PEOPLE staff writer Nicki Egan first wrote about Brittany Maynard in a story published on PEOPLE.com Oct 6. In addition to two telephone interviews with Maynard, Egan also spoke with Maynard’s mother, Debbie Ziegler, and husband, Dan Diaz, as part of her ongoing coverage of this emotional story. Below, Egan reflects on the Brittany she came to know.
It’s hard to believe that just a month ago I spoke with Brittany Maynard for the first time.
And now she’s gone.
It was not an easy decision for her to go public, but she so passionately believed death with dignity should be an option for terminal patients that she put herself out there.
“As much as I’m very introverted and hesitant to give interviews, when the opportunity presented itself I had to do it,” she told me in our first interview Oct. 3.
During a Friday appearance on TODAY, actress Drew Barrymore opened up about her beauty brand Flower, and family life with husband Will Kopelman and their daughters Olive, 2, and Frankie, 6 months.
On her next career move: “I think I will act less and less…I find the hours at this point in my life too difficult with kids. It’s hard to be present when you wake up before them and come home after they’ve gone to bed. That’s just not the way I want to have this journey with my kids at this point in their life. But maybe when they’re older, I will feel differently.”
On how her turbulent childhood shaped her parenting style: “I had a very untraditional upbringing, so I looked at it from afar and just thought, ‘Well that’s the exact opposite of how I’d want to raise my kids.’ But it doesn’t make me bummed out that I didn’t have parents. It’s like, thank God that I didn’t because maybe I wouldn’t be this aggressively excited about tradition and values and Christmas cards and Halloween costumes… and being so present.”
On turning 40 in February: “I’m so relieved to be 40. I’ve already started saying I’m 40 and my husband’s like, ‘Honey, you’re still 39. Why are you saying you’re 40?’… I’m just so excited! It feels good. It feels right.”
On if she will have more kids: “I’m open-minded about it. We’re really happy with where we are … So I think if we got pregnant we’d be the happiest people on Earth, and then we’d just feel even luckier. I think we’d also be completely content to stay right where we are.”
“30 weeks – can’t wait to meet u baby girl,” the Teen Mom star, 21, captioned the image.
Last week, the reality star posted a photo with her beau, Teen Mom costar Tyler Baltierra.
“My man is the best man… he is the world’s most amazing father love him with all my heart and soul,” she wrote.
The couple – who are expecting their baby girl in January – first appeared on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant in 2009, where Catelynn gave birth to daughter Carly, now 5, whom the couple decided to give up for adoption.
Catelynn and Tyler had an open adoption and still keep in contact with the family who adopted Carly. The young couple documented the emotional process on Teen Mom.
“I think it’s difficult for anybody regardless of what world they live in…it was the most unfortunate thing that can ever happen to a person,” the singer, who also miscarried in 2008, recalled of losing her baby when she was 6 months along.
Thankfully, the Smile singer, 29, had the full support of her husband Sam Cooper.
“Actually what I took home from that experience was…I was very fortunate in the sense that I have a loving partner to go home to and share that experience with,” she shared.
The singer went on to talk about the devastation of giving birth to a stillborn baby.
“There are…17 stillbirths in the UK every day… and there are many women that go home and they don’t have that support, they have to go home and deal with that on their own so I am kind of in a…count-my-blessings scenario rather than feeling sorry for myself,” she added.
Following her stillborn and subsequent miscarriage, Allen welcomed daughter Ethel Mary in November 2012 and another daughter, Marnie Rose, in January 2013 — and she’s hoping to add to the brood.
“I’d love a boy,” she admitted. “And I’d also like another girl just so I can call her Auxiliary Jane or Pizza. I quite like Pizza for a kid, or Megan Lolz that would be good. Megan Lolz.”