I am going to share with them some personal stories that is going to include my infertility. Last year during softball season, I had my first IVF that resulted in a chemical pregnancy. I also had a failed IVF. During the season, I was injecting myself up to four times a day with stim meds. I had to hide from them the pain of our failures, while trying to coach them toward reaching the ultimate goal of winning a state championship which was a very realistic goal.
Last year during our softball season I watched my Grandpa die from cancer, experienced the whole IVF process resulting from two failures, and fell just short of our team goal of playing in the state championship game. We had 8 seniors graduate from our team that had a very bittersweet ending to our season, losing in a close game with a score of 1-2 in a game we were predicted to win. It was an extremely tough three months for me.
Today I am going to share all of that with them. I am going to make it like a show and tell. I am going to take my needles and syringes to help make an impact of everything that IVF entails and what I was going through last year. I was worried about how that might come across if a girl goes home to her parents and says "Coach Amber brought needles to practice today." I didn't want our Athletic Director to field phone calls about it without a heads up, so I ran the idea by him first and got his approval. It's not really any different than a diabetic carrying their injection materials around, or the player on our team that has an EpiPen for bee stings.
You may wonder what any of my IF has to do with my Prom Talk. I plan to tie it in to the sex talk. What if one of them were to get pregnant now and chose to have an abortion, but later in life couldn't get pregnant and suffered from IF? If I myself had gotten pregnant in high school, I don't know what I would have done. I didn't really have the best home situation. What if I had gotten pregnant and had an abortion? I would definitely be regretting that now!
I've done a Prom Talk every year. The girls expect it and many of the parents expect it. They always ask "when is the Prom Talk going to be?" Well, now that Prom is tomorrow night, the time has come for my speech. I'm a little nervous to share my story. I worry about how it will be perceived, by both the players and their parents. I know many of them always go home and share with their parents what we talk about.
About an hour ago, I received an email from the father of one of my players. She is a junior this year, and I coached her older sister for 4 years prior so their family is familiar with this talk. Here is what the dad had to say:
Hey! I just want to thank you for your continued support of our girls! Many people think that your role as coach serves within the realm of softball only… this is not true. You pour your love out as if they were your own… In many respects they are! You want the best for every girl. When they are victorious… you rejoice! When they struggle, you are sad. You never let them settle for mediocrity in sport, which transcends into every area of life.
With prom looming, you will share your heart with our daughters, proving once again, they are more than just your team, but a great gift from our God… whom you love dearly!
Thank you for all you do!
May God continue to bless you in all you do!
I cried as I read this email. It meant so much to hear these words of encouragement and support. Being a coach is oft times a thankless job. These girls do mean the world to me and I am so incredibly grateful that I am allowed to share this time in their lives. I hope that I can make an impact on them as much as they have on me.