Sunday, December 30, 2012

Analise's First Hikes- Mt Hood Bliss

Analise had many early hiking adventures.  I felt strong and empowered to be able to be out in the woods quickly after her birth.  Nine days following my relatively easy birth, I was out at Tryon Creek State Park!  September is my favorite hiking season and I was so happy to get out for a walk!

Amy discovered some very large leaves and took a long hike with Sarah while Analise and I took a shorter/ flatter walk and sat and enjoyed the trees.

What an amazing beautiful fall day!

When Analise was two weeks old we went up to Larch Mountain for Amy and Sarah to hike and Analise and I to hang out.  The smoke from the wildfires blocked much of the mountain view, but it was still amazing to get out on a taste of adventure.

At three weeks, we went on our first real hike and dragged Gil along.  It was an amazing time on Mt. Hood without much elevation gain but great views. 

Analise slept through it but when Mama is happy, baby is happy and vice versa.  What a gorgeous Sept day.

There was still a lot of wildfire smoke blocking our view, but it felt great to get up so high "on top of the world" with the whole family!

Sarah is still "Amy's favorite Sarah" but she has room in her heart for another hiking partner as well.

We were all happy to work this hike into our routine and even Gil did not complain too bitterly. 

Amy had so much energy for this hike.  I think she had been storing it up for awhile!

Sarah said she thought she would like the slower pace of having a baby around.  The preschooler is getting to be a very good hiker, but Analise will make us stop and enjoy the view for long periods of time while she eats.

The first week of October, when Analise was four weeks old we went on a more vigorous climb up Lost Lake Butte.

I had never been to Lost Lake which has a beautiful reflection of Mt. Hood on the water.  We gave Amy the choice of the easy hike around the lake or the hard hike up the butte.  Amy chose the challenge!

The lake was amazing and we did well on the climb up the butte.  Again, Amy had a lot of great energy for hiking.

The view from the top was lovely, and we stopped to soak it in, feed Analise, and have some lunch.

There was a person who did not know about "leave no trace" named "Ben Sneider" who had carved his name into a rock.  All the way down the trail, Amy made up stories about him and talked to him on her "rock phone" which was a flat rock she made into a cell phone.  She had Sarah and I laughing and quite entertained all the way back to the car!

I love getting up to high places and hiking in the fall.  I felt so healthy, empowered, and blessed to introduce baby Analise to these special places this early in life.

This is the start of a new chapter of adventures with my two girls!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Birth Adventures of Analise

 I had quite a wild, adventurous pregnancy that ended with the birth of my second beautiful daughter, Analise Lillian, on Friday September 7th.  As my close friends and family know, it was a challenging pregnancy.

A huge 14cm cyst was found when I had my ultrasound at 21 weeks and required major surgery and 1 month off work.  Later I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes which required me to give up my drug of choice and finally I had high blood pressure and had to go on work leave a couple weeks early.  Analise gave me a run for my money and I worked very hard on practicing mindfulness and radical acceptance.

After having been through so much already, I was so very grateful for an easier labor!  On Tuesday, Sept 4th, I lost my mucus plug but did not have any other pre labor signs for a couple of days.  I started having mild contractions the evening of September 6th and called my Douala and mom to alert them.  My mom decided to come to Beaverton to spend the night.  She lives about an hour a way and does not drive at night, so we wanted to be sure she was available to support my four year old Amy who we had hoped to have at the birth.

I was watching the Seattle Storm play a great game of basketball.  We had just put Amy to bed and my mom arrived.  10 minutes later, my water broke all over our living room floor.  I did not know I had so much fluid in me as it just kept coming and I was dripping all the way to Sunnyside hospital.  Once at the hospital I was not having contractions.  My Doula asked the midwife how long they might wait to intervene with my water broken and she said 5 days but most people don't want to wait around that long!  A nurse tried to convince me to get an IV but I really dislike them because they can never find the vein so I told them I would think about it but I did not want it right away.

I set up my music, affirmation cards, and pictures at the hospital.  The contractions started coming strong about an hour after I arrived.  I agreed to the IV but two different nurses tried it and were unable to find a vein, so they gave up.  I used breathing and mindfulness, working through each contraction as it came.  I tried different positions and liked the birth ball.  I was leaning into Gil and breathing through each contraction.  My mantra was "like a tree I am grounded.  Like a river I am free".

About 3 hours later I felt like it was time to push.  The midwife had left me alone to labor and came in to coach.  I had a lot of fear of pushing because with Amy I did not have the urge and was not able to push effectively and needed an epidural so I had a lot of fear about this part of labor.  I worked hard and stayed focused and 45 min later I had a baby girl on me!  Gil cut the cord.  The specialist was able to get the IV in easily as I was bleeding quite a bit and they needed to inject pitosin.  After Analise was born I also requested some pain meds because the nurse and midwife massaging my uterus was quite painful.

The next day, my mom, our friend Bethany, and Amy came to visit us.  Amy seemed a little scared of Analise but we were all glad to see each other.  Gil and I were eager to get baby Analise home and left the hospital Sat afternoon.

We had about a week together as a family and then my mom started coming for half the week to support us while Gil was working.  Amy started swimming lessons and we were out at Tryon Creek State Park together about a week after the birth.  We are excited for the start of a new adventure as a family with Analise.  I am proud of my body, so grateful to Gil, my Doula, my mom, and our community, and adjusting to life with two girls one day at a time.  I am trying to learn from their sense of wonder and new eyes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Opal Creek- last big adventure before baby

 We headed out to my favorite swimming hike at Opal Creek.  It was a beautiful day and being 35 weeks pregnant, it was the last Sat. I felt comfortable making a long drive and doing a long hike.  It was also before I had my beautiful henna belly tattoo so I was ready for some swimming.

The water was so clean, clear, and green.  It was refreshing for my soul.

We followed the path through the enchanted old growth forest and eventually arrived at Opal Pool.

Opal pool is a beautiful deep pool.  It is always frigid but totally refreshing and wonderful.  Today, there were some people cliff jumping into it.  Amy was a bit reluctant to dive in, but Sarah and I both took a turn.

I wondered if growing Analise could tell how shockingly cold the water was from inside my belly

On top of the pool is a beautiful gorge and waterfall.  We literally soaked it all in before heading to Jawbone Flats.

Jawbone Flats is an interesting historic ghost town with a bone yard of old equipment where people continue to live off the grid.

We spent some time exploring the bone yard before heading back of the creek toward the car. 

Amy was able to accomplish her longest hike ever, seven miles.  Having swimming breaks and huckleberries helped a lot with this!

After exploring Jawbone Flats, we headed to the natural waterslides.  I helped swim Amy across and cheered from the rocks so as not to bump my growing belly against any rocks.  We were unable to get sliding pictures because we had to leave the camera on the far side of the creek to keep it dry.

At the end of the seven miles we had a very tired four year old but we were all refreshed and so happy to end the hiking season for now on such a wonderful adventure. 

Many huckleberries later we arrived at the car.  Stay tuned for the further adventures of Amy and Analise as our family grows!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mount Rainier Camping 2012

 The temps in Portland were expected to be in the 100's and we had an invitation to camp at Mt. Rainer with our friends.  I was 34 weeks pregnant but still ready to camp at one of my favorite places on earth!

We got to Cougar Rock Campground in the evening, and joined our friends, Mike and Janelle and their family.  It was a beautiful, warm evening in the park.

The next day we took a hike on part of the Wonderland Trail that heads down to Box Canyon.  We enjoyed some waterfalls and forest along the way.

The mountain wildflowers were great and we were able to learn more about their pollinating at the Junior Ranger program in the evening.

We cooled off at a waterfall and enjoyed some wonderful views of Mt. Rainier along the way.

After our hike, we headed to Paradise to enjoy more flowers and mountain views from there.  In the evening, the kids really liked the Junior Ranger program.

The next day, we took a walk down to Longmire and returned by shuttle.  Then on the way out of the park we found a fantastic swimming hole on the Ohanapicosh River.

What a wonderful time with friends, wilderness, refreshing mountain streams and rivers, and beautiful mountains and wildflowers.