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.

KFC and Sour Patch Kids

This week begins my second trimester. I have watched two of my friends do the pregnancy thing and was expecting my body to react just like theirs did. They threw up once a day – minimum. My friend, Obea, had this ritual. As soon as she got up in the morning, she headed straight to the bathroom, threw up or at least gagged, and then was ready to go. God knows exactly what he is doing, because I didn’t experience that during my first trimester. I would have been a big baby myself everyday. Throwing up is probably my least favorite thing in the world. A part of me was a little disturbed that I didn’t throw up, believe it or not. I just thought that all normal pregnant women were supposed to be miserable at least through their first trimester. That hasn’t been my experience at all. There have been a few times when I thought for sure that I would have to visit the throne, but after a glass of ice water and a cool wet cloth, I was fine.

As I look back on the first trimester the biggest issues I have had were eating and sleeping. Everyday, around 1 pm I have soooo wanted to just lay down. Anywhere would do, even my dirty classroom floor. Being a teacher, however, doesn’t allow for laying down and taking a nap. I don’t think the children or my principal would fully understand or allow it. The other great issue has been eating.

Spend more than 30 seconds with me and you will know that I am a foodie. I love food – it is my passion. However, it seems like this eating thing has taken over my life. I have been consumed with it. Get up, eat Cheese Nips and drink a Coke (caffeine free of course). Get in the car to head to work, eat the hashbrowns I just cooked. Arrive at work – spend a few hours at work, starving again, time for a snack. I wish I could agree that it’s all in my head (I know what you all are thinking), but it’s not. I have been ravenous. It’s not just, “Oh I feel a little hungry.” No, it’s more like – “I have to eat right now.” It’s not even like the hunger steadily grows. It’s more like one minute I am fine, and the next minute I feel as if I could eat an entire box of KFC.

Believe it or not, I am almost tired of eating. I always wondered, pre-pregnancy, what kinds of cravings I would have if I ever did conceive. It’s been interesting, though I can’t say I have craved anything truly weird. Tracy thinks the weirdest think has been the Nip Chee crackers. He is perplexed by it. I think even more than those infamous crackers, I have wanted mashed potatoes and gravy. I could eat them everyday. At the beginning of the pregnancy, before I even knew, I wanted salads – at least that craving left me feeling like I had done something good for my body. For a while after that, when the breakfast fanatic in me took over, I wanted McDonald’s sausage biscuits, though I was able to limit them to one a week. Now, it’s strawberry pop-tarts, real strawberries, and Sour Patch Kids candies. Maybe I am going through a fruit stage.

People are starting to look at my belly. I have gone online several times to look at belly pics and compare mine with other people that are similarly pregnant. You can’t really compare. It seems as if everyone is truly different. At my last doctor’s visit, I had only gained one pound. That was about 3 weeks ago. My next visit is next week – May 2nd. I have been wondering what they will do to me on that visit. One thing’s for sure, they are going to weigh me. I feel like my belly looks as if I have swallowed a cantaloupe. I hope the scales don’t get me in trouble.

Congratulations?

I think one of the most interesting things about this pregnancy has been watching how people respond when you give them the news. It seems like most people thought Tracy and I would never have children. That could have something to do with all the times that I said, “I’m never having children,” or “I have no clue how to hold this baby,” or “Me? Baby-sit?” I suppose you never know where people are in their lives, so based on where they are they will react differently to where you are in your life. I guess I just thought everyone would respond pretty much the same – “A baby – how awesome,” or “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing!” But, those are not the responses I have received from everyone I have told. Some people have been utterly shocked, lost their breath, and then responded exactly like I mentioned above. Other people have actually been upset by our news. Still others have completely ignored that they just heard I was pregnant, said nothing, and went on their merry ways. Tracy’s aunt responded by dropping her spoon on the table and remaining speechless for quite some time. A few people have actually accused me of lying. One lady said, “This will be a wake up call for her.” (She didn’t actually say that to my face – she said it to someone else. She still hasn’t congratulated me.) My favorite has been when you make your announcement and people all of a sudden have all these baby memories or scenarios to tell you about their own lives. I love hearing everyone’s stories. It helps me to imagine what my stories will someday be. Another favorite has been how some people automatically say, “Well, from now on, you get to choose the restaurant,” or “If you need anything, you just let me know.” And it is really nice to know that the people that said those things actually said them from the heart and really mean them. You can just tell. So anyway, no matter the reactions, I am truly excited about this little being that will be arriving in October and cannot wait to meet him/her (I think it’s a her).

An Oompa Loompa of Our Own

Michelle and I saw Tim Burton’s recent remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when it came out in theaters and fell in love with it. Most of our friends never got around to seeing it, so when it came out on DVD we decided that it would be fun to have everyone over to eat desserts and watch the movie together. Months passed and we never got around to actually doing it… then we found out we were pregnant and the wheels started turning. We hatched the perfect way to let everyone in on our little secret…

Welcome to the Willie Wonka PaRtY!!

I had this idea. That I could dress up as Mr. Wonka himself, purple jacket, paisely shirt, even the top hat, and you know, greet everyone at the door, welcome them to my factory, etc. I mean, that would fit our theme, right? Unfortunately a trip to the local costume shop nearly ended the dream — it was going to set me back $150 to rent the costume (and it was the old Gene Wilder version). So, I headed over to the local thrift store and started digging around. $3.40 later I walked out with a purple-paisley women’s blouse and a long purple suit jacket. After some slight modifications (I had to cut the sleeves off the blouse and sew them into the jacket arms to make them long enough) I had myself a fairly decent Wonka-esque costume. The party was the next day.

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Everyone piled into our condo and we all had a large time eating chocolate cheese cakes, chocolate pecan pies, chocolate fondue, and making smores over invisible sterno flames. Of course, when anyone new arrived I jumped out yelling “Welcome to the Willie Wonka Party!” Wonderfully scaring most of them. Especially Richard… he hates clowns anyway, and we all thought he was going to claw his way back through our front door trying to get away from me. Great fun. So we ate ourselves silly then watched the movie. As everyone was getting up to go home I pulled out a handful of oversized chocolate candy bars. “There is one more thing!” I said…

You got the Golden Ticket!

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Nobody had a clue. They thought this was just one more silly thing to go along with the evening. “There’s a golden ticket inside one of these,” I said, as I handed everyone a candy bar. They all laughed and thought it was a fun unexpected treat. Having just seen the movie, they all got to feel like potential Charlie Buckets.

Rachel got the loaded candy bar and we made her read it out loud for all to hear…
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EPT and Me

Pregnant? Is that what the little pink plus sign means? After peeing on the stick, that was my question. I was sure I had misread the instructions or either the test was defective. Tracy wasn’t really certain either – his response was, “It is a very faint line.” Faint or blazing, it was definitely a plus. However, I don’t think either one of us was ready to accept this small surprise in the form of a plastic stick with pee. So, what did we do? We headed straight for Wal-mart – me crying all the way, worried about how everything was going to be very different from this day forward. Tracy wasn’t about to be unsure again, so he purchased a box with two pregnancy tests that were brand name, 99% accurate, and they also indicated pregnancy by displaying the actual words pregnant or not pregnant. When we arrived back home, it was time to pee again. We waited…not 30 seconds later, the word Pregnant popped on to the tiny screen. I think Tracy was more excited than me. All of sudden, thoughts of delivery and stretch marks and midnight feedings flooded my mind. I was TERRIFIED!!! Not a week earlier we had decided that we were both okay living the rest of our lives without kids. Isn’t it interesting how God works? We actually got to this place because my trusty doctor (who I thought pretty much knew everything) told me that I would probably have to take fertility drugs to even conceive. “You’ll have a difficult time getting pregnant,” she assured me. After two years of being VERY careful, I decided that we were free birds – I had built in birth control. Well, low and behold my built in birth control was a little less than 99.5% effective. So here we are, the two people who were possibly never going to have children, 12 weeks pregnant. It has taken me virtually every day of this 12 weeks to even accept the idea that there is life growing inside of me. It’s amazing to even think that in the not too far future Tracy and I are going to be P-P-P-Parents!