I belong to 24 Hour Fitness, and I work out about 4-5 days/week. Now that my daughter has fully gotten over her separation anxiety, it makes it a snap to go to the gym and have her play in the gym daycare while I have a complete hour to myself. But, as any mom knows, gym daycares fill up VERY FAST, and it REALLY stinks when you have it in your mind that you will be working out (aka an hour to yourself), only to have to go home because the daycare is full. Therefore, in order to avoid this epic letdown, I always arrive promptly when it opens: 8AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8:30AM on Saturdays, and 9AM on Sundays. The sudden rush of freedom that overwhelms your body is incredible -- it's worth the craziness to get out the door to be the first in line. Sometimes I've actually thought about bringing my crochet and just "stretching" on a mat. A girl is allowed to dream, right?
Back to my story...
It's been over a year now that Livia and I have had our gym routine set. And for this past year, I've seen this one blonde girl regularly every week on a treadmill either in front of me or besides me. She's just one of those girls that I found myself staring at for who-knows-what-reason. Yes, she's pretty -- long blonde hair, tan skin, thin, etc, but it was more than that. I just felt a weird connection. I felt that I could totally be friends with this girl, but I was way too shy and/or intimidated to start any sort of conversation with her. So, instead of being nice, I would just stare...and in a weird way, judge. I wouldn't think of anything particularly mean about her -- come on, I didn't even know her name -- but just think about reasons why we never spoke. And because last year was filled with fertility treatments and appointments, I often found myself thinking whether or not this girl had children, or was, possibly, trying to get pregnant herself.
Fast-forward to late 2014.
I brought Livia to the daycare, and started up my treadmill. And as always, I saw the blonde girl on a treadmill next to me. She was walking...which was weird because I always saw her running. And as she finished her warm-up, she took off her jacket to reveal a baby bump! She was pregnant! I was instantly excited, yet envious. I wondered if she was having a girl or boy, what she would name her/him, how she was planning her nursery. Crazy, right?!
What was even crazier was the fact that I found out that I was pregnant with my own #2 only a month or so after I saw her baby bump. I secretly couldn't wait until she saw my own bump, and thought, maybe this is how we could bond.
And then, it happened.
One gym day as we randomly were walking on side-by-side treadmills with our earphones on, she leaned over and asked me how I was feeling. I couldn't believe it. She spoke! And I responded! We instantly connected and spoke the entire hour -- babies, husbands, nurseries, breastfeeding, c-sections, houses (we only live a street over from each other!), and our own fertility. We bonded over our baby bumps, but more so on our journey to finally have one. Like me, she had to use fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy, but unlike me, she had experienced miscarriages. I spoke about my own journey of fertility treatment for the past year, and how I found out that I was pregnant the day before starting IVF.
I went home that day and knew that I had to give her something. Something special. I remember being pregnant with Livia and just thinking it was a God-given miracle to have this child inside me. I wanted her to know that I knew that feeling. The next time that I saw her at the gym, I gave her a pink and purple crochet owl hat, and she fell in love. I explained to her that I love making things to celebrate babies, since they are such miracles. She wanted to see more of my creativity, so as we were walking on our side-by-side treadmills, she browsed my Etsy site. She was having a newborn shoot and wanted a special outfit. She gave me full reign on design, as long as it incorporated purple.
I went home and was so excited to start her outfit. I finished the couture hat, diaper cover, and matching booties a couple days later -- only two days after she gave birth to her healthy baby girl, Marni. Although she has only seen pictures of the outfit as she is still recovering in the hospital, she loves it.
In a weird way, I knew we would be friends. I just didn't know how, why, or when. It's pretty remarkable that we bonded over something we both were praying for so much. I'm so happy that she has Marni, and now I cannot wait to meet my own little dude in May, Baby Tucker.