Saturday, 18 May 2013

No news yet!

Thanks for all the messages yesterday wishing me a happy due date.  It came & went like most other days.  Our bag is packed, our cat fed, our nursery sort of set-up, baby clothes washed & ready.... but like his/her mama, this baby will be fashionably late!  It's OK - Mother Nature is in charge now, so we will just have to trust her judgement.  That's not to say I can't coax her along with some nice long walks & spicy foods.  I'm still feeling good though, so I won't be resorting to castor oil anytime soon!

Having a word with Rufus
We'll let you know as soon as there is some news to share!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day to the mamas out there & happy maternity leave to me!

Yes, I have finally started my maternity leave!  My last official day was Thursday last week, at which time I was 38 weeks and 6 days.  I'll admit, the last few weeks were tough.  Not impossible, by any means, but tough.  Early in pregnancy, you just imagine yourself feeling good the whole way though, and you can't imagine any reason why you would need to stop working.  Also, knowing that most (not all) first time moms go past their due date, I didn't want to come off work two weeks early only to wait a month before delivery.

My challenges didn't come from any particular complications, just from having poor sleeps and increasing fatigue.  The other factor that I never took into account was the emotional impact of my job.  The pregnancy hormones can be up & down and I often felt it was more difficult to handle the emotional components of my work, such as breaking bad news to people, or helping patients struggling with stresses, anxiety, and depression.

But now maternity leave is on and I can fully focus my energy on resting up and getting ready for the arrival of Rufus.

Here is how I spent my first few days of maternity leave:

Friday May 10

  • Slept in - yay! (only until 730, but this is sleeping in for me!)
  • Swim.  I still love my swims, though I am getting slower and slower.  When I first started going to the pool, all the staff and lifeguards would smile at me.  As I got bigger, they started laughing at me (in a nice way!)  Now they look at me with some concern - they are probably worried I will go into labour on the pool deck!
  • Brunch with my wonderful hubby.

Breakfast at Chef Big D's: delicious!

  • Prenatal massage.  One of the best things I've done in this pregnancy is get hooked up with a RMT with a pregnancy pillow.  That way I can lay face down & get a proper massage.  It's been such a relief for sore back, tight hips, muscle cramps & just general well-being.
  • Bye-bye party at work.  My work-mate Dr. H is due three days after me & our receptionist is due 3 weeks later, so we had a little cake & party for us three ladies at lunch.  'Coz you know that pregnant ladies always need more cake.

I'm not crazy about this shot of me, but I will put my vanity aside as it's the only picture of Dr. H and I pregnant together!  At work we don't have to try too hard to find reasons to have tuxedo cake, but three women going off on simultaneous mat leave called for a large cake!

  • Afternoon nap.  What else would you do after eating cake for lunch?
  • Bake-a-thon begins.  Round one: two dozen muffins.  I think this is what they call nesting.

Whitewater Marvellous Muffins
1. Cranberry, lemon & almond
2. Pineapple, coconut & macadamia nut

  • Early to bed.

Saturday May 11

  • Slept in again - talk about lazy!
  • Bake-a-thon continues.  Lemon-rosemary scones from the Pioneer Woman (I am obsessed with these delicious scones) and Energy Balls (I used to take these to mountain bike races to keep me & my friends fuelled, and I'm thinking we may soon be calling them "Labour Balls"!)

Making Energy Balls while my scones cool.

  • Another swim.
  • Cooked a big batch of soup.   By sheer luck the recipe that I was drawn to was a new one, so it also qualifies as CookBook Challenge #14.  This lovely soup is the "Summer Harvest Chowder" from ReBar's cookbook.  Fresh corn has been in the stores for a few weeks & I was surprised at how sweet it was.  So naturally I wanted to make it into a hardy & delicious soup for today & for the freezer.  Definitely nesting!

CookBook Challenge #14: Summer Harvest Chowder from the ReBar cookbook

  • Afternoon nap.
  • Movie and popcorn with Derek (Argo - recommended)
  • Early to bed.

Sunday May 12 - Mother's Day

  • Slept in - 'til 8 today!!!
  • Mother's (and mother-to-be's) day brunch with Derek
  • Chilling, reading, blogging and getting ready for my nap!

I had sort of hoped today might be Rufus' arrival, as it would be an amazing gift to become a mother on mother's day.  But I don't believe things are pointing in that direction.  I do feel that my body is gearing up and getting ready, but nothing is happening imminently.  Still, I know that anything can happen and I am NOT the boss anymore!  :)

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mom, my grandma & to all  my friends out there who are amazing and inspirational role models for this mom-to-be!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Cookbook Challenge #13: the book that started an obsession

The weather has been unbelievable in Squamish for the past week.  Mostly I've had to enjoy it in the morning & evening hours as I'm a little sensitive to the heat right now.  I feel for women who are heavily pregnant in the heat of the summer - it must be tough!  Even when we went to Maui at 12 weeks into the pregnancy I was hiding away from the sun, whereas I normally bask in all its glory!

On my way home from visiting a friend in Whistler on Sunday I stopped at the Husky Station for one of my favourite guilty pleasures: a screamer!  This is a summer treat & a half.

Yes, it is as healthy as it looks
When it comes to cooking, summer weather = BBQ for this cook.  I don't know if it's the simplicity, the taste of fresh-grilled food, the view while I'm cooking outside, the social aspect of it, or what, but BBQing is the way to go in the summer.  In the past week we've had a really nice steak (I am still working on the perfect steak, & came close this week), Maui ribs, BBQed salmon, chicken kabobs & tonight we had burgers.  Not just any burgers.... I present CBC #13:

Cookbook Challenge #13: Greek Lamb Burgers from Whitewater Cooks

You have already heard me mention the Whitewater series, as book #3 (the purple one) was featured in a previous cookbook challenge.  This series of 3 books from Nelson BC is amazing & between the 3, I've cooked some pretty tasty things, if I do say so myself.  This one (I call it the "brown one") is the first and most of my friends own & are equally obsessed with it.  A few choice recipes from this book are:
  • Glory Bowl
  • Roasted Three Tomato Pesto Soup
  • Emmy's Honey Curry Spinach Salad
  • Whitewater Marvellous Muffins
  • Whitewater Granola Bars
  • Kim's Mom's Chocolate Oatmeal Cake
  • Ginger Lime Cheesecake
Tonight we can add Greek Lamb Burgers to the list.  I'm not a huge lamb fan, but I had some ground lamb in the freezer so I thought I'd give it a try.  It made for some nice lean burgers, but for myself, I would probably use beef or ground chicken in the future - just a personal preference - the recipe could be adapted to whatever kind of burger you fancy.  Topped with tsatziki & paired with a Greek Salad, it was a nice spin on your typical burger.

Before I became pregnant, I always imaged the pregnant belly as being a convenient table top.  At 38 weeks, I am officially able to double as a coffee table: 

Exciting news: tomorrow is my last day of work before I begin maternity leave & I couldn't be happier - I have been exhausted at work these last couple of weeks!  I've got my fingers crossed for a few days of catching up on rest before the big day!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Reflections on Pregnancy: A few things I will miss

I am now 38 weeks along - only 2 weeks 'til my due date!  It's unbelievable how quickly things seem to have gone by.  Around this time, I've heard lots of women complain that they are "tired of being pregnant", and "just can't wait to have the baby!"  For me, the last month has been the hardest - I definitely feel more tired & have more back pain.  I waddle a lot & have a hard time sleeping.  But I am not "tired of being pregnant", not yet anyway!  If such a thought ever crosses my mind, I push it away & instead think about how fortunate I am to have had this experience & think about the joy and wonder of pregnancy.  Honestly, I know it sounds cliche, but I am blown away when I feel the kicks & rolls inside me and think "there's a little person in there!"  It's mind-boggling.  And I know from friends and patients that getting pregnant is not always easy, and being pregnant can be hugely challenging as well... so I feel so lucky to have this experience.

There are a few things I will miss when I'm not pregnant anymore.

1. I feel like I'm in a secret club.  In the beginning, you are trying so hard to keep your pregnancy from everyone, but it's such an exciting secret.  Every time I sipped on club soda while everyone around me drank wine, I felt like I was in cahoots with my peanut-sized baby.  Some people now tell me that they knew anyway, but whatever - it felt like a huge secret to me!!

Even once the secret was out & it was obvious that I was pregnant, I still had this little one giving me kicks & punches that only I could feel.  Sort of an aggressive type of secret handshake.  It's hilarious to be sitting in a serious meeting when you are being punched from the inside.

2. The movements.  Occasionally they hurt & make me feel like peeing my pants.  But it is an amazing feeling that still takes me by surprise.

3. Everyone is so friendly.  I've never had so many strangers talk to me or hold the door for me, or stop at the crosswalk for me.

4.  No justification needed for long baths & long naps.

5.  The anticipation!  At this moment we don't know if we have a boy or a girl... we don't know what he/she will look like or how big he/she will be... we don't know when he/she will finally make an appearance.   It's crazy to think that this momentous thing could happen this weekend or might not happen for another 3 weeks.

These are just a few thoughts rumbling around in my head as D-day approaches.  I am aware that I am speaking in cliches - I hope you will all forgive me for it & not think of this song when you think of me:
(warning: language & images might be offensive to some!)

I'm not sure how many more belly shots of the week we'll get, but here are a few from Week 37:

I'm thinking this shirt doesn't fit so well anymore!

Belly shot at 37 weeks