We have made it to the 38 week mark and that means we are at 'term' and Beanie could Pop at any moment now - unlikely as he is only 2/5 engaged, but technically if he is born now he is not early. I am still feeling remarkably well - although I have taken off my amazing Hug-a-Bump band as I want to give Beanie a chance to engage. The most unexpected thing happened, I have been so worried about a repeat of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and yet after the Pickle's 5th Birthday party and the carnage that goes with entertaining 12 mini people for an afternoon my blood pressure actually went down!
For loads of us soon to be Mums we start to get loads of pointed questions and advice on breastfeeding at this stage, my NCT classes focused loads of time on how to make feeding easier, even though as a group we had only positive experiences of feeding. Some friends of mine have been traumatised by the subject before they even started - convinced that it will be an ordeal only mastered by the few. We have enough to think about at this stage without adding breastfeeding to our list of worries - thinking of adjusting to limited sleep and a new family dynamic - so I have linked an article I wrote on my other blog with further links to other bloggers experiences. Other Mums to be in my antenatal classes talked about the varying breastfeeding support that they got with their first babies - support may not be necessary, but if it is, I hope that it is there for you so that you can make informed decisions.
Everybody seems to be giving up work at different times. Professional advice seems to be make sure that you give up work early enough so that you have time to really relax and build up your sleep reserves before baby arrives. Most friends seem to want to spend maternity leave with their babies rather than playing the waiting game. None of this quite works for me as my boss is terrible - err, it is me. I can't foresee a moment when I can walk past me desk and not consider what I should be doing and feel guilty if I don't finish off a few loose ends.
How about baby showers? None of my antenatal class were having one - but then we are second time Mums, and British at that. Baby Showers do seem to be coming across the Atlantic in the same way that Trick or Treating suddenly appeared then became ubiquitous, so I am sure in a few years time no birth will not be heralded by a Baby Shower. Last time around I just arranged a couple of weekends away, one to Copenhagen with the Hubster to have a final honeymoon (future holidays would be family events) and a weekend for intensive gossip, debate and mischief with my best mate. After the Pickle was born we then had some great large lunch parties to celebrate and to meet the new arrival - which seemed to delight friends and family who were too superstitious to celebrate a baby before its arrival.
I am hoping that the next post will be all about a successful labour - but I am thinking most about not being late. The consultant is adamant that that I can't be late as I want to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) but as an aged Mum (over 40) the statistics for still birth start to look concerning if Beanie is left cooking after 40 weeks and having had a c-section I can not be induced. Ho, hum! Had my acupuncture session and know the points to go for, but there is little evidence that home spun methods influence the outcome (except that taking Castor oil does NOT work).
What Beanie is up to
Only 5% of babies arrive on their due date, so Beanie can be born any time now. He is fully developed at around 50cm so he is now just putting on weight getting ready for birth. His head is down and every visit to the health professionals they are noting down in fifths (or fingers) to what extent he is engaged - he was 2/5 on Monday.
Oh the glamour of being pregnant - I can expect diarrhoea as my body gets ready for labour and I may pass the 'show' an icky plug that has been sealing the cervix that is made from mucus and blood (the show normally indicated that labour is only a few days off). Meanwhile the Braxton Hicks keep on rolling on, they are mainly on the lower part of the bump so despite them being really quite painful I know that it is not the on set of labour as contractions start at the top of the bump spreading down and are more intense.
I am having the most vivid dreams, which is not uncommon when we get close to delivery. There is no theme to my dreams - but I seem to wake up exhausted, but then that could be because I am not sleeping so well.
What I cooked
Time to start thinking about maintaining some form of a balanced diet after babe is born - without having the local take aways on speed dial. This is not so much of a recipe but a really handy hint that was SO useful last time around.
Roast Vegetables - For now and for the freezer
Courgettes - diced to roughly a 1cm cube
Red and yellow peppers - sliced as above
Aubergine - diced as above
Butternut squash, peeled and cubed as above
Chopped herbs to taste - I like finely chopped oregano and a little finely chopped rosemary on the aubergine and freshly ground pepper - you can also add garlic.
Other possible veg to include: onions, carrots, beetroot, mushrooms.
Lay veg out on a baking tray - pour over a tablespoon or so of olive or cold pressed rape seed oil and use your hands to mix it all up so that the veg are evenly coated, then smooth out to a single layer. I like to keep each of the veg separate. Roast at about 200' C for about 45 mins.
Eat what you want to today and leave the rest to cool. Once cool freeze (I freeze the veg separately) being careful to lay the freezer bags out flat so that the veg is in a single layer so that they don't freeze in one big lump. Once they are frozen you can rearrange the bags as they are now less likely to freeze back into a lump.
If you want to roast tomatoes I prefer to half or quarter, drizzle with oil and herbs then then slow roast them at 100'c for a couple of hours. Not so eco friendly but they do taste better that way - so I tend to do a big batch when tomatoes are in season and plentiful.
This is quite a bit of chopping - but they are so versatile later, great with starchy basics such as cous cous, rice, potatoes or bulgar and either a little crumbled feta, grilled halloumi or Parmesan or some simply griddled meat.