The Maternal Professional

090610FEATURE.jpg The Maternal Professional
Unique moms helping moms

There's nothing like motherhood, but that doesn't always make it easy. So two local women use their experiences to help other moms-to-be in two very different ways.

From gestational carrying to baby planning, these one-of-a-kind women have extraordinary stories, so read on as they share their mama tales.

Everything changes when you become a mother. Bottles and bibs fill your kitchen cabinets. Car seats, sun visors and diaper bags appear in your car. And you begin to rejoice (often to the point of tears) at "little" things like a first step or the first time you hear, "Mama." 


Yes, becoming a mother is life-altering for you and your family, but two local women took that impact even further. They changed and continue to change the lives of others. SassyMoma-In-Story-GIF.GIF


The Gift of Life


Meet Carmen Woody. She is a mom of three blonde-haired little girls and she works as an infertility nurse. On the job, she experiences the joy of telling couples that, after a long wait and intense heartache, they can expect a new addition to their family in nine months.


Unfortunately, Woody also has the job of telling couples that the fertility treatments didn't work and their paper-thin patience must continue. And it was not once or twice but seven times that she had to deliver this message to Kristen and Scott Oyler.


After the Oylers' seventh failed in vitro fertilization attempt, their doctor recommended that they consider looking for a gestational carrier. Similar to a surrogate mother, a gestational carrier is a woman who carries a baby to term for somebody else. A surrogate mother, however, uses her own egg while a gestational carrier uses an outside embryo without any of her own genetic material.


It was upon this recommendation that Woody decided to lend a helping uterus. "After so many negatives, they just were so positive all the time, and I've always thought about being a gestational carrier," Woody says.


So after checking with her husband and the doctors and nurses at her work, she proposed the idea to the Oylers. "They were shocked, of course. They couldn't believe it, and I assured them that I was serious and that I'd already cleared it with everybody," Woody says. 


 The Oylers accepted Woody's generous offer, and the process began. Before an embryo could be placed, Woody had to be declared ready for the journey ahead. From physical examinations to written personality tests to counseling with her husband, Woody made sure that her decision was safe — both physically and psychologically — for everyone involved.


Then after 60 days of shots to sync her cycle with Kristen's and three attempts at embryo implantation, Woody was pregnant — with twins. And throughout the entire pregnancy, the Oylers were able to experience the growth of their babies with each doctor's appointment and ultrasound. SusanGKomen_In-Story.jpg


Woody maintained what she calls "a very healthy detachment" throughout her entire pregnancy by focusing on the Oylers' experience. "When you see them up on the ultrasound screen, it's like those are their babies. I'm just carrying them. I'm just babysitting for a while," Woody says. 


Woody also explained this to her three daughters, who understood and accepted the situation completely. "They were very matter-of-fact," Woody says. "When people would say, 'Oh I didn't know your mommy was pregnant,' they would straight up say, 'Oh they're not ours. They're not ours. She's carrying them for somebody.' "


And Woody's nine-month babysitting spree was finally over on Aug. 9 (yes, 8/9/10), when she gave birth to Gabrielle and Isabelle Oyler. The Oylers had a separate hospital room to spend time with their new family members, but they brought the twins to Woody's room frequently to spend time with her and her family. 


This once-in-a-lifetime experience definitely was worth it, Woody says. "I think it's blessed my family just as much as it's blessed their family," she says. 


090610FEATURE4.jpgThe Gift of Stress Relief and Peace of Mind


Your wedding might be the biggest day of your life, but that's only until you have a baby. So while wedding planners have become common place in today's matrimonial market, baby planners are just starting their trend in society. 


Cincinnatian Lynne Cope runs one of only 24 companies in the world that are premier members of the International Baby Planner Association. But before becoming a baby planner, Cope went through two of her own pregnancies.


"The first time I walked into Babies 'R' Us to do anything, I was so overwhelmed that I wanted to cry," she says. With options galore, each step of the process turned into loads of research and extensive pros and cons lists. "You need a bottle, but there's 10 different kinds of bottles," Cope says. "How do you make a choice between bottles, much less car seats and strollers and all of the things that are really, really important that you need for your child?"


So after going through this overwhelming experience, Cope decided she wanted to help create a smoother, more enjoyable process for others. "I want to help other new parents-to-be avoid that feeling," she says, and she makes it happen with Belly Bumps Baby Planning.061410VALLEYVIEW.GIF


Launched July 2009, Belly Bumps offers individualized services focused on helping parents enjoy the pregnancy process instead of getting stressed out. As the services are customized to the client, Cope meets with her clients before determining the best way to address their needs. Some couples don't have the time to do the extensive research they'd like to do. Other couples aren't sure how to set up the nursery for the best flow. Other parents-to-be want their newborn's environment to be eco-friendly but don't know where to start. And Cope can help them all.


"It's basically just trying to make it their best experience and making it as fun as possible and getting them what they need so that when the baby comes, they're all ready to go and feel confident about the choices that they've made and they're ready to bring the little one home and start they're new lives together," Cope says.


For more information about Belly Bumps or to set up an initial consultation with Cope, visit, call (513) 328-6113 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Top Photo
Photo courtesy of Carmen Woody

Models: Logan, Spencer, Carmen and Reese Woody

Bottom Photo
Photo courtesy of Carmen Woody
Models: Back Row- Andy Woody, Scott Oyler, Kristen Oyler; Front row- Logan Woody, Spencer Woody, Reese Woody and Carmen Woody with Gabrielle and Isabelle Oyler

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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