WEEK THIRTY-NINE - Week of November 16 - The end is near!

Bob got some more quality bonding time with Baby Girl. Realistically, I think Bob will rub up against most anything that will give him attention, but I like to think it's his special way of loving Baby Girl. ;-) He also continues to be a very faithful and helpful "coworker".

We went on Wednesday to meet with a local pediatrician to see if we wanted to go with them. The most positive thing about the entire experience is that they're seven minutes away. That'll come in handy when there's a screaming baby in the backseat. We weren't overly impressed beyond that. Boo! I think I'll set up one more Meet and Greet with another highly recommended practice 20 minutes away.....if there's time before Baby Girl arrives. I would just like to feel a little more comfortable and confident in my choice and not base it solely on distance.
On Friday, we had our last childbirth class. We were naughty and crammed our homework in at the last minute. I could barely stomach the part of the video where they showed how to clean the umbilical cord. The birthing video was more palatable than that! ;-) I feel much more relieved having that out of the way. That was kind of one of the last hurdles that she couldn't come until we had gotten our money's worth from the class!

According to Daddy, I'm getting "massive". I decided to take some belly pictures from different angles to capture the pregnancy. I think they're hysterical! and yes, in one of the pictures, that is a work cell phone hanging off of my Family Guy "Obey me" pajama pants!
In case you're interested, updated pictures of Baby Girl's room are here:

WEEK THIRTY-EIGHT - Week of November 9 - "You still in there?"

DH found out on Monday afternoon that he has to fly to Albany, NY Tuesday through Thursday for work. He's going on his first business trip in a month and his first flying business trip in a year. Keep in mind, this is the same man who did nearly 100% travel for ten years and was SOOO excited to have quit travelling as of a month ago. Then the last week or so he's become totally stir crazy [making up excuses to run errands, pacing the house, etc]. Ever since he woke up on Tuesday morning, he hasn't been able to wipe the smile off of his face! haha! When he left for the airport, Packer and I were psyched that the girls are in majority of the household once again!

Later on Tuesday night, however, I found myself to be 8.5 months pregnant and with a vehicle, but no access to any of the keys to it. While running errands with MH the other day, I put my set of keys in my glove box and forgot to grab them back out. The valet key is always stored in my truck. The spare key? On his key chain.....which is now in Albany, NY until Thursday night. Yes, that is correct. Three keys, and I don't have access to any of them. It's a gooooood thing I talked him in to buying me milk [and some apple pie] before he flew out! You know what this all means though. The little girl, who has shown NO signs of coming out, will seize this opportunity, with the full moon rising, no access to a vehicle, hubby out of town, still one more birthing class to attend, the mommy haircut scheduled, the pediatrician meet and greet scheduled and the massage scheduled to make her grand debut. Sigh! That's gonna be a LONG 30 mile walk to the hospital while I'm experiencing my contractions.

Luckily the full moon did not have any effect on Baby Girl and I think DH now remembers why he loathed flying so much before too. His first flight home was delayed, causing him to miss his second flight, which meant he didn't get home until around 1:30 am. The giddy virgin on prom night smile that he had on Tuesday morning was gone when he got home Thursday night.

Baby Girl decided Thursday was a great day to chill out and not make much motion. I gave her a glass of OJ and laid down on the bed [with an adorable Packer nuzzled up next to my face], and she got her minimum four kicks an hour in. I took her shopping at Linens and Things, and the bargains they had seemed to perk her up a bit, but still not as much as normal. I decided not to freak out and call the OB and just wait until my regular appointment on Friday. I know when they're near the end, they slow down their movements in preparation for labor and because they're just simply running out of room. I'm hoping that's all this is.

On Friday, Baby Girl decided to be chill again, so the doc hooked me up to the NST [Non-Stress Test] machine. Her heartbeat went between 135-155, which he said was normal, but even with apple juice, she only gave one good kick. He said it wasn't bad, but not as ideal as he would feel comfortable with, so he sent me over to the hospital to get a "biophysical profile for a non-reactive Non Stress Test". He wanted to be paged with any result other than an 8 out of 8. That meant she needed three movements within 30 minutes.

They found the heartbeat right away and her fetal breathing was good. She was fine for amniotic fluid, and she did make her three movements, so she scored her 8 out of 8. I only felt one of the three movements, because some of them were as simple as moving her hand by her face. She moved a few more times that afternoon, and just a bit ago she decided to stretch her leg and push her foot out so that I could feel a hard lump on my side. Unfortunately we didn't get a good shot of her face, so we're still not sure how cute she's gonna be, but we're hopeful! haha! I was told to check kick counts of 4 an hour once or twice a day and call with any results less than that. Otherwise, everything's going well and she's showing no signs of wanting to come out any time soon.
We followed our exciting morning by going to the salon in the afternoon for some pampering. Knowing this will be one of the last times I'll get to be carefree and selfish, I decided to take advantage of it and get my hair done. It feels SOOOOO much better now!

WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN - Week of November 2 - Easing a PG woman's mind with education

Baby Girl did her civic duty this week and participated in the Presidential Election that ended up voting in the United State's first black president. She was pretty quiet during the voting process, but once she learned she was going to get a Krispy Kreme donut for participating, she got very excited and started kicking quite a bit.

In unrelated news, PoopCam has officially confirmed that Bob is refusing to use the litter box for his #2. Now the trick is to catch him mid-act and "encourage" [aka shove his pooping butt into] the litterbox. He seems to wait until right after we turn off the lights to go to bed or we have stepped momentarily away from the monitor.

We attended our first childbirth class on Friday. I have been so scared about labor and delivery and then the whole being responsibility for a baby part that follows it. I'm feeling a little bit better since having our class though. We spent some time practicing some various breathing techniques, and she talked a lot about the different stages of labor and what we can do during each one to make it less painful. MH is realizing that he won't get to rely on Bob Cat to help me through this emotional experience, so he's really stepping up to the plate and preparing himself for the task ahead.

WEEK THIRTY-SIX - Week of October 26 - Bet you wish your girlfriend was hawt like me!

Another week at home, and it has not taken long for me to take full advantage of the Work Casual dress code. Bob has fully embraced Mommy being home all the time as well. He's been a very helpful cube mate.

Baby Girl also got to experience her first Halloween. She went to town kicking as soon as the Trick-or-Treaters started coming around. That or she liked the few Kit Kats we stole from the Halloween candy Daddy was handing out.

Things went well at this week's MD appointment. Up another two pounds, but still on target for everything. The doc said I had the perfect pregnancy chart! YAY for Baby Girl making this pregnancy easy on her momma.

Right now, we're using Baby Girl's video baby monitor to track down who's been pooping on the carpet and not in the fancy-schmancy Cat Genie we bought. It's been happening quite a bit lately, mostly in the evenings, and always in the same spot, just two feet from the litter box. We put down a rug to protect the carpet, but I can't wait to figure out who the culprit is!
7:29 PoopCam update: Packer walked across the rug, but then she kept walking. Bob has spent most all of this time snuggling next to me. He did go out of view for two minutes, but was NOT spotted on the PoopCam. More updates to follow....
7:45 PoopCam update: Now Bob has walked across the rug, but then he kept walking. Hmmm. He's gonna slip up though, and I'm gonna be there to watch it!!!
8:45 PoopCam update: I was in the shower, and I saw Packer walk over the rug again, but still no poop in sight.

Yeah, that's the fascinating life we now lead. Don't ask me what we're going to do when we finally figure out which one it is. We haven't planned that far in advance. ;-)

WEEK THIRTY-FIVE - Week of October 19 - What do the following have in common? a hospital tour, a Cat Genie, a trip to the vet and a belly cooking burn

Week two at home, and MAN am I in heaven! My sleep and awake hours are totally skewed, but I'm finally able to get projects done that I've wanted to do for months.

On Monday, we had our hospital tour. They started us off by showing a birthing video. I fought back tears while Daddy made non-stop jokes.....

Video: During the transitional phase of labor, the mother is going to need a lot of support and love.
MH: Do you think they'd let Bob Cat in the delivery room with us? [yes, he makes Bob do his dirty work on entertaining and snuggling with me]
Video: Since the pain is stronger during the transitional phase of labor, the mother may get much more aggitated and irritable and expressive in her frustrations.
MH: You mean it's going to get worse than it is now?

Sigh! I'm considering a fundraiser for Baby Girl's college fund by setting up a webcam for people to view the hilarity that ensues between DH and I during the birthing process [especially the transitional phase!]

In preparation for the tour, I had Daddy read the labor/delivery chapter of our childbirth book. His reaction? He started CACKLING with laughter! Then he turns to me and says, "Did you think to read this BEFORE you got PG?" Apparently not! He told me the other night that he thought I wouldn't ever actually go through with getting PG, that the reality of the pain of it all would be too much for me to attempt. Guess I wasn't as brite as he thought! haha

Don't call DFS, but Baby Girl did get her first cooking burn this week. DH took the lid off of a pot and set it on the counter [y'all didn't think I was doing the cooking, did you??] I had to grab something out of the cabinet above it, but when I leaned over to get it out, I miscalculated the size of my belly, and it got burned by the hot lid. A few days later, there's still a sore red burn mark on my belly. Not that I can see it because it's just below the vision line for me, but I can sure still feel it. Boo! Apparently it is attractive to have my Hello Kitty bandaid that's covering it peek out from under my "Does this baby make me look fat" shirt that doesn't quite cover the belly region. Attached are pictures of Bob and Baby Girl having some bonding time [you can see the burn mark on the frontal picture]

Our neighbors stopped by to give us some hand-me-down clothes. I did NOT expect it to be three bags worth of clothes, in addition to a bassinett and some diapers, bath products, onesies and towels. Baby Girl will never need to rewear any clothes her first few months of life, since she has such a huge wardrobe now. The pinks alone were their own huge load of wash! Yes, that is Packer checking out the stash as well. I think one of the biggest scores in the pile was a Christmas dress. It is so freakin adorable and will be the perfect size, and it comes with the cutest ruffled bloomers! I've been hunting and hunting for the right outfit, and here it comes, free from the neighbors!

This was also a week for doctor's appointments. Baby Girl had hers on Friday, and she's doing well. Without sweet tea in her system, her heartbeat was back to normal. I've been having feelings of heart flutters, and I happened to have one right before the doctor came in, but when she listened to my heart, everything was normal.

Bob and Packer also had their experience at the vets for their yearly physicals. Surprisingly, Bob was so chill and just hung out in my lap, but Packer, on the other hand, was NOT impressed with the whole ordeal. I think getting carsick on the ride over started the tone for the whole thing [or maybe it was the bath Daddy had given her that morning] but having the vet tech scruff her really did not help. She screamed and screeched and definitely let us know how miserable she was. We had taken the top off of her carrier to get her [and her vomit stained bedding] out and set the lid down on the ground. That seemed like the perfect place, to her, to hide from our torture.

Last exciting news of the week? THE CAT GENIE ARRIVED AND WAS INSTALLED!!! It was wicked expensive, but if it means that I never have to scoop out a litter box again? It'll be soooo worth it! The kids and I had fun watching it go through its first cleaning cycle. There have been one or two oops on the carpet [we think it's Bob, but maybe we should set up the Baby Cam to confirm], but other than that, it's been going well.

WEEK THIRTY-FOUR - Week of October 12 - Mmmmm, Sweet Tea

Wow, who knew not having to pack and repack, schlep to the airport, do expense reports and book more travel would be enjoyable!! Man was this an awesome first week home! I got to wake up when I wanted to, work my own hours, snuggle with kitties whenever I wanted, wear sweatpants all day long. I think I could get used to this lifestyle!!

I had my OB appointment on Wednesday following a lunch with coworkers at the Mellow Mushroom. Apparently Baby Girl enjoyed the sweet tea even more than Mommy did, because when the doctor used the doppler, her heart rate was all over the place. You could tell it was MUCH faster than normal, so he wanted to put me on the NST machine for ten minutes to monitor things. Her heartbeat kept jumping from 145-165 and back again. Luckily the doctor was able to coincide the jumps up with her movement [apparently their heart rate goes up when they move, and she was doing quite the salsa dancing in my belly!]. After ten minutes of listening to her, we were released with a good bill of health...and encouraged not to give her so much sweet tea in the future. ;-)

On Sunday, we met up with Andriena, Katie and Kathleen for some Pei Wei action. It was so good spending time with my peeps and catching up on their lives. We definitely need to get together more often, and now that I get to live the life of luxury as a non-traveller, maybe that'll happen!

WEEK THIRTY-THREE - Week of October 6 - Farewell TSA

[Tallahassee Primary Care ST/GL]
I have officially ended my work travel career! For eight years now, I have been in and out of jobs that required 50-100% travel. That life, however, thanks to Baby Girl, has ceased to exist, as of Friday night at 7:06 p.m. I will now embark on a life where I must actually spend every night at home in my own bed, knowing that the next morning, the only way that bed is going to get made is if I do it. Room service will no longer be at my beck and call. I will have to find another activity to fill my Sunday nights, since they will no longer be spent packing up a suitcase and making sure my 3oz liquids are securely in their ziploc container.

Wow, how do normal people live this life?

On a better note, since I will just be working from home until my maternity leave begins....
RIP pink maternity work top! One perk to travelling to different clients each week is that I could get away with a limited work maternity wardrobe, thus saving some money. The downside of that limited wardrobe? Wearing the same danged pink maternity top week in and week out since May! That's five months of the same shirt every week. Don't get me wrong, that shirt served me well, and we had some interesting escapades together. Like the time I went to pack an hour before I was to leave for the airport, and I discovered said shirt had somehow gotten blue ink marks on it. I didn't have a backup, so it was a frantic time trying to get the ink out, so that I could pack my old reliable pink shirt and get on the road. Enough is enough though, and it is definitely time for pink maternity work shirt to take a rest. Thanks for the memories, and rest in peace!

WEEK THIRTY-TWO - Week of September 29 - Raging irrational hormones? What raging irrational hormones?

[Tallahassee Primary Care GL]
Poor, poor Daddy. It just seems that there is nothing that man can do right this week. Would you like to know what set me off on a tirade the other day? Grammatical mistakes in an email. I read the first sentence, and he missed a word or misused one or something, and I thought, "Hmm, not quite sure what he's trying to say, so let me keep going." When I got to the second sentence and noticed he had done it again, well that's when I just lost it. Seriously, how can he expect me to NOT lose my cool when two sentences in to an email, I can't understand what he's trying to tell me. ;-)

I politely sent the email back to him with the response, "Plz reread and fill in the missing words because I don't understand what you're saying? Thx". Obediently, he did just that. Of course, the next day he did it again on another email. Sigh! Doesn't he understand the delicate mood balance of a 32 week pregnant woman?!?!?!

WEEK THIRTY-ONE - Week of September 21 - "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

[Richmond Pediatric GL]
I *think* we may finally have a name!
I posted a poll to my friends, and here are the results:
Katherine Rachel A [KRA] 8.3%
Katerina Rachel A [KRA] 8.3%
Katherine Elizabeth A [KEA] 25.0%
Katerina Elizabeth A [KEA] 16.7%
Katherine Meredith A [KMA] 0.0%
Katerina Meredith A [KMA] 16.7%
Rachel Elizabeth A [REA] 16.7%
I then sent the email to family and former coworkers, and Katherine Elizabeth started winning there too. Just to get final confirmation, I had my friend “color analyze” them for me. She has synesthesia, which means she sees letters as colors. Here’s what she had to say:
They are mostly the same. Katerina ends with red where Katherine has blue.They both already have an a and an e... I guess that if I had to choose, I'd take the e... a bit more grounded.
Katherine: This is a nice Orange/Red name (if you look at my bio, you'll see they there are so many orange/red names ... jkmnprq are all orange - orange/red)

Elizabeth is mostly blue where Rachel is another orange/red name
Your last name is a Red name.
So I'd go with Elizabeth, because if I think about it Katherine and Rachel clash....Where Elizabeth is a nice neutral Blue. Think of my e's as dark blue jeans, they go with any top.

There you have it, we have a name….unless we meet her and decide she doesn't look like a Katherine Elizabeth after all. ;-)

September 23
I got a call from my boss today. It appears that if I refuse to resume 100% travel when I return from maternity leave that I will no longer be employed. That stinks! What should be the most joyous time in my life, and they are firing me for it. Guess they don’t realize exactly how much Baby Girl is still worth it! Daddy’s been getting mixed signals about his employment status too, but I’m trying to not get too upset about it. The Lord will provide for us, and I just need to have faith in Him that everything will work out for the best. It’s still a pretty crappy thing for a company to do to one of their better employees though!

September 26
Things are still going well. I am only up eight pounds in the entire pregnancy, and I've had little to no complications, and she's measuring right on target! YAY!

WEEK THIRTY - Week of September 15 - Passed Glucose Test: Check!

[Richmond Pediatrics ST]
The gummy bear fiend herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Had a MISERABLE night last night! I could NOT get comfortable. Body parts kept falling asleep [except my mind] and if they weren't falling asleep, the nerves were tingling and irritating the crap out of me. I tried ice, I tried heat, I tried a shower. The only thing that seemed to help was to whimper to DH about how freakin' miserable I was! It's just gonna get worse from here on out, isn't it!

I started reading the labor/delivery chpt of my book this week as well.I almost started crying in Chili's. This is gonna hurt, isn't it!?!

I think Packer is making sure the household is ready for Baby Girl though. She's been diligently testing out all of the baby items to make sure they're up to snuff!

Packazilla on the mean streets of Baby Town!

WEEK TWENTY-NINE - Week of September 8 - My first consignment sale

[Knightdale Primary ST/GL]
We put some finishing touches on Baby Girl's room this weekend. Man that was the LONGEST paint job EVAH!!!! It's nice to have it all painted though so that the decorating can begin. We discovered, however, that her curtains cause a radioactive aqua glow, which is really quite humorous!

Sept 10
It was so nice having a GTG with the gals from the NC Baby board. It was especially great seeing my friend Murph there. I hadn't seen her in awhile, and before everyone arrived, so confided that she's around 11 weeks PG! YAY!!!!

Sept 12
Guess who LOST a pound since last month's appointment! The doc's not worried, since I'm measuring right on target. Just wierd that I've lost. I have to admit, I did think I was smaller. Guess she's still grabbing the reserves I had built up in my cheeks and chin. I also had to do my glucose test [that was the longest week of my life trying to prepare by not having any gummy worms!!!!]. I also got my Rhogam shot. They were just poking me all over the place!

Sept 13

I volunteered for the Kids Everywhere consignment sale. What utter insanity. I could not get over how much "stuff" they had for sale. It was unreal! I got a couple of great items, so it was worth standing for four hours sweating to death for!

WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT - Week of September 1 - Let the painting begin

[Tallahassee Primary Care GL]
We began work on the nursery this weekend. I've finally chosen colors, and now begins the painting process. MH finds it quite humorous that my regular clothes are no longer fitting. I am wearing the same exact close week in and week out, so every once in awhile, I like to take a break and pull something from my regular pile out. He laughs and calls me his redneck wife when I do.

Sept 4
Mom has arrived for a week long visit. I'm so excited, because I haven't seen her since May. She's going to help out with getting the nursery ready, and it'll be nice to just spend time with her.

Sept 6
Awwwww, Baby Girl kicked for her Grandma!!! Methinks I saw a beaming look of pride as it happened too. ;-)

WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN - Week of August 25 - Who knew pantyhose could make a woman so happy

[Tallahassee Primary Care ST]
Yay, Daddy finally felt Baby Girl kick today! We’ve been trying for two weeks now for him to witness it, but everytime he’d come running over after I felt a kick, she’d go quiet. I think she must have been playing hide and seek. There was no mistaking this whack though, nor the others she’s starting to deliver. Today one woke me up from dozing on the plane.

Corn nuts and gummy worms with a chocolate milk chaser are still the meal of choice. As long as it doesn’t make me fail my glucose test in two weeks, I’m OK with it.
Aug 26
Pregnancy pantyhose RAWK!!!!! Thought I was going to die last week wearing regular ones, so I bought some maternity ones this weekend and wore them for the first time today. Most amazing intervention evah!

The Shingles are doing MUCH better this week. Still slight irritation and visible rash, but it really was such a mild case that I'll take it!!!

WEEK TWENTY-SIX - Week of August 18 - Meeting the cousins..and hoping our Shingles weren't contagious

[Hannibal Regional Hospital GL]
Aug 16
I continue in my sloth-like path. While I had a few weeks with bursts of energy, most of the time I'm quite content with my nap. Naturally Bob Cat encourages this behavior. My question is, if a pillow propped between your legs is good for a PG woman, does the same hold true to a sympathetic cat?

Aug 19
Once nice perk to my travel schedule is the ability to meet up with friends and family along the way. It's been 3-4 years since I had the chance to see my Missouri cousins, and it was so great of them to drive over one night to meet me.

Aug 20
I woke up to a really wierd "bump" on the back of my neck. I couldn't see it, but when I reached around to feel it, it appeared that the skin was inflamed. As the day progressed, I noticed it started to itch. I finally had one of the providers look at it......diagnosis? SHINGLES! I didn't even know what Shingles was until that moment in time. Apparently when your body undergoes stress [umm, can you say car accident two weeks earlier?] and you've had chicken pox in the past, those dormant cells can awaken, triggering an episode of Shingles. The providers there were great and called in a PG-safe Rx for me to get started on ASAP. If you get Shingles under 26 weeks of PG, you're at a MUCH higher risk of m/c. Looks like I made it right under the wire! Whew!

Unfortuantely the collar of my shirt continued to irritate the breakout, so by the time I landed back home and began my 30 minute drive home, I couldn't take it any more! I whipped my shirt off and drove home in my bra, big belly sticking out an everything. It was such a relief to have that collar off my neck, but I made sure NOT to get in an accident or get pulled over. That's the last thing I needed to try and explain!

Aug 22
I had my OB appointment, which was short and sweet. I showed her the Shingles, but she didn't seem to concerned. I ended up with a VERY mild case of it, for which I am so grateful! It's been a wild two weeks, and I'm glad it didn't get any wilder! I'm up seven pounds in the pregnancy. That's below the average, which totally shocks me, but the doc is not worried, so I guess I won't be either!

I have noticed I've become addicted to gummy worms and corn nuts lately. That's probably not the healthiest meal combo! Man I'm constantly jonesing for some, but I've already had them for supper twice this week so I'd better try and cut back!