As my friends and I have gotten older, it has become clear that starting a family is surprisingly often a messy, heart-wrenching, unpredictable, and totally unfair process.  Briefly, I’ve had three pregnancy losses, including one in the middle of the second trimester, and two live births (my beautiful, amazing sons S and L).  Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of our family timeline:

  • I threw away my birth control pills in June 2013, and my husband and I started trying to conceive in earnest around September 2013.
  • Several months later I had a relatively mild infertility diagnosis (oligoovulation — or irregular cycles).  In the 11 months before we got pregnant for the first time, I had everything from 27- to 66-day cycles.  Our RE said it probably wasn’t PCOS.  I was ovulating consistently, just not predictably.  Once I figured out my wacky cycles and started using digital OPKs we conceived on our second try, just as I was about to start Letrozole (May 2014).
  • My first pregnancy ended in a second-trimester loss at 18w 2d, probably due to placental abruption.  They induced labor, and I delivered a chromosomally normal little girl (September 2014).
  • My first loss was complicated by retained products of conception and intrauterine adhesions (relatively mild, obscuring ~10% of the cavity).  The abruption and adhesions give me a high (~30%) probability of developing placenta-related complications in future pregnancies.  All my future pregnancies are now officially high-risk.
  • Post-loss bloodwork uncovered a genetic mutation that predisposes me to blood clotting (Factor V Leiden), and between that and the clotting they found on the placenta in the autopsy, I’ll be giving myself daily injections of anticoagulant in my next pregnancy.
  • After 6 months of trying with clockwork-regular periods following our first loss, a repeat HSG revealed significantly damaged fallopian tubes (loculated flow and partial hydrosalpinx), apparently courtesy of the same infection that scarred my uterus (which was symptomatic, but went untreated by the midwife).  RE recommends moving to IVF (May-June 2015).
  • Hold that thought!  I’m spontaneously pregnant with #2!  (June 2015)
  • Baby boy S has arrived! (February 2016)
  • We are officially trying again (spring 2017)
  • First-trimester miscarriage, anembryonic (May 2017)
  • First-trimester miscarriage, anembryonic (November 2017)
  • Pregnant again (spring 2018)
  • Baby boy L has arrived! (November 2018)

I’m also a tenure-track physical science professor at a small liberal arts college.  My reproductive issues started in my first year on the tenure track, and my life as a scientist has been superimposed on my reproductive experiences, resulting in some unique interference patterns.  This is a place for me to write it out, and try to connect with other people going through similar challenges, either baby-wise or science-wise.  Thanks for visiting, and I’d love to hear from you.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Wifey

    I’ve just now followed you back (I thought I already had?!) and spent some time catching up on your story. Tears are rolling down my face and my heart is aching for you. I’m so, so sorry for your loss and the incredible heartbreak you’ve suffered. It’s awful and unfair and I hate that anyone, anywhere would have to experience miscarriage, pregnancy loss or stillbirth. And, I don’t know what else to say because there is nothing else anyone can say, I suppose. Lots of love to you.

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thank you so much, and I’m so glad that you’ve found your way here. I never imagined that blogging (of all things) would help me find such wonderful and supportive women who really understand what it’s like to experience heartbreak in the attempt to expand our families.

      1. Wifey

        When I first started blogging I only shared with my family and closest friends. I was so resistant to follow other IF bloggers. I have no idea why I was hesitant to reach out to others in similar situations because once I did, I was blown away by the support and encouragement. I’m glad to add you to my support group list and glad to be a part of yours!

  2. Josie

    Thank you for writing this blog. I am so sorry you have suffered such awful heartbreak. At the end of March this year I lost twins at 16 weeks due to a really rare complication, it was also my first pregnancy, and the pain is so much worse that I could have ever imagined. As much as I wish no one ever had to go through this, it helps to know that I am not alone.

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Oh, Josie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story. It is unimaginably awful, isn’t it? Gosh, end of March means you’re only about a month and a half out… I remember people saying this to me, and not believing them, but I’m going to say it anyway: this is still really recent for you. You’ll think you’re getting over it at this point, but there are so many difficult spots in the first year that you should make sure to be patient when they sneak up on you and you fall back into grief again. Be gentle with yourself, give yourself space to grieve and heal in whatever way you need. Nobody understands what you’re going through other than you, so don’t let them tell you otherwise. It will get easier with time… but it will take a LONG time, and you’ll never forget your twins. Another baby won’t replace them. You are still their mother, and always will be.

      Sorry if that’s too preachy… I’m just so sad for you, and want to say all of the things that I wish someone had said to me after our daughter died. Thanks for commenting, and I’m wishing you all the best as you move forward.


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