Friday, March 22, 2013

Bus Ride Conversations

So far my softball team is 2-2 (won 2 games, lost 2 games).  It's about how I feel our season will go.  We are very average.  This is new territory for me.  I've been coaching softball for 20 years now and only 2 of those years, my team has not made it to the state playoffs.  Not to brag (okay, yes, I am bragging) but in the last 7 years of coaching we have been to the playoffs every year.  We have won a state championship, made it to the state semi-finals another year, and we have won 6 league championships.  I am not accustomed to average and neither is my team.  They have grown up watching the success of the older girls, many of which were older siblings.  It is definitely a challenge to accept being mediocre, while inspiring the girls to play at their best despite defeat.

Last night on our long bus ride home after our game, the girls somehow got on the subject of pregnancy, babies, and surrogacy.  One of the girls was telling a story of someone they know that used her sister as a surrogate.  She was telling the others what a blessing and a miracle this baby was, considering everything they had been through to conceive that baby.  Then they all started talking about baby stories.

For the last half of the bus ride home, one of the senior girls came and sat with me in my seat. We talked about a bunch of different things, but ended up talking about her family. Her first niece was born last year during our softball season and will be celebrating her first birthday soon. This girl told me how much she loves being an Aunt and what a blessing this baby is to their family because her brother and his wife had tried for a long time to get pregnant. Then she got really quiet and apologized. I wasn't exactly sure what she was apologizing for so I asked her. She said she was "sorry if what I said made you uncomfortable, or if it was awkward." I told her it was okay, that life goes on, and it's not something I have a hard time talking about. She went on to ask me if we had ever considered using a surrogate or adopting. We talked a little bit about it, but I didn't share too many details.

Last year during softball season, I did my first IVF which resulted in a chemical pregnancy.  I also did my second IVF, which ended up being cancelled because I only had one follicle.  During that same time, I also lost my Grandpa to cancer.  It was a rough year for me.  None of the girls, assistant coaches, or parents knew what I was going through with IF.  They all know we have been married for a long time and still don't have kids.  They know we want kids, but very few actually ask us about that anymore.

I find it so crazy that these conversations came up on the bus last night, from my softball girls.  It just seemed so random.  The funny part is that I actually planned to share with the girls a condensed version of our struggle in a few weeks.  Well, I guess the seed has been planted for that conversation.


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On a different note:
I saw this picture and I immediately wanted to share it because it's exactly how I feel every Friday!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!



22 comments:

  1. Your softball girls sound so sweet :)

    That is SO me on Friday!

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    1. They really are a great bunch of girls. I have been so lucky over the years to have them in my life.

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  2. You are such a great example for them! I would much rather talk about the struggles with people than have them avoid even asking me about it. I think it helps so much to know others care to even ask ya know? Anyhoo I forgot to mention before now that my niece is big into softball, she is at a college in North Carolina playing these days. I know she always looked up to her coaches and had a great time so I know your girls must feel the same about you :)

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    1. I agree, I would much rather talk about it than pretend it's not a part of our life. I mean, it's pretty obvious we don't have kids.

      That is awesome that your niece is playing college softball! Thanks for sharing. I can only hope that we have a positive impact on these girls :)

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  3. I think it's pretty cool that you can talk about this kind of stuff with them. That way if it ever happens to someone they know or (hopefully not) themselves, they've learned a little bit about it and how to deal with it.

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  4. I always admired the coaches I could talk to. It sounds like those girls really value you. What a great experience. I am looking forward to reading about the "Prom Talk".

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    1. I really value them as well, so I do hope it's reciprocated :)
      Yes, I will be sure to write about the Prom Talk! lol

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  5. Sounds like a great team! It is so hard to decide how much and when to share about your personal life. I'm glad that it doesn't bother you to talk about babies, pregnancy etc. You are a strong woman.

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    1. Thank you. They really are a great group of girls to work with.

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  6. Sounds like such a sweet team!!!

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    1. I've never really thought of them as sweet, but yes, I guess they are! :)

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  7. It sounds like you have a great group of girls, especially the one who came and talked to you, even if the season isn't going to be your best.

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    1. They are a good group of girls. I have been very blessed in my years of coaching. I guess that's why I'm still doing it 20 years later!

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  8. Sounds like a great group of girls! Thanks for the Friday picture!

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    1. Haha! I loved that picture. Babies just make me smile :)

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  9. Happy ICLW! Thanks for the pic :) haha

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    1. Happy ICLW to you too! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  10. I can see how it would be difficult to navigate the relationships with your players and their families in regards to your IF and treatments. On one hand, they sort of need to know what you're going through but on another hand, I'm sure you don't want them all up in your business and you don't want it to be a distraction or to have them feel like they have to take care of you. It sounds like you are really navigating it so well - being real but still being the coach. That must be a hard line to walk. I don't know...maybe it isn't. I've never been in that role, but maybe you're kind of used to it by now. Whenever you talk about softball, I always think that you seem like an amazing coach.

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  11. Amber, I truly believe that conversations like that are planted by God. On yet another parallel in our life with Clifford, conversations happened with strangers while I was working retail especially that I swore I had widow stamped on my forehead. They give us hope as I am sure you had chills during some of this conversation because it hit home so much. But yet again, here was some great humor at the end of your blog!!! Humor truly does keep us going!

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