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Mothers ... at Last

continued...

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.

Redbook Woman with Brown Hair Holding Baby

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."

What she has made a priority: spending more time with Payton. Carrie, a marketing specialist, recently switched to a part-time job that she helped to create at her company, where she works Monday, Tuesday, and half days on Wednesday.

Carrie: Having a baby does make you look at the world differently. Grass can be interesting. So can ceiling fans! Paty is pulling herself up in her crib to stand, and she thinks it's just the greatest thing. The other day I was cleaning her hands off in the sink, and she was using the vegetable sprayer like a drinking fountain — facedown, faceup, soaked to the waist. She had me laughing until I cried. I figure when we have our second child — perhaps when Paty's around 2 or so — maybe that one will be more like me, all over the place and bored easily!

With three little girls who are only about a year apart in age, Carrie, Jenny, and Jody expect to spend a lot more time together. They got together for another pumpkin-patch outing in October and shared their costume plans for Halloween — Paty dressed up as a bumblebee, Nora was Boo from the movie Monsters, Inc., and Zoë was ... an adorable baby. And these good friends envision many playdates, picnics, and birthday parties to come.

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