Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gideon’s Birth Story

I know it has been a while since Gideon was born (2 months already!) but here is his birth story, for those interested parties.

I had mild contractions (starting as Braxton Hicks, becoming stronger) from Sunday night the 24th through Tuesday evening. They were consistently 10-12 minutes apart till Tuesday night when they got to 5 minutes apart.

We went to the hospital. The nurse had me walk for an hour which increased the intensity of the contractions, but did not progress my labor. So they sent me home. The nurse was kind of patronizing about my showing up too early, so I was sorry to be going home, but not sorry I’d get a new delivery nurse when we eventually came back.

We had already taken Magnus to Else’s, so we let him stay there that night. I slept through the night fine and Dana had to go to work in the morning. I woke up around 10 am and showered and the contractions started up every 5-7 minutes again. Over the course of the morning, the contractions got stronger and closer together. I called the nurse advice line at the clinic and they gave me the OK to go to the hospital.

I texted Dana at work and he got permission to leave early and come get me. We got to the hospital just after noon. They had me bounce on the birth ball for an hour before committing to let me stay. I had progressed to 5.5 cm and 90% effaced.

After they told me I could stay, I got into the tub. That was about 2 pm. I stayed in the tub 3 hours. I got out just after 5 pm to see how I was progressing. When my midwife checked me, nothing had changed. I was literally the same as when she had checked me before I got into the tub. Grr! 

She suggested breaking my water because that usually got things moving along, “although it may make things more intense.” I was pretty tired and hungry at that point and tired of the pain I was already dealing with. I contemplated getting an epidural because they said I still had time for that.

Eventually I decided to skip the epidural and have my water broken. My midwife came and broke my water at 6:18 pm. They had to get some readings of my contractions and the baby before I was allowed to get back in the tub (which is where I really wanted to be.) Suddenly the contractions were VERY strong. They were terrible. After several minutes the nurse told me I could get in the tub and she could try and get the readings there. Dana had already started filling the tub, so I made my way, through the awful contractions, to the tub.

I got my feet in the tub and crouched down to sit in the water when I felt the need to push.  I knew they had to check me before I got the OK to push and the nurse helped me get out of the tub and back to the bed. The pain was so strong I could hardly make the few steps from the bathroom to the bed. But I got there and lay down. My midwife checked me and didn’t even have time to tie on her scrub cover. The contractions pushed Gideon’s head out. I pushed twice more and he was all the way out. (His body in one push, his legs on the last). He was born at 6:38.

They let me hold him right away while they cleaned him. He was 9 pounds, 13 ounces, 20.5 inches long. We decided to name him Gideon Orion. We liked the stories about Gideon from the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Orion Rust is an ancestor of mine who wrote his name on Pioneer Register in Capitol Reef NP. Orion Rust is pronounced OR-ion, while we decided to pronounce it o-RI-on.IMG_1928

Gideon was perfect. His hair and eyes were dark and his eyes have only lightened a little.  Magnus loves Gideon and when he sees him says, “Awww, Gideon so wiggly!”

Gideon is definitely a different baby than Magnus. His eating and sleeping patterns are completely different as well as what comforts him. We are learning about each other and it’s hard to remember not having Gideon around.

Here is me Tuesday night before going to the hospital.


Some of his first pictures.

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His first visitors.



Coming home and celebrating the holidays.

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His blessing day.


We’re so lucky to have you, Gideon!



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rush Creek Falls: There and Back Again

Dana and his brothers headed out early one morning (January 6) in search of an adventure. Steen wanted to see some waterfalls and we wanted to experience something new in the forest. Our destination in the middle of nowhere was right in the middle of a large loop the the mountains and valleys of SW Washington. Our first stop was to marvel at a small herd of elk in a field. We soon came to our first good view of Mt. St. Helens.


The weather was good, with high cloud cover. The temperature was right bellow freezing; in other words it was cold out there. One thing nice about the time of year and the weather was total absence of people once we got into the forest.

Our first stop was Big Creek Falls. I really liked the strange ice city sitting in the shadow of the falls.


Something none of us had done before was to make our way down the canyon walls to the creek below. We were able to make our way to a nice viewing perch to admire the 113 ft. falls.


IMG_4774Our next goal was to find Cave Falls, a relatively unknown cascade partly due to the fact that this is the only sign to give a clue there may be something there, and partly due to the difficulty in actually seeing the falls.

The trail to Cave Falls from Big Creek Falls is a very nice one, winding through and impressive stand of old growth firs, cedars, and pine.


Plus we found this really crowded nurse log:


The 500 ft. tall waterfall is difficult to see for almost half of it runs underground through a lava tube, while the rest lies in this deep canyon obscured by trees. After some searching we found it. Here is our best view of Cave Falls.


We ate lunch at the McClellan viewpoint, a fantastic view of Mt. St. Helens.


Then it was time for our main hike. We were out there to find Rush Creek Falls. Rush Creek Falls is considered to be the number 7 on the list of the best waterfalls in the NW (out of almost 3500 known waterfalls in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). The odd thing is there is no trail to the falls. To get to the waterfall you must use some very sketchy directions and go about 3 miles making your way down an old forest road (that when it was closed they ground it all up), through dense forest, and then down a 400 foot drop into the gorge it sits in. But It Is Worth It.

Here is a look at the old forest road. The ground is very uneven and we only could do this now because of the extra dry winter we have been having, so this wasn’t covered in several feet of snow.


I searched long and hard for the very little information on how to get to the falls. This hike was special to Steen and I since we had tried (and failed) to do this before nine years ago. The information then was even less than now. The biggest advantage I had this time was a GPS and the coordinates of the falls.

More old road and then we found the spot to head into the trees.


We soon discovered that someone had tied orange ribbons to trees that helped guide us through the trees and then down the steep slope. I was very grateful for those ribbons.


The sound of the falls also helped to guide us down the steep incline. Finding the creek, I guessed at where the best spot to head to was.


Rush Creek Falls are 200 ft. tall and about 70 ft. wide. From our spot the trees covered almost half of it. The power of the rushing water was amazing. It was definitely worth the hike. The spray from the waterfall also created a huge wall of ice on one side of the gorge.

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I really like the look of the water under the main flow:


We took a nice long break and soaked in the view.


Making our way back out, we climbed over to closer perch.


By the time we made it out we were all dead tired. That is definitely one of the hardest (if not the hardest) hikes I have done.

We finished the loop drive with a stop at the odd rock in Stevenson, which my brothers had not seen. It was a tiring, yet rewarding day.