Say aloha to Hawaii-based photographer, Bree Hannemann. Bree is the talented lady responsible for those dreamy Children of the Tribe images of tanned little beach babes and their gorgeous mamas living an idyllic island life most of us can only dream about. After struggling to conceive a second child, an overjoyed Bree and her husband Seek are expecting a baby girl in January. The proud mama to Sylver spoke to Children of the Tribe about her personal journey, staying positive during challenging times and the joys of island life.
Congratulations on your pregnancy. How are you feeling?
I am feeling wonderful. I am currently 26-weeks pregnant and things are great. The hunger pains in the middle of the night are gone, but of course, that has been replaced with frequent bathroom visits; my bladder can't seem to handle even a cup of water! I feel my tummy is bigger this pregnancy, which I love because with Sylver I didn't show for so long. I love wearing a dress or shirt and knowing people feel confident to ask, ‘How far along are you?"
You were so open about your struggles to conceive a second child on your blog. I think your story is an important one as it is something so many women can relate to. Was it important to you to share your story with your community?
I love this question because with my personal experience, reading and hearing about other people struggles and perseverance in trying to get pregnant is where a lot of my strength and motivation came from.
I felt in my heart that I wasn't only meant to have one baby, so I knew the timing just wasn't right for us when I so badly wanted it to be. I think being inspired by others and keeping an open mind and heart for a bright future is what will bring blessings and the outcome you would like. Not everyone ends up with what they want, but it is so much better to spend your days, thoughts, prayers and life with others in positivity rather than digging yourself into a negative hole of depression. Don't get me wrong, there were times of sadness and thoughts of complete failure, but I made it my mission to stay positive, and look towards the light rather than darkness.
My husband played a huge role in lifting up my spirits. Having a supportive partner is make or break when in a situation like this. I love him so much for always being my rock.
What kind of big brother do you think Sylver is going to be?
Sylver is a huge cuddle bug. We tried sleep training him and failed miserably. He starts out in his bed every night and, like clockwork, climbs into our bed at about 1:30am and tells my husband to get lost. He loves taking care of things, and pays very close attention to how people feel. If my husband and I aren’t feeling too well, he offers to massage our feet. So to answer this question, I think he will cuddle her like crazy, try and help her when she's crying or needs something and love on her all day. They will be almost exactly four years apart so his level of understanding and caring for someone else will be developing in full force. His last comment yesterday about her was: “I can't wait for her to drink your boobie.” He's made it very clear that this will be the number one highlight once she’s born!
Classic! Oahu’s North Shore is such a beautiful place to raise a family. What do you love most about where you live?
To be honest, the fact that no one is trying to keep up with anyone but themselves. I feel no sense of competition with anyone in Hawaii. I love the idea that everyone is comfortable with where they are in life and it doesn’t matter how big your kids’ friend’s place is down the road or what kind of car your friend drives; everyone just seems to be living. I can't tell you how refreshing that is. The island life has a slow pace, with beautiful colours surrounding you and lovely nature and wildlife sounds.
I also love that my son has no toys other than a couple dinosaurs and animal figures. We play outside all day and that is where Sylver is the happiest. My husband and I love the water and it is so amazing to see our son develop the same love. Hawaii is a beautiful place to live. I feel blessed.
What are you most looking forward to experiencing with your daughter?
I am most excited that Sylver will have a sibling. He has wanted a sibling since our last miscarriage, and I think he is craving a constant mini companion. I am excited to see if she and Sylver look similar or if they look completely different. Most people think Sylver looks exactly like my husband Seek, so perhaps she will look a little more like me. I am also excited to dress her! I think I will be obsessed.
Your husband Seek is one of seven brothers so your daughter will certainly have a lot of protective male role models around her as she grows up!
Yes, Seek is one of seven brothers - so crazy! His mum kept trying for a girl and after the seventh son, she finally gave up! She is such an angel, and she deserves every mum award out there. Not only will my little girl have seven uncles and my brother Zac to look out for her, she already has 22 cousins and out of those 22 cousins, 11 of them are boys. She will have plenty of back up if she ever needs it!