Hi everyone! I can’t even believe this, but somehow an entire year has passed since my last blog post! And I’ve missed blogging so much! Although I didn’t exactly have a ton of time for it, since I was kinda busy dealing with something else…
For most of 2019 I was pregnant! If you ready my last post, you’ll know that I was super sick for the first 4ish months of my pregnancy and I didn’t have the ability to do much of anything during that time, let alone hike. And then my “morning” (AKA all day) sickness slowed down, but I was still throwing up until the very end of my pregnancy. Despite that fact, I knew there were quite a few things I wanted to accomplish before I had a baby and so I dug deep and made some epic adventures happen despite how sick I felt. So here’s a super short recap of what I’ve been up to over the past year:
At the end of last February I crossed the number one thing off my bucket list and went to the Grand Canyon for the first time in my life! People kept asking me if I was actually ready to have a baby, and I kept saying to my husband, “I haven’t even seen the Grand Canyon yet so how can I be ready?!” I’ll make sure to write a whole post about that epic snowy adventure, but after a lot of crazy setbacks after arriving in Arizona we finally made it to the Grand Canyon. Spoiler alert: despite almost throwing up into the canyon it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!
In May we headed to Europe for two weeks to explore Croatia and some surrounding countries! This trip was planned and booked before we got pregnant (we stupidly thought it would take us a while to get pregnant and that maybe we’d even get pregnant while we were there. Nope.) and even though I was 6 months pregnant we knew we had to go. We landed in Zagreb and then drove through most of Slovenia (the hiking was gorgeous!) before heading over to the sunny and warm Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Then we hiked Plitvice National Park before driving all the way down to Dubrovnik. We also took a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina before heading home. It was INCREDIBLE even though it was difficult at times because I had just entered my third trimester of pregnancy. I’ll have a few blog posts up about this trip soon if anyone is interested in visiting there someday!
What about hiking? In March I finally started to feel better and could hike again which was amazing for my mental and physical health. I knew I wanted to have a birth center birth, which meant no pain meds and no opportunities for breaks during labor, and that inspired me to keep working out throughout pregnancy because I knew I needed to have stamina for labor. Plus, nothing makes me feel better than being outside! My midwife supported these activities because I’d been a hiker before getting pregnant, and she agreed that keeping up my activity level and doing something I loved was good for me. I summited the Butte a few times and hiked some easier hikes at Eagle River Nature Center, Chugach State Park, and Hatcher Pass. I even made it down to Whittier and up to Denali State Park for some really slow but gorgeous hikes. I had to slow it way down to accommodate my new growing body and declining stamina, but I was still happy to be able to hike! Instead of taking weekly bump pics inside my house, most of them were taken outdoors!
I even had the opportunity to do a few backpacking trips in the spring and early summer, although nothing like what I can normally do. I did a girls trip to a cabin on Eklutna Lake in March and did a seriously amazing cabin camping trip up to Denali State Park right before my birthday. Sleeping on a backpacking pad without a pregnancy pillow was a struggle but it was worth it.
In July we had a massive heat wave with the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Anchorage, and we also had some forest fires that made breathing outdoors difficult, so for a while I slowed down on hiking (and leaving the house honestly). I was also being watched for preeclampsia towards the end of my pregnancy, which meant lots of rest indoors where it was cool to help get my blood pressure under control. Things ended up being fine, but I definitely turned into that stereotypical super pregnant lady who just wants to get the baby out of her!
On August 18th, I completed the final hike of my pregnancy – a nice, easy 4 miler on the Gold Mint trail in Hatcher Pass. I’m pretty sure it kickstarted my labor because three days later (the day after my due date) after 12 hours of labor, two hours of pushing, and lots of support from my husband, midwife, and doula, I finally became a mom!
Meet Elliott, my new favorite person! He is the most amazing baby ever and I’m obsessed. He’s almost 6 months old now and thankfully seems to enjoy hiking and backpacking just like his mom. I could go on about him forever, but this post is already too long!
The past 6 months have been filled with all of the long nights, lack of sleep, and struggles that I was warned about by everyone – but I feel like no one warned me about how insanely happy I’d be too. How my heart would explode every time he smiled at me and how perfect it would feel to hold him in my arms. Motherhood has honestly surpassed my expectations and while it’s definitely not always easy I’m really glad I decided to do this. I had no idea how much I’d love being home with him, so instead of returning back to work full time at the beginning of the year I decided to go part time in a work from home position that allows me to be with him every day and work when my husband is home. I’m so excited for the summer when I can hike with him every day!
Now that the whole newborn stage is over I finally feel like I have the mental capacity to blog again. Plus, I really missed it! I’m learning that part of motherhood is feeling like you’ve lost yourself for a bit while you adjust to having a new little person rely on you for everything, and blogging is definitely something I want to add back into my life again so that I feel more like myself. That being said, I’m hoping that my blog doesn’t change too much either! I’ll still be doing and writing about all the things I love, just with a baby attached. I’m excited to be back and can’t wait to catch up on all of the blogs I love to read too!
What huge things have you been up to this year? Any advice on raising an outdoorsy baby? What are your favorite outdoor parenting blogs that I should follow?