Week 22: I’ve Popped!

At some point over the past week or two, I have started to really look pregnant. Of course, people who know me could tell something was up awhile ago. But to the rest of the world I think I just looked like I was carrying a little extra weight around the middle. You couldn’t even tell in baggy T-shirts. But now, it’s unmistakable. I have an upside-down salad bowl protruding from my abdomen – with the tell-tale “outie” belly button on top.

The reactions I’ve gotten so far have ranged from, “Oh, look how cute your belly is!” (immediately reaching out to touch said belly) to “Holy sh*t! You look, like, completely pregnant already.” (This from my ever-sensitive brother.) For the most part, I’m not too concerned about my extra weight (19 lbs. and counting). But occasionally, some doubts creep in – say, when I’m squeezing into my biggest pants and I still can’t button them. Or when my stomach casts a shadow over my knees. Or when I look at myself from the side and notice that my belly now sticks out farther than my chest. Or when I think about the fact that I’ve still got almost four months to go before this bun’s ready to come out of the oven.

When I’m not thinking about my ever-changing shape, I’m thinking about baby furniture. You thought it ended with the glider/recliner? Oh, no, my friend, you’re sadly mistaken. Even more important than the chair is the crib. I had naively imagined that finding a plain, white, mid-priced crib would be a cinch. But that was before I wandered into Babies R Us and discovered convertible cribs, sleigh cribs, single drop sides, double drop sides, and wheels. Prices varied by hundreds of dollars. And it turns out white cribs are no longer in fashion – who knew? Natural wood finishes like cherry, honey oak, sandy pine, and chestnut are popular now.

Of course, no two brands use the same finishes or the same names, so good luck trying to match a crib and a dresser from different lines. And you can be sure that your favorite crib will only come with a matching deluxe double dresser with a hutch – costing hundreds more than the simple changing table you had in mind. (That only comes in deep mahogany, sorry.) The helpful salespeople might also mention that the cribs may take anywhere from eight to 14 weeks to ship, though they can’t guarantee delivery before your child’s out of diapers.

Hubby and I spent way too many Saturdays and way too much time on the Internet before throwing in the towel. That happened right around the time we looked up user reviews of the crib we’d finally decided on. One user gave it five stars and praised its sturdy construction, while another gave it half a star and described in graphic detail how one of the wooden rails had split, causing her maimed child to be rushed to the hospital. Comforting.

So we went ahead and ordered a basic, white, mid-priced crib from Sears. They’re a reliable company, we reasoned. The elderly salesman in the furniture department had a grandfatherly quality; surely he wouldn’t steer us wrong. Plus, it was on sale. When it doubt, let frugality prevail. Next we ordered a simple white dresser – also on sale – from JC Penney. We plan to throw a $25 changing pad on top and call it a day.

Will the finishes match exactly? I fear not. (One woman’s “eggshell” is another woman’s “satin.”) Will our baby need to be rushed to the hospital because of faulty construction? I sure hope not. The medical bills would definitely cancel out the money we saved by not getting the deluxe honey oak hutch.

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