Friday, January 27, 2006

Barren bonanza

OK, you guys are so good for the ego. Me? Thoughtful? Aw, shucks. I really felt like a big old donkey's ass, walking into that office. You people are the thoughtful ones to make me feel so good.

Unlike, alas, my dear sister, who, as several of you said, seems to be throwing the party she wants instead of one I, and I'm guessing most of the guests, would enjoy. Well, if she ever gets knocked up again (and even at 39 the chances are still pretty good, what with her completely over-the-top fertility, of which I am still seethingly jealous), at least I'll know how to throw her the shower she'd want, since I'll have the rose-and-pale-green floral blueprint.

For smiling through the shower, there is to be a very special reward on Saturday evening, which I am looking forward to most profoundly. I will tell you about it when we return. All I can say for now is, Wooooooot!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Return to the scene

As I pawed behind the pre-washed salad greens and aging Belgian endive, I came across the last of my unopened meds: 75 IU vials of Gonal-F and Repronex, two each. Since the expiration dates were coming up fast, I figured I should do something quickly, so I called the IVF coordinator at Dr. FYC's office and asked if she had any patients in the next couple of weeks whose insurance didn't cover meds and could use them. Yes, indeedy--she could use them as soon as I could get them to her.

Instead of mailing them across the bay on ice, I figured I might as well just drive them over. So I loaded up the coolpack, remembered to haul along my used sharps container for disposal and headed to San Francisco this morning, the errand feeling much like any other errand on a busy workday.

I found a parking spot just outside, chucked an obscene change-to-minutes ratio into the meter and started striding up the hill to the entrance. After a few of these purposeful strides, I remembered that neither my lungs nor my limbs are still capable of striding. I slowed to an amble. And that gave me a few moments to think before the elevator deposited me on the fifth floor and I opened the office door.

Here's what I was thinking: Holy shit, I'm walking into an RE's office with a giant, boastful belly, fully displayed in a fitted tie-back blouse. I didn't even think to wear a bulky, camouflaging coat. I'm an asshole.

But, of course, I had promised her the meds. And maybe, just maybe, whoever was in the lobby would be the recipient of big-belly's free drugs. So that's how I talked myself into surreptitiously opening the door and peeking my head around the corner.

Whew. The lobby was totally and completely empty: just me, the furniture and a shiny new espresso machine exuding a beautiful, beautiful smell. The two receptionists were behind the counter, chatting happily, and the IVF coordinator walked up just as I arrived. They oohed and ahhhed and said they couldn't believe how far along I was, and was she kicking much, and had we picked out a name. The receptionist who had an IVF baby while I was in the midst of my first failed cycle asked "if it felt real yet." They thanked me for the meds, said they'd love to see her when she gets here and would I mind waiting a minute while they fetched Dr. FYC so he could say hello?

So I waited in this emotionally-charged setting, forgetting my discomfort for a moment in a wave of some surreal nostalgia, till I heard the outside door open behind me. I froze. Felt like I'd been caught peeing in the men's bathroom or sneaking money from my father's wallet. I flushed, panic-stricken and mortified, and stared helplessly at the receptionists as two well-dressed thirty-something women walked up.

The receptionist with the IVF baby looked me in the eye and started laughing quietly. "Don't worry. They're just sales reps. But trust me, I know just how you feel--I felt that way every day I worked here when I was pregnant. I would have hated to see me and my belly if I were a patient."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Showers turning to rain

There is something anti-shower in my nature. It is instinctual, a pure gut reaction. Don't get me wrong, I quite like other people's showers--I even like hosting other people's showers--I just don't like them when they're for me.

And it's not just showers. Any event in my honor sets off a buzz of alarm and a low, achey dread. Birthdays, our engagement party, the two wedding showers (one hosted by friends, one at work), and now this. Know what they feel like to me? A job interview. No joke. I get self-conscious, smile too much, can't seem to absorb what people say to me. I just hate being the focus of anything, to be perfectly honest. Hate it.

The dread is compounded when I am informed that my shower, as generously thrown by my sister in Los Angeles, will include, I kid you not, games. Games. May the gods be merciful and preclude anything that involves measuring or touching my belly in any way, that is all I now dare to ask. However, a thousand times worse even than belly-centric games, there is to be a...theme. And it is "floral and pastel." She wants people to wear the theme colors of pale green and rose.

As I don't own any pale-green-and-rose maternity dresses, I guess I'll be wearing black to match my mood.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A good thing, at least from where I sit

Some things give me hope. Though it will probably get overturned on appeal, or perhaps even by a government-in-our-bedrooms amendment, today's ruling gives me hope.

And, sometimes, even the Administration does an about-face, getting the nose of politics out from where it truly doesn't belong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A bare-bones post from one who is suddenly fleshy

My visit with the OB this morning started off with the following:

"How on earth did you manage to gain five pounds in two weeks?"

Jeff, from across the consultation room: "Cake."

And he's right--I did eat a cinderblock-sized portion of lemon cake at work the other afternoon, between hearty meals--but only partly: he failed to mention The Southern Cafe's macaroni and cheese, the entire flat of tangerines, the half-tub of (reduced fat!) ice cream that I ate over the sink, one spoonful at a time, the other night. And the fact that I can't stop eating, well, anything that is within my reach. I have never experienced this absolute inability to control myself before. Damned good luck that I passed the GD screen.

. . .


Aside from the not-exactly-desirable weight gain (depending on whether you count it pre-stims or from my first OB visit, I'm already up either 17 or 23 pounds, and I still have eleven weeks to go--but I'll take it, and thank you very much), everything looks OK. The oh-so-advanced tape measurer The Good Doctor used on my belly indicated that growth is on track. The heart, it is a-beating. Her head is currently pointed cervix-ward. And I start twice-a-week antenatal testing on the 7th, at 32 weeks, with a slew of semi-routine appointments and tests and even birthing classes before that.

My goodness. I just can't believe I'm here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Malfunctioning and fat, but happy

This morning just after midnight, on the way home from work, I found myself whistling Die Fledermaus. I asked myself, Why am I whistling Die Fledermaus? I don't really like Die Fledermaus, it's after midnight, I spent every waking hour either commuting or working on an irrelevant and arcane project, my bra is cutting into the flesh of my ribcage, Jeff is going fifty miles an hour on a wide-open freeway, my anemia results came back not good and I am belching up little reminders of my carne asada super burrito.

But still I was whisting. I was downright cheerful, in fact.

Is this some sort of normal hormonal gift that kicks in at 28 weeks? If so, I'll take it. (Now, if someone could please investigate the cause of my utter inability to concentrate on anything for more than twenty consecutive seconds, I would be much obliged. I would investigate it myself, but, you know, the twenty-second limit is a bit of a hindrance.)

*Now for a little gushiness; readers beware*

Jeff, as the perfect ending to a seventy-hour, six-and-a-half-day workweek, had the idea that we should go shopping last Sunday evening. We had a few post-Christmas things to take care of--returns, some belated gifts to find for friends--and I thought that was what he was talking about. I was not, um, enthusiastic.

As we're trudging around in the cold of the outdoor mall, me wishing wholeheartedly that we had stayed home with TiVo, Jeff said, "Where do we buy baby clothes?" And, magically, a Gymboree store appeared not ten yards in the distance. I didn't have time to think, to talk myself out of it, and Jeff whisked me through the door. And...

He was entranced.

Tiny little clothes, soft and sweet, with charming stitching and details and colors. He kept picking things up--tees and onesies and bibs and hats--then nudging me, a look of smiling wonder on his face. Neither of us even tried to resist. We left the store with our overflowing bag, giggling at random intervals as we drove off. It was a delight, seeing him so delighted, and so expectant.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Eating toejam

The ever-kind and thoughtful Jeff had the great idea of going away for a romantic weekend in early February. Our life in recent months has been anything but romantic--stress, work, scary pregnancy shit, nausea, work, housework, broken appliances, rats in the garage, work--and we both looked longingly, amorously into each others' eyes at the thought of a getaway.

He found a quaint, cozy oceanfront cabin rental about an hour north of San Francisco off Highway 1 and called for a reservation. I was delighted as I overheard the woman say that it was available, as she described the luxurious linens and soaps, the fireplace, the view. And then she asked Jeff whether we were celebrating a special occasion, and he said that, yes, we were...

"...you see, my wife is pregnant...

(Pregnant pause.)

...and we want to have a few days of fun...

(Another.)

...before she gets too...

(Another.)

...large...

(Another.)

...and sedentary."

Large. Sedentary. Words cannot describe how sexy, how steaming hot, that made me feel.