10 Days…

There are 10 calendar days to kill until our FET. At my check on Friday morning, the labs were exactly where they should be, my ovaries were quiet, and my uterine lining was 6.something with the triple stripe they like to see. We’ll check everything one last time this coming Friday. I am trying my absolute hardest to CALM THE FUCK DOWN, but—well, it’s hard.

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We spent the weekend camping at El Capitan State Beach, which is probably one of my all-time favorite places to go camping. It’s notoriously difficult to get a reservation—you have to plan many months in advance—but if you enjoy ocean scenery, it’s totally worth the wait.

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This year, we camped at site #4. I had no idea what to expect because I’ve never stayed in this particular part of the campground before, and I don’t know that I’ll camp in that area again. We were right next to a dry ravine where a family of skunks have made themselves at home, and they didn’t think twice about strolling through our campsite. Once the sun set, we had to be on guard for every rustle of leaves. No way was I going to end up with two skunked dogs. Fortunately, we managed to avoid being sprayed, but it didn’t make for particularly relaxing evenings.

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We weren’t as prepared for this trip as we usually are. Somehow we managed to forget the “camping box,” which is the precious container that holds all of the crucial elements—can opener, corkscrew, lighters, utensils, spices, etc. We also forgot dog food. Whoops. Once I sorted that out with a trip to the store, we thought we were done with surprises. And we were—for a few hours. Until we woke up Saturday morning and tried to put the water on the stove to make coffee and learned that our stove was broken. Propane was shooting straight out of the part that connects it to the stove. Fun.

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Of course, as long as you have fire, you don’t NEED a stove, but we planned our meals around that damn stove, so things were a bit complicated. It’s hard to cook pancakes on an open fire. Oh well. We managed!

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Complications aside, it was a nice weekend. The fresh air, sunsets, and stars were positively medicinal. I’m trying my hardest to hold on to that peace as we roll into another week.

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Happy Monday, all.

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Back to Reality

I’m having trouble writing about our trip.  It was just too perfect.  The sky was too blue.  The water too crystal clear.  The air too fresh.  There’s a part of me that wants to spill out every last detail, but a bigger part of me wants to hold it all in.  Like if I share, it will become less mine.  Maybe i’ll let it out in bits and pieces this week.  I really do want to write it all down.

On our last night in Tahoe, I tossed and turned for hours trying to figure out how to hold onto this.  I don’t want to be back.  I want to bottle the version of myself that I was for that week.  I’m not prepared to let that Molly go.  I’ll probably discuss my existential crisis in more detail later this week.  It seems to be a big one.

I’m slowly starting to come around to reality.  Today is CD 3, and we met with the RE this morning.  All systems are go for IUI cycle #4.  We were sent straight to the pharmacy to pick up clomid, follistim, progesterone and hcg.  I’ll be taking 100 mg of clomid every day for 5 days, plus 50 iu of the follistim every other day until my follow up on Monday morning.

I’m looking forward to playing catch up on everyone’s blogs.  I hope to see lots of good news!

I’ll leave you with a few photos so you have an idea of just how spectacular our trip was.

Donner Lake at Sunrise

Donner Lake at Sunrise

A beautiful day for hiking near Emerald Bay

A beautiful day for hiking near Emerald Bay

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Me after the hike back to the top of Emerald Bay

Enjoying the Truckee River (and a cocktail)

Enjoying the Truckee River (and a cocktail)

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Snippets from our campsite on the Truckee River

 

Away

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So, we skipped town last weekend for a quick 2-night trip to El Capitan State Beach.  Right next to our tent, there was a little flat spot with room for our chairs and a dog bed and a direct view of this:

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We spent quite a bit of time in that spot.  The pups thought it was a great place to nap.  And beg for treats.  Twix does a mean high five with the right motivation.

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Highfive

We also spent some time at Arroyo Burro dog beach, which is only a 20 minute drive from the campground.  Dogs aren’t allowed on state beaches, so we took them to the dog beach at low tide on Saturday.

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Playtime

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The added bonus of low tide at the dog beach? Tidepools!

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Naturally, we made it back to camp in time for sunset. I wouldn’t want to miss this.

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We were up early Sunday morning, and made our way quietly to the beach with the dogs to catch the sunrise.  It was quick enough not to get caught by anyone who would yell at us about dogs on the beach, but long enough for the dogs to find a dead lobster to roll on.  Good times.  Beautiful sunrise.

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Not a bad way to spend a weekend.  I hope we can do it again soon!

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The Dog Beach
El Capitan

Air

That’s the view from my chair in our campsite right now. Pretty heavenly. Say what you will about California, but it’s 75 degrees, the sun is shining and the waves are crashing.

We went to the seminar at the big fertility clinic last night. An hour long overview of everything we already know about trying and failing to make a baby, but now our consultation is free, so it was worth it.

We scheduled our first appointment for Tuesday afternoon.

I’m hoping we can relax this weekend. Breathe some fresh air. Let the waves lull us to sleep. Try to get our heads and our hearts in the right place before Tuesday’s inevitable barrage of acronyms. IVF? IUI? HSG? What is it with this fertility industry and their clusters of letters?

Happy weekend, everyone.


Air

Road Trip – In a Nutshell

I could write a book about our recent road trip.  Having a July anniversary has given us an excuse for some fantastic summer vacations. This wasn't an Alaskan cruise, but it was still a fantastic way to mark the 5 year anniversary of our (real) wedding (also the 8 year anniversary of our first date.)

We left on Friday afternoon and made it all the way from California, through Nevada, a snippet of Arizona and into Richfield Utah that night.  We had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at an Applebee's in some random little town in Utah around 9 pm. Oddly enough, it's not the first time we've had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at Applebee's in some random little town off a highway around 9 pm.  

After day 1, things improved dramatically and we found ourselves here:

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(Spotted Wolf Canyon, Utah)

And then finally, here–my sister in law's ranch house near Fort Collins, CO:

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This guy's name is Phil.  He cracke me up.  If 80s hair bands were comprised of chickens, Phil would have found his calling for sure.

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I love it there because I get to dote on the horses… it's all my little girl fantasises come true!

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We left Fort Collins a few days later and headed through Wyoming and into Hill City South Dakota.  

We saw the Crazy Horse Monument

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Mount Rushmore 

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We rode the "1880s Train" (pretty self explanatory)

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Saw a gazillion deer everywhere we went

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Had a few drinks…

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Visited Sturgis just a few days shy of Bike Week (I didn't feel out of place AT ALL)

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And finally, hit the road again toward home, stopping along the way in…

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For a night of camping here:

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Under these:

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I'd say we have a knack for taking some pretty fantastic trips.  

 

Far, Far Away

Early last week, I begged Catch for a camping trip.  I was desperate to get away and nature never fails to ground me in a way that nothing else can.  Something about the fresh air, dirty hands and smoky campfire transforms me into a significantly better version of myself. 

On Friday morning, we dropped the monster dogs off at my mom’s house, stopped for ice and firewood and hit the road.  Temperatures last weekend in town reached 110+ and I wasn’t having any of that. Instead, we headed up, up, up into the mountains, not stopping until we were surrounded by shade, pine trees, and a 75 degree mountain breeze.

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We arrived at our campground and found it empty.  As in, we were the only people there.  If you have any experience camping—especially in Southern California—you will appreciate the rarity of that.  In fact, I can say with certainty that it has NEVER happened before in all my years of camping.  And I was conceived on a camping trip, so that’s saying something.

Aside from setting up camp and doing a bit of exploring, we did absolutely nothing all weekend.  Chairs were set up in the shade, feet were propped up on rocks and books were read.  Occasionally, we paused to draw silly pictures with Crayola markers or to play a game. It was a few solid days of total relaxation.

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Boy, did I need that.

It’s also worth mentioning that this was my first sober camping trip since before I was old enough to drink and I still had a great time.  Go figure. 

I started charting my temps again this cycle and started peeing on sticks again on Friday.  By my guesstimation if this cycle is anywhere near normal (for me), ovulation should be sometime right around my mom’s birthday on July 13th.

It’s gonna be a good month.  I can feel it.

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I'm still waiting to feel 100% human again–this cold has really kicked my butt, and I'd be happy to wean myself off of the box of tissues any day now.  

Fortunately, the sickness didn't stop us from going camping this weekend.  We were going to cancel, but I told Catch that there wasn't much difference between me being home sick on the couch or sitting in front of a nice warm campfire with my tissues.  

I am so glad we went.  I needed this trip so badly.  I didn't even realize how badly I needed it.

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We chose site 81, opting for priivacy rather than an ocean view.  It was fine with me because it forced us to go on some fantastic walks to enjoy the ocean.

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El Capitan State Beach is one of my all time favorite weekend camping spots.  Close enough for a weekend, but with scenery that makes you feel away.

We enjoyed our campfires… especially Rolo because he was COLD. He's really not the biggest fan of camping.  

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We walked for miles–it was so beautiful I could have kept going forever…

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I think I wouldn't mind living inside one of these photos forever…

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We spent a good hour sitting in front of a fire trying to figure out when we could go back.  I hope it's soon.  

Kern River Camping

Our camping trip to the Kern River this year had its high points and its low points, but I'm going to try to only remember the high points.  All I'll say about the low points is that I don't understand why large groups of people feel the need to go camping just to drink like idiots and blast their music–it ruins the experience for those of us who are looking to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.  We should be able to fall asleep at night to the sounds of crickets and a rushing river, not to the thump of the radio, the crush of beer cans and the screeching of children who should have been asleep hours ago. Basic camping etuquette seems to have vanished.

The weather was wonderful–hot (as you would expect), but not too miserable like it can be. As long as you had a cold drink in hand, and your feet (at least) in the river, all was right with the world.

We had to move campsites after our first night, but I'm so glad we did–we camped in an area of our favorite campground (Goldledge/Gold Ledge) that I've never been in before, and it gave us so much privacy–and our own swimming area away from the masses.  It was WONDERFUL.  

I forced myself to use my (Nikon) camera on manual settings only this time around, and only brought my 50mm 1.8 lens.  (I LOVE that lens.) I wish I'd brought my tripod because on some of the long shutter speeds I was balancing the camera on a rock and shooting 25 times in the hopes of getting a stable image.  It worked most of the time, but didn't give me many options on the angle of the shot.

The view from the middle of the river just a short walk from where we were swimming

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Rapids on a slow shutter speed

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The view from our campsite looking down at the river

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Moon rising over the hills

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My dad, fishin' away…

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We left the river wanting very much to go back as soon as possible. I call that a successful camping trip.

Room to Breathe

I had a very vague and somewhere angst-filled entry in front of me in Word that I was ready to post.  Then, I passed a work-related exam with a perfect score, had a long lunch with a friend, and got a bit of fresh air.  I feel so much better, and now, instead of focusing on angst, I can focus on our recent camping trip.

I have grown up tent camping.  Hell, I have been told that I was conceived on a camping trip.  So when I met Catch and found out that she, too, is a fan of the camping experience, I knew I had hit the jackpot.  Our first weekend away together was a trip to the Kern River, where I grinned from ear to ear at how the two of us had our tent up in less than ten minutes while our friends were still struggling.  It was one of many signs that “us” was meant to be.

6 years later, we are seasoned pros at camping together.  My favorite trips with her have been ones that involved long nature walks and sleeping under the stars.  That’s what this beach trip was all about.

Walks along the sand dunes…

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Some play time at the beach

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Natural colors

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Peaceful, coffee-filled mornings…

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Lazy afternoon naps…

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And, of course, bed time–which never seemed to come early enough for this little guy, who would start begging to go inside the tent the moment the sky started changing colors…

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