Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Videos like this give me courage to raise my children in today's society:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Joey's Birth story

What a wonderful boy! I am excited to tell you the story of how you were born. My due date with you was May 27th. I was late with Gracee so I figured I'd be late with you. My pregnancy with you was very different though. You moved around a ton! I felt you mostly on my right side. Your legs and feet were so prominent that there were times we could just grab your foot between our fingers and shift it back and forth, it was really amazing. You had a good time interacting while you were in my tummy. A couple of times while we were having game night, you did it with Marnie Stevens, a young woman in our ward and a good friend. Marnie lost her sister, Madison, last year. It was right around the time I found out I was pregnant with you. Maddie was a very amazing girl. We told her mom, Paige, that if you were a girl, we would name you Madison, after her. We felt like she was probably up there rocking you in her heavenly rocker. You were probably late because you wanted more time playing with Maddie! I didn't get as nauseous with you the first 3 months as I did with Gracee. I also had almost zero swelling with you, probably because I wasn't at a desk job this time around. I didn't stick out much with either of you, so we were all pretty surprised to see how long you were.

Okay, so on Friday June 3rd, we went in for my last prenatal visit. Even though I was a week late, I wasn't real anxious to get you out, not like I was with Gracee. I just wanted you to come when you were good and ready. Your dad was pretty anxious to meet you though, so he encouraged me to have them do some tricks on me to get labor going. When they tried those tricks on me with Gracee, they didn't work, so I didn't think much of it. However, the midwives' tricks were much more effective, because before they stripped my membranes, they used water and a catheter to help me dilate to a 4. That night my usual Braxton hicks were starting to slowly morph into slightly uncomfortable contractions. dad and I went to meet with a member of the stake presidency so he could call your dad back into the bishopric. he made a joke that he hoped the news wouldn't put me into labor. After that, we went on a walk to talk about that and work offers your dad has been considering. There were a couple times that I had to stop during a contraction but they were still really far apart and not real painful. We dropped by Paige's house on the way home to pick something up. We stayed for about 40 minutes, her sister Shelley made us some ginger tea. It was very spicy and my contractions continued to feel more real. Oh, and the night before this, (Thursday night) grandma and uncle Steve were watching a movie downstairs. I had a yeast infection and had decided to use a suppository with tea tree oil, olive oil, meleluca, and on guard. The problem is, there wasn't a high enough concentration of the olive oil, so it burned really bad. I think the agony was what sent me into full fledged labor. I spent the entire night with pretty heavy contractions that were about 12 minutes apart. I feel like I was blessed to have a better sleep than I should have with all that going on. I fell into deep sleeps in between every contraction. In the morning, daddy skipped class and stayed with me. He took Gracee to Aunt Jen's and cleaned and then when things started getting really intense, Grandma Peterman warmed me up some Hawaiian Haystacks for lunch and dad stayed with me. we called the birth center to tell them my contractions were 5 to 6 minutes apart, but that I was laying down to get some rest and so they were only 10 minutes apart. They were getting increasingly intense pretty fast so I asked if we could come in. The midwives said it would take them an hour to get there!! I felt frustrated they didn't tell me they'd need an hour warning, but it went by pretty fast.

Once we got to the birth center, I was pretty tired but felt revved up all at the same time. They started the tub running and I got into the clothes I wanted to wear in the tub and put a robe on. Your dad and grandma had to help me a lot with this part because the contractions made it hard to get dressed and stuff. They came and tried to put an IV in each arm because I tested positive for Group B strep and the treatment is IV antibiotics every 4 hours OR injections of antibiotics every four hours. The IV is said to be a little better so we told them that they had two chances to poke me, and if my veins ran away (like they always do), then we would go with plan B, which is the injections plus a vaginal cleanse every 4 hours. The IV didn't work. The injections were in my hips and were pretty agonizing since I was already into the intense stage of labor. As soon as we were done with that ordeal I gladly leapt into the inviting tub between contractions to finally get comfortable again! I was already to an 8 by that time. When they told me that news I was pretty happy and surprised. It seemed a lot quicker than my first labor. However, despite that early progress, it still took me a little under 4 hours from that point to get you out. I dilated to a 9 and to a 10 in no time, but still didn't feel any pressure below the pelvis with you or the urge to push. Finally, towards the end, they checked and decided the problem was the there was a big bulge of the sack you were in right in the opening, keeping your head from dropping any lower. So they broke my water (the sack) and I immediately felt a relief of pressure. Then I felt your head take up the extra space and felt you drop all the way. Somewhere around this time too, I felt little "shimmyings" in different areas like my sacrum and in little corners of my pelvis. It was really cool. This is one of the reasons I like natural birth. I can feel and experience every part of your entrance into this world. It makes me feel in touch with you, my baby, and my body. It's the culmination of this connection we'd had over the months. Well, more like the beginning of our next chapter of connection.

I also wanted to tell you the atmosphere in the room while I was in labor with you. It was a really large bathroom. The lights were dim and there was a little natural light from the window coming in. Your dad was completely engaged and involved, helping me through every contraction. Grandma Peterman was doing the same, she was also getting me stuff to drink and nuts to eat. My good friend Emily came up to Utah and was planning on being my doula. She had to go back to AZ for a family emergency a few days before you came. She helped me get centered in the days before you came and helped instill confidence in me. She was a huge support to me in Gracee's birth too. Grandma Hannig and Kenzie were there too. Kenzie took a lot of photos and video. Aunt Stef was there reading one of her favorite talks to me by Elder Holland. She also provided some comic relief in the earlier stages of the intense labor. We brought the ipod and listened to my massage track on it. It was very peaceful and everything I could have hoped for a birthing atmosphere. The two midwives were really great because they didn't hover. Since they saw I had the support I needed, they just stayed away and kept checking in on the progress. They only became a strong presence towards the last hour, when it was needed.

Anyway, after they broke my water, and you did your last "shimmyings", out you came!!! The cord was twisted across your neck (not around) and across your shoulder and back, so you didn't come tumbling out the way Gracee did. It took several pushes, with you hanging half out in the water, with breaks in between. The laid you on my chest and I immediately shed tears of joy, gratitude, relief, and exhaustion. I loved that first embrace! You kept looking up at me with those pure eyes. I immediately noticed and loved the color of your strawberry blonde hair. Similar to Gracee's birth, you didn't cry as fiercely as they expected and so they got worried at first. You just looked up at me and gazed into my eyes, then you'd let out a few cries and then gaze up at me again. Every time I put my hand on your temple or forehead, you would immediately calm down again. You are 7 weeks old as I am writing this part, and you are still the same way--any gentle touch on your temple or cheek usually calms you down. You are very sweet.

You began smiling and laughing way sooner than I expected. You were just about 3 days old when you would look in our eyes and smile. Your laugh came a few days later. Some people say it is just gas when babies do that, but this is different. You look straight into our eyes, engage and then start to interact with your charming chuckles that make your chest bounce and your dimples show. It is so endearing.

We are so glad to have you home, Joey. Joseph Russell Hannig. What a name. We love you. Thank you for the sweet, beautiful, and pure spirit you've brought to us. A lot of times when you are laughing I feel like you are looking at your angels behind my head. I don't know what or who you see, but I know the veil is so thin with you right now. It is an honor to be your mother. You will teach me many things. The thing I desire most to teach you is that you are a noble son of our Heavenly Father. He loves you and the Savior is always here for you. I hope you will become well acquainted with them both through the Holy Spirit of revelation throughout your life here on earth.


Your mother

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh the things you say...

Me: "Okay Gracee remember, when you wear undies in bed it means you have to stay dry. Otherwise we have to wear a diaper."

Gracee: "I can't wear diaper, I'm allergic!"

We owe this conversation a big thanks to grandma Peterman for saving the safety kids tapes safe all these years and for the tape player that Graceee uses to listen and sing to it about 3 hours every day!