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Mothers ... at Last

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Gina Shaw
Redbook Magazine Logo
Jody, Carrie, and Jenny look back at how far they've come togetherand 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 earlier.

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.

Redbook Photo of Woman with Red Hair Holding Baby

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.

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