Matthew

At the beginning of the last update, I urged you all to keep Haiti, and all of the folks in the path of hurricane Matthew in your thoughts and prayers.  Unfortunately, Haiti was hit pretty hard, and I feel kind of at a loss with what to do to help from here, especially since many organizations have done a good bit of fundraising,  but it seems that Haiti continues to flounder.  I have worked with one organization in particular, Mercy Corps, and I’m planning on making a call to them tomorrow to find out what is being done on the ground to help the Haitian people.  I will keep you guys posted.

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Last Saturday, we woke up in Raleigh to a nasty gray sky.  We’d been keeping an eye on Matthew reports, and I’d texted family in Florida about the storm (all good), and we were planning on some rain.  I got a text from a friend – she wanted to come over to visit and for drinks, and I started getting Liam ready for a visitor.  I fed him, pumped a little bit for his night time feedings, and starting checking outside.  It was raining like crazy, but we sort of expected that. But as the rain started coming down harder and harder, my friend texted and said she’d tried to go out to do an errand, and that it was raining too hard, and that she’d had to turn back.  Not good.

We got another text – one of the main roads through the area where we live had been flooded down the middle, and was closed off.  At this point, we still weren’t super alarmed.  I finished pumping, and put a ton of milk in the freezer, and Austin was piddling around the house, straightening up, and just doing some of our normal Saturday stuff.

Around 1:30 or 2pm, we lost power after a few flickers, and the last time, it didn’t come back.  I nursed Liam, we napped, and did some staring out the window at the pines being battered by the wind, and still, it never came back.  We started losing daylight, and the rain started quieting.  By this time, it’d gotten colder, and Austin snuck in a shower with the hot water we had left, and we made plans to go to dinner.  We didn’t really anticipate the power being out for the rest of the night, but thankfully, Austin prepares for anything, and we had light, and water, and nonperishables to snack on before and after we braved the streets to find a place with power and food.  By this time, the rain had stopped falling, and we could navigate around some of the flooded streets to find food, and we crossed our fingers that lights would be back by the time we got home.  They weren’t.

At this point, I started to get a little worried.  Remember, I’d pumped a good amount around lunch, before the lights went out, and stuck it in the freezer.  We hand’t opened the freezer, but I also had his nighttime bottle in the fridge, which Austin usually gave him, and without electricity, I had no way to really shower (the hot water we had was all that was left in the tank) and no way to heat Liam’s bottle.  So I nursed him Saturday night, and we decided that we wouldn’t open the fridge or freezer except to shove some ice we’d found at a gas station in there to keep things cold.

When I woke up on Sunday, the air in the house was really still, and it was a little chilly.  I realized the power had not come back, and texted my mom that if she was okay with it, I wanted to come down with the baby.  She had not seen him in about two weeks, and we needed electricity and hot water. I planned to only stay a day, so we decided to leave Austin at home so he could prepare for work on Monday morning, and I kind of figured I would be back on Monday evening sometime.  Austin snapped a pic of us just before we left…

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…and we grabbed coffee at the McDonald’s (remember, we had no electricity) before I headed down 40 to my parents’. Full disclosure, I felt awful leaving Austin behind, especially to clean up the mess the wind had made in the yard, but I was a little excited at the thought of showering in my mom’s shower with all the hot water. I mean, I was absolutely gross, and I know my mom really wanted to see Liam.

So we arrived Sunday afternoon, and it was so nice because my parents got a chance to hang out with Liam, then my sister showed up, and then another sister showed up with her husband to hang out with us.  Austin called that evening and told me power still hadn’t come back, and the estimates from the power company were looking a little bleak.  My mother seemed overjoyed, but I really hadn’t packed enough for us, and I started making a mental list of things I would need to get together if we needed to stick around for a few days.

Liam slept in the Rock ‘n’ Play (thank you Graco, for this amazing invention), and we got an amazing night of sleep, with climate control, and a working coffee machine in the house. Still, Monday morning the power at home was out, and I made plans to take Liam to see a school mom who lives in Matthews, to go to Target to pick up a few essentials, and to shower in my mom’s fancy shower that I’d been dreaming of since I got there.

Monday night, no power, and Tuesday, no power.  Austin was getting sad not seeing Liam, but my parents were having a blast. On Tuesday morning, I woke up and Liam was not in the swing right by the couch where I was napping, and when I went to find him, my mom had him, rocking and singing songs by the white noise machine.

When all was said and done, we didn’t get power back until some time on Tuesday afternoon, and because I didn’t care to drive by myself with the baby in the dark, we waited until Wednesday to head in.

I was ready to see Austin when I got back, but I was sad to leave my parents. My dad was so cute with Liam, and my mom, with four kids, was a whiz at singing the songs and walking, and helping me bathe him to get him right to sleep. We finally made it back to Raleigh in time for some lunch with a friend, and we stuck around this time with all of our new crap in tow that we managed to collect while at home.

That was our first big adventure away from home, and the baby did awesome.  I think I did okay too.

I hope you all fared okay throughout the hurricane, and for those of you still dealing with flooding and damage, we are thinking of you, and working hard on our end to get you the resources you need!

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