Alcohol Swabs

That smell.

In fact, I haven’t smelled “that smell” in a very long time…since my last IVF cycle. My last failed IVF cycle. Well, let’s be real…all of my cycles have failed……so….it equated failure, to me.

That smell is heartache and failure…wrapped up in a tiny, foil-lined package. Years and, almost, every month within those years, I smelled those alcohol swabs. When I would get my blood drawn. When I gave myself a shot. When I was getting an IV put in my arm before my 7th surgery.

All with disappointing results. All sad memories.



So yesterday, without even thinking, I needed to clean a cut. I opened one of my drawers to find a package of those alcohol swabs. It was actually a package from the pharmacy when you order your ivf meds through the mail. Usually, they give the alcohol swabs to you for “free”(well, thank you since I spent $8,000 on medication with you all for that cycle…appreciate the “gift”)

So, I pulled the package out…ripped it open…and that smell brought me to write this….

Except, I didn’t open it to give myself a shot, or to get my blood drawn to to have an IV inserted into my arm…..

I opened it to use it on my son.

And as the sad, depressing, negative memories flooded my brain………I was looking into my little miracles’ eyes…

He had tears because he fell….and it hurt…. I had tears because….the memories it brought back…. hurt….but those tears quickly turned to gratitude and an unbelievable sense of thankfulness.

I was overwhelmed…choked up, only he and I in the bathroom, tears pouring down my face.

I grabbed him and hugged him.

It might have been one of the most thankful feelings I have ever felt in my entire life.

Gut-wrenchingly thankful.

All because of “that smell” and what it ultimately gave me.

I don’t think I will ever forget those years of using alcohol swabs and how the memories of infertility are always looming. That’s the part about infertility that most people don’t understand. Even when you have “figured out” a way to become a parent, the damage on your body, mind and soul is already done. It doesn’t “fix” everything. And there are always “triggers”. I wrote a post about PTID(Post Traumatic Infertility Disorder)  a while back…..and it is very real.

Is there something in your life…”that smell” or “that sound” or “that taste” that brings emotions or memories? Has it changed over the years? Or if you are dealing with PTID…I’m here for you always…




Giving Up = Strength

June 2015- I was thinking about giving up on my body after years of disappointment.

August 2015-I gave up on my body and started the process of gestational surrogacy.

I had to give up. I gave up on my body. Others give up on their genetics(donor eggs/sperm donor). Others give up on both their body and their genetics(foster/adoption). And others are simply forced to give up all together. And when enough is enough, it is a very personal decision. You know when you are done. And anyone that wants to judge you for your decision has obviously never walked in your shoes.

You see because this really isn’t even a decision that is ours to make now, is it?

We have been diagnosed with infertility…it is a disease. Period. We did not choose this part of our life.

While I was going through it all. I would question…”why me?” A LOT.

And I was lost for so many years. I just kept trying different treatments, vitamins, injections, surgeries, etc…all in an attempt to grow my lining to carry my child.

But nope. Wasn’t happening.

So I gave up.

And now, after it all…I have a one year old little boy.

So many people tell me….”See, you never gave up!” And I have to correct them…that I DID give up. If I wouldn’t have given up, most likely this little boy would not be here….

And for that I say….sometimes, you have to give up.

Giving up is not an easy thing to do. You lose a part of yourself by giving up.

You lose the life you THOUGHT you were supposed to live…..

And that is such a hard pill to swallow.

Social media doesn’t help…as everyone posts their “best” selves….and their “perfect” lives…

But no one is perfect…and behind those gorgeous, filtered, perfectly posed pictures is heartache of some sort..

Infertility is a special kind of heartache that most cannot see by simply looking at you…

So when you “give up”, many don’t get it….

And most won’t ever get it….

Because, once again, this “choice”…it’s not that at all…..just like those “perfect” social media pictures…

So when someone gives up…instead of asking “why”, or “why don’t you try this”, or “why didn’t you try that”

How about saying, “I have no idea how you are feeling but just know that I’m here for you.”

Giving up is one of the strongest decisions you are forced to make…..

And the ones who have given up are some of the strongest men and women I know.