Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Infertile's Trip to Ireland

This vacation was supposed to be our chance to relax and forget about TTC for a week. Well, let's just say that didn't happen. There were times when I didn't think about it, sure, but still even on vacation it was never far from my thoughts. There was my body giving me all the signs that I was near ovulation.

The fact that much of what there is for an American in Ireland to do is think about our heritage was another reminder. We didn't do any real research, but there were reminders everywhere that many Americans have roots in Ireland. And this couple in particular has roots in Ireland. And we were interested in finding out more, but then I would get depressed that even if we become parents eventually, we may not be passing on our Irish heritage.

The call from my pharmacy on my cell (we had arranged for my normal cell phone number to still work abroad) to arrange my FSH drugs didn't exactly help us get our mind off the upcoming cycle.

Even souvenir shopping had its reminders about IF. You see the phrase "céad míle fáilte" all over various establishments and of course on some souvenirs. It means a hundred thousand welcomes and is important given the Irish value of hospitality. We even ended up buying a piece of art with this phrase to hang near our door. Before we spotted this, I was on the lookout for something we could buy with this phrase. My heart dropped to the ground when I saw the most beautiful receiving blanket with the phrase welcoming a new baby. I wanted to buy it so badly, but didn't know if we would ever have a chance to use it.

But there were some moments of levity about stupid parents on the trip as well. We got to laugh that at least we wouldn't be idiots those parents. The best example was on the trip to Skellig Michael. As I mentioned before, the skellig is a small island. Actually, it's more like a rock that sticks up from the ocean. Now, it's true that we didn't know quite what to expect on the trip to see this island, but we were warned that getting there involved a rather long boat ride over the often rocky open sea. That it's not uncommon to get seasick on the voyage there. That you should dress for wet conditions even if it won't rain that day. And that the main thing to do on this rock is walk up a steep staircase of about 600 steps to the top of the mountain where there is an old monastery.

I'll let you think about how young of a child you might bring to this island and what preparations you might do when bringing a child.

While you're thinking, here's the main picture that every guide book we looked at had about the skellig. Notice that the thing they focus on is the steps.

Got it figured out?

I admit that planning this part of our trip was one time we never thought about kids or whether this activity would be kid-friendly. But still, imagine our surprise when we arrived at our boat and saw this:

Yeah, we laughed for days about this. Some genius parent not only thought this was a great place to bring a toddler, but insisted on taking the stroller! I wouldn't consider bringing a small child when the boat went out into the open sea and was not stocked with child sized life vests, but I would at least think it was more reasonable to bring a toddler to this island if you used a backpack carrier. But the stroller?! Did they plan on carrying the stroller up the 600 steps? The boat captain did warn the parents that the boat would be rocky, but they didn't take the hint. I'm even perplexed at how they got the stroller into the boat to begin with. I needed both hands to walk down the slippery 10 steps or so off the dock. We never saw the baby or anyone in that party at the top of the mountain. I guess they spent the whole 3 hours on the small boat dock at the bottom.

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