5 Days and Counting

A word on pregnancy…

My pregnancy has been really pleasant so far. I have 5 days left before my due date and I still cannot complain. My toes and fingers do not look like sausages, my nose has not doubled in size, and I don’t have that miserable “get it out of me” feeling. I dare say, I can understand why some women choose to have more than one child.

On this evening, 5 days before Davis is scheduled to come, I am feeling emotionally raw. It is occurring to me now more than ever that our lives are really going to change and we have no way of being prepared for it. I sit and think about how this could be mine and Tracy’s last evening of solitude together. How, in the very near future, our lives will revolve around a little person who weighs less than the teacher bag full of books I lug up and down the stairs each day. I feel like our time together is slipping away and I cannot stop it from happening. I know things will never be the same.

Everyone says that when the baby comes, you will truly know love. I cannot fathom it. If I can love someone more than I love Tracy, then that is going to be very difficult. There have been many evenings when I have worried about Tracy getting home safely. I have even refrained from asking him to go to the grocery store out of fear that something could happen between our house and Wal-Mart. There have been rare occasions when he has had to board a plane without me. That has reduced me to sitting by the phone waiting for him to call at each layover point. So, if having a baby is going to make me feel a love I haven’t known before, then it just may be too much. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep at night.

Today I have gotten out of the house so that I could walk and hopefully get gravity on my side. Davis has tossed and turned and rolled and kicked and punched all day long. Tracy has been doing push ups so that he can be physically prepared for Davis when he arrives. I wonder if Davis is doing his exercises, preparing physically for life outside the womb. For the past month or so, I have been worried about the physical aspects that motherhood would bring. But, as the last days of pregnancy wind down, it is the emotional that I’m sure I’m not fully prepared for. So, as Davis and Tracy do their physical workouts each day, I ponder how it is that I can prepare emotionally—pray, write, read, even take walks, it all helps, though I know that once that little person arrives, all my emotional workouts will be for naught, for I know that this new little person will utterly steal my heart.

The Final Countdown – Really

I am now into the third day of my maternity leave.

The first day I felt a little lost. I checked my school email, emailed my friend Kathleen who is taking over while I’m gone, called Kathleen once school was out. My kids were fine. She taught a lesson on questioning and so the students had to come up with “burning” questions they had. Phillip wanted to know how small God could get. Mary Kathryn wondered aloud what color my baby would be. Apparently, she meant what color hair would he have, but it didn’t come out that way. Kathleen said that Sierra called her Mrs. Floyd all morning. So, all was well.

The rest of my first and beginning final days of freedom was spent doing laundry, cooking dinner, and catching up on the TV shows I had missed since summer.

On Tuesday morning, I had a doctor’s appointment with Dr. Richmond. She did yet another ultrasound and found that everything was still functioning as it should and Davis is still resting comfortably and growing. She also did more measurements and determined that his approximately 8 pounds right now. She explained that at this point in the game, it’s hard to get exact measurments on weight. Dr. Richmond didn’t seem as concerned about the weight and didn’t seem to think that a c-section needed to be scheduled. She checked my cervix and of course it still isn’t ready, though she said it felt a little softer than before. When we were ushered from the ultrasound room into her office, she explained that I would be checked again on next Monday – the 30th and if I had not had the baby by then, we would discuss inducing. She is on call next Tuesday, my due date, and I am thinking she would be the one to induce and deliver the baby. Either way, she said they would not let me go past next week without having Davis. In the car Tracy and I had the realization that by next weekend we will definitely be parents. Tracy is ready – I am not!

A previous journal entry – written 38 days ago – was entitled “The Final Countdown.” At that point, I couldn’t imagine that it would be much longer before I birthed Davis. I thought for sure that he would be here at least 2 weeks early. However, he has proven me wrong. He has decided to remain in his cocoon for as long as possible. Can you blame him – It’s warm and safe, he can sleep and eat anytime and he doesn’t have to worry about strange people making scary faces and noises at him all day long. But, alas, his time is running out. So, I think at this point we really are in the final countdown – one more week to go…

Supersized

So, I went for another doctor’s appointment today and saw Dr. Bindner. She is our favorite. When you go to see her, you don’t have to wait, she’s down to earth, she knowledgeable, and she’s excellent with the doppler and the ultrasound machine.

Again today, I was asked to undress from the waist down. I am pretty sure that’s not going to change. Apparently the closer you get to actually birthing the baby, the less clothes you get to keep on during your appointments. She first checked my cervix and said that it wasn’t even close to being ready. So, unless something happens very quickly, Davis is going to be continuing to grow for awhile. Which leads to the second point. I told her I felt like I could feel the baby from the tip top of my uterus all the way to the very bottom. She said it could be because of my petite stature, but she thought it looked as if he was going to be a big baby.

Just to make sure, she offered to do yet another ultrasound. After making sure that it would be covered by my insurance, we agreed to have it done and were ushered into the ultrasound room. Dr. Bindner began by measuring the head. She said, “Oh he has a big head.” I asked if that was bad. She said no, it probably just meant what we expected – he was going to be a big boy. She did some other measurements then began looking to see if we could see his face. This doctor is so good with the ultrasound machine. She’s the one who got the awesome profile shot at 20 weeks. Not only could we see his face, but we could see him sucking his thumb. We could actually see his lips moving! Amazing! Seeing that made me ready to meet Davis for real. I think she was as excited as we were about being able to see his hand in his mouth.

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But, back to the real reason we were in the ultrasound room once again. We were checking to see if Davis was supersized. Sure enough, when she printed out the ultrasound weight prediction it proved what we suspected. Davis is apparently going to be a “Hoss!” This was the doctor’s word – not mine. She said that the projected weight is 8 pounds and 15 ounces. Oh my!

Before she did the ultrasound I asked her how far they would let me go past my due date. She said no longer than two weeks because of the placenta deteriorating. However, after the ultrasound, she changed her answer and said they wouldn’t want me to go past my 40 week due date because of Davis’s size. The one pitfall is that she suspects I may have to have a C-section. They aren’t scheduling one or anything. She wants to let labor progress naturally and try a vaginal delivery first. So, be praying that everything works out just like God has planned it. C-section or vaginal delivery, I know God is going to have the whole thing in the palm of his hand and Davis and I will be protected and healthy and safe. I just feel at peace with it all.

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Tomorrow is my last day at work. I am feeling a little sad about leaving my students. One of them sent me an email saying that she thought they should open a hospital within the school so that I didn’t have to leave. They aren’t going to make it easy for me when tomorrow afternoon arrives. Since I have all next week off, pray that Davis will make a timely arrival so that I’m not left to think too much!

Woah – Is that what 35 pounds looks like?

I was just on our site, looking at the New York photos and realizing that although I felt like I looked very pregnant in mid-July, I barely had a bump. No wonder not many people offered their subway seats.

It’s funny, because from my perspective – looking down at my belly – I don’t really look that big. Even when I am walking straight toward you, I don’t really look that big. But the side view tells it all.

Tracy’s dad and Patty came to the beach to visit for Tracy’s birthday. We went to Amici’s to eat which is at Broadway at the Beach. When we finished eating, we decided to walk around for a bit. I kept catching glances of myself in the windows of the stores. I told Patty that it almost shocked me when I saw myself from the side. She agreed that it was a little shocking.

If you ever wondered what 35 pounds would look like if it accumulated in one spot, just take a sideview gander of my belly. Woah!

Less Than Free

Yesterday was Tracy’s birthday. He is now 31 years old. He says at 31 you start to feel settled.

For his birthday we went to eat at Angelo’s. It’s a sort of Myrtle Beach landmark, but we had never been there. It’s always a chore to find somewhere new to eat, so usually we just eat at our old, trusty favorites. We made it a point this time to pick somewhere new. Their sign out front advertises that they have the best steaks in the UNIVERSE! What a lofty claim. But, because of this claim, we both ordered steaks. They were really tasty. I’d have to try a lot more steaks from a lot more places to be able to support their claim, but I will say that I would go back and have steak again sometime.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 4 o’clock in the am and after laying in bed for about 45 more minutes, wide awake, pondering what the future would hold, I decided to just get up, get ready, and go to work. I made it to work at about 6:30. It was a pretty routine day. During my planning, 3 of my students appeared in my classroom to turn in assignments that they chose to complete – overachievers. Sierra and Kayla had gotten permission from their teacher to come to my room, but for some reason Phillip was in tow. I am pretty sure he just sneaked off and trailed them to see where they were going. I sat in my chair and they began talking about the baby. Kayla offered to baby-sit Davis for $5 per hour. Sierra piped up and said she could babysit for $50 per hour. I told her she was way too expensive. Then, Phillip graciously said he would baby-sit for FREE! Sierra would not have Phillip outdo her, so she then said she would baby-sit for “less than free.” I asked her if she understood that that meant she would actually be paying me to allow her to baby-sit. She said she understood, but would still be willing to stick to the offer. Kayla never waivered – she said she would still have to charge $5 per hour.

I had planned to leave work at around 3, but I got sidetracked. The benefits lady from the district office came to meet with me at 3 to let me know that my part time employment had been approved!!! Yay – answered prayer. Because of our meeting and my socializing with the other teachers, then deciding to actually do some work, I ended up leaving at 5:30. What a long day.

When I got home, we got ready and went to eat at the above mentioned Angelo’s. After eating, I began feeling lots of pressure in my lower abdomen and I was feeling really crampy. I could not get comfortable. Tracy and I began to feel like Davis may decide to arrive that very night. After stopping briefly at Barnes and Noble, I told Tracy that I thought we should go home. He asked, “Do you need to go to the hospital?” This has become his mantra everytime I am feeling a little discomfort. I did not need to go to the hospital, though I would not have been surprised if I had needed to go later.

We came home, I put on my pajamas and decided I had better read the Labor and Delivery section in What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Just a few pages into the section and I apparently went to sleep. So, false alarm. Baby Davis is still incubating. I feel fine today. I think I just overdid it by working 11 hours yesterday. But, possibly next week….Tracy and his mom believe that he is coming on Monday.

Undressing from the Waist Down

The month of Davis’s arrival is finally upon us. I can’t believe it. I have been certain for the past 8 months, that all of this was a dream and that my growing belly was just a sign of some weird thing that happens after reaching 30. But, alas, I can deny it no longer. I am going to be someone’s mother. Our lives really are going to change and there really are going to be three Floyd’s in our family instead of two.

We went to the doctor on Thursday – my real doctor. She actually owns the practice, so I feel as if I can trust what she tells me. We were escorted into the ultrasound room where I became very nervous because it was the first time in many months I was asked to undress from the waist down. All my other doctor’s visits up to this point had been fun and games – measure the uterus, listen to the baby’s heartbeat, smile and ask our silly little questions. But, when they ask you to undress, you know the unpleasant is about to occur.

That’s not the only reason my nerves were on edge. Just before going into the ultrasound room, I was informed that one of the girls I have been to all my classes with was over at the hospital in labor. So, as I sat in the ultrasound chair, undressed from waist down, the whole birthing process became reality to me. If she was giving birth, it wasn’t going to be long before I was going to have to do the same. As we waited for Dr. Richmond, my palms began to sweat and my heart began to race. I told Tracy I didn’t think I would be able to do it. They were going to have to find another way to get Davis out. Now, mind you, I was just going in for a check up at the doctor’s office. Can you imagine what’s going to happen and what Tracy is going to have to deal with when we actually have to go to the hospital? It may not be pretty.

Doctor Richmond finally arrived and I explained my hesitation about giving birth. I even told her I may need to go back and take the birthing class over again. She said, “Maybe it wouldn’t hurt for you to go tour the hospital one last time before it’s time for the baby.” She was only joking, but I bet she is already making plans to call one of the other doctors when I go into labor so she doesn’t have to deal with the “Crazy Lady.”

After our conversation, she once again placed the belly jelly on my stomach and began to roll the ultrasound device around. The first thing we saw was Davis’s head, facing downward, in position for arrival. He decided to face the direction of the ultrasound machine, so we got to see a front facing image of his eyes, nose, cheeks and mouth. Dr. Richmond said she didn’t think he had much hair. It’s amazing that you can even see that on the ultrasound. We saw his heart beating, his spine, a hand, and all his boy parts. The doctor said it was definitely safe to cut the tags off – no doubt it is a boy. At this point, the estimated current weight is 6.6 pounds. She said he could come anytime now. I am measuring 36 weeks, which means my actual estimated due date is still October 31st. If he decides to incubate for that long, we could have a whopping 8 to 9 pounder on our hands. Let’s just say that realization didn’t help my sweating palms or my racing heart in the least.

Thankfully, all is well. I don’t feel as if I am growing as rapidly as I was a few weeks ago. Even though I have gained a total of 34 1/2 pounds, I still don’t appear to have gained much of anywhere besides my belly. In the not too far future, Davis will be here, the belly will subside, and our lives will change permanently – for the better.

Celebrity

I now know what it’s like to be a celebrity.

It seems that when you reach your ninth month of pregnancy, you become the center of everyone’s attention. I realized this about a week ago or so. When I walk into the school, everyone from the cafeteria staff to the kindergartener looks at my belly and just smiles. Their faces light up. I realized this even more last night when we went to Blockbuster to rent Akeelah and the Bee. As we approached the counter, two girls who have waited on us before, immediately got that dreamy look on their faces. They began asking the routine questions, “When are you due?” “Is it a boy or a girl?” “Haven’t they made such gains in the area of maternity fashion?” They then told me how great I looked. I was surprised they didn’t ask for my autograph. We walked out of Blockbuster and I told Tracy I felt like celebrity.

Next, we went to Food Lion to get healthy sides for the grease-laden wings we had ordered from Wing Kings. Upon entering the store, people automatically began to stare and their faces began to light up. I have gotten to the point where I just kind of look straight ahead and focus on the task at hand. We gather our items and make our way to the check out. At the check out, one of the employees who is bagging groceries at the lane next to us begins to ask the same questions we had just answered at Blockbuster. She then tells me how wonderful I look and how amazing it is to give birth and become someone’s mother. As we talk, our groceries are tallied and bagged, but before we can leave, the gentleman who bagged our groceries grins, asks a couple of the same questions, congratulates Tracy and shakes his hand. After we walk out of the store, Tracy and I look at each other and simultaneously say, “Celebrity.”

I was thankful to have Tracy with me as I was questioned and stared at. It feels like he provides some sort of shield. Sometimes I feel like I can’t step out of the house without being stared at by the whole world. I wonder if all pregnant women experience this. Surely they would have to. All I know is that if I had to stay pregnant for many more months, it would cost of lots of money, what with the driver I would have to hire and the body guards and the celebrity worthy clothes…