Maternity Leave Looms for Mariska Hargitay

01/25/2006 at 09:00 AM EST

Maternity Leave Looms for Mariska Hargitay
Hargitay on the L&O set
Lawrence Schwartzwald/Splash News
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actress Mariska Hargitay will be taking a maternity break from her show but assures fans about her pregnancy: "I'm LOVING every minute of it and am so excited to be a mom."

Hargitay, 42, who plays NYPD Det. Olivia Benson on the NBC series, writes in her online blog: "Not sure if you've heard, but the producers have decided not to make Olivia pregnant, so I won't be in a few episodes. But don't worry, the writers are working on some really great story lines, and there will be a special guest star filling in for me."

For Hargitay and her husband, Peter Hermann, this will be their first child together. Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that the arrival will be a boy.

The couple met on the show, where Hermann, 38, has a recurring role. They wed in Santa Barbara, Calif. in August 2004 in front of 200 guests.

"They're mad about each other," wedding planner Yifat Oren, told PEOPLE at the time. "And they're hilariously funny together."

Hargitay's mother is blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, who died in a 1967 car crash at age 34. Her father is Hungarian bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, 80, a former Mr. Universe.

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