The Fertility Diaries: Friends and Mothers
Bright Hopes continued...
Her doctor's appointment, when it finally rolled around on January 19, confirmed the longawaited good news: Jody was pregnant! She began taking Lovenox — an anticlotting drug — right away, and followup blood tests confirmed that her hormone levels were rising just as they should be in early pregnancy.
Two weeks later, an ultrasound gave Jody and Scott, 32, the first glimpse of their developing baby.
Jody: "The baby was the size of a grain of rice, but we could already see the heart beating! It was such a relief to us. A lot of my fears were taken away on that day. They say that once you see the heart beat, there's much less chance of anything happening. That's the day we came up with a nickname for our baby: 'Birdie.' After all, we'd been talking so much about eggs and yolks, and then there the baby was, fluttering away on the ultrasound — so it just seemed to fit."
Proceeding With Caution
Jenny, who had yelped with happiness when Jody called to tell her the big news, was still extra vigilant with her own child, Nora, now a healthy, active 5monthold who was trying hard to crawl. After the devastating heartbreak of losing Andrew to SIDS, Jenny and her husband, Sean, 37, had decided to keep baby Nora on an apnea monitor. The device consists of a stretchy band worn around Nora's chest and is connected with wires to an alarm system; the monitor would beep if the baby's breathing stopped or if her heart rate got too low. At first, Nora wore it most of the time, then Jenny slowly weaned the baby — and herself — from the monitor. By February, Nora was wearing it only at night.
Jenny: "The doctor was fine with us using the monitor until Nora's 9month wellbaby visit — actually, she'll be over 10 months by the time we go in. She said that the second peak time for SIDS is at 8 months, and that's why she didn't mind if we kept using it, provided that Nora isn't getting tangled in the cords. That was a relief. I was really dreading taking her off it. Like, petrified. Maybe that's why she doesn't take good naps — could it be the mama bear hovering over her and poking her if I can't see her breathing?"
Jenny was also beginning to think about her next child. Because of her struggles to get pregnant with both Andrew and Nora, she knew it might not be easy. "We're going to have at least one more, but a lot of the timing is dependent on Nora. For me to go back on the fertility drug Clomid, she has to be weaned, and I'm not going to wean her automatically at a year," she says. But she has reason to be optimistic: Since Nora was born, Jenny's periods have returned in a fairly normal cycle. "I've always had irregular periods, and I'm not used to them just coming on their own," Jenny explains. "I'm not charting, so I don't know if I'm ovulating, but right now we're just not preventing. If anything happens, we'd have a happy, unexpected accident!"