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.