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The Fertility Diaries: When a Friend Is Pregnant — and You're Not


The two new friends' wedding dates, it turned out, were just a month apart: Jody's in August 2003 and Jenny's in September. Jenny confided to Jody that even before the wedding, she'd decided to stop taking her birth control pills and start charting her ovulatory cycle, hoping to officially start trying to get pregnant soon after becoming Mrs. Taylor.

"I had a normal length of time between periods until October," Jenny, 27, recalls. "But then I had what felt like the longest cycle in history. By the time December rolled around, I had made myself an appointment with an ob/gyn, where they told me it was perfectly normal to not get a period for months on end." Skeptical of that glib dismissal, Jenny began to do more research, and changed doctors.

In February, after having fertility testing, Jenny was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder (between 6 percent and 10 percent of childbearing-age women have PCOS) in which the ovary doesn't make all of the hormones needed for eggs to fully mature. Jenny's new ob/gyn advised her to lose some weight, take a drug called Metformin -- primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes, it can also restore normal menstrual periods in women with PCOS -- and return for a follow-up appointment in August.

"But by June, I decided that enough was enough. I was done waiting to get pregnant!" Jenny says. She went to a reproductive endocrinologist (an ob/gyn who specializes in fertility treatments), and began taking her first round of the fertility drug Clomid, which boosts hormone levels and can kick-start ovulation, in August. "On September 9, I got a very faint positive on a pregnancy test," Jenny recalls. "A few days later, it was confirmed: I was pregnant!"

Jody was thrilled for her friend. She and her husband, Scott, 32, were still discussing when they would start their own family. "He told me that as soon as he got his sports car, we could have as many babies as I wanted!" she recalls, laughing. "He didn't want to be that dad in the commercial: 'Did you buy the Harley, Dad?' 'No, I bought siding.' So in the meantime I was following along with Jenny's pregnancy and thinking that would be me pretty soon."

For Jenny, pregnancy was relatively uneventful, but her labor wasn't. On May 19, 2005, when she was at almost 40 weeks' gestation, her membranes were stripped to help bring on labor. The next day, her water broke. But labor stalled, and hours later, she still wasn't dilating. Jenny received injections of Pitocin to speed up contractions, and an epidural for the pain. Then her baby's heart rate plummeted. Jenny had an emergency cesarean section, and at 8:23 p.m. on May 20, Andrew Wyatt Taylor was born. "He was so beautiful, and so worth the long, hard labor," she recalls. Then, just two days later, the unthinkable happened.

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