It had been a little over 5 days since our family had left from their amazing visit to Yellowstone. Slowly but surely things were starting to get back to normal- laundry was done, house cleaned and it was a fairly calm week at work. Yet, despite the slowed pace of excitement in my life I was still feeling exhausted. I was sleeping nine to ten hours a night, however I was still counting down the minutes till 5 pm at the end of each work day so that I could go home, plop down on the couch and veg out! Guilt would quickly settle into my mind: "It's a beautiful summer evening in Yellowstone National Park, I should be out hiking or wildlife watching", I thought to myself. But guilt never won, because no sooner would the thoughts pass through my mind, I would find myself lightly snoring on the couch. The summer was flying by, and the days of hiking Mount Sheridan and Electric Peak were dwindling.
I began considering the fact that my exhaustion was not normal...not for me at least. I coupled the exhaustion with anything else that wasn't adding up, like the delicious eggs, biscuits and gravy, that despite my hunger I could not eat for the life of me! All my symptoms were starting to point me in the same direction: Am I pregnant?
With the nearest pharmacy located 2 hours away I wasn't overly eager to jump in the car for a four hour journey. I perused the general store's tiny pharmacy section in hopes of finding a home pregnancy test but to no avail. Apparently they are not a hot commodity for Yellowstone's tourist industry! Then it dawned on me: Yellowstone National Park has three clinics in the Park! And so off to the Lake Clinic I went, a mere 30 minutes from my house.
In the clinic I found myself surrounded by the usual "case scenarios". A woman who tripped while hiking and fell on her wrist; a man who tumbled while hiking and had several lacerations on his head and face, and another woman who was likely suffering from altitude sickness. And then there was me: still trying to do the math associated with the famous question "when was my last period?" and "did I really go rafting while potentially pregnant?"
Within 30 minutes I was in and out of the clinic with the happy results that "YES, I am pregnant"!Everything began to make sense: the exhaustion, the irritability and the inconsistent food patterns. Quickly new questions and thoughts began to form in my mind. "How will I ride a snowmobile while being 7 months pregnant?" and " Can I raise a baby in the interior of Yellowstone". Believe it or not there have been many children born and raised in the interior of Yellowstone over the years, however in most cases the parents were not dual career. Usually either mom or dad no longer works for the park due to the challenges of finding child care in -36'F weather!
On August 28th, 2011 it will make ONE YEAR since I have been back in Yellowstone. I have watched Summer turn to Autumn, Autumn become one of the snowiest Winters in Yellowstone history; and Winter reluctantly give way to Spring. Soon, my one year blog will come to an end as the title suggests. However, it appears that I might have some good material for a future blog, perhaps "Yellowstone Interior with a Baby"!!