Tuesday, April 14, 2009

IVF 3: Preparations

Today, I am sick and ruthlessly letting my colleague do the work I would normally be doing.

I'm normally almost crazily stupid about putting work first. During my last IVF cycle, I was up working until 1am the night before surgery for egg pickup. I was exhausted and stressed out and it was because I was organising an international conference we were hosting.

Now we're hosting another conference next week and I should be at work, making it happen. Even though yesterday, I was dizzy and confused and vomiting, I still intended to go to work today. Partly because I have a genuine liking and respect for the colleague who is currently helping me and I dont' like to land him with it.

But today, I realized that if I couldn't walk to the bus stop, I probably shouldn't be at work. I should in fact be putting my health first and making sure I'm completely better before we start IVF against next week.

Work, which tends to sneak into priority 1 even when I try not to let it, basically has to come last now.

This is just one aspect of the strange mental shift that has to happen to do an IVF cycle.

I have to put my own health first, but in a wierdly impersonal way - it's not me who matters, but my body. My body is a resource that is about to be forced into a hard regime. Like a soldier, I am about to throw it over the top of the trench, and it has to be able to make it.

I've spent the last five months working hard to lose weight for this process. I've lost around 21 kgs (over 40 pounds) all together, but the drugs will make me gain weight and make it very hard to exercise for some weeks - I feel sad about it, but I accept that that's just too bad. That's going over the top, too.

Also, finances. I spend most of the year saving money and fighting debt. The week before an IVF cycle, I sign up for thousands more dollars in debt and I really don't care all that much. Another one for the top.

But most of all, it's me who is going over the top - my heart, my mind, my soul, my emotions. Strangest of all, it's me who blows the whistle, too. I'm the one doing this to myself.