Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Week 26-28 - Into the final trimester

Everything is going really well. I had another appointment with the mid-wife and more blood letting as well as a chat and general reassurance. Blood pressure and urine were both fine, which is reassuring after the pre-eclampsia I had with the Pickle (although technically at this stage it could occur with the Pickle it did not start until much later, and even then I felt so well I almost thought that there must be some mistake).

As we were listening to Beanie's heartbeat I asked the midwife about foetal heart monitors and the NHS recommending against home monitors. Apparently midwives hate them, they only ever use them as the Mums love it, but they say that it only ever indicates a short moment in time and does not give an long term useful assessment; apparently home monitors are even worse as Mums can have difficulty picking up the babies heartbeat, sometimes picking up sounds from the placenta or even mistaking their own heartbeat for the babies. Now that Beanie is kicking away it is easy to feel complacent, but I was chatting to another pregnant friend and she was feeling so low that hearing the heartbeat was just what she needed to refocus and enjoy her pregnancy again.

The other thing that the midwife said was that veggie Mums often have the healthiest diet (as we were chatting about the blood tests for anaemia etc that were needed at this stage). Apparently if you are vegetarian you are more likely to be aware of what you eat, and less like have problems with vitamin and mineral deficiencies at this stage. I have not had my blood test results yet, but about half of women can have low iron in pregnancy it is something to be monitored and rectified but not a cause for concern if addressed.

 My twin Mum (BF due one week later, currently living in Belgium) has been told off her baby store of choice that at six months pregnant she has not prepared her 'Baby List' and emails from Mothercare are informing me that I should have bought half their store my now. I have been busy sorting out the house and filling endless bin bags and sacks for Oxfam, next week I'll try to explode some myths about quite how much we need to buy to prepare for baby (the irony is that I am an on-line retailer of baby products).

What Beanie is up to
Beanie is now got a regular waking and sleeping pattern - I can feel it and it is not coincidental with mine. His eyes can open his blue eyes, his eyes will stay blue - probably for ever based on family genes - but until he is a few weeks old we will not know for sure. Beanie may feel heavy now (over 2lbs) and he is now over 30cm long, but I am girding my loins (well, certainly doing my pelvic floors) as I prepare for him to triple in weight between now and B-Day.
Some Mums start leaking colostrum (the baby superfood that precedes breast milk), annoying, need breast pads but strangely reassuring.  After being induced last time my milk did not come in when the Pickle was born so inadvertently I let her get dehydrated as she was constantly trying to feed but there was nothing there for her to drink, so I am watching for that colostrum with interest - even though we still have a long time to go.

What I cooked
 I am getting much more hungry at the moment, I am trying to avoid random snacking so instead I am having an earlier lunch, healthy snack when the Pickle has her supper at about 5pm then a smaller supper with the Hubster after the Pickle is in bed. Mindful of needing both iron and fibre I have been fine tuning a recipe for Dal Kofta. They are great in a curry sauce and rice as a main hot meal, as an alternative to falafel or as a snack with a little humous, yogurt or chili sauce. As they are so versatile I don't mind spending the time making them.

Dal and Cashew Kofta

Pour 1 cup of lentils into a sieve and rinse in water until the water runs clear. Traditional recipes require red lentils, but I like a mix of mainly red lentils topped up with puy and any other lentils I have to add a little extra texture. Add to a pan with 2 cups of veg stock, bring to the boil then simmer for around 20 mins or until the lentils are soft and the liquid absorbed. Watch carefully towards the end, I aim to have them soft but with enough bite so they are not mushy - also it can catch on the bottom.Turn off and let it cool.

Next chop or blitz in a food processor one onion until it is finely chopped and add to the lentils. Then blitz a slice / crust of bread and process to breadcrumbs and add to the mix. Next blitz up 3/4 to 1 cup of cashew nuts - not too fine if you want a crunch to your kofta and add to the lentil mix. Next add about a desert spoon of tomato puree (I just give it a good squirt) then either 1 teaspoon of medium curry power or 1 teaspoon of cumin and a large pinch of paprika - then you can add dried fruit, raisins go well with the curry option and chopped dried apricots go well with the cumin version. Mix all together.

Pop in an oven at 180'c / 350'f and cook for 40 mins, checking and turning the balls about half way through.

Optional Curry Sauce
Fry1 tsp black mustard seeds in oil until they pop, then add 1 tsp of each of garam masala, cumin and ground coriander and a pinch of paprika and cayenne - cook for a few mins and add about an inch of finely grated ginger and a crushed clove of garlic , Add a tin of passata or chopped tomatoes and 200ml  can of coconut milk and simmer for 5 - 10 mins. If it looks a little dry add veg stock until it is a better consistency. Carefully add the cooked kofta and simmer for another 5 -10 mins.

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