A Surprise in Thermopolis

Hello Readers!

I’m going to skip ahead about a week in the blog. I promise to backtrack to the other events as time allows, but blogging time is scarce these days (this post explains why), and as this is a very special anniversary, I wanted to post this one on this day. I hope you’ll forgive me, but this post will be more personal than travel related, but it was a big part of our trip so I hope you’ll indulge me.

September 22, 2014

Our plan for the day was to spend the morning in Thermopolis Wyoming enjoying a dip at Hot Springs State Park. We’d originally heard of the park from a ranger at Voyageurs National Park a few weeks earlier. So we planned to spend some time at the hot springs and then decide if we wanted to explore some of the other sites Thermopolis had to offer.

We went down to breakfast at the hotel and chatted about our options, but as we were getting ready to head to the springs a nagging voice in my head told me that before jumping into nature’s Jacuzzi I should take a pregnancy test. I was late, but not by much and that wasn’t all that unusual. Besides, a couple weeks into the trip I’d been pretty convinced that I’d started menopause, so I was quite certain I was just being paranoid. Still, something told me to check. So I did.

The test was positive…sort of. While the pregnancy line showed up, the test line did not. Not sure if I simply had a defective test, I told Sriram “I think we’re pregnant” before running to the store for a second test. Test number two confirmed I was indeed pregnant. Surprise!

We’d been married and trying for four years. Fertility doctors had given me about a 5% chance of getting pregnant, with or without help. My insurance wouldn’t cover fertility treatments because I was over forty and had failed a medical test they require to provide coverage. So, rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on treatments that would do little to improve my odds we had opted to hit the open road and appreciate all that we had and simply enjoy our marriage. We’d mostly given up on the thought of a biological child. We figured if it happened, it happened, but we didn’t hold out much hope.

Yet here we stood, 40 days after driving out of Boston, positive pregnancy test in hand and a definitive “no” to the question, “Are we going in the hot springs today?” We knew we still had a ways to go, both to finish our trip, and to see the pregnancy through (I was 41 and life had already shown us there were no guarantees), but we left Thermopolis feeling hopeful about our future.

Sriram wondered if we should turn back (we still had three weeks left to travel), but I didn’t see the point. We could always turn back later if I started to feel sick, but since I knew I couldn’t possibly be more than a few weeks along, and that most doctors won’t even see you until the 8 week mark, I knew we could still enjoy the rest of our travels with some slight modifications (no more chugging Diet Coke for me).

We didn’t think to take a picture in Thermopolis to mark the occasion (I think we were in a bit of shock), but here we are in Yellowstone 2 days later. I’d say we were pretty happy!

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We finished out our trip (which I’ll continue, and eventually finish, blogging) and my pregnancy went fantastic. This past May we welcomed a healthy, beautiful, baby boy. He’s a lot of work, but brings us a lot of joy. A dream we had given up on came back to us while living out another. Someday we hope to bring our son on another fantastic journey (he didn’t have the best vantage point on this trip) and share our love of travel and exploration. Until then, we’ll simply enjoy all that life has to offer while raising our little man.

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From August 12 – October 15, 2014 my husband and I traveled the northern United States in my Honda Civic. Cross Country Civic was started (and will eventually be completed) to document our cross country adventure. All comments and questions welcome.

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