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Our Escape from Infertility
a blog by Alec, September 15, 2011
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It was a stirring weekend of sport, and JK and I were glued to the television. Allow me to name a few:
- Michigan over Notre Dame, with three touchdowns in the final 72 seconds.
- Sam Stosur upsets Serena Williams and wins the US Open.
- Novak Djokovic dumps Rafael Nadal and caps the best season by a man in the Open Era.
- The Chicago Bears surprise a lot of folks by swamping the Atlanta Falcons.
I enjoyed every minute of it! It got me to thinking about sports and our infertility journey. JK and I have always enjoyed sports fandom together. I realize now that it was among our happiest times during our struggle with infertility.
Even when we met, it was like that. We discovered our mutual diehard Michigan loyalty and Notre Dame hatred the night we met. No doubt, it was much of the reason that I made it to the first date! Many of our early dates were Michigan football. We attended our first game together in Ann Arbor two months later. Our first flight together was to Los Angeles for the 2007 Rose Bowl. Her first birthday gift from me? Tickets to the NCAA Basketball Championship, Rounds I and II, at the United Center in Chicago.
But sports also became a haven from harsh realities when we discovered we were infertile. JK bought season tickets to Michigan Football, and we viewed the crazy ups and downs of the Rich Rodriguez era from inside the Big House. Believe me, we preferred those ups and downs to the crazy twists and turns of infertility.
Though we did not choose our freedom as a childless couple, we figured we might as well take advantage. We continued our bracket bet in the NCAA Tournament, a competition for pride that I have lost four of the five years JK and I have been together. Dignity, as I have said before, is overrated. I taught her a few things about tennis when the Slams came along.
We continued to go to the health club and work on our fitness. JK continued to improve her hip hop moves, and I improved my boxing technique. We even played in a very random softball game where a desperate team about to forfeit begged every passerby to join them. I asked JK if she would mind. I love playing softball! And, if you’ll forgive me for patting myself on the back, I am a bit of a ringer. Our once desperate friends won that day, and even JK had a single and a run scored!
We hit the party circuit too, attending Dance for Life, Joffrey and AIDS Foundation benefits. We had a few trips to Las Vegas, usually with JK’s family, and experienced the best of Sin City while I experienced the ups and downs of poker. A trip to Hawaii was especially wonderful and timed perfectly while JK’s body refused to right itself after her myomectomy. For an entire week, we were allowed to simply exist and never once wonder about a future without children.
Brief escapes are healthy. I promise you, this is not a give up type of response. The fight against infertility is too long and stressful for us to wage war each day. The mind needs a break. The body needs a break. I don’t know what your escape will be. The mode of escape is as individual as you are. Books? Movies? Culinary Arts? Camping? Jousting? Trapeze lessons?
You will know when you find it.