Home > Donor Conception, Musings > Identity


I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how much IVF has changed my life, however it has really been brought home to me lately by paperwork, of all things.  I have a personal history to complete for the (half) egg donor cycle coming up.  Most of it is medical history for me and family members.  (History that is hard to complete because I don’t remember and my family rarely answer my emails.)  The last two pages sounds more like I’m registering for an online dating service.  I found some questions easy to answer, such as what my hobbies are.  I enthusiastically wrote down ‘bushwalking, geocaching, taking photographs, playing with my dog, cooking, and working in my fruit and veggie garden’.  But then I looked at my answer again and realised how long it has been since I’ve actually done a lot of my favourite things.

I guess my answers are fine for the purposes of the donor knowing a little about me.  But I don’t think it’s a great way to live.  I’ve always been in such control of my life.  I’ve lived in different countries and on different continents because I wanted to.  I’ve pursued dreams and set them aside when I decided I didn’t like the reality.  I’ve enjoyed getting what I want.  But IVF doesn’t work just because you’re a control freak or able to multi task.

I haven’t been for a bushwalk in ages.  I’m scared of that level of exercise during the 2WW, it’s uncomfortable when I’m stimming as I can feel my ovaries bouncing, I’m too depressed after each BFN, and the anesthetic for the OPU just zaps fitness.  I’ve logged few geocaches since getting back from visiting friends in South Australia.  I still cook, but I haven’t had friends over for dinner much in the past couple years.  I take lots of photographs, but it seems like its only the progress of veggies in my garden.  The photos of native flowers and glorious views found while bushwalking that I prefer are several pages back in my Flickr photostream.

For other questions I don’t want to admit to my current reality.  My weight?  Do I really have to put down my current weight or can I just put what I was before I started IVF?  Or for the sake of honesty (?!) do I put down my current weight, but note what I was before IVF as surely that’s the real me?  My build?  Well, pre-IVF I would have said I was medium.  What do I put now?  Is ‘pudgy, but medium on the inside’ a valid answer?

At least I think I can get away with still putting ‘fair’ for my complexion.  It’s so much easier to forget to wear your hat in the veggie patch than when bushwalking because you just think you’re going to go outside ‘for a minute’, however I don’t think my complexion has crossed the line to ‘swarthy’.  And my eye colour definitely hasn’t changed (although Bill probably would say my eyes are a glowing demon red lately).

Gah.  The clinic’s counsellor (who has been on leave) just rang me back; we’re having our first counselling session for the donor cycle today at 2 pm!  And I’ve left all my documents at home.  We don’t need to turn them in today, I think the donor coordinator just thought it would be easier if I gave them to the counsellor.  But me being me, I feel like I’ve been naughty and neglected my homework.

Two hours until the appointment.  I’d best go google all the answers.  😉

Categories: Donor Conception, Musings
  1. 14/10/2010 at 12:23 pm

    What a great post, I can relate to this one so much. Particularly the part about not doing your favorite things listed. It’s a bit sad. Sigh. Ivf has changed us for sure. Hopefully in good ways too. Filling out this donor paperwork must be tough.

  2. a
    14/10/2010 at 12:46 pm

    I hope your appointment goes well, and you get all of your questions answered.

    I’m sorry that you feel like you’re losing yourself – I hope you don’t have to spend much more time on these travels, but that you soon reach your destination.

  3. 14/10/2010 at 2:49 pm

    I think the fact that you still know who you are, outside of IVF, is important … you haven’t lost yourself as long as you can remember. And you will return to those things some day.

    In the meantime I know how frustrating it is to be in control of almost everything else in your life, and not have control over that one last (very important) piece … and then have that lack of control feel like it’s wreaking havoc in everything else you do.

    Fingers crossed that even without your homework, it went well today … and that this is the beginning of the last leg of your long journey.

  4. 14/10/2010 at 5:59 pm

    It’s amazing just how much of your life this IF demon consumes! Financially, emotionally, physically…but most of all, it’s the way it seems to change who we are. Who can plan a holiday when that would mean no money for IVF, who can plan anything when your wife’s cycles are irregular and we don’t know from one minute to the next what kind of mood we’ll be in, who can have fun when you’re feeling constantly crappy, who doesn’t look back to the days BIF (Before IF) and wish they could be that person again…?
    Sorry, I’m not sure any of this helps…but really hoping today’s appointment went well (hell, I’m still focussing on the FET and desperately hoping you won’t need your half donor!!)

  5. 14/10/2010 at 6:48 pm


    Talk about ‘great minds’ Recently, I have been thinking of this whole issue of identity constantly. While I read a lot about motherhood and its potential to seemingly remove something of a woman’s identity while knee deep in nappies and baby spit, little is written about how a quest for motherhood has a similar set of issues. I have to confess while IVF has left me with little confidence and feeling socially isolated, the truth of the matter is I was all of these things before. Infertility just seems to have brought them to the fore and made them feel that bit more in focus. I never had much control before. I have less now. Perhaps this sisterhood of bloggers could make a joint project of getting re-acquainted with our old selves…and maybe try to make friends with our ‘new’ selves in the process?

    LS x

  6. Meg
    14/10/2010 at 9:36 pm

    How did your appointment go?
    It’s all changed my life too. I don’t seem to have many hobbies anymore. They’ve all gone by the wayside while I’ve concentrated on TTC over the last 30 months. I used to have time for lots of gardening, weekends away and drawing. Now these things are a rare treat. I didn’t realise how much until my husband told me yesterday that he couldn’t think of a birthday present for me because I didn’t have any hobbies. 😦

  7. 14/10/2010 at 9:58 pm

    Hope the appointment went well, can’t wait to hear an update on it 🙂 I know it’s hard to see the things you loved doing slip away because of IVF. But I do think you’ll get back to them eventually, when the time is right.
    Love xxxooo

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