Friday, January 10, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013

I'm going to attempt to update this blog with our holiday season. It was Joni's first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year/1st Birthday so I definitely want to document all these things. It's been a busy few months to say the least!

This Thanksgiving we stayed local which is always nice not having to battle through traffic going out to Orange County to see my family. We ate cinnamon rolls and watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade, cooked a few dishes and headed over to my in laws for dinner with the Latham/Vasquez family. I made a craft for the kids to do together and we had a sweet time making memories as a family.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Joni Leona Grace: When We Met

So I am going to attempt to clear my frazzled mom brain for a little bit to write about one of my favorite days ever. The day we met our sweet baby girl.

So I guess I will start in the very beginning. My husband comes from a long line of boys. All boys. At least three generations straight of boys. My father in law's father was one of six boys, he went on to have two boys, one of which was my father in law, who then went on to have three boys. So basically I knew when I married Chris that we'd most likely have all boys. I was perfectly okay with that and got pretty comfortable with the whole stinky dirty rough boy routine after having our two. When Cruz was probably about a year and a half old I just got this strong desire in my heart to have a daughter which was very new to me and unexpected. One day I was talking to a friend of ours from church who raised four children: three boys, and one girl. She told me that after she had her three boys and was told she'd never have anymore children, she prayed to God and told Him the desires of her heart to have a daughter. Not long after that, they welcomed their baby girl. That day I told God about my desire to have a daughter and prayed that if it was His will, that He would someday (not anytime in the near future) bless us with a daughter. Shortly after that, despite every effort to not get pregnant, we found out we were in fact expecting another lil Latham. Immediately when I found out I was pregnant I thought it must be a girl, but that thought quickly disappeared when I thought of the incredible odds that were against us.

We decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise which was the best decision ever. We also planned for an unassisted homebirth for this baby as long as I had another healthy no risk pregnancy like the first two. My due date was somewhere between December 31st and January 3rd. We were of course hoping for a 2012 baby to be able to get that extra tax break. Ha.

 New Year's Eve came around and giving birth was the last thing on my mind with a house full of sick people. Chris was up most of the night with a high fever. It was awful. 7:00am rolls around and Chris wakes me up to tell me his fever finally broke and we go back to sleep since our boys rarely ever sleep past 7:00 am! A few minutes later, I felt my first contraction. The week prior I had been having random contractions so I blew this one off as well. They were only coming a few every hour until around 9:00am after we ate and cleaned up breakfast. I told Chris I might be in labor and he got busy cleaning the house, blowing up the birthing tub, and getting the boys squared away for the day just in case. Around 10:30 I was really having to focus through each contraction and they were now about 6-8 minutes apart. I decided I'd better give our family and friends who were coming over to help a heads up. So I sent out the text, "I think this is it, but if it's not don't hate me!"

My two friends and parents arrived at 11:15 as Chris was filling up the tub for me. With Cruz's help of course. The warm water felt so amazing. I was leaned over the side of the tub majority of the time in the tub. No other positions felt as good. My friend, Lenna, was the master of lower back massaging during each contraction. She also poured warm water on my back that was also just delightful. My friend, Emily, the master of photography, was making me crack up in between contractions and at some points it seemed like we were all just hanging out while I'm half naked in a pool in my bedroom. Not weird at all.

Excited Daddy
My Mom prayed over me and was amazingly helpful
Kisses from my boys

Cruz tried taking his chonies off to come "swim" with Mama. 

My poor sick hubby was so supportive and calming to me

Laughing, having a grand ole time

Anywho, my contractions stayed about 4-5 minutes apart up until about 12:30 when they got to 3-4 minutes apart and were much more intense. At this point I didn't really think anything or anyone was very funny anymore and I remember saying, "Actually Cruz's labor sounds prettys good right about now." (He came in 20 minutes total. A crazy manic 20 minutes might I add.) My water broke at 12:46 which felt gloooooorious.

My first pushing contraction came at 12:59 at which point the baby's head was born. At this point I sat back and reclined against the back of the tub and felt baby's head to see if baby was still in the posterior position like it had been the day before. Baby came out anterior! Another reason chiropractors are the bomb! Chris even reached down and felt the baby's head, which I didn't even realize until watching the video later. So proud of that weak-stomached man of mine.

I gave another push and out came baby into the warm water. We cleaned the baby off for a minute and I brought her up to my chest and just rejoiced over our newest blessing. I was so happy to have my baby in my arms that I forgot to look to see if we had another boy or a girl. Chris kept saying, "Is it a boy or girl? Boy or girl?!" He waited 9+ months, what's another two minutes?

I lifted baby up and peeked down and saw we had ourselves a baby girl! My heart was overwhelmed with joy. This baby girl was the answer to my prayer. I cried like I never cried before. 


 Our boys came in just moments later and were so mesmerized by their baby sister. Again, they tried to take their chonies off and get in the tub. Even with delicious birthy matter in it. Yum.    

 We moved onto the bed after a good half hour of gazing into eachother's eyes. Seriously, this girl gave maybe one little yelp and that was it. She was perfectly at peace and so content in my arms. It's the closest to heaven one can ever be. Jedidiah helped Daddy cut the cord and the five of us cuddled together in our bed. Another favorite part of the whole experience; not having to leave my big babies at home.


My sweet Jedidiah lifting his arms and saying, "Halleluiah"
her first smile
This whole experience made me love my husband even more for supporting my desire to bring our baby into the world how I wanted. Even if that meant it just being us with no medical help or interventions. He was amazing. I love him. 

 Daddy got to weigh her in the super sweet "fish scale" (as I like to call it) and she came in at a whoppin' 8 pounds even. Exactly the same as her brothers. 

 I did her newborn exam. Everything checked out just perfect

 Jedidiah couldn't wait to do skin-to-skin with his baby. 

Joni Leona Grace
January 1st, 2013 1:00pm

I loved everything about this birth and would do it a million times over again. We named her Joni Leona Grace. Joan was my husband's grandmother; everyone called her Joannie. Leona was my Nana's middle name. Grace is just the greatest thing ever, so we tossed that in there as well.

She is the greatest surprise that's ever happened to our family and we feel so blessed we were able to give her the most incredible start to her life.