Pregnant on the Road Part 1: Why We Decided to Have a Baby

When we started our 59 National Parks trip in April 2016, we had just barely graduated from college. We had been married for a little less than two years, were both 25 and stoked to start our next phase of freedom on the open road. We built this website, renovated our 1989 Toyota Odyssey, packed up our lives, and grabbed our adventure kitty/fur baby – Vladimir. We had been planning this trip for about a year and a half, but what we had not planned was getting pregnant 16 parks down the road.

Fast forward to park #15 – Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

While driving the Rim, dreaming and scheming as usual (all our best ideas happen while we drive), all of a sudden, we both started talking about “what if we had a baby soon.” What the RANDOM. Cees and I both come from big families and obviously love kids and have always planned on having kids in the future, but just not right away. It didn’t really make sense logistically to be pregnant on this trip at all. Why would I want to be pregnant and possibly really sick or possibly bedridden when we’re supposed to be having all these epic adventures this year? It was July 9, 2016. We weighed the options and thought that if I took out my IUD (birth control) that day, there would be a chance that it could take anywhere from 3 months to a year or even more to get pregnant, and by then we would be totally finished with our trip. The soonest case scenario (I’m not going to say worst-case, because having a baby is awesome) if I actually got pregnant the next day, the baby would be born sometime in April and we would be done with our trip by then too at least… but, it would mean being pregnant for the rest of the trip. We talked about it, thought it through, pondered on it, and for whatever reason we both had an overwhelming feeling in our hearts that it was the right time. This was kinda crazy. Sometimes in life, things don’t make any sense at all in your mind, but in your heart you just know it’s true and right.

A few days later in northern Oregon we went to the doctor and had my IUD removed. We were still banking on the hope that it would take some time for my body to be ready and that it would take at least a few months to get pregnant. We left it up to fate. After doing some recent calculations we figured out that by the time we got to Mt. Rainier in Washington a week or so after removing the IUD, my body was apparently all set to go! I got pregnant almost immediately. I guess I was super fertile after all. Yay? Haha just kidding, it’s awesome. But, we wouldn’t find out I was actually pregnant until about 6 weeks later in Alaska.


  1. Julia B.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I started reading your blog around park 4 and I’ve been following ever since.

    My boyfriend and I had the same mindset, that it could take 3-6 months or even 1 year for bodies to adjust after stopping birth control and my mom had struggled with infertility so you never know. I recently went off of birth control and you never know what can happen.

    I really enjoy the podcast “Eggcellent Adventure” and it’s about infertility and getting pregnant in general, though the couple who hosts it is really cute and it’s fun to listen to even if your not trying to get pregnant. It’s just so nice to hear people talk about things that aren’t talked about often, so thank you again.

    • Madison

      Hey! WOW thank you so much for your kind comment and support! That seriously means so much to us. I am definitely going to look up Eggcellent Adventure that sounds super interesting and rad. Thanks! Yeah, it’s just so crazy how different all of our bodies are and how each of us will have such a unique experience. We feel super blessed that our pregnancy was so mellow and our baby is so healthy. Of course, that is not the case for everyone and roadlife wouldn’t be a good option for those at high-risk. But, I mostly just wanted to share our journey and show a different way to go about things, not that I encourage people to try this without careful consideration πŸ™‚ I just think that pregnancy in our culture is often viewed and treated as an illness, instead of the natural and instinctive process that it is. Our bodies in general really know what to do and humans have been giving birth since the beginning of time. Also, I think your mom’s theory could definitely play a part in why doctors want to see patients so frequently. I’m sure they also are liable to know everything about their patients and to understand their history, so switching doctors so often could potentially cause problems or they might miss something critical. At least for us it worked out fine though! Hey I also have a thyroid complication! I have hypothyroidism and that’s been interesting keeping up on that during our travels. Every month when I need a prescription refill I have to transfer my prescription to a new pharmacy wherever we are at the time. It might seem kinda nuts, but it’s not that bad really. I’m glad you were able to figure your issue out too! That’s great. Good luck to you guys with your exciting future! Let us know how things go!! Thank you again for your nice words and support!

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