Guess what? I actually took the 36-week belly shots AT 36 weeks! Booyah!
And now, without further adieu . . .
Belly from the side, and . . .
Belly from the front. Ahhh. I feel so accomplished. I've been comparing these shots to the ones from three weeks ago. I can't tell if the belly has grown substantially. I know I'm supposed to gain an inch each week, give or take. When they first started the measuring process, I was 1.5 inches over the number of weeks. At 34 weeks and three days, however, I was 34 inches on the nose. I'm actually super eager to hear the newest measurement on Monday, as I've developed a irrational fear that my belly is too small. Ridiculous, but true.
We took the pictures this morning, before a field trip to the suburbs. (Brad loathes shopping, but I found a Buy Buy Baby less than a mile from one of the two Chick-Fil-A restaurants that are within a reasonable driving distance of Chicago. It's remarkable how easy it was to lure him through the aisles once he was high on chicken nuggets and sweet tea.) So I've had the pictures for a few hours, but I'm posting them now because I need a distraction. Why? Because Brad needed a distraction. Let me explain.
As of today, we are four weeks from the due date and officially in our eighth month. Insanity. I'm feeling pretty good, all things considered. I'm comfortable with the amount of time that remains before Tater's arrival (presuming he's full term or late); just focusing on my to-do lists. And dragging out the tasks for as long as humanly possible. For example, I have been packing the hospital bags for, oh, two weeks now? First putting things in piles and acquiring items that I didn't already own. Then putting things in bags -- one bag for labor & delivery, another for the stay on the postpartum ward. Then swapping the bags. Then moving things around within the bags. Then finding more things to add to the packing list. So, the bags are about 95% packed, and I'm in no hurry to finish them off, because it keeps my mind off bigger things over which I have zero control.
Brad, however, is growing increasingly anxious. He says that he is done with the planning phase and is ready to meet Tater. Which is understandable. Brad is a doer, not a delayer. He packed his hospital bag this morning in about 10 minutes. His dedication to efficiency makes it a little hard to distract him for days on end. Much less hours. But he's trying.
Which brings me to the reason that I need a distraction right now. We ordered a diaper sprayer to make cloth diapering a little less unpleasant, and Brad decided to install it this afternoon. We rent, and the previous tenants were pretty awesome at jimmy rigging things. Over the course of the last two years, we've frequently been surprised by their handiwork, most often when it suddenly fails. Usually, it's something small and easy to fix (see, for example, the dimmer switch which was repaired with super glue, or the sink nozzle that was repaired with what appeared to be gum).
This afternoon it was the toilet flushing mechanism. While Brad was installing the diaper sprayer, the internal workings fell apart. He rushed off to the hardware store, and discovered that quite a few of the required tank components were either missing or long broken. Surprised again! Brad is currently fixing the toilet, but that means I cannot use it. Normally, this would not be a big deal. But at 36 weeks, the toilet and I are close friends. So I'm blogging, and not thinking about the bathroom.
Here's a fun story. I've been eagerly watching for signs that Maggie and Brewster have figured out that I'm pregnant. I was thinking they would start paying close attention to my stomach, or becoming overly protective, perhaps. Last night, when I was swapping the contents of the hospital bags, Maggie started intensely sniffing my belly. Ooh! Ooh! She could SMELL Tater! Or maybe she could hear him moving around and was using her nose to get more information. Regardless, fascinating! The time had come!
It took me about a minute to realize that what she could smell was the tennis ball we'd packed to massage my lower back should I end up going through back labor. Drat. Ever since, she has been in a funk. She now knows that we have luggage packed (not her favorite) and we have trapped a tennis ball in one of those bags far out of her reach (absolutely not her favorite). Each time I unzip the bag to add something new (like the hand sanitizer and wipes I purchased today on McKenzie's and Geoff's recommendations, respectfully), it sends Maggie into tailspin all over again. I really should take care of that last 5% and take her out of her misery.
Speaking of ending misery, the toilet is repaired! Brad is a my plumbing hero. Now he just needs 75 more projects so he doesn't lose his mind in the next four weeks.