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Pregnancy

Challenge, Hiking, Hiking with baby, Pregnancy, Top Trips

I did it

I’ve been trying to identify just why hiking hasn’t seemed appealing to me this summer, and I think it all boils down to that thing with depression that makes even the tiniest bump in the road look like an absolutely massive hurdle. We have to pack our gear. Drive to a trailhead. Hope and pray to the mountain gods that we’ll actually be able to find parking, because all the easily accessible trails are so damn crowded these days. Potentially endure a very loud, public tantrum if the young hiker in our crew refuses to ride in the carrier. Risk another injury like last month when that young hiker tripped and faceplanted onto a rock, chipping several teeth and knocking her front tooth loose. So it’s all just a mess of depression-induced anxiety (over minuscule things that must seem completely ridiculous to those who have never experienced this sort of mental state before) that makes me want to just stay home instead, because it would be so much easier.

Mirror Lake

…Except that I know, I know so well, that I need this. Hiking is a huge part of my identity, and I don’t feel quite like myself without it. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to just force myself out there. I needed to show myself that hey, traffic and crowds and loud car rides and toddler tantrums happen, and somehow life goes on.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

But actually, it was the perfect day in the mountains with my family. Nora amused herself the entire drive by reading books and calling her grandparents on her pretend phone, we pulled into the trailhead with lots of parking spots to spare, Nora was easily coaxed into the carrier with the help of bunny crackers, no one got hurt, and we spent a very, very long lunch break on the little beach by Mirror Lake. We swam, we found excellent sticks and several frogs, we munched on sooo many huckleberries, and Nora was convinced that the peaks above the lake were “man and woman hugging and singing Lava” from her favorite song.

Mirror Lake Mirror Lake

So this was what I spent an entire month avoiding. Harrumph.

Mirror Lake

Since I have now decided that it is fall (because I’m more than ready to see the ass end of this particular season). this ended up being our only mountain hike this summer. And I’m surprisingly okay with that. I’m sure we’ll get out on some autumn hikes, and I’m also sure that the mountains will still be there next year, when I will hopefully be feeling better and have the mental fortitude to adventure with two tiny humans. Gulp.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Challenge, Health, Life, Pregnancy

Missing Mojo

I’ve been having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Mostly because the trio of regular insomnia, pregnancy insomnia (damnit, bladder!), and jetlag have ganged up on me to make me feel utterly exhausted in a way I haven’t felt since the newborn days. But I also just really got out of the groove this spring when morning sickness hit. We were in such a good place back then, I was so energetic and Nora and I had an awesome routine and lots of fun together…and then suddenly I started puking 20-30 times a day and we had to get Nora into part-time daycare because I couldn’t even take care of myself, let alone a toddler.

Now I’m not puking anymore, but I’m left feeling totally wiped and unmotivated. I can’t tell if pregnancy is kicking my ass way harder this time around or if I just need to get a grip and start taking better care of myself again. At 23 weeks with Nora I felt amazing and was still trail running! Now I can barely get out the door for a walk on the Powerline Trail a couple times a week. The hikes we’ve tried to go on since returning home have been foiled for various reasons…but the truly worrying thing is that *insert horrified emoji face* I kind of don’t even want to go hiking right now. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably know what a lack of movement does for my mental state.

So yeah, I’m stuck in a vicious cycle and I want to get out of it. I feel no need to be running up summits right now, I’m actually very content with our quiet little life here in town, but I just want to have the energy to start enjoying all the little things again. This will likely be my last pregnancy, because there’s just no way I can be that sick again with two kids to take care of, and I want to savor the experience instead of spending each day counting down the hours until I can go back to bed. I’m descending into the dreaded dumps, and it’s important that I nip this in the bud before it spirals into something more sinister, especially given the huge life change we’re about to have.

I’ve done this before, I’ve climbed out, and I know what helps at this stage. I need to:

(a) exercise, outside
(b) set tiny little achievable goals
(c) notice and appreciate the little things/live in the moment/be here now etc etc
(d) eat like I give a damn
(e) try to not feel guilty about the 5,736 things I’m feeling guilty about

Another thing that might sound weird but totally helps for me is to blog more. I think it’s because I tend to become even more of a hermit than usual during times like these, and writing a blog is a tiny little lifeline that keeps me connected to others, even if it’s just via the internets. So I will do that too.

These all sound pretty obvious and straightforward, but anyone who has ever dealt with depression knows that something as simple as walking the dog can turn into a Herculean task. This isn’t going to be easy, but that’s the way life goes.

Hiking, Me, Pregnancy, TNAB

Date Night TNAB

This spring, I was in the best shape of my life – so far – and when the babysitters, uhm, I mean my parents came to visit in April, I knew I wanted to spend one of my rare date nights with JK hiking with the Thursday Night Afterburners.

I had spent the winter killing my quads and my lungs on the Cable Line Trail on Tiger Mountain, so I was a little bummed when I heard that the week’s scheduled hike was going to be…the Cable Line Trail on Tiger Mountain. But hey, I do kind of love that trail (in a hateful sort of way), plus we were adding some extra summits with actual views, and there would be a sunset and lots of people I like, so who am I to complain.

TNAB West Tiger 3-2-1

I was also 7 weeks pregnant, and if I remember correctly, this was the very last day I actually felt reasonably okay before the worst of the morning sickness began. So it was good timing after all.

TNAB West Tiger 3-2-1 7 Weeks

Being pregnant meant I couldn’t go all out up that hill, but it was nice to just put my headphones in, turn on a podcast, and mosey on up at a comfortable pace for once. Even so, it was my fastest pace ever at a TNAB, and probably the only TNAB where I haven’t felt like I was going to keel over and die.

TNAB West Tiger 3-2-1

The company was excellent, as always, and seeing Mount Rainier adorned with alpenglow really is a rare treat for us these days.

TNAB West Tiger 3-2-1

It’s a little strange to look back on how strong I was back then from my current vegetative state on the couch. I had signed up for a couple of races this spring and summer, mainly to have them as consolation prizes in case infertility struck again, but we lucked out this time! I was too sick to race, but who cares. We have another baby on the way! And since I got into this kind of shape once, that means I can definitely do it again.

Trail time is invaluable me-time, something I didn’t do a good enough job prioritizing in the months after Nora was born. Come next winter, when I’ll have two kids at home, getting some me-time will be a must.

Pregnancy

Now with more Mukmuks

This blog has been silent lately, and for once it’s not due to laziness – I have merely been sick as a dog for the very best reason ever – a new little trailmate for Nora is expected to join our family around Thanksgiving! JK and I are overjoyed, and Nora has taken to affectionately patting my belly and calling it “mama’s ball”.

15 Weeks

Pregnancy

Welcome, Nora

Our little baby Nora was born a week ago today, at 11:25 PM on September 2, 6lbs 13oz of absolute perfection (if I do say so myself). She’s amazing and we’re in love!