Every Wednesday I stand on top of a decades-old footstool in our tiny, badly-in-need-of-renovation bathroom and snap a picture of the belly.
It's weird, really. I have about four pregnancy photographs of me with Annabel in ought 3: two my parents took in their living room whilst I was visiting and two I took myself in the buff, no less, (for posterity) during week 37.
This time there's been no fancy setup, no stragic lighting, just quick snaps, once a week, in front of a waterstained, reclaimed mirror. They are throwaway photos that lack style and technical merit. All they are is consistent: the barn wood of the mirror's frame giving the appearance of a peep hole, and my left-side profile against the light of a bare light bulb late at night.
I'm not sure why I take a picture on the day the pregancy ticks up to another week, but I'm sure it has been out of compulsive or compensatory need rather than celebratory desire. It's practically the only thing that has been "done" to mark Thing 2's progress to date.
With more experience and the constant noise of another little person who speaks and has needs (such as Ice Cream, please) there's not a lot of time to sit around and marvel at the miracle of this new, unexamined life.
But it is new and marvelous and wonderful to HER. And that's a detail I might have overlooked completely had she not pushed open the bathroom door and climbed up on the footstool next to me, to give her brother a "zerbert."
Pulling at the waist of the pants my belly is trying to burst, she noticed the deep impression the button had made on my skin.
"WHAT IS THAT?" she said with the Oh-my-gawd-this-is-so-cool voice she picked up from the pre-teens in her life.
"OH. GIVE ME YOUR CAMERA. I HAFTA TO TAKE A PICTURE. YOU HAFTA SEE THIS."
I had to hand it over and let her snap away. How could I resist?
Excitement was finally in the air.