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Fertility Diaries: They Dreamed of Motherhood Together

Lessons in Motherhood

Jenny was fortified during these tough days by a long, chatty lunch at Applebee's with Jody and Carrie on the day before Andrew's birthday. "We took over the place — there was baby stuff everywhere," laughs Jody. Carrie brought her daughter, Payton, then 10 weeks old, much to the delight of little Nora. "She was just enthralled with Payton," Jody recalls. "She constantly wanted to play with her stuff and look at her. It was so cute!"

New mom Carrie and mom-to-be Jody grilled Jenny about everything from what to buy for the baby (and what not to buy) to breast-feeding tips. She advised them to invest in the real "Hooter Hider" for nursing in public instead of skimping on cheap imitations. "It's so nice and reassuring to have a friend who's gone through it so recently — someone you can ask anything," says Carrie. "My sisters didn't breast-feed, so I'm always saying, 'Jenny, help, is this normal? Jenny, what should I do?'"

The first weeks of motherhood had been harder for Carrie than for most new moms. Payton was healthy and beautiful, but Carrie had sustained a rare and painful injury to her pelvic ligaments, called pubic symphysis separation, during delivery. After Payton was born on March 2, Carrie spent the next two weeks getting around with the help of a walker; she was able to hold her daughter but unable to pick her up and carry her around. "As soon as I could get rid of the walker, I did, and then I just hobbled," Carrie says. "I'm kind of stubborn that way." Jenny and Jody called often to offer their support, and Jody stopped by with lunch and gossip.

More than two months later, after six weeks of physical therapy, Carrie was still struggling with chronic pain.

Hearst Redbook Image of Mother and Baby

Carrie: It took about a month to get back to walking normally, but there are still problems. I'll walk the dog and he'll turn in a direction I wasn't expecting, and pain shoots up my body. Most people would say, "You're fine, you can walk." Yes, I can, but I used to be very active — I worked out a lot, and the things my husband and I like to do are very physical, like hiking off the beaten path. When I saw my niece, who takes gymnastics, she asked, "Aunt Carrie, how do I do a straddle jump?" I did gymnastics and cheerleading growing up, so I went to show her — and realized I couldn't. It's hard not to be able to do things you've always been able to do. I've decided to change doctors, to one who's more proactive in dealing with my condition and making sure it won't happen again with another birth. Things are still improving, but nobody's told me what to expect over the long term.

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