She asked what it meant (“Brave”) and what language it was (“Arabic”), and asked why I got it (“A tribute to my father,” I said). She draped the blanket around my shoulders and led me through to the procedure room.

Going under

I shuffled up onto the bed, careful to place my bum squarely on the linen saver. I lay back and let them fuss – they were in quite a rush, so I had my blood pressure taken while one of the nurses fixed the monitors to my chest and thumb and the anaethetist inserted the needle for the drugs (on my left hand, which is where I prefer it – weird that I have preferences now!).

Dr H came in and asked me to guess how many we were aiming to retrieve – at last count, he’d found 15 follicles so I said “Heck, let’s go for 15!”) And then the anaethetist wished me good night and I listened to her and Dr H banter about how old she was (it was her birthday last week, I gathered, before blackness descended).

And then I woke up. Surprisingly, not in much pain – and normally I do cramp quite badly. Florence stuck her head in, took my blood pressure, and offered me a muffin and something to drink. I always ask for juice because I’m so thirsty when I wake, so she brought me a hot, gooey chocolate muffin and some peach and pear juice (“It’s new!” she trilled). After I’d eaten, Dr H popped through the curtain to check how I was, and put his hand on my arm. They managed to retrieve 14 eggs, he said – “You had a good guess!” he said – and he thanked me for doing what I had done.

And then, after a pain pill, I was moved to the chair to recover and get dressed, then I was released. Florence walked me to the door and wished me a wonderful festive season, and said “And we will see you then in the New Year”.

And you know what, they probably will.

Send light, love and positive vibes…

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again – I will do this as many times as I’m allowed to. I can give no greater gift, at this time in my life, than this.

And now that my bit is done, we wait for the eggs to be fertilised and implanted in my recipient – in the next three to five days – and hold all fingers, toes and thumbs that the embryos take.

I ask you to send all the positive vibes that you possibly can spare to this wonderful, brave, amazing woman – who I know only by an initial and an email, and feel so connected to.

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