The “Infertility Season” has so much in common with Baseball Season.
An infertility season often lasts longer than one three-month-long calendar season just like the “boys of summer” actually start playing baseball in February and finish, if they’re lucky, in October.
During both seasons, there are delays in the game, rain-outs, unforeseen changes to your team’s roster, and maybe health issues that were going to be taken care of when the season was over that just couldn’t wait after all.
You want both seasons to be shorter when things aren’t going well, so you can put it behind you as quickly as possible and look with hope toward next season. But if things are going as you had hoped, you want them to go on as long as they can… like all the way to the World Series / the World Series of Infertility – a full-term pregnancy.
You enter Fertility Clinic Stadium. There are a lot of people. There’s a lot going on. It’s overwhelming. Your first time up at bat, your ovaries don’t respond well to the treatment, you strike out swinging. Your second time up, they respond better, but not well enough. You ground out. Your third time up, the ovaries respond better, the egg retrieval is done but none of the embryos make it to day 3. Long fly ball– caught at the right field fence. Your fourth time up, you get hit by a pitch. So, okay, you’re physically in pain, angry, exhausted and covered in dirt, but at least this time you made it to 1st base. They did the egg retrieval. They only got out 2 eggs but you’re eager to keep up the positive momentum.
You think about stealing 2nd base but the 1st base IVF coach tells you:
“Not so fast. Stay where you are. We think these might make it to Day 5.”
So you stand firmly on first base, peering over at 2nd base, feeling like it’s miles away instead of just 90 feet, helplessly waiting to be assured that you can finally get there safely. Finally you get the signal from the coach. Run! Run! 2nd base- Day 3- Everything still looking great! Run! Run! 3rd base- Day 5- Everything still looks great! Transfer Done! Rounding third, heading for home.
“Whoa! Not so fast!” Yells the 3rd base IVF coach.
“I thought you said everything looked great and the transfer went well. So why am I still standing here at 3rd base?”
The 3rd base IVF coach explains: “Everything has gone great so far. But you can’t just run home and score. Not just yet. Now you have to stand at 3rd base for two weeks and wait to be told whether you’re going to make it all the way or be left stranded right where you are. and have to start all over again. These games have rules. You can’t just do what’s easiest for you. So for two weeks you stand on third base, whine to the coach, the total stranger playing third base for the other team, and fans in the bleachers, while you stress eat your hourly $60 delivery of two hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks that’s in no way included anywhere in your $60,000 of IVF. (That’s one difference between our “seasons”. When there is a lousy, unproductive season, baseball players still get paid handsomely while we still pay handsomely.)
Finally, the 3rd base IVF coach tells you the transfer was a success and you can head toward home. It takes another nine months to reach it, but finally, mercifully… you’re safe!
It’s vital to remember through all of this, how quickly- sometimes seemingly in an instant- events can completely turn around: In life, in infertility, & in baseball. Things can seem dismal, hopeless, for weeks, months, years. Then all of a sudden life looks so much brighter, you have a healthy newborn, and the Mets are in first place.
If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, come read about my personal IVF adventure. It’s been read by 1000s and recommended by top fertility professionals to their patients to de-stress while dealing with all of the anxiety-producing moments of infertility. Available on Amazon, B & N, & Kobo. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/