Saturday, 27 September 2008

Filling the Pit

Your legs feel hollow and you find yourself fighting to maintain a smile. No, it is not your best friend announcing that she is pregnant - and the simultaneous feelings of joy for her and devastation that it is not you - it is the offer of a take away! Yes, you are knackered and yearning the Singapore noodles, but you have embarked on the serious fertility regime so you really should work out what to do with half a swede and the sad looking carrots that are all that are left from this week's organic veg box .

The answer seems to be in the food, so you plan an organic, wholefood diet, avoiding additives, preservatives and chemicals and your cupboards are bulging with B vitamins zinc and folic acid. I love one comment that says "Realise, too, that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates is important to maintain energy for couples trying to conceive". Yes, never forget the bedroom athletics.

As we slim down and get fit for conception it occurred to me the big difference in the different phases of fertility - the jump between your period being met with relief and with doom. As a single woman about town if you eat it is at the lovely organic gastro pub and your diet is fuelled with fruit (power fruit juices a.k.a vodka and orange) and you are beautifully trim from the stiletto dash and that ill advised all night clubbing session before you were due to work overtime on Saturday. As for sex - well if you are inspired by your fertility cycle than your new mate, this may not be the man for you. No wonder you seem more fertile at this inopportune time. When you have settled down you are living with a man so have nights in and, just to please him, you have cake and biscuits in the cupboard; you stop being a sex goddess and slowly look homely (or worse cuddly). Help! Fertility diet is needed even if it is just to get into those gorgeous jeans.

I love my veg box, it is a mental puzzle towards the end of the week. A curry or a soup can finish off must combinations, but every once in a while a fridge clear out can be a triumph. My broad bean burgers were the success of this season:

Broad Bean Burgers
Steam broad beans then slip them out of their outer membrane (if they are young don;t worry). Meanwhile saute a finely chopped onion, after a few minutes add some chopped mushrooms.
Roughly mash the broad beans in a mixing, then add the mushroom mix (but don't wash up the yet). Add a little crumbled feta and an egg. Mix all in together.

Form into small burger shapes and return to the frying pan and cook on a medium heat until the egg is cooked through.

You can serve in a flour tortilla or wrap with grated carrot and a little sweet chili sauce.
Serve with a kiss and enjoy!
Sit back, feel smug the veg box is empty ahead of tomorrow's delivery.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

It started with a kiss

The following are taken from entries made on genuine Child Support Agency Forms:

I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party at 3600 Grand Avenue where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks.

Well, ironically for those of us who prioritised careers in our twenties conception is not always that straight forward. I heard some amazing measures to help conception, including internal application of egg white but no doubt a full moon fertility dance could be equally practical - I tried neither. The first advice the doctors gave me was to have sex, while seemed quite logical I had worked that one out too and had enjoyed the practice.

There are a few things considering, most boringly being strategic about the times of the months that unleash your passion and taking folic acid. Also cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, stress and excess weight all reduce your fertility. Some vitamins and minerals as well as your folic acid are recommended - I mention this only as I was told that zinc is great for Dads-to-be as, in effect, it gives their sperm crash helmets; I am not sure about the advice but I love the image!

The thing that helped me was I was told to loose a stone (about 6 kilos) and when I did, miraculously the next month I conceived. Even if conception is not an issue it is quite sensible to get in shape before pregnancy and motherhood play havoc with your system.

Sensible? Well, lets just say that I prefer red wine and champagne to water and I am still not sure I can say the word moderation without getting a mild involuntary tic - but it is easy to be prepared then ignore the advice!

Lets think about pre-conception foods? Sushi, crisp salad with blue cheese, Parma ham and juicy peaches, fresh tuna marinated in sweet chilli sauce served with rice pasta and beans. Yes, gorge yourself on all those things that are forbidden during pregnancy and with the possible exception of the blue cheese all these are really healthy.

My Favourate Seafood Stew
Start by putting a few saffron threads in a small mug and pour over boiling water.
Finely chop and small onion.
Fry the onion until soft, then add a chunks of your favourate firm fleshed fish such as salmon or trout. Add the saffron and a pack of mixed seafood (the type that has prawns, mussels, squid or whatever) then stir in a large spoon creme fraiche.
Serve with steamed beans or whatever green veg in in season and some rice noodles.
Light a candle, slip on something comfortable and share with Father-to-be...