Greetings from sunny Joburg

Isaac and I made the trip down with minimal adventure yesterday and we’re doing well. The trip started out with our travel agent mentioning that Isaac (as a baby-in-the-lap) had to be “attached” to a “fake person” who had a real itinerary very different from my own, but that she just manually changed the dates on his ticket to make it look like he was traveling with me…but that it should be no problem. Sounded like a problem to me, but sure enough! No problem. Of course, they did have a problem with me being pregnant. Despite my officially stamped letter from a doctor clearing me for travel, made me wait 40 minutes before finally agreeing to let me fly, after a stern warning that they would “leave me behind” if it was up to them and making me put into writing that I would not hold them accountable if anything happened in the air.

During all this I had Isaac in the stroller so that I could buckle and contain him…a brilliant move on my part until it came to the 4 flights of stairs and no elevator. Thankfully he walked up the stairs with great joy as I carried the computer, diaper bag, carry-on bag and stroller. Good thing I’m “fit!”

Imagine my joy when I discovered we had a window seat –entertainment and containment all in one! Then again, imagine my amusement when the other two people in the row looked as if they were in competition with me for “biggest belly on the airplane”. I won by having Isaac on my lap, but it was a close call! I’m sure we made a pretty picture, the 4 of us squeezed into 3 seats—I’m just glad there was no one around to actually take the picture. I willed my bladder to be strong and endure the 2.5 hours of holding Isaac, because I knew there was no getting up once we wedged into that seat, and God was gracious! Isaac was a complete angel, never fussed at all even when the lunch tray was resting on his chest for lack of room (!), and he even slept for a blissful hour—long enough for me to recharge.

The apartment they have us in here in Joburg is amazing—comfortable, spacious, well-furnished. There are 5 of us pregos here, due on various dates ranging from tomorrow until me in mid-November, and all but one family have other young kids here as well. The playground is hopping as we large-ones sit in the shade and visit and the kids play. It’s actually been wonderful, despite the fact that Isaac is not sleeping well without a crib, as I feared. The staff here are affectionately calling us “The Big 5,” which is funny until they try to decide which one of us represents the elephant, which one the rhino, which one the buffalo, etc!

The doctor says everything looks perfect, and he even printed out a 3-D photo of her face for me today. The poor child definitely has Chad’s nose =) but is just as adorable as can be. I never cease to be amazed at what technology can make possible! Now that I’m down here, I’m rather anxious for the next step to come (ie meeting this little one!) and it might be hard to watch as all the other ladies come home with their babies. Of course, this is mostly their 2nd baby, and it’s my 4th, so I could beat some of them—hopefully not the one due tomorrow, since Chad doesn’t come until the 31st! But the waiting game is officially on. T-minus 4 weeks and 5 days, if anyone’s counting.

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