Hooray! I’m 37 weeks pregnant! For those who don’t count pregnancy in weeks, that means I’m 8 and a half months pregnant, or 2.5 weeks away from my due date. As of 37 weeks, this baby is officially full-term, meaning he could come ANY MINUTE.
Any minute now…
Has it been a minute?
WHY ISN’T MY WATER BREAKING OMG??!!
First and Second Trimesters: A Breeze!
When you’ve had a pregnancy as easy as mine (I swear, I was BUILT FOR THIS), trimesters one and two are a breeze.
If it hadn’t been for my getting slowly fatter (and knocking over wine glasses with my belly), I could have forgotten I was pregnant. It wasn’t until I started feeling the baby’s movements that I could really believe it.
Even at the start of the third trimester, things weren’t that hard. Yeah, I’d get winded quickly, and I was starting to feel quite a bit bulkier. But nothing compares to the past week or so.
Third Trimester: The Waiting Game
Suddenly, I feel like I have BALLOONED. Standing for long periods of time is uncomfortable, but so is sitting because all my vital organs have been shoved up into my ribcage, making my lungs feel a bit crowded.
Normally an active person, getting out of the house has been difficult. The weather doesn’t help (thank you, Montreal), and the fear of slipping on the sheets of ice that cover the sidewalks makes my ventures tentative and short.
So what to do? Low on energy, feeling huge and lumbering, I spend a lot of my days indoors, knitting, reading, sewing, finishing off the last things on my to-do list.
But mostly, I feel like I’m just waiting. Yup, pregnancy is a waiting game.
The Worst Is Not Knowing When
I’m an organized person. I like to plan things out and get my logistics in order. I’m not obsessive or anything, but I am not the best at improvising (unless, of course, I have planned to improvise…).
Waiting for this baby to come is like waiting on a delayed flight. You know your flight will be leaving at some point–it’s inevitable–, but you don’t know when. You don’t want to wander too far from the waiting area at the gate in case they make an announcement, but the all-knowing voice over the loudspeaker isn’t giving you any information. It seems that only God knows when your plane will start boarding.
At this point, only God knows when this baby will decide to get the party started. Braxton-Hicks contractions are like the movements of the airline personnel up at the gate desk: you think something is getting started, but then it’s always a false alarm.
And so I wait.
What to Do? Be Ready.
The only thing that I can do is try as best as possible to get on with life, and be ready. My organized self has prepared as much as possible. Here’s a helpful list of what you can do to be ready:
Have your hospital bag packed. You can find some useful lists of stuff here and here.
Get hubby to pack a bag! Several friends have pointed out that they completely forgot to prepare PJs or anything for Dad.
You need a hospital bag for baby, too!
Cook up some food and freeze it. I hear you’ll be glad you did this when you get home from the hospital.
Keep your phone charged and have your charger with you ALWAYS.
Carry around a maxi pad. Okay, this may sound weird, but what if you’re out and your water breaks? It can happen in a gush, but it can also happen in a trickle, so have a maxi pad ready on hand, just in case.
Download a new ebook, some podcasts or episodes on your phone or tablet, for distraction purposes during long hours of labor.
Have all your documents, birth plan, ID, etc., ready to go.
Other than that, the only thing you can do is distract yourself. I’ve decided to do so by hosting a dinner party. Because, what could go wrong, right?
What It’s All About
Honestly, what it all boils down to is this: I’m really excited to meet this kid. I’m impatient to see his face, to hear his voice and to get to know him with my Chico.
That’s what makes this waiting game so difficult. Delicious anticipation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have just made the most divinely delicious dish.
“Surely, you exaggerate!” you say?
I do not. And don’t call me Shirley.
(I guess that joke only works when spoken. Oh well. Moving on.)
Tonight I made sofrito, a basic Spanish fry-up of onion and other veggies, including grated tomato. This base is then incorporated into all kinds of dishes. Tonight, I made it into an arroz con ternera, or rice with veal.
My Chico and I have been thoroughly enjoying José Andrés’ “Made in Spain” (pronounced “made in espain” of course). We don’t get PBS, but we have been watching his program online, here. Inspired by his show about Castilla-la Mancha, I decided to delight Chico this evening by preparing the dish José Andrés makes on this show. Here’s how I did it:
500g veal ragout (José Andrés used rabbit, but I was fresh out)
plenty of olive oil (preferably Spanish!)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic (whole and still in its skin)
1 large bay leaf
saffron (if you don’t have it, as I didn’t, you can use turmeric, but use it sparingly)
2 large tomatoes, grated (don’t include the skins)
mushrooms (about 225g – you can use whatever kind you like)
4 cups water
1 cup medium-grain rice
Season the veal. Heat a large pot (preferably not non-stick, I used my largest le Creuset pot) and add a generous amount of olive oil to the pan. Make sure it’s nice and hot. Carefully add the veal ragout pieces to the pan and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave all the lovely juices behind in the pot.
If necessary, add a some oil to the pan until the bottom is well coated. Let it heat up. When hot, toss in the onion, green pepper, garlic clove (smashed, but not chopped) and bay leaf. Let it cook slowly for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, grate the tomatoes into a bowl.
When the onion & green pepper are nice and soft, add good heaping teaspoon of paprika and a pinch of saffron or turmeric and stir it around quickly (careful: the spices can burn very quickly, so be sure to mix them in well). Then toss in the tomatoes. At this point I also added a splash of white wine for flavor, but that’s optional.
Cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is a nice, deep red.
Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until they’re soft.
Add the meat back into the pot and stir it around. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the 4 cups of water and bring the whole thing to a boil. Add salt to taste, then cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Throw in the cup of rice and stir it in well. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes, until it simmers again. Then cover, and cook on very low heat for another 15 minutes.
Voilà! You have just made a delicious Spanish meal! If you can get your hands on saffron, it’s worth it (though it is hella expensive). If not, like I said the turmeric can work.
Chico gave it rave reviews and even made a face like the one José Andrés makes. It was awesome.