Every single time the Olympics begin, I start the exact same conversation with my husband: If you were chosen, Hunger Games style, and had to compete in one event with the skills and abilities you currently possess, what game would you choose? He knows this question is coming before I even voice it. I think this year I got out: “So…”
My interrogative tone must have given me away, because before I could finish my thought, he said, “I don’t know, Steph.”
With a look of derision, I informed him that he had no idea what I was going to ask. As it turns out, he did. For what it’s worth, he and I often strongly disagree with the other’s so-called “skills.”
That Hunger Game style Olympics is exactly what infertility feels like.
It is as if I have been plucked up and placed at the starting line of a game I only watch on TV a few times every four years. Frantically looking to my left and right, I see only confident athletes, while I mentally try to tick off the list of rules in my head before the starting gun fires into the air.
I worry about approximately 147 things each day–especially after last month. I have a constant mental checklist of things to Google. I am hyper aware of every single twinge inside my body. I feel like there is some hidden rule sheet that I can’t find. Rules that everyone else seems to know by heart, or maternal instinct. But here I am, not even sure I have my ice skates on the correct feet.
You would think that in the middle of the 4th cycle (on the third trip down this road), I would be a bit more confident in my skills. But fertility is no sport. And practice does not make perfect. Just like watching triple axles does not prepare me to land one. (Don’t worry, after my living room demonstration, I have decided that figure skating will not be my game of choice.)
I do, however, know my body significantly better than I did 5 months ago. And, even if they’re not laced correctly, I am pretty sure that I do have my skates on the proper feet.
After last month’s disastrous crash and burn, we jumped right back up and continued the routine. Today I am 19 days post miscarriage, but after another successful round of fertility drugs, I am also 2 days post ovulation, which means I am at the beginning of yet another 2 week wait. (Now, if waiting were an Olympic sport, I could definitely medal.)
In the meantime I will spend the next fourteen days trying to pass time by obsessively learning the rules of every Winter game to see if there’s anything I could do better than Curling or being a benchwarmer backup for the women’s hockey team who spends the entire time crossing my fingers that no one gets injured, because as Justin so kindly reminded me, I’m a terrible ice skater.
While I might not be able to answer yes to any “Could you do that?” that I am asked during every frigid event, I can answer yes to “You got this?” Because I do.
(two. six. twenty-two)