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Mother’s Déjà vu Sunday’s holiday was twice as special for Nicolette Hernandez
LAURIE KNOWLES CALLANAN Record Express Correspondent
, Staff Writer
What could be nicer than becoming a mom on Mother’s Day?
How about becoming a mom on Mother’s Day … twice?
On Sunday, Nicolette Hernandez welcomed her newborn baby, Amaia, at the Women’s Place at Heart of Lancaster in Lititz. At 7 pounds, 7 ounces, this seasonal bundle of joy seemed familiar. It was the second daughter for Nicolette and her husband Edgar, but not the first to be born on Mother’s Day. By amazing coincidence, the couple’s first child, Maiara, was also born on this revered holiday in 2011. Mother’s Day was May 8 two years ago, and Maiara was just a little bigger than her little sister back then – 7 pounds, 10 ounces.
"When Maiara was born, I realized she might be coming on Mother’s Day," said Nicolette. "It was a lovely surprise to be a mom on Mother’s Day."
When the Hernandezes learned that they were expecting a second child, they commented on how the due date was almost the same as their first baby. They were thinking that they might end up having babies with the same birthday.
"This time, when we were on the way to the hospital, I thought, oh, another Mother’s Day baby," she said.
Her husband was thrilled. Growing up as the youngest in a family in Guatemala, he had always wanted a daughter. Two was even better.
"Now I have my three girls," he said, beaming with pride at his wife and children.
The Hernandezes met in France, when Edgar was studying translation, languages and literature in college in Lyon. Nicolette was teaching English to French students. A 1997 graduate of Manheim Central High School, Nicolette grew up in Elm. She then graduated from Gordon College in Massachusetts, before heading off for her teaching position in France.
Both interested in languages, the couple gave each of their daughters unique names. Maiara is a Portuguese variation of a Brazilian name meaning "wise." Amaia is a Spanish name from the Basque region meaning "wished for child."
Maiara celebrated her second birthday with a party on Saturday, then became a big sister the very next day. The quiet little girl with big brown eyes seemed happy about the new addition to the family.
As it turned out, Amaia arrived much faster than her older sister did two years ago. The couple had made arrangements for Nicolette’s parents, Leon and Donna Zimmerman, to watch Maiara when they went to the hospital. Nicolette went into labor and things were moving so fast, they had to drop Maiara at grandma’s very quickly.
"I was in labor for only an hour and a half. From the time I got to the hospital, it was just 19 minutes," Nicolette said. "With Maiara, it was 17 hours, so I wasn’t expecting it to be so fast this time."
They were also happy that Edgar was at home for the weekend. He works as a machinist in Lebanon County, but is also with the National Guard. He trains several times a month on the search and rescue team for natural disasters and emergencies. Fortunately, he had training last weekend, and was home for Mother’s Day.
"When they brought Maiara to my house on Sunday, I thought, another Mother’s Day baby," said Donna Zimmerman. "And I am a grandmother again on Mother’s Day."
Edgar’s parents, David and Miriam Hernandez, had just been in the U.S. visiting relatives in California. Nicolette and Edgar plan to visit them in Guatemala during the holidays this December.
"In Guatemala, Mother’s Day is always May 10," said Edgar, adding that while his little girls don’t have the same birthday, they do share the honor of coming into the world on Mother’s Day. "We are twice blessed."
More MOTHER’S DAY, page A7