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Little Bites

Elisabeth Röhm has an interesting post on People magazine’s blog (yes, I read their blog AND their magazine because I’m a whore for pop culture mindlessness) about her daughter conceived via IVF.  It’s specifically why she never said something publicly before this point as well as why she is saying something now:

Still, it never seemed like a subject I wanted to be public knowledge. Was I ashamed or embarrassed by my choices, and therefore, unwilling to be revealing? I don’t know. I just know that back then, I had decided that some parts of life are best left private and that was going to be one of them.

Go over and read the whole post — it’s wonderful.


Allison has resurrected Team on the Road for the March of Dimes fundraiser.  Please support and cheer on Allison as she walks to raise money for the March of Dimes and their prematurity campaign.


I wrote a few years ago about how I still have the sharps box from the cycle the twins were conceived.  At my clinic, you empty your sharps box at the start of the next cycle, and since this was the one time that there wasn’t a next cycle, I didn’t bring it back to the clinic.  And then I held onto it for superstitious reasons instead of emptying it at the OB/GYN, because I didn’t actually believe fully that this was it.  And then I didn’t empty it after the twins were born because I’m not going to shlep a sharps box and two pumpkin seats with me to the doctor’s office.  And finally, I found that I couldn’t let it go because it was this tangible reminder of a moment in time.  The sharps box is STILL in the closet.  And yes, we’re going on almost seven years at this point.

This week, someone needed a photograph of a vial of hCG and a needle.  And I finally had a use for that sharps box.  I ran home and took it down from the closet, setting it up on the bathroom vanity to snap a picture.  It finally served a purpose beyond simply making me sad.

You would think that it would have been the release I needed to let it go, and I considered taking it to a pharmacy or doctor’s office to dispose of it.  And then I bit my lip and packed it back in the box in the closet.  I’ll deal with it another time.


You know how Pavlov’s dogs learned to salivate for food when they heard the bell?  I have a Pavlovian response to the term “Maryland history.”  I literally start twitching, shouting out the names of all six Lord Baltimores. (George, Cecil, Charles, Benedict, Charles Calvert, and Frederick!)

So imagine what it did to my body when I saw that the twins’ school was having a Maryland history day.  A WHOLE DAY?  I first ran in a circle, barking, and then peed on the floor.  And once I had gotten past that dog-like response, I calmly approached their teacher to explain that in my chest beats a black-eyed-susan-like heart.  One that pounds with furious love for my state.

And once she stopped staring at me strangely, she agreed to let me come into school and do a presentation on Smith Island, complete with a Smith Island cake.  I am a huge lover of Smith Island.  If I could, I would take all of you out there with me when we go on our yearly trip.  I have over 500 photographs from the island, and I finally have a place to use them.

I finally have a receptacle for my enormous Maryland love.


1 Delenn { 03.13.11 at 7:47 am }

I still have my sharps in the downstairs bathroom cabinet (locked up, of course). And yes, there they are staying.

2 Tigger { 03.13.11 at 8:05 am }

Those kids are in for a treat when you bring in your Smith Island cake. 🙂 Yay for being able to spread your passion!

Why do you HAVE to get rid of the Sharps box at some point? Is there some unwritten rule I am not aware of that says “must get rid of all things that point to infertility in the past”? I say keep it, if it makes you feel better, or is a reminder of the past and you’re ok with it. Will getting rid of it really make remembering any easier?

3 KLTTX { 03.13.11 at 8:17 am }

I do not have a sharps box but I do have a very expired box of Ovidrel in my refridgerator that I can’t seem to part with.

Yay for Smith Island cake.

4 Meghan { 03.13.11 at 9:03 am }

Yup, still have my sharps box too. And I even packed and moved it this summer. and then of course unpacked it and buried it deep in the bathroom. Adam thinks I’m crazy

5 MsPrufrock { 03.13.11 at 9:09 am }

My own abiding love of pop culture is what has oddly drawn me own of the non-commenting abyss, which is quite sad really. Regardless, I have always had a fondness for Elisabeth Röhm, so I am pleased that she has shared her story in such an honest way.

6 gingerandlime { 03.13.11 at 9:20 am }

Thanks for sharing that Elisabeth Rohm post! It’s beautifully written. I scrolled down to the comments with misgivings because I know how this sort of thing usually goes, and I was pleasantly surprised! They were almost entirely positive, with lots of people sharing their own stories. What a nice change from some other comment threads I’ve seen *cough*NewYorkTimes*cough*

7 bluehairedwoman { 03.13.11 at 9:43 am }

Relieved to hear you confess that you still have your sharps container. I still have a drawer-full of unopened syringes & needles, a cumulative collection of several injectables cycles. I’ve been meaning to locate a clinic where I could donate them.

And now that my daughter is headed towards her 3-year birthday, I find it a lot easier to talk freely (with adults) about where she came from- especially after the invasive ‘when are you going to have another?’ questions that begin at around the two-year mark and seem to be peaking right around NOW. :-/

8 Betty M { 03.13.11 at 9:47 am }

I have just cleared a load of way out of date buserilin, progesterone and brt patches from my medicine cabinet much of which expired in 2006. Not surewhy I had kept it.

I read Elizabeth rohm’s piece too even though I have no idea who sheis. It was good to see someone on the younger side and with a singleton speak out. I have given up with the endless parade of celebs of 42 and up who stay silent about their first children twins all apparently conceived at first try. Who do they think they are kidding? perhaps Ms Rohm’s piece will encourage them to be a bit less coy.

9 Betty M { 03.13.11 at 9:55 am }

Curse commenting on a phone. Too many mistakes. Sorry.

10 a { 03.13.11 at 10:43 am }

I also have no idea who Elizabeth Rohm is, but I will go check the article and (I hope) find out.

I still have a sharps box, and a separate plastic container with the couple of lovenox needles that wouldn’t go into the opening in the sharps container. I could take ’em to work any day of the week and toss them into the biohazard containers there…and yet I don’t. I did get rid of all the ones from my successful pregnancy, and I have a bin full of syringes and some other drugs sitting in my closet. I’m not even sure why, since I’m pretty sure we’ve given up entirely. Sigh…

I could care less about the history of my state, but it all centers on one person anyway. And we don’t seem to have any cake associated with anywhere, which might actually spur some interest. Congratulations on finding an outlet for your love! Maybe you could go on tour with your Smith Island Cake and Maryland history lecture…

11 Josey { 03.13.11 at 10:47 am }

What a great article! Thanks for linking to it. The more we share and educate, the more understanding and support there will be out there for us all…

12 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 03.13.11 at 10:54 am }

I still have my sharps container, and a bag of unused needles and a vial of Lupron. I still have harsh-ish feelings about my RE, so I really don’t want to go back to that office for any reason, which is why I never brought it back there in the first place. I should just take it to the Target pharmacy next time I go there.

Of course, I also still have the five progressively darker pee sticks in a drawer. At first, I kept them because I was so excited to finally see the second line. And then, I kept them as some sort of talisman. I have pictures of them. I have the two little ankle-biting reminders that there was that second line. And I kind of wonder if I’m only keeping them now because I’m pretty sure I’ll never see a positive pregnancy test again, that my family-building time is over. It’s sometimes almost as hard to stop TTC (even when you are doing so because your family is complete…) as it is to keep on going with it. It’s like once you spend so much time focusing on cycle dates and wishing/waiting/hoping to be pregnant, it’s hard to know that, as hard as it was, that phase of your life is over. Sigh.

So that’s my closet contents (literally and metaphorically, I guess…).

Oh, and I salivate over Texas history, just like any good born-and-bred Texas girl. It’s weird to be a Texpatriat, in a state whose history is just pretty much American history. I admit that I sometimes feel sorry for other states, that they don’t have their own separate history as their own country, that they don’t have state history as a course in school, much less one each year for 4th, 7th and 12th grade! That sounds arrogant, but what I really mean is that I completely understand having a deep excitement about one’s state history, and that I like that you have that because it doesn’t seem to be as prevalent out here east as it did back in TX.

13 loribeth { 03.13.11 at 1:06 pm }

Someone else had pointed out that article to me. Never heard of Elizabeth Rohm, but I thought it was well done.

I recently wrote about finding a whole bunch of fertility-related stuff in my closet (how appropriate, lol) that I thought I thrown out long ago. I tossed the stuff I was ready to toss & kept the stuff I was not. There are no official time limits for these things.

I think it’s so great for kids to hear about history from someone who is knowledgeable & passionate about it (as opposed to a teacher who is just following curriculum & may or may not enjoy teaching this stuff themselves) — enjoy!! For awhile, my nephew was talking about wanting to become a history teacher — I was so proud. At the moment, though, he’s into his philosophy classes & just told his dad he wants to be a Buddhist monk (although I think that was more to annoy his dad than anything else, lol). He’s only 18, so I’m sure he’ll change his mind a few more times before he’s done school.

14 mrs spock { 03.13.11 at 4:46 pm }

I still have my sharps box too! Just like how I couldn’t tie my tubes, I’m not ready to say “this is it forever”. Something could change, right? Right? At least that’s what my psychotic mind tells me.

15 HereWeGoAJen { 03.13.11 at 10:03 pm }

You can’t get rid of it, you just proved that you NEED it. What if someone needs another photograph?

More people should be named Cecil these days.

16 Barb { 03.13.11 at 11:10 pm }

I understand completely. I have an enormous Pennsylvania love. 🙂

17 Barb { 03.13.11 at 11:10 pm }

And a mini Florida, Alaska and Washington DC love. 🙂

18 edenland { 03.14.11 at 1:32 am }

I love you so much. I only threw out my sharps bin recently …. and the little booties I wore at retrieval were in my glovebox for, oh – two years.

19 Tara (TIMO) { 03.14.11 at 8:26 am }

Every time we drive past the sign that points to the Smith Island ferry, I think about you and your love for it. And have a craving for cake. And wonder if I can convince Nav we should go for a visit. And wonder if the boys are old enough (umm, at 16m probably not yet) to enjoy themselves. So if your palms are itchy about 3 weeks from now, it’s from me as we drive pass the sign.

20 Gail { 03.14.11 at 9:21 am }

I’m a Marylander as well (although I haven’t lived in the state for 11 years). I hope the MD History day at school goes well! Sounds like a blast!

21 Dora { 03.14.11 at 10:39 am }

Oh, we are not alone! I also have my last sharps container filled with the nasty BIG needles for PIO. And like Kate, I have a sealed business envelope with my positive pee sticks. I suppose I could open the envelope and make sure they don’t just look gross. I also have a bunch of unused needles and syringes. I keep thinking someday I’ll use them to inject drippings into a roasting turkey breast, like I read an IFer did in a NYT Mag article from a while ago.

22 Blanche { 03.14.11 at 12:22 pm }

Full and empty sharps containers, extra needles, syringes, speed caps, alcohol wipes, and so on in the bathroom closet and expired drugs in the fridge. First it was practical, then it was superstition, and now? I dunno, guess I’m hoping it will come in useful one of these days. Otherwise, I have to blame a very strong tendency towards pack-ratism.

23 Blanche { 03.14.11 at 12:24 pm }

Oh and the positive pee stick is still in my vanity drawer.

24 Somewhat Ordinary { 03.14.11 at 1:23 pm }

Thank you for sharing the Elizabeth Rohm blog! I don’t have a sharps box, but I do have the positive pee sticks still in the basket on the back of my toilet…even the digital which fade away.

25 Chickenpig { 03.14.11 at 2:16 pm }

I had TWO sharp containers in my bathroom closet, a bag filled with half used vials of lupron, estrogen patches and the like, and a full Gonal pen in my fridge when we moved last October. I tossed them all. I had tried with my last cycle to turn in some of the drugs to my clinic in the hope that someone could use them, but they said that they weren’t allowed to distribute meds anymore like they had in the past. 🙁

26 Jendeis { 03.14.11 at 8:16 pm }

Marylander for life!!

But do you know the song “The Six Lords Baltimore”? I must teach it to you so we can do a musical number.

27 Julie { 03.21.11 at 1:13 pm }

You are too funny! I too, have an odd love for Maryland history, I think partly because my fourth grade teacher was one of my favorites, but also because when I was teaching fourth grade myself, the Social Studies curriculum was my favorite part of what I got to teach.

As for not letting go of the Sharps box, I still have three vials of Follistim in my bathroom vanity from my IUI’s when I finally conceived my son, who was then born still at 25 weeks. They’re probably expired, but I’ll let them stay there.

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