The waiting game was brutal. All the ducks were in line except for the fact that Health Canada changed the rules between baby one and baby two. The donor signed a form declaring that he hadn’t had certain illnesses or health issues within five years. Although that was good enough for many years, including the year that we purchased the sample for our small child, someone decided that was no longer good enough. They were already trying to track him down to get him to sign the updated form that changed from within five years to in his lifetime. In the end, we didn’t even care because we just wanted the same donor that we used for our little girl. We could either wait it out or apply to Health Canada for an exception as we already had one child from that donor. No matter what, we had a wait ahead of us and we had no idea how long.
Fast forward to November. We had just moved to a new post and didn’t even have time to settle in before we get an email advising that the crisis had been averted and the new form was signed. After about two years, there was now nothing left standing in our way except for us. I had already spoken to my new boss to give him a heads up about the possibility, but I did not expect such a quick turnaround. We worked as a team to figure out when the best time to sneak off for IVF treatment would be and, spoiler alert, we narrowed in on April. In January the doctor signed me off for the month of May, and now all we had to do was wait.
Day 1 came around and I made the call to the clinic. As planned, they told me to start my 21 days of birth control and the countdown was on. During that phone conversation, the nurse also mentioned to regulate my stress levels… anyone who is close to me can understand why this turned into a running joke, and I actually laughed at the nurse on the phone, but we’ll talk about that later. At this time, the one thing that I did have control of was this and I was relieved that this was going to get going. All I had to do was 21 days of birth control, how hard can that be? Right?
On Day 18, we were planning on hitting the road and making sure that we had everything we needed. We had a three day drive ahead of us and were going to be away from home for well over a month, so there was a lot to prepare for. One thing stuck out pretty quick though…I was a pill short. My wife started to panic thinking that we had somehow screwed up the whole darn thing. Meanwhile, we couldn’t figure out how this happened. In order to ensure that I stayed on track, my wife assisted in getting my pill to me a couple of the days. I swear that I checked the day each time, but lord knows my brain hasn’t been working recently so I figured I did something to screw up. Luckily my loving wife wasn’t so quick to blame me and instead we worked to resolve this issue so that we could focus on the drive ahead. I told my wife to take a breath and I would call and check it out. I left a message for the nurse, because of course this was discovered on a holiday weekend. They called back a short time later and a very patient nurse advised that we are not the first, nor will we be the last, to screw up the simple task of taking one pill a day for 21 days. The only difference now was that my birth control was going to end a day early and the injections (super excited in a very sarcastic way) were going to start a day early as well. In the end, this was a relief because we thought that we f’d up the entire bloody thing in the first step, but luckily it was all good. To this day, we still don’t know what on earth happened, but at least at this point it no longer matters.
The actual drive was uneventful. We dropped the dogs at a friend’s place for boarding and I felt horribly guilty about how long I will be out with my fur babies. My pit bull is 2 and she has no problem in the car, but my lab is an old lady and would be stressed right out if we made her sit in the car for three days. Throw in that darn stress regulating and bringing 2 dogs in a car for over 1500km was not a relaxing ordeal. Luckily, I knew they were going to be in good hands and treated as part of the family. I warned them that I might be bugging them for pictures along the way, but that was more than okay. I missed my girls already though.
We were fixing to hit up the Keg since it was our anniversary. Unfortunately, this plan was sidelined by a brief bout of food poisoning, caused by a poor decision…you see, for the past few months we have been eating the Keto diet, meaning high fat, super low carbs and no sugar. As you can imagine, this provides limited options for such eating habits when on road trips. We have a gas station in the first stop out of town. It is in a small town in itself with limited food options to begin with, let alone with no carbs. This is a normal stop for our road trips, but our usual go to was pepperoni and and cheese. However, this time my wonderful and beautiful wife happened to notice hard boiled eggs (yeah, we hear it now…but at the time it was a thing). Hard boiled eggs are a go to in our house on Keto, so this was a great option instead of the boring pepperoni and cheese again. Chances are you can sort out how this went sideways on us, or more specifically for my wife. Needless to say, we will stay away from gas station, hard boiled eggs till the end of time, and was able to carry on with our trip with no further nausea. Hahahaha.
Driving through Jasper was a pleasant surprise. I’m sure there was a part of me that knew this was a thing, but again…my brain was down an engine and gliding in for a landing at that point so I must have forgotten. Living in the flat lands for so long, we kind of forgot about the beauty and awesomeness of the mountains. Our daughter greatly appreciated the opportunity to say hi to so many animals chilling at the side of the road. Luckily she already knew what the animals were, or at least close enough, as I was yelling out other names that specifically described the folks that felt the need to stop in the middle of the road on a corner to take photos. I’m all for nature and feel free to take pictures all day, just pull over and get the hell of the road….sorry flash backs got me a little excited there. Each town we passed, I asked back to my girl if she needed to pee. Parenting win, our girl was awesome switching over to using the potty and hasn’t looked back. Unfortunately, like most kids her age, she doesn’t really appreciate that when we are asking, it means that the opportunity might not be available in the near future once we pass the town. As this is not our first day, we have the emergency potty in the back just in case. Well, such an incident occurred and luckily we were able to find a pull out to safely prop the potty on the back tailgate. I couldn’t help but laugh as she waved at the passing vehicles while peeing and commented on every “big truck” that drove by. She giggled as she encouraged semi-trucks to beep their big horns, all with an amazing backdrop of mountains behind her. It’s like she planned it that way, my silly little girl.
On the trip down, we got to stop in and visit two fellow officers and their families that I know from two previous postings. I wish we had more time, because you don’t truly appreciate how much you miss these guys until you get to see them again. I joke about my stress levels, but this helped as each visit brought the feeling of home and provided a joy that has been few and far between the past few months for our family as a whole. We are greatly appreciative to these friends and look forward to catching up again.
Insert lower mainland. You can always tell when I am getting close to the lower mainland because the amount of cuss words flying out of my mouth increases exponentially. First, the rain started which was swell in itself, but pair that with ridiculous drivers who appear to be competing for Canada’s Worst Driver and my stress levels are far from regulated. The gloomy weather and bad feelings from my fellow drivers makes me feel like the dementors are nearby every time! Fortunately, my body remembers this feeling and adapts accordingly which is good because the fertility clinic is not going to come to me any time soon. We made it down safe and my mom was there to great us at her place. It was a long trip…but only the beginning of the journey. Time to knock this crap out!