Hubby and I watched Rudy for the first time the other night. We may have been the last two people on the planet to see it. Considering it’s been around for almost 20 years (sheesh–how is that possible?) and the fact that I once had a short-lived crush on Sean Astin, you’d think I would have seen it before now. But no.
Of course, I already knew the story line (but I won’t repeat it here, just in case we weren’t actually the last people to see it), but what struck me was the refrain, or some variation of it, “Have I done everything I possibly can?”
In sports–and especially in sports movies–there is an emphasis on hard work, on putting in the hours of training and practice, that somehow that will be enough. Persistence, effort, and “heart” trump even natural talent. If you work hard enough, train long enough, want it badly enough, you’ll get the gold, win the championship, be carried off the field on the shoulders of your teammates.
As we all know, though, sometimes hard work and want aren’t enough.
Watching Rudy, I was reminded of this very fact and of The Infertility Therapist’s post from back in January about infertility and the type-A personality. About how infertility changes the rules for those of us who have been taught that hard work is the answer. Who, up until being faced with IF or RPL or any number of other scary acronyms, believed that persistence and effort would carry us to success. Because it always had.
Not long after starting this blog, I wrote my own post about perfection, about my high expectations of myself, and about how, at the time, early in our treatment, we hadn’t had a chance to fail yet, which was both comforting and scary. We’re at a point now where we technically could do IVF, but because of the uncertainty of our circumstances, we’re waiting.
We’re also waiting because there’s that small hope, that tiny what-if, that resides somewhere in our minds–behind all the realistic expectations–that given enough time, we could manage to get me pregnant without IVF.
It’s the equivalent of hard work and persistence. We’ve been at this for nearly 11 months already, but maybe a few more months of injections will push Hubby’s sperm count higher, to the point of making IUI–or even (gasp!) sex–a possibility.
As these thoughts swirl around in my head, I’m also faced with anxiety about ovulation. This cycle marks my first attempts at tracking it–officially. I’ve made plenty of mental notes about the position of my cervix and the quantity/consistency of fluids. And I’ve always thought I knew my cycle well. But something about the act of keeping track has suddenly thrown a heap of doubt into the mix.
What if all this time I only thought I’d been ovulating? What if there’s a bigger problem, and even if we get Hubby’s counts up to normal, we still come up short? What if, after all the hope, all the progress, we still fail?
The truth is, we might. Because there’s only so much we can do. In the end, luck plays a much bigger role in this whole mess than I care to admit. There’s no guarantee that Hubby’s counts will rise or that IVF will work. But we had no guarantee that his treatment would have such a big impact so quickly, either. (Okay, “quickly,” in this case, is relative to the “up to two years” we were originally told.) No matter what happens, I know there won’t be any trophies or chants of “Hub-by, Hub-by.” But, wherever we end up, I want to know that we’ve done everything we possibly can.