Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Birth Story

So, yesterday I was considered "full-term" that means the baby could pop out at any time. I am hoping that he/she waits at least until Monday. That is the day we are moving the family to South Africa to await the arrival of Baby van Herksen.

Well, these last couple of days I have been wondering what kind of birth I am going to have and freaking out about the PAIN and the hours of labor I will have to endure. What else am I supposed to think about, right?

Some people say that you should look to your mom to see what type of births she had and this will give you a basic idea of how yours will go. I don't believe that...but I did ask my mom about the births of my sister and I. I knew they were very different, but I really didn't know the details of mine. Okay, my mom was 22 when she had me...and who knew she had so many errands to run on the day I was born. These are her words that she emailed to me recently:

Melissa Isabel Vigues
born June 3, 1975 at 10:16 pm
"With you my dear daughter I started having pains at 6:00 am. I got dressed and ready to go to the hospital, but Papi had to run some errands before we got to the hospital. First we stopped to drop off a flyer at a print shop that Papi had worked on the night before (remember your father did freelance back then on the side). {Funny I do the same work now}. Then we went to my father's house to let him know we were on our way to the hospital. {Guess no cell phones back then}. Then we went to St. Michael's Church because I wanted to get communion and Father Paz gave it to us at the rectory. {Same parish/school I went to school my entire childhood}. Finally we got to the hospital at about 10:30 am and I was having contractions every 3 minutes, but I would not dilate more than 3 centimeters and I was in labor until 10:16 pm when you were born! Very LONG and PAINFUL labor!"

Monica Maria Vigues
born on September 21, 1978 at 9:05 pm
"Now with Monica I had my first pain at 8:00 pm, while I was in the condo. Your sister was born at 9:11 pm at Cedar's of Lebanon Hospital...by the way we arrived at the hospital at 9:05 pm. The pain was strong, but it didn't last long at all."

I am really hoping my labor is more along the lines of my sister's birth....a girl can wish!

Monday, April 26, 2010

37 Weeks...The Countdown Begins

(scan at 36 weeks...look at that face...not sure what those huge things are in front, maybe fingers...but so cute, right?)

Tomorrow I will be officially 37 weeks....only 21 days from the official due date of May 18th. But really this baby could come at any time. How freaking crazy is that? I can hardly believe that the time is already here. Although it hasn't been an easy pregnancy, it has flown by. I still remember the day in Pretoria when we did the IVF and seriously had no expectations that it would finally work.

But here we are...huge belly...every pregnancy symptom you can imagine. Yes, can you believe they keep coming! Last week I started with nosebleeds and well let's just skip the other one...too nasty...but some ladies reading this will know what I am talking about...if you don't, well...LUCKY you. But you know what...Yes, I complain about all the changes, migraines and nausea but I am so freaking lucky that I can actually go through all this.

I never really thought that I would actually give birth to a son/daughter...ever. I still catch myself in disbelief when I glance at my shadow or see my belly in the mirror. JJ and I were so lucky to be parents already, but to go through this experience has been amazing (I know JJ is reading this saying...what a liar...she complains so much...it is true...I do...what do you expect I am 37 weeks pregnant, but I know how great it is at the same time).

Being pregnant believe or not has made me appreciate what we have with Luka even more. I think of the time he must have been growing in his other mommy's belly and what she felt while she was carrying him and I realize that she gave him the greatest gift of all...LIFE! Not only did she give birth to him, but she made a conscious decision to try and give him a better life. Sometimes things in life happen for a reason and I really believe that if Luka had not been part of our lives this baby would not have been either. He has been our lucky charm during this entire process.

Since the beginning he has known what is going on and been there to ask how mommy is doing and kissing my belly at every turn. I can't wait for our family to be complete and for this baby brother or sister to meet his/her amazing big brother Luka.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Dancing with Luka...


A couple of weeks ago Luka celebrated his 3rd Birthday with a Spider Creepy Crawly Party. You can see all the photos by clicking here. But the real party started when everyone left. Who knew that Luka wanted to skip the spiders and go straight to salsa dancing. In the video above he is dancing with Kaira (Clotilde's daughter). Clotilde is his nanny and he LOVES Kaira. She is a year older than Luka, but he doesn't seem to mind.

We just put some Buena Vista Social Club and Celia Cruz and there was no stopping these kids. Luka still needs to learn a little bit about dancing with a partner...as you can see from the video he likes to be dipped. I need to tell him that he has to be the one to dip, but for now it is very entertaining to watch.

And just so you know Luka likes to watch this video at least 5 times per day and dance all around the house. I can't even have iPhoto open or else he goes ballistic so that I will play these videos of him and Kaira dancing.

And if you didn't get enough from the first video, here is another one:


What do you think? Do you think he gets these moves from the Cuban or Dutch side of the family? Or maybe he just gets it from his Mozambican blood....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Belly Dancer



I am currently 36 weeks and the baby is always moving around and Luka wants in on the action too. He walks around flashing his belly telling everyone to "look the baby is moving." I guess he heard me say it and he doesn't want to feel left out. It is very cute.

This photo is from a birthday party last week where he wanted to show everyone how "his" baby was moving. He actually moves his stomach up and down...very similar to a belly dancing move. Not sure where he learned that one...not from me that's for sure!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday My Love



I wanted to wish my best friend a Happy Birthday! Today the love of my life turned 33 years old. Congratulations sweetie! I hope you are ready for the roller coaster ride you will have this 33rd year of your life. We have so many things to look forward to...first up will be welcoming Baby van Herksen to our family. I can't wait to meet him or her and see you hold our baby for the first time. Then we are off to Bolivia! There is no one in the world I would want to be on this adventure we call life with.

Little did I know the road our relationship would take when I answered that "wink" on match.com but I really think I am the luckiest girl in the world. (Although my recent mood swings would convey a different message to you...but you know I love you right!)

I hope that all your wishes come true (especially the one I told you to wish for as you blew out your birthday candles...that will be a secret to all your blog readers!)

I LOVE YOU FOREVER!

PS Don't you love the vintage polaroid looking photo. We have this new app for our iPhone - Hipstamatic iPhone App. It is so much fun! Here are some other ones we took at one of JJ's Birthday celebrations:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dreaming of a nursery....




(photos courtesy of ohdeedoh)

I am almost 35 weeks and I really wish I could use this time to prepare the room for Baby van Herksen, but the reality is that we will be jumping around from house to house from the time the baby isn't even a month old. We will be packing up our house in Maputo at the beginning of June (my due date is May 18th). We will be living in an apartment hotel in Maputo until the end of July. Then we will visit Holland for two weeks, followed by Miami for two weeks.

From there we will finally head to La Paz (August 21), where we will stay in an apartment hotel for about 3 weeks (I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is only that long). Hopefully our container won't delay and it will get there in time.

This is not ideal for a new baby. I am actually more worried on the toll that this will take on Luka. He has many changes coming up. But it is our reality and we need to take it one day at a time.

Well, back to the reason for my post. Here are some photos that have inspired me for the new baby's nursery. What do you think? I am in love with the combination of pale yellow and a light light tiffany blue. Luka's room is also that same blue but the other color is red. I can't seem to get away from that blue color (it was also one of our wedding colors with chocolate brown). I am a little obsessed with it. But doesn't the combination with yellow make it so refreshing.

(photos courtesy of ohdeedoh)

I love this bookcase of toys. We actually have the bookcase and many of those toys. I really wish I had that Eames Rocker....maybe one day.

(photo courtesy of armelle...the blog)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Luka's Latest Photo Session


Is my son cute or what? Isn't he a ham? Okay, I need to stop, but these photos make me so happy. You should have seen him dancing around in the studio for Solange from Magma Photography in Maputo. She has been taking photos of Luka once a year and this was our session to celebrate his third birthday. If you are in Maputo and want to take some family photos she is great!

Click here to see the rest of the photos.

Our "Kitchen Sink" Tradition



My parents love to take care of their grandchildren...but for some reason they don't like to bathe them in the bathroom. Here is Evan - the newest addition to the family - taking a bath in the kitchen sink.

And here is Luka when he smaller and actually fit in the kitchen sink...I need to find one of Maxwell. I know the photo exists because all three of the boys love to take a bath next to the dishes!


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter



Today was Easter and to be honest with you....I felt like staying home and staying in my PJs all day (JJ and Luka were both very happy doing the same thing). So instead of bunnies, we were hermits.

I don't know if it is this 34 week belly or the heat outside, but it felt so cozy inside that we spent the day watching tv and painting Easter pictures. Yes, I am a horrible mother...there were no Easter Eggs to be found in my house, but where the heck was I going to get an Easter Egg painting kit in Maputo and last year I tried with food coloring and it was a "permanent" mess. The Easter Bunny did make a stop in our house to deliver Luka an Easter basket.

Here are the photos that Luka and I colored. Can you guess which one is mine? Look at Luka's Easter Egg...Look closely. He said it was a picture of mommy WITH eyebrows. He was very proud of the fact that he knew the word eyebrows and that he knew how to draw them. The eyebrows are in black and my eyes are purple...do you see it? If you click on the photos they become larger for a closer inspection.

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter wherever you are!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Message from My Dad



My father is hilarious. Look at the message I found in my email yesterday:

Dear Melissa & JJ:

We love the last sonogram of the baby. He looks really big and I know you still don't know the sex, but I can tell you its a BOY.

The problem is that people try to detect the sex looking the way the baby looks TODAY, instead of looking at how the baby will look as an adult. I took some artistic liberties, but I know for sure it's a boy.

See the attached sonogram (pictured above).

Love,

Pai

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thank You Ms. Rosa



Ms. Rosa was Luka's teacher at the Montessori School he used to go to. She really made an impression on him and he talks about her all the time. Well, last weekend Luka got a special treat when she showed up to his birthday party with her family. She also brought a great present - a CD with photos of Luka in action at school. Ms. Rosa, thank you for such a great memento of Luka's time in your class. We miss you!

To see the photos click here.