Becoming Mommy…Sit. Stay. Good Mommy.

Like most mommy’s, I wear my title proudly. I try to remind myself to enjoy every precious fleeting moment, because becoming “Mommy” wasn’t easy.

We tried for 3 years to conceive and finally after 36 months of tears, we decided it was time to get some professional guidance. I was quickly approaching that certain age where woman are classified high risk and I just didn’t want to waste any more time! Lucky for us, one of Kerem’s basketball buddies, Dr. Aykut Bayrak, just happened to be a leading fertility specialist, so off we went!

I’ll save you all the gory details, but after months of tests & exploratory surgery we finally got a diagnosis:  A unicornuate uterus. I was born with only half of a uterus. HUH?! My first response was to completely melt down into a blubbering idiot, then I wiped the snot from my nose and ask the doctor, “When do we get started?”

For us, getting pregnant was, popping pills, needling myself in the stomach and ‘making love’ to a turkey baster on a cold pleather medical table with a virtual stranger between my legs. Not really my idea of romantic, but it worked! On the first try!! Then came BEDREST. Well, technically it was called limited mobility restriction, so not full on bedrest, but I wasn’t allowed to be on my feet for longer than 30 minutes at a time. No exercise at all. Worst of all, no hiking! Boo!

I had always had this vision of my pregnant self, as I’m sure most people do, hiking up until my water broke! Yeah, well, I was going to have to get over that pretty quickly. I decided to look at this as my baby’s gift to me. Me time. 9 months of it. I started reading, meditating, cooking and just focused on keeping that little peanut safe inside. I did.
pregnancy photo by kerem hanci
Photo by Kerem Hanci
On March 3, 2011 at 4:28 a.m. my grandmother died. She was my heart. At 10:10 a.m. Vivienne Emine Hanci was ushered into the world under the watchful eye of her new guardian angel. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it any other way. 
family photo
Hanci-Fontaine Family Photo
Even before her first breath, much to the dismay of my mother, we had already planned Vivienne’s first camping trip! Four months later, our new family unit was nestled together in a lush, green glen in BigSur listening to the lullabies of a babbling brook. We had found bliss.
family hiking in big sur
Hiking in Big Sur
Stay tuned! Next week’s blog will be all about Big Sur, one of our most favorite places on the planet!

I’m a Mommy Hiker! Hear Me Roar! (meow)

I am a mommy hiker. I’m also a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cat lady, a chef, an actor, a film producer, a writer and now, apparently I am a Blogger! Crazy.

I’m originally from New Orleans, (arguably) the best city in the world. 
before the band takes the stage at preservation hall in new orleans
Preservation Hall, New Orleans – Photo by Kerem Hanci
Growing up my mom exposed me to all kinds of things; music, food, culture and language, travel, but one thing she never introduced me to was the great outdoors. My mom has a saying: “‘roughing it’ is staying at a Travel Lodge instead of the Hilton.”

As luck would have it, I fell prey to a crazy stalker when I was 20, which quickly prompted me to pick up and move to Asheville, North Carolina and there began my love affair with Mother Nature. I started exploring, hiking, white water rafting, skiing, anything that got me into the Great Outdoors. It became my mode of renewal, solitude and kept me connected to myself and the beauty of the world around me.

Three years later, I could no longer suppress the deafening come-hither call of LALA Land, so I jumped in my car with my brother (from another mother) Joey and we headed west! We meandered across the country (since we had the time and the funds). We rode motorcycles in our hometown of New Orleans, we watched a tornado throw an RV off of the highway like a Raggedy Ann doll in Texas, we got lost hiking the Grand Canyon and reverently kissed the ground when we finally made it back to the top!
My brother Joey, Me & My husband Kerem (circa 1996)
Now, 18 years later, Los Angeles is home. I found my soul mate and we have spent the last almost 17 years camping, hiking and travelling the world. 20 months ago we created offspring (woohoo!) there are no words to describe how rewarding it has been introducing her to the awe-inspiring beauty and peaceful harmony Mother Nature has to offer.

These are our adventures. I hope you enjoy!!
mommy hiker with toddler
Kerem, Vivienne & Me – Photo by fellow Mommy Hiker Megan Flowers