Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Things that are a Mesa, AZ Mini Vacation

Chase and I started a nonprofit last year while we were preparing for IVF Take #2, called The Hope for Fertility Foundation, a nonprofit that helps couples struggling with infertility pay for fertility treatments or offset the cost of adoption.

We have been trying to reach out to fertility clinics to help us be able to give more towards couples applying for our grant. A friend had told us about this clinic in Arizona called New Directions Fertility Center. They offer lower cost fertility treatments. Chase and I had originally planned on just me driving down and meeting with the clinic since I'm not working any more. I was quite nervous and thought what if something happens to me and/or the baby while I'm down there and I don't have anyone close to help me. So he took 2 days off and we decided to drive down. I have been reading a lot about traveling in your 3rd trimester so I knew there could be complications, but felt that I was healthy and the baby was healthy enough to make the journey.

We drove down Thursday and made it within 11 hours. We stopped every 2 hours for me to get out and walk and stretch. I had to get a picture of Beaver #1 Water sign, and send it to a friend. It is really questionable if the water really is #1 or if they are just saying it is. Maybe one of these days I'll actually try it.

On our drive down we stopped at Horseshoe bend just south of Page, AZ and went on a short hike. I was surprised that I was passing people pregnant and wearing flip flops, not my ideal hiking shoe, but it was what I had on in the car. I had a few people comment about me trying to induce labor, and one lady asked how far along I was. I didn't realize that people were so vocal about pregnant ladies.

A few other pictures from our journey south:
 My left foot has always been swollen since early on in pregnancy. I try hard to combat the swelling by drinking plenty of water

 Entering Page, AZ

 After Horseshoe bend

Stopped to get a quick panoramic pic of the view

We stayed at a hotel in Chandler, which was about 15 minutes away from the clinic we were meeting with. The following morning we went and did a session at the Mesa Temple. We always try and visit temples when we go on vacation. We sometimes feel so out of place that it's nice to feel that peace that resides there. There were 3 temples in that area alone, and we were able to stop and visit 2 of them.

One of the cool things about Mesa Temple is there are oranges and grapefruit trees on their property. As we were walking around the temple there was a family picking the grapefruit off the trees. They said the grounds keeper gave them the necessary tools to pick the fruit. They said if we don't pick it then it just falls and goes to waste.

After the temple we went to downtown Gilbert to see where we were going to meet up with a friend from Instagram the following day.
We had our meeting with the fertility clinic and things went so so well! We are so hopeful that they will be willing to help our foundation out. I'll be honest, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about them, because of the low cost. After meeting with the staff and the doctor, he just has a big heart and wants to help as many couples achieve pregnancy. He also has the best of the best in technology, and he himself has personally been through infertility. 

We decided we were going to the Easter Pageant with some friends that were also visiting down there. The pageant is held on the temples property. It's very unfortunate that there were protestors on the streets before entering the temple grounds. One of them even called out to me and said "Oh, there's another pregnant lady." It was a rude, and very hurtful comment, after all we've been through to get to this point. Me being my feisty self wanted to punch him in the face and tell him that this miracle happened after over 7 years of infertility....... BUT he probably wouldn't have understood that, and I didn't want to get in trouble with punching someone. So I kept quiet and enjoyed the pageant. 

The following day we met up with friends who lived out in Eagle Mountain with us, and who moved down to Mesa a few months before we sold and moved into our house. We went to one of their kids soccer games and chatted for a while. I of course am horrible about getting pictures with friends, so I don't have a picture of our meet-up. 

For lunch we met up with a friend from Instagram at a place called "Even Stevens." I had never met them before but I had seen her journey through infertility too. She is also pregnant after undergoing a successful IVF treatment.

After we headed over to the Gilbert, AZ Temple. They unfortunately don't have clothing rental (you must wear white in the temple) so we weren't able to do a session.

The following day we headed home. We left around 6am, and the sun was shining. We headed to my aunts house in Sedona for a brief visit. The drive was about 2 hours away so it was perfect to get out of the car, walk around and visit with her. It has been far too long since the last time I saw her.

After we left her we headed through Sedona, and onto the Grand Canyon.

I really enjoyed all the red rocks. It was a 4 hour drive (round trip) out of our way to get to the Grand Canyon.

When we finally got there it was super busy and we had to drive around quite a while just to find parking. When we finally did it was a short cold walk. I somehow thought Arizona in the springtime we wouldn't need jackets. My arms were pretty cold, but I just had to suck it up.

We finally got to a beautiful view. We took a short hike on the rim trail to the visitors center and then took a bus back to where we parked our car. We visited the Grand Canyon for about 2 hours. My dream is to hike down to Havasupai and spend a few days in and around the falls. If you don't know what I'm talking about do a search. It's SO beautiful from all the pictures I've seen.

We then drove the 6+ hours back to home. We totaled about 16 hours to get home just for that one day.
I also got to see the Glenn Canyon Dam, and a little bit of Lake Powell... I'm still not sure what all the hype is about. Maybe one of these days we'll plan a trip down there just for that.

Overall it was a nice short trip. I would have rather flown, but we didn't have enough money set aside to fly down there. But aside from the drive (10+ hours from our house) it was beautiful and fun to meet new friends and work at building our foundation.

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