Hi. I’m the author of this fabulous blog. Formerly known as Infertile Girl, but now I’m Peanut Mom. My real name is Lydia, I live in Iowa, I’ve been married (to Nathan) since 2009, and I’m in my late 30s. I have a cat, a dog, a husband, and two kiddos: a daughter (Peanut) who was born in 2012, and our second IVF baby, a boy named Squeak, was born in 2014. (Both are nicknames, to respect their privacy.)
If you’re curious, you can read the dirty details of our infertility/iVF journey.
My name is real, and so is my husband’s (Nathan), but almost no one else’s name is real here. Just FYI.
We started trying to conceive in January 2010, and had our first iVF cycle in September 2011. It was a big fat failure. But we brushed ourselves off and got back on the horse, which in December 2011 resulted in our first positive (frozen embryo transfer). That embryo was our daughter, Peanut.
It took two full years, give or take, to see a positive result. But assisted reproduction was a hell of a ride and I blogged through almost all of it—trying to get pregnant, finally succeeding, having a newborn/infant/toddler, and all the fun that comes with it.
In 2013 we started the frozen embryo transfer process again, but this time we wanted to keep things quiet so we could (hopefully) surprise our friends and family with the news when (or rather, if) it worked out. And it did. Yippee! This second attempt resulted in our little boy, Squeak. In 2014 we decided to donate our remaining embryos to an infertile couple. Pretty neat.
I’m a big fan of oversharing and it never occurred to me to keep our infertility struggle a secret. I hope we get to a place as a society where we can talk openly about infertility. On this blog, there are no holds barred. I talk about uncomfortable subjects, and I have strong opinions sometimes. If you don’t agree, that’s cool. You can just close the browser window. That’s what’s awesome about the Interwebz, amirite?
In my early (and very bitter) posts, when I was still TTC and failing at it, I was pretty angry. Just know, until you’ve walked in the shoes of a woman who can’t get pregnant, you can’t possibly imagine the emotions it creates. Don’t pass judgment until you’ve been through it.
- January 2010: Pulled the goalie. AKA, went off birth control.
- May 2010: After absolutely zero periods in 5 months, first visit to reproductive endocrinologist (RE)
- June through August 2010: 2 cycles of Clomid
- August 2010: Ovarian cyst, followed by 2 months rest
- October 2010: More cysts. More rest.
- January 2011: Tried to do natural cycle with follicle tracking by ultrasound. Couldn’t ovulate on my own. Try again!
- February 2011: First cycle Letrazole (the Canadian Clomid), couldn’t ovulate. Try again with bigger dose.
- March 2011: More Letrazole, injectibles during the 5 days before ovulation, with ultrasounds to track follicles. Finally ovulated, but BFN (big fat negative). Took a cycle off to rest the ovaries and try again.
- May 2011: Mucho injectibles, ultrasounds, follicle tracking, and a trigger shot. Almost a failed cycle due to too many eggs maturing, but in the end we moved forward. First try at insemination (IUI). BFN.
- June 2011: I started this blog! Yay for catharsis!
- June-August 2011: Because my body responded so well to the injectibles, the doctors were worried about trying more IUIs. The risk of multiples was through the roof and we did not want to be in a position where we had to selectively reduce. Decided to go straight to IVF since I had great insurance coverage. Spent June-Aug waiting for our turn on the in vitro (IVF) merry-go-round. Lovely infertility vacation!
- September 2011: First fresh cycle IVF. Retrieved 20 eggs, 14 were mature, and 11 fertilized. Froze 4 at pronuclear and cultured 7. Implanted 1 five-day blast, cryopreserved 4 blasts and discarded 2 that didn’t develop. BFN.
- October and November 2011: Waiting for frozen embryo transfer (FET). Couldn’t get a period on my own, had to take Provera to kick-start it.
- December 9 2011: First frozen embryo transfer. Of my remaining 8 embryos, spent 4 (2 pronuclear, 2 blasts) and got one good embryo out of it (one of the blasts; zero pronuclears made it past thaw).
- December 19 2011: Got a positive, but not a BFP. A LTP (little tiny positive).
- December 21 2011: Second beta. Number went up, but not enough. Horrible nurse tells me I’ll probably miscarry.
- December 23 2011: Big Fat Positive! Peanut is hanging in there.
- December 29 2011: First ultrasound. Peanut is looking good, despite the low betas.
- January 9 2012: Second ultrasound. Heartbeat visible. Peanut is looking great.
- January 24 2012: Heard heartbeat on Doppler at 9 weeks. I graduated from infertility to regular obstetric care. Yippee! We’re due August 26th. Go Peanut, go!
- February 2012: Hit 12 weeks and we’re out of the woods for miscarriage. Yay! Peanut rules.
- March 2012: Peanut passes her trisomy 18, Down’s, and neural tube tests. Rockstar baby.
- April through July 2012: All goes well. Aside from some morning sickness, back pain, and general discomfort from carrying a giant parasite, pregnancy isn’t so bad.
- August 2012: Peanut is born at just over 37 weeks. A perfectly wonderful beautiful baby girl. Yippee! Let the sleep deprivation and spit-ups begin!
- August 2012 through November 2013: Four little frozen embryos, chillin’ in the freezer.
- November 21 2013: Frozen embryo transfer, one five day blast. Spent just ONE embryo!
- December 2 2013: Big Fat Positive! Squeak lives!
- December 9 2013: 5 weeks. Heavy hemorrhaging; fairly certain Squeak was finished.
- December 11 2013: 5 weeks. Ultrasound finds Squeak doing great; diagnosed with subchorionic hemorrhage.
- December 19 2013: 6 weeks. More blood visible on ultrasound; Squeak still going strong.
- December 23 2013: 7 weeks. Third ultrasound; Squeak’s heartbeat strong. No more ultrasounds unless I have more bleeding.
- January 15 2014: 9 weeks. Squeak’s heartbeat heard on doppler. Tough little guy!
- January 31 2014: 13 weeks. First OB ultrasound; Squeak passes with flying colors; all organs and limbs present.
- April 2014: Squeak passes his trisomy 18, Down’s, and neural tube tests. Rockstar baby #2.
- April – July 2014: A pretty typical pregnancy, but hard when I’m chasing a toddler (Peanut) around. Now we’re just waiting for little Squeak to make his/her appearance!
- July 2014: Another totally funky birth story, and our little man is here! Yippee!
All in all:
122 intramuscular injections, 27 transvaginal ultrasounds, six BFNs, 14 times crying at work (estimated), one LTP, one BFP, and two amazing beautiful humans I cannot believe I created. Er, well, I guess I didn’t create them. Someone in a laboratory did. But I helped!
The story continues… with embryo donation!
- November 2014: With the help of a matchmaking agency, we chose a deserving couple to receive our 3 remaining blastocysts/embryos (the story: part 1, part 2).
- September 2015: Our embryo donation is finalized.
- October 2015: Our embryo recipient transfers the first of 3 embryos; Big Fat Positive!
- November 2015: Our recipient family suffers a miscarriage at 8.5 weeks. Not cool, universe.
- February 2016: Our recipient family transfers the second of 3 embryos. Chemical pregnancy.
- June 2016: The last embryo is transferred into our recipient mom, and results in a third chemical pregnancy. Dammmmiiitttt.
- April 2017: In a roundabout way, our embryo donation story turns out to have an amazing happy ending.