Mothers ... at Last
By Gina Shaw
Jody, Carrie, and Jenny look back at how far they've come together −
and look forward to a sweet future with their daughters.
For the past year, Jody Urbas, 34, Carrie Brainerd, 32, and Jenny Taylor,
28, have shared with REDBOOK readers the most intimate details of their lives
as they went through pregnancy, miscarriage, fertility treatments, and all the
ups and downs along the path to motherhood. As we revisit these three friends,
Jenny celebrates her daughter's first birthday, Carrie has largely recovered
from a painful labor injury, and Jody nears the end of a much-longed-for
pregnancy, hoping for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.
A year has passed since Jody and Jenny came to Carrie's suburban Ohio home
to share pizza, plan a Halloween pumpkin-picking outing, and talk about
pregnancy, babies, infertility, loss, and longing.
Back then, Carrie was in her second trimester of pregnancy. Jenny was
grieving the loss of her first child — son Andrew Wyatt — to sudden infant
death syndrome in May 2005, and relying on an apnea monitor to soothe her
anxiety that her new baby girl, Nora, might stop breathing. And Jody had begun
a cycle of infertility treatments after suffering a miscarriage a few months
Now, on a bright, unseasonably warm fall day, the three friends get together
once again. But this time, Jody is the host, baby squeals and gurgles fill the
room, and nursing breaks punctuate the conversation. Nora, now 14 months old
and no longer using the apnea monitor, runs through the halls in eager pursuit
of Jody's Dalmatian. Carrie's 7-month-old daughter, Payton, reaches eagerly for
toys on her play mat. And Jody's 2-week-old baby, Zoë Roze, alternates between
contented nursing and newborn howls.
"It's hard to believe Zoë's here," Jody says, fighting back tears.
"We never knew whether it was going to happen or not." After enduring
several failed cycles of intrauterine insemination, she finally conceived
through in vitro fertilization. Her pregnancy was a difficult one, marked by
seemingly endless morning sickness and daily shots to treat a blood-clotting
disorder. After their long wait to have a child, Jody and her husband, Scott,
33, went to the hospital for an induced labor on September 19, 2007.
Jody: At 11 p.m., they started me on a drug called Cervidil to soften
my cervix for labor. At noon on Friday, they started an IV drip of Pitocin,
which induces contractions. By dinnertime, they were talking about stopping the
medication, since it didn't seem to be starting my labor — which was so
discouraging. But shortly afterward, I was three centimeters dilated, and about
10 minutes after that, labor started hard and my breathing techniques just went
right out the door. I started pushing at around 2 a.m. Nothing — no class, no
A Baby Story — will ever prepare you for what it feels like. I tore
right when I first pushed. Scotty was scared at first but then urged me on:
"I see her head coming down, I see her blonde hair — keep going, she'll be
here any second!" They put her on my stomach and cleaned her while she was
on top of me. Zoë is so cute — she looks just like Scotty! I can't believe how
in love you can be with somebody you've just met.