My intro… I can almost guarantee will be extra long, because I am always long winded…
So, the first time I laid eyes on my DH (Joel) was at work. We are both elementary school teachers. I was working at an international school in Riga, Latvia (Europe). My family is Latvian (all my grandparents are Latvian, they came to the States in the 50s), I grew up speaking Latvian, and being Latvian-American has been a huge part of my life. Joel came to the school to interview for a job there. He is Australian, but his eldest brother married an Australian- Latvian, and had been living in Latvia for years. Joel had visited several times, and even lived there for a year once, and was looking to come back. So, he came to my school looking for a job- the HR lady brought him around and after I met him I pulled her aside later and said, “If he’s single, hire him!” That was in January of 2006.
In August of 2006 Joel had been hired and we spent a few days together in early August doing some re-writing of the math curriculum (along with some other teachers). I was dating someone else at the time, but, it was purely a rebound relationship, and I was really over it. We were back at school a few weeks later, doing pre-kid prep- we both went out of our way to have lunch together, walk to the bus stop together, etc. Basically, by the end of the first week of school with kids (only two weeks later), I had broken up with my boyfriend, and Joel and I had already been on a date or two, I’d met his brother and his brother’s family…and the rest is history!
I moved in with Joel in March of 2007. In Feb of 2008 we went to a job fair in England, and got new jobs at our current school in Luanda, Angola. This was a pretty big deal as obviously, we were making a life decision together, even though we weren’t engaged yet. In March we came to the States and he met most of my family for the first time. We finally got engaged in April of 2008- which is another great story (he proposed at a bowling alley, in front of lots of my friends/colleagues)…here’s a picture:
We were married July 18, 2009 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a great destination wedding… we had 36 people come from all over the world including Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Australia, Latvia, New Zealand and Indonesia… it was really awesome! Although the "official word" was given in Spanish by a local judge, my younger brother led the ceremony, which was based in traditional Latvian pagan practices... it was very sweet, and there was not a dry eye in the place!
So the baby story started right away… I am one of those women who knew since she was a little girl that all I ever really wanted was to have babies. He knew this about me. We had originally talked about starting TTC in January 2010, but, changed our plans after we moved to Angola. Because medical care in Angola is not good, we knew that I would end up spending either the end of my pregnancy, or the first few months of our child’s life in the States without Joel- we decided that we would rather be apart for pregnancy than infancy.
So we decided that we would just stop using contraception on our wedding night. I had been using the Taking Charge of Your Fertility software to track my cycles just keeping track of periods and mucus, and knew that I would be ovulating on our honeymoon! My period started the day after the wedding (no wonder I barely fit into my wedding dress- I was bloated!), and two weeks later on our honeymoon in Mauritius our little Moonshine, as we have come to call the baby, was conceived.
We found out I was pregnant at 10 DPO, a week or two after we had returned to Angola. I took test early on a Saturday morning and couldn’t believe my eyes. Joel was gone for the day- out surfing. I had already bought him a couple of pregnancy for the expectant father books, so, I got those out, and put them in a gift bag along with the tests (I ended up taking another one later in the day because I was just so excited and in disbelief). I could hardly wait for him to get home…and when he did he had no idea what he was looking at when he looked at the tests. When he finally realized, he got tears in his eyes, and we hugged for a long time.
I didn’t go to the doctor until I was 13 weeks pregnant because we waited until we could get to the doctor in South Africa, instead of going in Angola. It was a great appt, and we saw a very healthy, active baby.
I never had any morning sickness… some nausea, but I never puked. I did feel very tired in the first months, and couldn’t WAIT to stop working. As a teacher, I have always loved my job, but, after 7 years of teaching, I felt very ready for my own kid, and done with other people’s!
We came to Michigan in December for the holidays. I ended up taking my maternity leave early, so I stayed in Michigan when Joel went back to Angola in January. We were apart during the months of January, February and March. Joel returned to Michigan on March 28! It was a really, really fabulous day! He is here for 6 weeks now, with a May 8 departure date set. Hopefully, Moonshine arrives before or near his/her April 28 due date! Joel will go back to work to finish out the school year, and will be back again in June- just a day after my 30th birthday!
My pregnancy has really been very easy- I can’t complain. The only complication that has arisen recently is that Moonshine is breech. I’ve been going to the chiropractor, seeing an acupuncturist, and doing other at home things too. I just had an ultrasound and midwife appointment today, and it looks like, if baby hasn’t turned on his/her own by next Friday (April 9), then we’ll do a version that day. I certainly appreciate any and all baby-turning thoughts in the meantime!
If you're interested, I have been blogging this whole pregnancy... 9 Months with Moonshine- you can have a look at 9mwm.blogspot.com.
Last edited by Marite13; 04-01-2010 at 08:27 PM.
Mara & Joel, 2009
Loved your intro! I will be sending turn baby turn thoughts.
Mommy to three gorgeous girls
at 6 weeks 22/10/09
Great intro and welcome to your lodge. I hope moonshine turns for you soon.
Wow...what an exciting life you have as an international teacher. That is something I've always wanted to do (I am a teacher also). Will you continue to travel now that you are having kids? I know a few adults who grew up in various countries due to their parents teaching in international schools and they loved it. Is it possible to get by on one teacher's salary? I know my DH would love to live outside the US, but he would have to be a SAHD.
That was a wonderful intro! Sending head down vibes!
It depends on where you live as for getting by on one teacher's salary- and depends on how you live, of course...but, I would say in most places, it is possible... more possible than living on one teacher's salary in the States- especially because in a lot of places your housing is paid for.
Mara & Joel, 2009
Great intro! I love how DH proposed & your wedding pic is gorgeous!! I hope Moonshine turns around soon. I'll have to check out your blog -- I love finding new blogs to read