Thank Goodness the Sun’s Out

July 14, 2010 at 12:52 am (Uncategorized)

The morning has cleared in spectacular fashion to reveal my very favourite sort of Sydney day: not a cloud in the bright blue sky, the winter sun doing its warming best to live up to a reputation earned easily in later months, a light offshore breeze, all in all truly just the ticket to lift my spirits after the recent days of miserable shared sadness, at the end of which a regretful agreement of sorts was brokered, in which the main tenet is time. Time to respectfully consider and continue our separate journeys, with the future hope of different lifelines learning how better to cross.

In happier news, and in keeping with the re-emergence of sunshine after a season thus far characterised by sopping laundry and icy feet – all twenty toes huddled and jostling down the end of the bed like a family of gypsies huddled around a fire – Baby J has forced me from my usual jeans. The big (in more ways than one) day was Sunday: I made it as far as my mental and entirely arbitrary milestone of 17 weeks and not one day beyond. It was odd, because only the day before they really did still feel fine, but when we left the house Sunday, I turned to Llew and said, “That’s it.” I was uncomfortable for the rest of the day, they were cutting into me as though to punish me for letting it come to this, and I couldn’t wait to pull them off the second we got home. It’s weird wearing maternity jeans. And of course they’re currently too big, so I’m in a sartorial wasteland for the minute, although I doubt that will last too long. It would have been nice to make the halfway mark before shifting gear, but I was never going to make it. Three more weeks? I don’t think I could have tolerated three more hours. And the change was that sudden, and that total, as though Baby J responded to his or her dinner on Saturday night (S’s delicious meatballs and pasta) by promptly doubling in size.

Baby J’s bump is plainly visible sometimes, and not really at all at others. Currently I am wearing a windbreaker – I have to go for my walk shortly and tilt my face to greet this glorious sun – that is very kind. I don’t look pregnant at all – at least, if you didn’t know, you’d be very unlikely to suspect. Other clothes make me look enormous. It’s all very funny, as is some friends staring hard before insisting they can’t see anything, nope, nothing at all, whereas others can’t stop telling me I’m massive. I oscillate wildly between wanting to hold on to my figure, such as it was, and wanting to really bloom. Right now I am somewhere sort of featureless, because I can’t yet feel our little friend moving, so based on purely sensory perception, all I know is that I’m five kilos heavier. That didn’t take long, did it?!  And there’s no surprise where those five bags of flour came from, either – that would be all the food.

But who cares? It’s all in the service of a wonderful cause, and I am eating well, walking, and in very good health. Half of Sydney is sniffling and hacking, Llew’s been sick twice, and yet I am passing through it all (famous last words) fancying myself as something almost biblical (to the extent that my being pregnant at all feels nigh on miraculous). I am determined not to get the flu. Also, because I have never dieted and therefore have never deprived myself of anything, I don’t think anything drastic has changed except my exercise, which used to be running and is now walking. I plan to move to the nearby pool once that becomes uncomfortable and the weather is warmer. Oh, and I’m not eating my adored cured meats, blue cheese or pate, so in fact may even be slightly ahead in the nutritional stakes. But because I’ve never ‘missed out,’ there’s no reason to view the pregnancy as a reason to ‘give in’ or ‘indulge’ – I’ve always done precisely as I please with respect (and what great respect it is) to food, and it’s served me very well – both the attitude and the nosh.

Speaking of which, I was fascinated at Jah Bar  by the return to work last week of the owner B’s girlfriend, E. She’s French, absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, and gave birth to their daughter a mere four months ago to the day. She’s very petite anyway, but I was riveted by the seemingly overnight, apparently effortless return of her girlish figure. Four months? She looks like she’s sixteen! When I leaned across the bar and made this observation to B, he said with a happy shrug, as I knew he would, “French women don’t get fat.”

We both turned and looked at E’s tiny form disappearing with a tray of drinks held aloft, and then he added, “And that’s because they don’t eat.”

A-ha – I knew it! I gave Llew what can only be described as a triumphant smile, and settled down to the happy business of devouring my dinner.



  1. charlotteotter said,

    The first time I met Thomas’s family I had three helpings of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. There was no hiding the fact that I was one of those girls who ate. Which is how I have remained.

    Glad to hear you are so well and in such good health!

  2. doctordi said,

    Laughing at that first impression, Charlotte – I actually don’t think Llew’s family would have let me come aboard if I’d been one of those sparrow eaters!!

  3. davidrochester said,

    Glad to hear that you are so happy and healthy — and not to worry, Baby J will fill out those pesky maternity jeans before you know it. 🙂

    My friend Josh who lives in France confirms that French women are thin because they don’t eat. He says the younger generation, women in their twenties, have started to eat more and come up against a lot of parental criticism for being “too fat” and “looking like Americans.” Yikes.

    • doctordi said,

      Yes, David, I suspect you’re right about that…!

      I read an article about this not so long ago – that there’s a huge backlash in France against the emergence of larger girls, and a corresponding movement to raise their profile in media representations of French women.

      Who in their right mind would actually *choose* permanent hunger? It’s such a privileged, decadent, stupid pretension.

  4. Grad said,

    When I was six months pregnant with my first child I went to the doctor for my visit. He did the usual routine check of weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and looking down my throat. Then he said, “Mrs. ___, I’m going to have to send you upstairs to see Dr. Soandso.” “Really? What’s wrong? Why?” “I’m afraid we are going to have to wire your jaws shut.” Apparently I’d gained all the weight I was allowed and still had a way to go time-wise. Later, after a long and protracted labor, the decision was made to give me a saddle block and take John by forceps. I had no feeling from the waist down. As they wheeled me into delivery, I asked my husband if they were afraid I was going to fall out of the gurney. He said, “I don’t think so. Why?” “Well, why do they have these huge bolsters at each side of the bed?” “What bolsters?” “These,” I said patting them. “Shhhh”, he replied, “Those are your thighs.”

    • doctordi said,

      Thank you, Graddikins, for providing me with the first proper belly laugh I have had in two weeks.

  5. Norwichrocks said,

    Yep, I, too, can confirm that French women don’t eat. They smoke, drink coffee and nibble.

    I used to eat very badly – far too much sugar and fat – and yet was skinny. Then I hit 30, improved my diet and started exercising… and promptly put on 3 stone (although, like you, I’m very rarely ill anymore and almost never catch bugs). The body is a marvel and a mystery 😉

    17 weeks!!!!!

    • doctordi said,

      Yeah, living in London at 28 – scoffing pints and chips – I realised I had to start exercising. My body is pretty good to me, I have a decent metabolism so I’ve never really had to worry about my weight, which is lucky, but I also work at the things that aren’t luck, like my nutrition and exercise. I figure it’s the least I can do to repay its general goodwill toward me even when times were pretty tough (like during my long-term Marlboro habit).

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