I’m a former Girl Scout, so I like to come prepared. Here’s what I brought in my bag for yesterday’s egg retrieval (ER). This was ER #4, so I’m becoming somewhat experienced with all this, and there wasn’t anything I lacked on my trip to the surgical center. Of course, there were a couple of things I packed and didn’t happen to need, but if you’ve got an ER coming up, here’s what I recommend bringing along:


What I packed in my bag for Egg Retrieval Day:

  • Socks – These are at the top of the list of recommendations because the OR has to be kept cold, and let’s be honest, hospital gowns aren’t warm and fuzzy. My recommendation is to get your tallest, warmest pair of winter / boot socks out for this occasion.
  • Snacks – You have to fast the morning of retrieval, but personally, the anesthesia sometimes makes me a little bit queasy, so it’s helpful to have some crackers, a banana and a granola bar on hand. Additionally, I’ve started a tradition of baking chocolate chip cookies for my hubby to snack on while I’m in the OR. Gives him something to look forward to / keeps him busy. If I’m lucky, he’ll save one for me to eat during the car ride home!
  • Siddur / prayer book / Tehillim
  • Book or magazine – To distract yourself in case you end up sitting in the waiting room for awhile
  • Also remember to bring reading material for your hubby!
  • Pads, both a regular size and a panty liner: In case of bleeding
  • Tylenol – The office or surgical center should be able to provide this if you forget, but if the pain kicks in, you don’t want to have to wait for a nurse to scramble looking for their box of Tylenol.
  • Medicine/vitamins – If there’s anything you normally take in the AM, pack it with you to take post-op.
  • Glasses case/ contacts – You can’t wear contacts or glasses into the OR, so I needed a case for my glasses. I also brought a pair of (disposable) contacts in case I wanted to put them in post-op
  • Pen – Handy for signing paperwork, just in case
  • Umbrella, cell phone charger (or anything that make you feel prepared for any situation)
  • Sharpie – For labeling hubby’s specimen cup
  • This get’s really personal and hashkafically-specific, so definitely ask your LOR for what is recommended in your situation.* Our rabbi requires that a special condom be used for producing specimen, so in the event that what we brought in wasn’t sufficient, I packed all necessary materials for re-producing: spare specimen cup, extra condoms, and a towel to put down on the icky couch in the doctor’s “specimen production room.”


*Disclaimer: I am neither a medical nor a religious authority, so these are just ideas what I’ve found helpful. Don’t take them as serious medical or religious advice and of course, if your medical practice or rabbi recommend any other items, by all means, bring them along!