Love this gem, which SBS wrote in June 2010, just three months after Run Like a Mother was released.
I went on my first-ever big-group run last weekend. Yet amidst the crowd, one woman and I forged a special bond. J. and I had never met before, yet by the end, we both agreed we were destined to meet. We divulged more in our seven miles together than some women might share in a year of coffee get-togethers and happy hours.
The catalyst? Me admitting our twins were conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Turns out she is about to start a cycle of IVF in three weeks, not long after she runs a marathon on July 4. She and I were going along at a relaxed pace, yet when I told her about undergoing IVF, a perceptible weight fell off her shoulders. She turned to me and exclaimed, “I’m about to do that, and I’ve never met anyone it worked for!” We’d had an easy back-and-forth up to that point, but my admission opened the floodgates. A torrent of words poured back and forth between us. Her admitting her fears and concerns, and me honestly recounting my experiences.
I told her how I didn’t let the daily injections rule the rest of my life: Like a rough patch during a run, I told myself they were only a small part of my day, and I could get through it. How the ordeal seemed a lifetime ago, despite my twins not yet turning 5. About the incredible power of acupuncture, both leading up to treatment and on the day of the embryo transfer. (J. was so amazed, she said she was going to make an appointment for the very next day!) And about the therapeutic value of a wry sense of humor.
While I’m not embarrassed or private about having done IVF to get our second (and third!) children, it’s usually not something that comes up within the first hour of meeting someone. Yet as our feet smack-smack-smacked the pavement, artificial reproduction seemed like the most natural thing in the world to talk about. At the end of the run, I signed a copy of Run Like a Mother for her (I’m confident J. will become a mother before too long), and we shared a sweaty hug. Going into the group run, my intention was to mingle to spread the RLAM word. Instead of meeting dozens of runners, I felt fulfilled by a single bond.