Monday, August 24, 2009

Cream and Pudding

After almost a month of British food - not at all the mush it used to be, we have had fantastic food here - I am so ready for a California diet. I am way too big for ten weeks, and I can't blame it all on the hormones. I have only had fish and chips once (so good, though - the main thing that keeps me from going back is the line out the door) but the butter and cream and oil in everything has surely contributed to this:

The camera doesn't lie, people. I am really that big at ten weeks. At five months, in a cute little maternity top, this might be adorable. Here at "maybe, maybe not", it's just frustrating. If I could take this as a positive sign that things are going well it would be so much easier, but that idea seems polly-anna-ish ridiculous. 

I won't say that I'm not happy, in general, about being supposedly pregnant. I've just created such a neutral approach to the whole thing that I actually can't feel much of anything in the way of joy or love or hope. I mean, in the rest of my life, sure. No problem. But this is different. Which is fine - I guess this is what I wanted, really.

Anyway, off to Paris for pastries and whatever cheese I'm allowed - then home! Ultrasounds! What a difference that will make.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hulloo and Cheerio

I feel as if I am writing from the wild, wild west and not one of the most urban places on the face of the earth. I am like a pioneer woman, gaging my pregnancy by the tightness of my waistband rather than anything scientific or even semi-reliable.

The thing is, I have never miscarried in any kind of obvious way. No bleeding, no cramps. The last time I kept gaining weight for at least two weeks as my body produced unnecessary amniotic fluid. I want to believe that my tight pants are a good sign, but I'm still wary of anything that might be considered optimism.

I am huge, by the way. Gigantic. The IVF weight-gain - two cycles worth - plus the dexamethasone bloat have added so much to my girth that I can barely fit into anything but yoga pants. Which is fine in LA - yoga pants is what most people wear around anyway - but going out to dinner in London in gym clothes is a bit odd. I've been wearing nice tops and big necklaces in an effort to draw the eye up (as they always say in fashion magazines) (although I myself am never fooled by that tactic and consider it a lame-ass trick) away from my baggy-kneed lower legs.

And, worse than anything that I might wear out to dinner, today I actually put on a swimsuit. Our hotel is one of the few in London with a pool - this city just isn't big on swimming, and most buildings couldn't be easily retrofitted to accommodate the weight of a pool. So, they are few and far between. Our hotel isn't necessarily super-fancy, it just happens to be built next to a spa, with access for hotel guests.

I bought a new suit before we left. Not a maternity suit - too jinxy - but a loose tankini top and the kind of high-rise bottoms that nobody in their right mind would consider wearing under normal circumstances. It was fine when I bought it, two weeks ago. Now it's like a girdle.

In any case, can I just tell you about this pool? It's in the sub-sub basement of a health club, below the workout rooms and the locker area. It smells like a thousand bottles of chlorox spilled everywhere. Children are only allowed in for one hour each day (maybe good for infertiles?) and all swimming must be done in an "anti-clockwise" direction.

For some reason there are four teak lounging chairs at the side of the shallow end. And for some stranger reason there were people actually lounging on them. A fat hairy guy lying on his stomach with a towel over his rear end, and a grandmotherly woman on her back with her eyes closed. They were there the whole time we swam, used the hot-tub (knees-only for me) and showered off. Weird, right? How relaxing can it possibly be to lie on a wooden bench in the chemical aroma of a dark echo-y basement, during the one hour children (about eight screaming splashing whining children) are allowed in?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Magical Thinking

I am engaging in a willing suspension of disbelief, continuing to imagine that I am pregnant. I am mostly avoiding wine (sampling a bit from my husbands glass) and coffee (just decaf) and taking my jillion medications as if I am sure that I still need them. After all, why not?

It would help if I actually felt pregnant, but I am so conditioned to be cautious that I'm not sure I will notice any symptoms until I lose a mucous plug. I did tell my friend here about it, but only for the selfish reason that she is a resident on her ob/gyn rotation and I am hoping for some ultrasound love, although she has just started a break so it may not be possible. I am still crossing my fingers for some string-pulling, though.

Speaking of string-pulling, I have to say that I have managed to pull the longest strings ever and wrangled an tour of a certain movie set here in the UK which I will not name directly but if I say the the first word starts with H and the second one with P, and that there are six films out so far and another two being filmed at the same time...

Yep, we went to THAT set. It was unbelievable, every stage was enormous, every set so crammed with details that it is mind-boggling to imagine how they will ever dismantle any of it. The design is simply astonishing. The level of detail, the scale, the technical considerations - the degree of craftsmanship alone is worthy of the term "magical".

Of course, for my daughter the highlight was meeting the three young stars. They were so friendly and welcoming and chatty - especially Dan - and for an eleven-year-old nothing could be better. She's not old enough to be too cool to act like she cares, but not so little that she can't hold up her end of a conversation for a few minutes. They talked about being short vs. being tall (my daughter is quite tall for her age - almost as tall as Dan, since he's really short) and why it shouldn't matter even though it does. Then they talked about being eleven, school, books - all good topics, couldn't have been better.

So, all in all, an excellent day. I think the rest of the trip will be denoument for her, but maybe the glee will last at least a few days?