This weekend, I needed to look for something under my bathroom sink. Many things get tossed under my bathroom sink (extra hair products, toothbrush head replacements, contact solution), but something very personal is kept there too.
My used and unused fertility drugs, needles, prescription labels, and old HPT’s (only ones from my successful cycles) are kept under my sink – far away from anyone who would wonder why I still have them, but close enough for me to always know they’re there.
I had to dig and dig to find what I was looking for (and never found them) and pulled the bags full of unused needles, labels, extra meds, and HPT’s out to keep searching. I then found a 2 liter bottle full of fertility needles and used vials – probably from the cycle that worked for Matthew. I disposed of many, many IVF needles about 4 months ago and did not know that I still had a bottle full of used needles from our IVF efforts stashed away somewhere. I was sort of stunned to find them, actually.
Under my sink were 4 IVF (2 fresh and 2 frozen) cycles worth of used needles, memorabilia, and emotions.
And now in my garbage can, shred pile, and (proper) needle disposal containers are 4 IVF cycles worth of… nothing.
Several months ago, I was not ready to let go of all of this, especially the prescription labels. Today – I am.
As I cut the 2 liter bottle open (because you can’t dispose of them that way, apparently, so I needed to put them in laundry bottles instead) and sifted through various needles and vials of used medications, I remembered certain things. I thought about how I administered Foll.istim (I had forgotten how the needles screwed onto the pen), how I mixed my Repron.ex each night, and how surprised I was that Ovid.rel came in glass syringes.
But I was not emotional.
I was not at all clinging onto these things any longer. The same is true for the prescription labels I dutifully pulled off of boxes and bottles to put in the shred pile as I put the bottles and boxes in the trash.
I felt nothing.
I thought a little about the HPT’s from this cycle and decided to just keep the first one that showed me that Bryson was coming (4dp5dt) and the one taken at 7dp5dt because that was the date of the one I still have from Matthew’s cycle (they were transferred on the exact same date, just 2 years apart). All the rest went in the trash can.
Am I healed from the pain of our infertility? Those prescription labels were a testament to what we went through, the years of agony and depression, the effort we put into building our family. Today – they are nothing more than trash.
I dare say I might be healed… and that’s a good feeling!
This is my contribution to the Monday Snapshot at PAIL.
June 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm
I recently went through all of mine and threw them away, too. I don’t know if I, personally, am healed, but I do know I’m ready to move forward. Infertility made me a stronger woman and just because I rid myself of the physical reminders (needles, HPTs, empty vials, etc.) does not mean I’ll forget the lessons learned and friendships made. I’m glad you are at a point in your journey that you can let these tangible reminders go, too!
June 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm
Yes! It will never (and can never) be forgotten – and I wouldn’t want the experience to be forgotten. I just don’t feel the need to keep the physical reminders around any longer, when just a few months ago, I had all of those bags out and thought really hard about getting rid of them, but just couldn’t. I don’t know what changed, but something did. It felt so good to let it all go – because holding onto them was so important to me for some reason for so many years. I truly feel that I’ve let go of the painful part of our IF and now can view it as a truly wonderful experience that brought us to a happy ending. But no – I will never forget the pain we went through – all the trashing of physical reminders in the world won’t let me forget that.
June 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm
Sometime last summer, I stumbled across my bag of HPT’s from Raegan’s cycle. I thought about keeping them, but instead I took a picture and then tossed them. I have a picture of the first test at 8dp5dt and the group of HPT’s. But I didn’t see the need to hold on to the actual sticks any more. I waited until Raegan was 3 months old before donating my extra meds back to my clinic. I still have the sharps container b/c I didn’t know I could just toss it in the trash, so that will be going out next trash day, once I remember what I did with it. As for this cycle, I’ve held on to all of my HPT’s. I took pictures so when the time comes I can toss these too. But I have a little superstition about holding on to these as well as my left over meds until this baby is home safe in my arms. Next winter, while I’m trapped inside with 2 small children, I will get to throwing these things away. For me, it’s only part of the healing process. I don’t know if I’ll ever be healed from my IF journey, but I will definitely say I go into remission. But it’s always there…always a part of who I am and a part of how my child(ren) came to be.
I think this is wonderful and I’m so proud of you. Leaving the pain behind is a HUGE thing and I know someday I’ll get there. At least for now I have seen some wonderful women go through this healing process, and it’s inspiring and hope giving to me.
June 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm
Well, you can’t just toss them in the trash – at least you can’t here. You need to take them to a drop-off location but they must be in laundry bottles or official sharps containers. We need to find a drop-off!
The pain is definitely feeling more in the past than ever before. I’ll never forget, but I think I’m done crying when I think about it – and that’s huge for me!
June 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm
Healing is such a great thing, isn’t it? 🙂 I still have the first pee stick from Stella’s cycle and from this cycle, for sure. I’ve slowly gotten rid of meds and needles and such too.
June 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Yes it is! I’m just shocked that I was SO READY to throw it all out. I wasn’t expecting it – and it wasn’t planned – but it sure did happen easily!
June 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm
That is a good feeling. I am mostly healed from our journey, though i can’t say fully because I know I could never go back to trying (for a lot of reasons, but one is fear). I am so glad you are there!!!!
June 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm
You know, the “going back” was the hardest part for me when we tried for this second baby. It was a big leap of faith to jump back in it. We’ll likely do it again for a third, but we view a third as “our bonus baby,” meaning that we don’t expect it to work but if it does – TERRIFIC. I don’t think it will be as hard to jump in knowing that our family feels right the way it is, and a third will just make it feel better!
June 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm
I still have everything, HPT’s, fertility meds, syringes, sharps containers, and 2 more rounds of Follistim in my fridge. I haven’t been able to dispose of any of it yet, I haven’t quite made peace or fully healed for what IF has taken. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be at the same place you are, ready to go through and clean up!
June 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm
Isn’t it weird how we all tend to hang onto these things? Everyone I know, with the exception of one person in my “real life,” has hung onto the meds, sharps, etc. for some time until they’re just ready to let them go. I wonder WHY we hang onto the tangibles… it’s weird. But it’s seeming normal!
June 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm
I’m sure it was so cleansing to go through all of that stuff. I can’t believe how many drugs/needles/syringes, etc that us infertiles accumulate! At least you have more cupboard space now! 🙂
June 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm
It is amazing the amounts of needles and drugs we go through. I truly thought I was done throwing out the syringes and needles, but found this bottle and was shocked! I know I threw out an entire 2 liter just a few months ago of IVF needles. How could this whole process have filled up two 2-liter bottles of needles? Unreal.
June 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm
Whoa! That is a LOT of pee sticks! 🙂
Girl, I’m proud of you. We attach things to objects that represent the pain that is so intangible, yet so suffocatingly heavy. When the heaviness lifts, we just see them as objects again, with maybe more than trace of bittersweetness for what they once were. At least, that is how it was for me. When we left our apartment, I threw them out. Even the BFPs from H&M. I told B I was doing it, and he pointed to where they were and said “There’s our positives, right there.” And I put the sticks in the garbage. Just like that. The memories of what we went through are never going to leave me, but I won’t let them BE me anymore. I haven’t thought about throwing out my BFP sticks until now, and I think that says a lot. So, thanks for the reminder. 🙂
June 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm
BEAUTIFUL post. Healing is one of my absolute favorite topics and you sure didn’t disappoint. (-:
June 19, 2013 at 9:04 am
Wow, those are a lot of sharps! Doesn’t the clinic give you a proper biohazard container to store them in? I would just fill up that container and then return it to the clinic and they get rid of it with the rest of their medical waste…
It’s funny, I still have two manilla envelopes STUFFED with unused syringes, swabs, and probably a few leftover meds, too. I was looking for someone to give them to, but now I’m thinking we may very well be in a position to eventually try for #2, so maybe I should keep them? Seems crazy, in a way, especially seeing as they’re just gathering dust in my home office and constantly reminding me of our infertility struggles. But I guess it’s also a reminder of our success, too. 🙂
June 19, 2013 at 9:23 am
so glad you are feeling healed! I never hung onto positive HPTs long, but I do still have my sharps container that I need to dispose of, and unused needles, and a complete vial of Follistim 900 IUs that no one seems to need!