2013 has been a wunderbar kind of year for The Silver Fox and I, having crammed in a significant number of ‘life events’ in the past 12 months; engagement, wedding, honeymoon, IVF and pregnancy all since 31st December 2012. Professionally I’ve seen through a massive refurbishment at work, and in launching our new events, have just about survived the traumas that are planning and licensing applications and contractors.
But, back to baby…
I’m currently 17 weeks pregnant, and with a lot of hope and good vibes, our little cub will be due at the end of May. The fertility treatment and IVF side of things deserve their own story, which I’ve promised myself I’ll write about in the future. I don’t think my food blog is the right place for that, so I’ll figure something out. Having experienced the disruption to routine and emotional rollercoaster it instigates, not to mention the overwhelming number of couples we saw up at the hospital each visit, it’s not an easy journey. It is, however, one that I think should be talked about openly. Among that same number of hoping-to-be mums and dads we shared a waiting room with, I don’t think I ever saw two people intentionally meet eyes, pass word, or acknowledge others’ presence, other than for the occasional holding open of doors as we piled in for our 8am check ups and issuing of drugs. It’s a strange kind of twighlight zone. Anyway, as I said, I’ll figure out a way to tell this tale. For now, it’s back to food.
So, once people found out I was pregnant, unsurprisingly the first question everyone asked me was ‘So…have you had any weird cravings?’ The answer is unhesitatingly, yes, I certainly have! Weirdly enough, from just about the second day after the embryo transfer (sorry, IVF isn’t really a procedure filled with much romanticism) my little egglet was doing its thing, I had the strongest of cravings for ridiculously spicy tomato or V8 juice. Essentially a Virgin Mary, which has its own sense of irony. So, in some order of chronology so far, Leilappetit’s pregnancy cravings of the past 17 weeks.
1) Insanely spicy, lemon-spiked tomato or V8 juice. Internet research reveals this to be quite common. What’s also common it soon transpires, is that pregnant women spend an awful lot of time looking things up on the internet.
2) Blue cheese. Wow, normally I really couldn’t care less. Suddenly I wanted stilton and walnuts badly. This was almost simultaneous with getting pregnant. Thanks hormones! The single craving I’ve not actually succumbed to.
3) Apples. For about a month in October, I was eating anything up to six apples a day, Cox’s were in season and super tangy. Again, Mr Internet reveals this this is quite common. Not feeling too guilty.
4) Peanut butter. There’s much discourse on the whole ‘Yes/No’ debate on peanuts, nuts and suchlike during pregnancy with regards allergies for your child later in life. All I know is my mum ate quite a lot of Snickers bars and nuts when she was pregnant with me, and neither of us have peanut or any other nut allergies. So, I shall continue to buy giant jars of the stuff and spread it enthusiastically on bagels. Glass of milk chaser.
5) Avocados on sesame seed bagels. Lots of lime juice, black pepper and a squirt of tabasco.
6) Pasta. Home-made carbonara, simple sauces with just tomato, garlic, olive oil and seasoning, or even just olive oil and Parmesan. I have eaten A LOT of spaghetti, ravioli, and tortellini in the past month in particular. I know, it’s a lot of carbohydrates, but, I’m making a person. Don’t judge.
7) Soft poached or boiled eggs with buttery toast. Yes, that’s right, I said soft! Call me cavalier, but I figure chances of salmonella to be slim enough to take the risk.
8) Mince Pies. ‘Tis the season to stuff one’s face with mince pies. It’s pastry time! Like many things in pregnancy, ideally accompanied by a huge glass of milk. Perfectly acceptable breakfast, in case you’re wondering.
9) Satsumas/clementines. ‘Tis also the season, thankfully, for super-nice citrus fruit from Spain, so for the past few weeks, I’ve been stuffing my face with lots of these. Often washed down with orange juice. My child might turn out to be a tangerine.
10) Chocolate milk. DAILY.
With my superhero pregnancy multivitamins, hopefully I’m doing ok for baby. My palate hasn’t shown much interest for meat of late, red meats in particular, so I’ve made the effort to have a top burger (thanks The Vintage! ) and a sirloin steak this week. What I do know is that Meat-mas day is nearly here (turkey, chipolatas, roast beef – OH MY!), so who knows how I’ll cope with that. The cravings seem to change on a fairly regular 3 to 4 week basis, so maybe I’ll be all carnivorous by crimbo day. In the meantime, I’ll keep things as balanced as I can, compensating with raw veggies when I feel I’ve overdone it on the mince pies. Again.