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…




2 Comments on Alcohol Swabs

  1. Those feelings will never go away. Even while pregnant with my son, I would get the same annoyance I had when struggling at other’s pregnancy announcements. Now, since losing my son, it is only worse, but I don’t think those feelings will ever go away. It changes you as a person to go through infertility, just like losing a child fundamentally changes you. Certain experiences in life make you a different person.

    • Thanks Amy. Very true. And what you have been through is just so, so hard. No one truly understands unless they have been through it. And I can see how those feelings don’t go away…they can’t really…are with you forever. Thinking of you often and thank you for your comment…xo

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