The Fertility Diaries: When a Friend Is Pregnant — and You're Not
By Gina Shaw
After sharing the joys of new marriage, three friends looked
forward to becoming first-time moms together. But they're learning that the
road to parenthood can be more complicated — and more painful — than they'd
ever imagined. Here, they share their journey of friendship and hope.
Most women expect that when they're ready to make a baby, their bodies
will readily comply. But sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. And that
realization can be devastating. In fact, more than 6.1 million women in the
United States find it difficult or impossible to get pregnant or carry a baby
to term, and 2.1 million married couples are infertile (meaning, they haven't
gotten pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex), according to a 1995 survey
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this ongoing series,
REDBOOK will follow the experiences of three women, all longing to become
mothers, as they help one another cope with the complicated and sometimes
unforgiving fertility maze. We'll also give you the guidance you need if you --
or any of your friends -- are struggling to get pregnant.
It's a chilly night in the Cleveland suburb of Medina, OH, but inside Carrie
Brainerd's neat three-bedroom home, the air is warm and inviting. The smell of
cookies fills the kitchen, and with Halloween just a few weeks away, Carrie and
her friends Jenny Taylor and Jody Urbas chat over pizza and happily plan a
weekend outing to a nearby pumpkin patch.
They hope it will be just one of many such excursions that they'll make with
their families. All three got married within the last few years and are excited
about motherhood. In fact, Carrie is pregnant and due in four months, but her
happiness goes hand in hand with sorrows and struggles for Jody and Jenny. Of
the three close friends, only Carrie has found herself with an uncomplicated
Together, they've been on a journey through ovulation charting, reproductive
specialist visits, miscarriage, misdiagnoses, devastating loss, and a seemingly
never-ending roller-coaster ride of hope and anxiety. They've had one another's
support, but also the bittersweet experience of watching someone close to you
get the thing that you want most -- spurring those mixed emotions of "I'm
so happy for you" and "Why can't that be me?"