31 Weeks – So close, yet so far…

How far along? 31 weeks – 63 Days till Expected Due Date (EDD) (as off Monday, April 28).  According to my babycenter app, he weighs about the size of a coconut, which should be 3lbs 4oz-ish.  According to my ultrasound on Saturday, he is currently weighing in at 3lbs 11oz.  So…he is a big coconut ;D  Speaking of pregnancy apps, mine is so boring now that we’re in the third trimester!  All the exciting, “he’s growing fingernails! He’s growing a liver!” is a thing of the past.  Now, each weekly update reads, “Baby is <insert fruit or vegetable here>.  He is getting fatter.”  Tell me something I didn’t know.

Gender: a mama’s boy, absolutely

Maternity clothes?  Slacks and jeans.  And tank tops!  Tank tops are my favorite. (repeat)

Stretch marks? EVERYWHERE.  Except my boobs, surprisingly.  I think this because my boobs were already out of control, so…yeah.

Sleep:  Not too shabby at the moment!  I flip flop between decent sleep and no sleep.  

Movement: Raylan is a gymnast.  He can kick me off balance.

Food cravings: SPICY EVERYTHING GET IN MAH BELLY

What I Miss?  Being able to roll over in bed without an act of congress

Symptoms?   I’m gonna be one of those people and sum it up in one word, “pregnant.”  3rd trimester is a beast.  I’m ready to be done!

Best moment this week:  Yesterday, I met some of the people A works with.  It was a lot of fun!  We played games and I ate too much food and everybody loved my dip.

Looking forward to:  THE END OF SCHOOL SWEET LAWD.  I NEED SUMMER VACATION.  I’M SO DONE WITH THESE TEENAGERS.  For now, at least.
And there is my very boring weekly update.  Not too much happening now.  Which I think is probably a good thing 😉

3 Years

I want to take a break today from the usual postings about work and baby.

Today is the 3 year anniversary of the worst day of my entire life.

It’s not something I feel particularly comfortable sharing…actually, I despise talking about it.  But…I also feel like it’s something that others can learn from.  Because you just never know.

 

 

Three years ago, I woke up early in the morning and headed to class at the University of Alabama.  I was excited because my car was finally done at the mechanic and my dad was coming to Tuscaloosa to be with me when we picked it up.  I know NOTHING about cars.  He wanted to make sure everything was all good under the hood.  (I was involved in an accident a month before in which somebody ran a red light…needless to say, our cars could not occupy the same space at the same time…)  In any case, I went to class and then met Dad at the rental car place to drop off the trusty little Toyota that had been my ride for the past month.  We headed to the mechanic and picked up the Focus, newly painted and shiny.  We grabbed lunch and talked about the crazy weather in Alabama that day.  Some tornadoes had touched down in a few cities, nothing out of the ordinary, Alabama is tornado central.  He mentioned the weather was supposed to be unpleasant later.

 

Dad: It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.  You should come back to Birmingham with me.

Me:  Dad, I can’t, I have class at 5 this afternoon.  Besides, a little rain never hurt anyone.

Dad:  I’m telling you, I think it’s supposed to be more than a little rain…are you sure you don’t want to come back with me?

Me:  I have class.  We’re turning in a big project.  Don’t worry about it.

 

Fast forward a couple hours – I’m sitting in the basement of the education library, working on the final details of our project with my partner.  As we add finishing touches to our masterpiece, we talk about the weather.  It had been a crazy day for Alabama…some big tornadoes had touched down…some bad things had happened.  We half joked about Alabama canceling class and took a break every once in a while to go outside and stare at the sky.  It looked pretty normal…a few clouds swirling around, a bit windy, humid.  About 45 minutes before class was scheduled to start, we received an email from our professor that said she was calling it and for everybody to go home.  Gleeful to have a break from the three hour class that week, my partner and I parted ways.

I called a friend and asked if he wanted to come over to my apartment to “ride out the weather.”  I picked him up and while heading to my place, the radio seemed much more serious than we were used to.

“A large, wedge shaped tornado has touched down in Mississippi and is crossing the Alabama border.”

Well, at least we won’t die alone…my friend and I continued to banter back and forth.  If you live in Alabama for any extended period of time, you grow pretty immune to bad weather.  Besides…we’re 20 something college kids with our whole lives ahead of us.  Bad things happen, sure, but not to us.

My husband, who at the time was my boyfriend, was back in Texas.  He attended Texas A&M University.  I shot him a text that read, “Radio said something about a wedge shaped tornado.”  He didn’t respond.  He was busy with ROTC things. That was the last time I would communicate with him for quite a while.

When my friend and I arrived at my apartment, we gathered my jack russell, Chloe Abigail, and headed for a quick walk around the grounds.  The sky was a little darker.

Back in the living room, we kicked off our shoes and turned on the local news.  Our weatherman, James Spann, immediately filled the screen, his jacket off, his shirt sleeves rolled up, his suspenders visible.  After I logged into facebook, I posted a status:  You know it’s serious when you can see James Spann’s suspenders! Haha!”

My friend and I chatted in between Spann’s updates.

“If you are in Tuscaloosa, you need to take shelter now.  Particularly if you live along Kauloosa Avenue.”

Kauloosa Avenue?  I glanced at my friend and he was glancing back.  That was right down the road.

I cleared my throat, “maybe we should put some cushions in the bathroom…just to be safe?”  I phrased it as a question.  We pulled off the couch cushions and tossed them into the bathtub of my second floor apartment and settled back on the living room floor.

Dad called me and I picked up my cell phone.  You need to go downstairs.  I don’t want to go downstairs, Dad, I already had this discussion with Mom earlier.  I don’t care, you need to go downstairs, you shouldn’t be on the top floor.  Dad, I don’t know my neighbors downstairs, it really isn’t a big deal.

Nothing’s going to happen, Dad.

Five minutes later, we heard a tornado siren.

A minute later, the power went out.

30 seconds later, we heard screaming.

I grabbed Chloe and we ran to the bathroom, cellphone still in my hand and connected to my dad.  I was still closing the door when the apartment began to shake.

We jumped in the bathtub, cushions above us, praying and praying.

People say a tornado sounds like a train…but I think it sounded more like thunder that wouldn’t stop…and glass breaking…and banging…

It was over in 30 seconds.  We sat in the bathtub.  I looked at my friend and he looked back, eyes wide.  It was so quiet.

“Baby? Morgan?”  My dad was still on the phone.  I told him we were ok, but that I could see light around the bathroom door.  Dang, I think the front door blew open, Dad, I’m going to have quite a mess to clean up in the living room.

We still didn’t realize what had happened.

We were so clueless.  (A therapist told me I needed to stop using the word “stupid.”)

I opened the bathroom door.

Dad.  It’s gone.  Everything’s gone.  Dad?!  The apartment.  Oh my god, Dad, my apartment is destroyed.  Everything…it’s gone.  Collapsed.  Oh god, the people…Dad, my friend’s apartment collapsed. Dad?  Dad, I have to go.  We have to get down.  The apartment might fall through.  Call you later.

Clutching Chloe, we began the arduous task of crawling out of the apartment.  I was barefoot.  My right leg plunged through the bricks and glass and wood that used to comprise my living room wall.  Dammit.  I pulled myself out and continued onward.  This would be my only physical injury, making me so much more lucky than others.  We made it out of the apartment and onto the concrete landing that used to be the walkway.  To get into the courtyard, we hiked over the feet of debris caught in the stairwell.  Once in the courtyard, it was chaos.  It was destruction.  It was Hell.  There were bodies and crying and blood and glass and mud and nails and a baby blanket and a backpack in a tree and a crowd of hundreds walking down the street and a shaky puppy licking the tears off my cheeks.  We were scared animals.  Someone started whispering about another tornado.  The whisper turned into a yell.  People started running.  Why are you running, please tell me, why are you running, is another one coming, where do we go, we can’t hide, everything is gone, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.  

It turns out, we had just survived an EF4 tornado, which would pick up even more steam and become an EF5 before leaving Tuscaloosa county.

What does that movie Twister call an F5?  The finger of God?

It took hours for my parents to reach me.

It took months for me to return to Tuscaloosa.

It will take my whole life to fully come to terms with that day.

I hope to raise awareness with this story.  Have a plan.  Have a safe place.  Have important documents available.  Have a suitcase with clothes and dog food and cat food and leashes and whatever else you might need for your little family for a couple days.  For the love of all things holy, have shoes on your feet.  Be prepared.  It is better to take weather events seriously and be wrong, than to treat it too casually and be VERY wrong.

Do not take your life for granted.  You never know when it may be altered forever.

Taken when I stepped out of my bathroom a few minutes after the tornado. That was my living room.

 

I took a video when I got out of the apartment and into the courtyard.  To see, click the link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2001390842452&l=8748419090534351049 

 

 

3D/4D Ultrasound – Best Invention EVER

My, technology has come a long way.  I remember watching the videos of my mom’s ultrasound of my little brothers and being really confused because it just looked like a squiggly gray lake to me…you mean THAT is supposed to be my brother?  Ew.  

Now, though?  Definitely no squiggly gray lakes here!

Our last foray into the  3D/4D ultrasound world was three weeks ago.  Raylan is normally pretty active, but he decided to REALLY kick it up that day.  He pounded on the little doppler through my skin and rolled all over the place.  The technician could not get any kind of clear shot and it was all very disappointing.  Luckily, the place we went did one free redo (WHICH THEY HAD BETTER, THAT ULTRASOUND WAS WAY EXPENSIVE TO GET NO RESULTS).  Our redo was scheduled today and it was SO worth the wait!

Check out some of our pictures!

Snuggle buggin'

Snuggle buggin’

 

That would be his foot...in his eye.  Flexible kid!

That would be his foot…in his eye. Flexible kid!

 

He spent the majority of his time on camera sucking on his foot, umbilical cord, or hand

He spent the majority of his time on camera sucking on his foot, umbilical cord, or hand

 

Such a serene little expression

Such a serene little expression

 

AND THE BEST PICTURE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.  LOOK AT THAT CHEESING LITTLE BOY!!!!!!

AND THE BEST PICTURE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. LOOK AT THAT CHEESING LITTLE BOY!!!!!!

 

So yeah…I can’t get enough of my little man.  I have a feeling the next couple months are going to drag…

30 weeks – bump update

How far along? 30 weeks!  70 more days!  (Come June 30th, if you are hear screaming, it’s me as my due date goes flying by…the idea of being pregnant into July makes me wanna vomit…)

Gender: a mama’s boy, absolutely

Maternity clothes?  Slacks and jeans.  And tank tops!  Tank tops are my favorite.

Stretch marks? EVERYWHERE.  Except my boobs, surprisingly.  

Sleep:  I finally started getting over my allergies…now I’m hot all the time and spend the bulk of my nights kicking the covers around.  I can tell Raylan is still breech (breech at 28 week US) because I pee a lot less when he is breech than when he is flipped over, so at least I only pee once a night or so!   

Movement: Raylan is a gymnast.  He can kick me off balance.

Food cravings: Mexican.  Always.  ALWAYS.  I mean, it’s really out of control.  I almost managed to get mexican for supper tonight, but at the last minute, I suggested burgers.  Poor A.  He is so tired of chips and guacamole.  (Which is blasphemous, in my opinion.)

What I Miss?  Alcohol and my personality.  I miss being me.  I don’t like this hormonal, angry person I have become recently.

Symptoms?   Sciatica is back with a vengeance, stretch marks, exhaustion, etc.  ALSO, sometimes, I will be so hungry, I feel like I SURELY must be visibly wasting away…and then other times, I could go all day without eating and not even notice…anybody else having super weird “food” swings?

Best moment this week:  Well…last week, we got our maternity pictures done and it was a blast.  Even if they come out horrendously, we had a great time doing it.  We’ll get to see them in a week or so!

Looking forward to: Mom is coming down this weekend!  And we are going to try round 2 of our 3D ultrasound.  Fingers crossed little man is cooperative this time around!

29 Weeks – Bump Update

 How far along? 29 weeks, which is totally irrational.  Already?  29 weeks??

Gender: a mama’s boy, absolutely

Maternity clothes?  Yes, and anything stretchy!  I can’t wait for summer break…this teacher is ready to throw her work clothes to the curb. (same)

Stretch marks? EVERYWHERE.  Except my boobs, surprisingly.  

Sleep:  Not great.  Plus, allergy season is in full effect here in the south and I go from drowning in my own snot to being so dried up all I can do is cough and cough.  

Movement: Raylan is a gymnast.  He can kick me off balance.

Food cravings: Mexican.  Always.  ALWAYS.  We tried a new little whole in the wall place last Friday, and they basically give you a pitcher of salsa…I was in heaven.

What I Miss?  Alcohol…specifically a jack and coke…or “our” wine.  It comes in a jug, basically, so that goes to show you the classy bitches me and my husband are 🙂

Symptoms?  Insomnia lately!  But I’m also sleepy…so I don’t know.  I will admit…I am loving being pregnant and having the chance to carry my little dude around, but I will be much more happy when he is here and I can return to my normal self.

Best moment this week:  This one is tricky…and begins with really terrible news.  SOOOO, I’m a high school teacher.  We were stationed in Louisiana in September, but I got a job and moved here earlier to start.  When I was hired, it was under the impression that even though I’m a military wife, I would work here until we moved, and I was very pleased with that arrangement!  I was born to educate teenage turds, and I considered this job a blessing…particularly because the job market is not so hot right now.  Fast forward to February.  I’m pregnant and the principal has told us at the past several faculty meetings/professional development days that we will be losing 3-5 teachers due to funding issues.  Not going to lie, not ONCE did it occur to me that my position, as a core teacher (English), would be in jeopardy.  You NEED English teachers.  But then, come February, students are signing up for classes and it appears that several electives have been cut…electives that are taught by English teachers.  Suddenly, there are too many English teachers in the department.  Uh oh.  Rumors immediately make the rounds…”so and so might be transferring”…”yeah, but is he even coming back next year?”…  I got nervous…I’m the new kid on the block, after all.  After talking with my husband, I decided I needed to talk to my very no nonsense, slightly intimidating principal.  I let her know I really loved my job and if they will have me next year, I would LOVE to come back.
She basically told me it was out of her hands, but that chances were slim I would be coming back.  When a district makes cut backs, first they cut people who aren’t certified, then they cut people who have been hired most recently.  The whole English department is certified…and I was hired most recently.  All signs point to me.  I panicked, but decided not to make any decisions until I knew for sure.
After being called to a meeting this past Friday, I now know for sure.  I will not be returning this year.  I balled my eyes out as soon as I left the principal’s office.
A piece of me feels like, “what’s the point?”  BUT, I’m going to finish out the year strong.
AND ALL OF THAT  brings me to my favorite moment this week:  I think me and A have decided I will stay home with little man next year.  And I’m ridiculously excited.  More to follow as this develops 🙂
Looking forward to: Maternity pictures!  We have our sweet photographer all booked and ready to go!  I can’t wait!  We went with Elaine Pierce and after speaking with her, I could not more happier with our choice!  (same)
And here is a bump picture, for good measure!  Me and A went to the theater over the weekend to see an amazing coworker perform.  We had a grand time 🙂
photo (14)

28 weeks – Hey, Third Trimester!

SOOOO…the past week was hectic.  Getting back from Spring Break and dealing with everything that comes with the end of the semester drawing nearer…I totally missed doing an update at 27 weeks.  But…all answers would have been the same.  We are some pretty consistent folks 😉

 

How far along? 28 weeks!  It is absolutely mind boggling that I’m already in third trimester.  Although, when I think that I new I was pregnant in October…suddenly, it feels like I have been pregnant forever and ever and ever.

Gender: a mama’s boy, absolutely

Maternity clothes?  Yes, and anything stretchy!  I can’t wait for summer break…this teacher is ready to throw her work clothes to the curb.

Stretch marks? Every time I take a breath, a new one pops up.  

Sleep:  Pretty terrible.  I think primarily the issue comes with how ridiculously taxing it is to move/roll over…plus, my hips are NOT a fan of laying on their sides.

Movement: HE MOVES SO MUCH THAT MY 3D/4D ULTRASOUND WAS A TOTAL FAIL.  I knew he was a busy bee in there, but he spent the entirety of the ultrasound rolling around and punching the little doppler.  We have a redo in a couple weeks.

Food cravings: Mexican.  Always.

What I Miss?  Alcohol.

Symptoms?  My fingers have started swelling a bit…exhaustion has returned…and generally achiness.

Best moment this week:  Seeing my parents.  Poor things drove 7 hours just to watch Raylan perform cartwheels and then drove back.  But it is always a joy seeing my parents 🙂
Looking forward to: Maternity pictures!  We have our sweet photographer all booked and ready to go!  I can’t wait!  We went with Elaine Pierce and after speaking with her, I could not more happier with our choice!