Today at the gym snack bar, a woman noticed the twins. The older two weren't with us and S. & L. were being very adorable--so it was a good kind of noticing.
We started to chitchat and she told me that this morning--at 10 am-- in a far-off city her daughter-in-law was trying in vitro.
"Oh, wow!" I said, "these are my IVF babies!"
I could tell the woman was ready to cry and I felt a lump in my throat, too. I just said, "It really does work, sometimes!"
At this point, the two of us had bonded and she sat down and we talked about Clomid and dye-tests and laparoscopies.
Then, I told her, "I tried IVF ten years ago and it didn't work."
"Oh, no!" she said, "don't tell me that."
"But, you see, " I explained, "it was the best thing that ever happened to me because now I have the most beautiful eight-year-old boy and the sweetest six-year-old girl alive and adoption is a wonderful thing."
"Wow," this new friend said, "we've never even talked about adoption."
"I know," I replied, "I didn't want to talk about it for a long time either."
"She's so nervous," the woman explained, "I think if it doesn't work, it will be the end of her world."
After she left, I thought of times when my world ended... You'll never be able to bear children. The procedure didn't work. We're moving across the country. They have to stay in the N.I.C.U. Your son might be autistic...
And then I thought of times when new worlds opened up...You've been chosen! It's a boy! It's a girl! It's twins! Mama! I love you!
I'd love to explain all this to the girl in the far-off city, waiting anxiously in her hospital gown...but there are some things you just have to learn on your own.