I have never been a sports guy.
I only remember having a fixation on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 70s during the days of the Iron Curtain, the grit of Terry Bradshaw before he became an actor, and the graceful ballet catches of Lynn Swan that had me aspiring to be a wide receiver for a few grade school years.
Thankfully, my disinterest in sports appealed to Lisa.
She had always told her brothers when she grew up, she’d marry a man who didn’t watch football all day on Thanksgiving, and would rather spend time with her.
Her three brothers just laughed at her and wished her good luck.
I may not have any clue how to create a dream team when football season starts, but I sure learned how to be a tough infertility coach.
It didn’t start off pretty.
I would say I was pretty close to the Tom Hank’s portrayal of Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own at the beginning of the movie.
I was sullen, going through the motions, and even got drunk out of my mind when I first learned that I had a low count and we’d have to join the major leagues of infertility medical assistance.
Much like Jimmy though, I eventually developed a fondness for the women’s world I existed in once I sobered up.
I admired Lisa’s courage as she endured the vein fishing expeditions at her blood draws, the casual conversation while the RE waved his magic ultrasound want around her insides, and the extraction of eggs from her ovaries for the five rounds of IVF it took for us to finally get our baby.
As I learned more about the strategies behind our infertility cycles, I began to figure out how to play the game to increase the odds of winning.
First, I had to know what all the language meant. Each protocol, each team of infertility specialists had a different system for everything from blood draws, to when to give the triggering shot, to how to choose the right quadrant on your wife’s butt for those salad oil like progesterone shots.
Then I had to protect my star player. Think ahead about keeping the house clean, the fridge stocked, and the Kleenex on hand during the emotional roller coaster of the egg growing drugs. Hide the pots and pans and small metallic projectile type knick knacks when she was taking suppressive lupron.
Or just clear my schedule to sit there and let her cry on my shoulder when a cycle didn’t work, after our doctor all but assured us this time it was going to work.
The thing I loved about Jimmy Dugan is he evolved. He realized that he had been given an incredible opportunity to do something that most guys wouldn’t get to do. Once he got past the feeling of emasculation, he thrived as the coach of all those women.
They helped him to grow as a person, as much as he helped them grow as ballplayers.
Lisa helped me grow as a husband, as much I helped her through our infertility by being her Jimmy Dugan.
It was a win-win for both of us!
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW