Mothers ... at Last
Zoë's arrival isn't the only reason Jenny's got newborns on her mind. She and her husband, Sean, 38, want a brother or sister for Nora, who celebrated her first birthday over the summer at a picnic with more than 30 family members and friends, plus cakes made by Jenny. As she prepared to try again, she discussed her plans with an excited Carrie and Jody, happy to have friends who could talk with her in baby-making shorthand like "LP" (luteal phase) and "DPO" (days past ovulation). "After everything Jenny's gone through, I'm sure that the thought of trying to get pregnant again is difficult," says Jody. "I was worried through my whole pregnancy, and I'm sure she has a lot on her mind too. But she's really on top of everything."
Because Jenny has polycystic ovarian syndrome, a common cause of fertility problems, she has long had irregular menstrual cycles; she used the fertility drug Clomid to become pregnant with both Nora and Andrew. But she has reason to hope that the situation will be different this time — and she isn't as stressed about a third pregnancy as her friends might expect.
Jenny: After I had Nora, my cycles actually became more regular. I'm hoping that means we won't need as much intervention to have our next baby. I'm not really too anxious about getting pregnant. We've been through the wringer, and now we're going with the flow. The first time we tried to get pregnant, it was very emotional. Then, with Nora, we felt that emotion again, on top of our grief over losing Andrew. I know it will take us longer to conceive than most people, but it doesn't seem as stressful this time. When it happens, it'll happen. We're pretty boring right now in a lot of ways, and after all we've gone through, boring's not bad.
Carrie would agree with that. While giving birth to Payton in March, she experienced a painful injury called pubic symphysis separation. The ligaments holding her pubic bones together were damaged, leaving her dependent on a walker for the first two weeks after her baby was born. An active, athletic woman, Carrie found the struggle to regain her old mobility frustrating — especially at first, when she couldn't even pick up newborn Paty. But by late summer, Carrie began running 5K races. She and husband John, 33, take turns watching the baby so the other can run. "I've probably hit a point where I need to do something to take it to the next level of recovery," Carrie says, "but I haven't made it a priority."