The Fertility Diaries: Friends and Mothers
By Gina Shaw
3 women, each trying to build a family, have been waiting on some important — and nerve-racking — developments. Will Jody's latest fertility treatment succeed? Will Carrie's labor go smoothly? Read about their latest challenges and triumphs.
In this installment of the "Fertility Diaries," REDBOOK revisits three Cleveland area friends, each of whom has taken a different path to parenthood. Jody Urbas, 33, begins her first cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF), following a miscarriage and several failed attempts to get pregnant using other assisted reproductive methods. Jenny Taylor, 27, who had baby Nora with the help of fertility medications barely a year after the tragic death of her newborn son from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), now copes with that memory and her anxieties as she cares for her second child. And Carrie Brainerd, 31, who became pregnant just as soon as she started trying, eagerly awaits the birth of her baby.
Some people celebrate the new year with a glass of champagne. Jody Urbas rang in 2007 with a shot in the behind.
She had spent the week between Christmas and New Year's getting daily injections of two fertility drugs — GonalF and Repronex, both designed to spur egg development for the in vitro fertilization process she was about to undergo. Almost every day, she'd visited her reproductive endocrinologist — a doctor specializing in fertility — to have her hormone levels tested. "I was there on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day — pretty much every day except Christmas Day!" says Jody, a teacher of the hearing impaired. Her surging hormone levels helped the doctor estimate how many eggs she would likely produce and when it would be time to trigger ovulation.
That time came at 8:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Celebrating at home, Jody asked her friend, a medical resident, to give her the "trigger shot" (human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG). "The injection has to be timed precisely, so that they know exactly when you should come in for your egg retrieval," Jody explains.
On New Year's Day, already feeling a heaviness and bloating in her ovaries, Jody returned to her doctor for an ultrasound and blood work. He confirmed that she could return for egg retrieval the next day, January 2.