Monday, 10 August 2015

Peace & love in the Cotswolds

It's seems that for the past couple of weeks we have been really riding a roller coaster of emotion, as we have navigated our first IVF cycle. On Thursday it was with great relief that we found out that we had at least one embryo suitable for freezing, with two more that had made it to blastocyst but were too early to assess at this stage. A while ago we had booked a mini-break to a place loved by us both, hoping that it would coincide with the two week wait, and very much wishing for it to bring us a chance to relax and spend some time together. As events worked out it turned in to a celebration of sorts, but still a very much welcomed break, with our very favourite people - each other, and Willow! So we packed ourselves and Willow into the car, and drove to the Cotswolds - it's somewhere we've been to a few times over the years, is always picturesque and peaceful, and is only an hours drive from home.

We set off from home mid afternoon on Thursday, and arrived at our hotel around an hour later, after first stopping at Starbucks for a holiday frappucino - no trip would be complete without this for us! The hotel was so beautiful, perched on the side of a hill overlooking the Evesham valley, you arrive to sweeping views of the Cotswolds countryside and drive down long and windy roads before reaching your room. They even had beds, towels, biscuits, and bowls left out for Willow - even if she could have taken a bath in the huge bowls!

Our room was beautiful, with the most spectacular views of the valley, and a gorgeous love seat built in to the window ledge, perfect size for two people and a very small dog to sit and watch the world go by! We spent the afternoon here, and then wandered down to the lounge for copious amounts of tea, where Willow was in her element as seemingly every guest and member of staff wanted to say hello to her!

That evening we had made a reservation to eat in the hotel restaurant - and it was definitely the right decision as we had a very lovely evening. Making an effort, though not feeling like we had to 'dress up', we spent a very relaxed night largely deep in conversation, over lots of food and a few glasses of wine -  much needed after an eventful few days.

The next morning we went down to an amazing breakfast, and just as we had settled down with our food, Sarah's phone rang. It was our fertility clinic, to say that one embryo out of the two we were waiting for a decision on, had made it to grade two blastocyst! This means out of our four eggs, three fertilised and two have made it to blastocyst. So we have two that have now been frozen, ready for transfer when Lauren is sufficiently recovered from stimming.
We are so, so happy with the result, especially after worrying that we hadn't got as many eggs as first thought!
We finished breakfast and went for a very long walk around the enormous hotel grounds with Willow.

After sufficiently wearing out the dog who has never-ending energy whilst taking advantage of the beautiful estate the hotel is situated on, we stopped for a drink. Willow, in her usual fashion, made herself at home and enjoyed being centre of attention!

Allowing Willow a chance to snooze off her very long walk, Lauren and I drove into the nearby village of Chipping Campden, and then to the beautiful Beoadway, to enjoy the very quintessentially British charm that the Cotswolds villages hold. After a stop for yet more tea and a wander round the beautiful houses and buildings, we drove on further to Cheltenham. 

Cheltenham is great for shopping, so we spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine that had kindly come out for us, wandering round the shops that are there, and stopping for ice cream! Before moving on to our final shop - Whole Foods! Where we picked up a picnic for us to take back to the hotel and enjoy in the grounds of the hotel that evening.

Returning to the hotel after what had turned out to be a busy day, we collected Willow and walked back up the hill to the cosy bar area, where we enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine together and found we had managed to lose a couple of hours, deep in conversation. There is little more than we enjoy than being together, putting the world to rights, and discussion of course turned around to our future - and the excitement at having two perfect blastocysts in the freezer!

As we headed back to our room the sun was setting over the grounds, so after taking a couple of photos from our room, went out to enjoy a beautiful picnic with a beautiful sunset as our background. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Saturday morning started off just like the previous day had, with a gorgeous breakfast in the hotel's lounge. This was followed by another beautiful long walk around the grounds of the hotel, before we unfortunately had to check out. 

We left feel very peaceful, very much in love, and very optimistic about what the future might hold. Willow says she can't wait to return! 

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