I had no clue the storm was brewing and oh did it brew! The day before we were to go home, the pediatrician had come in updating on Ansley's perfect health :) and talked of the storm saying we should watch the weather to try to get home the next day in between the storms.....being in the zombie state I was having just given birth maybe 12 hours prior, I heard what he had said but didn't really let it sink in. Then Dr. Brody, my OB, mentioned it the next morning....or I should say the crack of dawn since he is known for arriving at 5:30 am when moms are just rolling over after the second feeding of the night....(sorry I get sidetracked and he is awesome by the way)....but yes he mentioned the storms and told me to get my coworkers in gear so that I could be home before the storms hit. I let that sink in some more this time, but went ahead and rolled over to get some more shut eye. I then woke up around 7 for the next feeding and turned on the news. Tyler and Garyn had slept at home that night prior so I called them.
Me: "Do you have the news on?"
Tyler: "No, just got up"
Me: "Well, they are working on my discharge papers, but don't be in a hurry yet, the news is saying a storm is coming with possible tornadoes. They are even saying to seek shelter."
Tyler: "Ok, we'll eat and get ready. We'll be there in a little bit"
Me:"You might want to turn on the news and just watch to see when these storm pass"
Tyler: hurriedly.."Ok, I will, love you"
So I was starting to worry some, knowing he thought I was exaggerating and wondering myself if I was....remember I had little sleep and was now watching a news channel that was saying "Take cover!" I called my coworkers/ nurses and asked if we were doing anything to prepare, some didn't even know about it. No one was really worried and said they had just told their patients they could come out in the hall if they wanted. I went out to mingle with Ansley. It was easy to forget about the storm when showing off my little beauty! There was hard rain and wind, but nothing to be too alarmed about. Or at least from what I could see. Little did I know what had really happened.
Ansley was sleeping well in her car seat....... Garyn was happy to have her next to him talking about how now there were 4 of us riding in the car. I was excited to get home and sleep in my own bed and shower in my own bathroom. Excited to show my baby girl her new home and use all her new play pretties taking pictures to remember these first days home. All these expectations any new mom creates and dreams of were about to be overshadowed by the effects the storm had had. I have since quickly learned to lower my expectations and enjoy the "real life."
Now, we did have a generator and was able to have our fridge, some lights, fans and sometimes the TV going. All but 2 nights were cool and the two nights that weren't we slept in the basement which was almost too cold. I breastfeed in the dark a lot of nights; didn't bathe Ansley until she was 4 or 5 days old with water heated in the microwave; we ate out with a newborn multiple times that first week unlike we did with Garyn; and I stuck to my guns for whatever reason thinking it was the right thing for us to do. Now, looking back I might have given in at some point, but I still feel good about my decision. I think in reality it would have been hard either way dragging all the baby stuff around and staying at another house where I felt less comfortable. I guess it boils down to me being stubborn and private. I wanted the privacy of my own home during that awkward time after having a baby. You know...or you may not....but you feel like you are changing your baby's diaper and your own..... going to the bathroom isn't always pleasant and is time consuming.....breastfeeding is hard in the beginning.....you are emotional and hormonal.....you want to figure out your baby's preferences so that you can console them......and you want to spend as much quality time with your husband and/or other children. So yeah....I just wanted to be home. I remember saying that countless times to Tyler on the verge of breakdown when we were thinking about staying somewhere else. The daytime wasn't too bad; it was nighttime that got to me. I can totally relate to that whole Sun downer's depression because that was when it would hit me that their was no normalcy in my life at the moment. Change is hard sometimes for me and my world was upside down at that moment.
Tyler was off getting a generator)
But enough about that! I don't think we will ever forget our first days home with baby girl. We often wonder if it was an omen that Ansley is going to be a storm of her own. She certainly makes her presence (or preferences) known. The best part was that she didn't notice that anything was wrong nor will she ever remember it! I certainly will though!
I want to end this story by saying God has blessed us. And as I have been writing this, He has reminded me of much harder times and of the blessings I don't deserve. God taught me (and still is) a lot through the making, birth and life of Ansley. I know our damage and inconveniences after the storm were nothing compared to most hit by the tornado. I now realize the effects a storm can have on a person's life; a concept I couldn't grasp before. Even today, I am thinking of those that are without homes and/or power from Hurricane Irene. Our little man, Garyn, understands more, too. He still talks of the trees that were down or are now gone. He also worries more about the power being out the few times it has flickered since the tornado. Just another lesson God wants us to learn: He is the great I am who gives and takes away all we have. I know I will lean on Him more from this experience feeling His sovereignty through it all.