Baby Black Magic

Tracy’s dad and Patty (stepmom) spent a couple of nights with us last week. Everyone, including them, is so anxious to know if the baby is a boy or a girl. There really is no sure fire way to know without doing crazy tests with needles, so that’s out. However, when you work with a bunch of women, you learn about several methods that supposedly determine the sex of the baby. Everyone swears by them. I had heard about the pencil test, the drano test, the ring test, the needle test, and the list goes on. At breakfast with my in-laws on Friday morning, Patty began telling us about the pencil test and how it worked on everyone at her job. I don’t know who was more excited about doing the pencil test, Tracy or his dad. So, when we got home I pulled out a pencil, some string, and a sewing needle. The object is to rig up these three items and create a dangling baby prediction device. You hold the threaded pencil over the pregnant person’s right wrist. If the pencil begins to move in a pendulum motion, the baby is a boy. If it moves in a circle, it’s a girl. Tracy patiently held the pencil over my wrist and waited for it to stop spinning. Finally, the pencil stopped, then it begin to take on a swinging pendulum motion. Tracy’s dad says he knows it’s going to be a boy. His theory is that if the first born on both parents’ sides of the family is a boy, the expectant mother will also have a boy. If both are girls, oh you get the picture. So, I don’t know. I do know we still don’t have a boy name, and if we don’t come up with one, we may have to resort to Chris Johnston’s list which will create a lifetime of questions for our child. 3 more weeks and we will see if the ultrasound method gets us any closer to being at least 90% sure of the sex.

Reversible Underwear and Tagless Shirts

Tracy has a Treo – a sort of Palm Pilot and phone all wrapped into one. Before that he had a standard Palm Pilot. Even before all the technology, he had a planner. Tracy has always needed these things to help him make it to appointments or remember to pick up things or remember to call people, etc. I am the complete opposite. I have never been able to effectively use a planner or even a desk calendar. It seems cumbersome. My mind is like a steel trap. I can remember appointments months out, telephone numbers, even what you didn’t eat when you came to my house for dinner two years ago. Well, that was true until this pregnancy thing took over ever aspect of my entire self.

You see, not only does pregnancy change your outer appearance, it changes what’s going on inside as well. I haven’t been cranky or moody or really even teary-eyed, like all the books said I would be. But, boy oh boy, have I felt completely stupid. I can’t remember names of things. For example before writing this entry, I had to go look at Tracy’s phone and see what it is called. I can’t remember appointments. I always used to throw away those little appointment cards that you get at the doctor’s office. Not anymore, I keep them right in my wallet and look at them several times before the appointment. What’s worse is that in the past when I have been around pregnant friends, this aspect of pregnancy has been what I have taunted them about. I have laughed at them and given them the “what in this world are you thinking” look when they have done things that seemed blonde. I guess I should offer them a sincere apology, because now I am in the same boat.

I’ve read that the memory loss is a result of hormonal changes combined with a preoccupation with this baby that’s growing inside me. It also has to be exhaustion I would imagine. It could be that this other brain that I am now growing in my belly is commanding that my brain cells join its army. I don’t know, but I do know in the past couple of weeks in addition to forgetting things, I have also been known to say and do some “duh” sorts of things.

About two weeks ago, while I was getting dressed, Tracy looked at me and said, “You have your underwear on inside out.” Okay, honest mistake. I fixed them. However, the next day when I got to work and went to the restroom, my underwear were on inside out again. What in the world? That hasn’t been the last time it’s happened either. Just last week, while I was sitting down at the lunch table with some fellow teachers, I looked down and saw a tag sticking out of the front of my shirt. Tags go in the back, not the front. Immediately, the ladies at the table said, “Oh, she’s pregnant.” I wonder what it will be this week…two different shoes, missing earring. I just hope I remember to get fully dressed in the mornings.

I totally wasn’t expecting to be like this. I expected to become an emotional mess, but to not be able to get dressed appropriately in the mornings…Maybe I will go buy some tagless shirts and reversible underwear.

Legless Chicken

My belly is getting big. I have now outgrown Tracy by a couple of centimeters. I think I have heard from my kids at school about a million and five times, “You are getting bigger.” Don’t they know that is going to happen? One lady at work the other day said, “You have gotten big quicker than anyone I have ever seen.” I think it’s because we waited until I was 3 months pregnant to tell everyone. Now, school is getting ready to be out, I am going to grow even more over the summer, and come back to work HUGE. To them, it will feel like I’ve only been pregnant for about 4 months by the time I have the baby. This will be the fastest pregnancy ever.

I thought the second trimester would bring lots of energy, but all I have wanted to do is sleep, sleep, sleep. I don’t feel guilty about it though. Everyone keeps reminding me that sleep will be like finding a precious gem after the baby comes.

My cravings haven’t really changed all that much. I do absolutely hate Nip Chee crackers now, though. What’s funny is that for snacks, I want real food. Like, the other day in Wal-mart, I went in to get items to make a salad for dinner, but all I could smell was rotisserie chicken. I felt like one of those cartoon characters that follows the smell of whatever it is he wants, maybe like Garfield with his lasagna. Anyway, I followed the smell right over to the deli, got my rotisserie chicken and ate the legs as a snack. So now we have a legless chicken in our refigerator.

I finally bought a pair of maternity pants. They are awesome. Brown cropped cargos. I think buying those made me feel even more pregnant. Auntie Carol tried to help me in my quest for comfy, but cute clothes. It didn’t work out though, because after trying on all the clothes she picked up for me, we realized that I don’t wear a small anymore. I told her I did, but I guess I was just in denial. Trying them on brought me back to reality – small, junior size clothes don’t really work on a 4 month (soon to be 5 month) pregnant body.

June 1st is my next appointment. I don’t think they are doing anything at all. It’s one of those, “Why am I here?” appointments. But, two weeks later I get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, so I am praying that Baby Floyd gets an identity and we can stop calling him/her “It.” Any ideas for boy names? We already have a girl name picked, but boy names have provided us with a challenge. Remember I have been teaching for eight years, so we need something unique.


Tracy Kenneth Floyd, III

As you know from my Congratulations? entry, I have learned to be prepared for pretty much any reaction when announcing that I am pregnant.

Well, since my belly was starting to give me away, I finally decided to tell my students at school. I began with my fourth graders. When they came in and got settled, I said, “Have any of you noticed that I’m getting a little fat?” Everyone started shaking their heads. “NO, you are NOT getting fat. You are skinny.” They are my favorite group. Who wouldn’t love being told you’re skinny even when none of your clothes fit right anymore. Finally, I told them, “Well, I am getting fat.” Someone eventually blurted out – “Are you having a baby?” When I said yes, the whole class erupted. They started screaming and clapping – no cryers in this bunch. No body acting angry or upset or even jealous (I expected someone would be jealous). After a couple of minutes of uproarous clapping and yelling, Phillip stood up and said in his deepest, manly voice, “Everybody quite – shhhhh – I’ve got the baby’s name…. Tracy Kenneth Floyd, the third.” Well, you all probably know – Tracy is not a second, nor is his middle name Kenneth. Phillip proudly announced that he came up with the middle name. The rest of the children took Phillip’s lead and began yelling out names, most of which were their own. They actually want me to name my baby after them. I explained that no child of mine would be named after any of them. After at least 15 minutes of total chaos, I finally got them calmed down enough to sort of begin working, though I’m not real sure they got anything done for the remainder of the class period.

I began my announcement the same way with my fifth graders. Only with them, I received a very different reaction. When I asked who had noticed that I was getting fat, about 5 hands shot up in the air – no hesitation. Immediately, Kylie, whose mom has recently had a baby – looked at me with saucer eyes and dropped jaw. She was so shocked she couldn’t even speak. Finally, Allen (my drama king) goes – you must be pregnant (extra ephasis on the preg part). Just like with my fourth graders, the classroom erupted. Instead of immediately wanting to name the child, the fifth graders wanted to know why I didn’t tell them first. Then they wanted to know how far along I was, what was the baby going to be, how long have I known, and finally what was I going to name it. They were full of questions. After all the questions, my very thoughtful young man, Jeremiah, raised his hand and said, “Would you like to borrow my mom’s book of baby names?” (His mom just had twins). How sweet and thoughtful. Also like the fourth graders, the fifth grade group got nothing done that day either. Later I found out from another teacher that I was the topic of conversation at recess. Much whispers were going on about Mrs. Floyd. Yesterday several of my girls came in and told me they had read a book or a website about what’s going on with the baby at 13 weeks. They laughed hysterically when I told them the baby was the size of a lemon. I think they probably visualized a lemon with arms and legs.

My third graders were a whole different story except for the yelling and clapping. When they arrived at the end of the day and got settled, I looked at them and said, “I have some important news that I’ve already shared with my 4th and 5th graders. Would anyone like to guess what it is?” I wore a very snug shirt that day thinking someone would ask if I was pregnant – I thought I was being very obvious. Jentry raised her hand and replied, “We are going on a field trip.” “No,” I said, “Any other guesses?” Logan raised his hand (his mom also recently had a baby) then decided his guess was dumb (he was actually going to guess the correct thing I later found out). Finally, Katelyn, who seems to always know everything, said, “Are you having a baby?” When I responded with a yes, I was congratulated with the same whoops, hollers, and clapping. This group didn’t ask questions or try to name the baby. They all wanted to tell me their baby stories about how their baby cousin was born, or how much their baby brother weighed, or about their cousin who had hair when he was born. Oh, and they told me I was way too skinny to have a baby. I like this group too – alot.

It’s funny how the different groups reacted so differently. Now they have all decided that they can see my tummy. It is getting bigger. I try to ignore the stares. I don’t know what I am going to do when they start trying to touch my tummy – and they will. Personal space is not something they understand at this age. In just a few weeks I’ll be getting out of school for summer vacation. When I return, I’ll be seven months pregnant and I’m sure I will not look “too skinny” to have a baby. August should be interesting.

14 Weeks and Counting

Today was my 14 week visit. Despite my worries, I did not gain the 5 to 10 pounds I was expecting. I reluctantly stepped on the scale and saw 116. “Only 116,” I said. I was astonished. I had only gained one pound. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing for excessive weight gain. It’s just that my belly is bigger than it’s ever been in my whole entire life, so I was expecting that I weighed at least 120. My response was, “Great, now I can eat more!!!” (Just a joke, Aunt Janice).

This visit was pretty uneventful except for hearing the baby’s heart beat. That is always exciting. It’s like you wait 4 weeks just to make sure it’s still okay. Then you can breathe a sigh of relief once you hear that sound. It took the doctor a little while to find it this time, unlike the first time when we heard it immediately. My pessimism kicked in and I started to worry – then finally after about – oh – I’d say 60 seconds, we heard the train sound – chugga, chugga, chugga. She said it was beating at 151 beats per minute. The old wives’ tale is that if it beats fast, there is an increased chance of the baby being a girl. Slower and it’s a boy. Normal is anywhere between 120 and 160, so I’d say 151 is pretty fast. Not that I’m putting in stock in that. I suspect it may be a girl, but I’m not going to buy any pink shoes until we know for sure.

My next visit is in 4 weeks (June 2nd) where they will basically do the same thing again. We could have opted to have blood tests to check for any type of brain disorders or Down’s Syndrome. We elected to forego the test because I just didn’t feel like we needed to do it. I’m sure everyone has their own opinions about it, but as for me, I just want to enjoy my pregnancy – as worry-free as possible.

Two weeks after my next visit, we get to find out the sex – provided that the baby cooperates. Woo hoo!!! Until then, we’ll all just have to settle for just window shopping for the cute baby wear.