Monday, November 21, 2011

Joanna Rose

This morning at 11:15 we welcomed our daughter, Joanna Rose, to our little family!  She is 8 lbs 4 oz and 20 3/4 inches long - not quite the "monster baby" our doctors purported she'd be!  She came swift and furiously, and we hope her life is filled with as much passion as her arrival.  We couldn't be more in love with our little "Annie".
So much more to come, but thank you for your support, comments, and well wishes - it has meant to the world to me in our journey to parenthood (and here we go...eeek!).

Kathryn and Matt

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still Waiting....and waiting...

I Google-imaged "late baby" and this image came up.  I don't know what to make of it, but obviously it needed to be posted.

It took us almost two trying years to conceive, and nine slow months in utero, and now this sucker has the audacity to curl up with a good book and settle down for the long haul nestled in my pelvis.  I am three days late, which I know isn't much, but lord almighty if it doesn't feel like three months.

"Your baby's head is right there!" exclaimed the ob/gyn on Friday.  Since I see different doctors in the practice I pointed out that the baby's head has been "right there" for the better part of a month now.  "But you're about 75% effaced as well!"  Look, lady, I was like that last week.  And the week prior.  

Then my mother, who had both me and my sister early (and was resolute when she said I was absolutely going to have this kid early as well), said she was doing some research on late babies, and 1) that our baby was surely going to have a cone-head because he/she has been deep in my pelvis for so long, and 2) "you know that the later they get the bigger they get, right? And then sometimes they can't get them out."  

Thank you mom!

I've tried everything to evacuate this kiddo:

1) Dutifully watching YouTube videos on pressure points that supposedly stimulate labor and having Matt be my personal masseuse.
2) Sex (having sex to try to get a baby out is about as equally fun as having sex trying to get a baby in, let me tell you that, particularly because it's often at 4 am when I can't sleep and Matt is awoken from deep slumber - hehehe).  
3) Walking (this really only helps with the baby "dropping", but mine has been as low as it can go for a month)
4) Jumping up and down like a banchee 
5) Making deals with baby, e.g. "If you come out now maybe I won't be so anti-video game."  (Total lies, I will always be anti-video game.)
6) Taking the non-express train home from work hoping all the bouncing and shaking "will do something".
7) Crying and complaining

That's about it.

On Monday I have a non-stress test, which is just simple protocol for later babies, and monitors the baby's movements and heartbeat, ensuring everything is a-okay.  At that time we'll schedule my induction, which will be sometime after Thanksgiving.  I didn't think I'd be at Thanksgiving stuffed like a damn turkey, but there you go.

Matt is much more zen about the whole thing: "You had such an easy pregnancy and you should be happy our baby made it to full-term," he says.  The only acceptable response to this is a death stare.  Obviously.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three bowls of soup and a baby (well, not yet)

"The only way to expedite things is to have sex.  Oh, and nipple stimulation," my doctor said.  This is possibly the least sexy thing you can hear in an examination room with your doctor rummaging around your cervix.  (And a great opener to a simple soup blog post!)

For the past three weeks I've been dilated at a measly 2 cm, which means...nothing.  For the past two weeks I have been 70% effaced (effacement measures the thinning and softening of the cervix), which means...nothing (but you gives you a freaky mental image).  For the last four weeks the baby has been "fully engaged", meaning it's at 0 station, or as far down in the birth canal he or she may go, and is "lock and loaded".  Apparently this doesn't mean too much either.  The baby can come today, or weeks from now.  I am due in four days.  

Now, first babies being late is normal, but let's get something straight, here: exactly one week after my due date is Thanksgiving.  This bambino will NOT mess with my turkey dinner.  Nothing keeps me from my stuffing, damnit.  

Speaking of food, I've been doing less cooking but whipped up a simple Moroccan stew tonight.  I love soups and stews because they are 1) healthy, 2) inexpensive, and 3) yield enough for at least 2-3 dinners (aka cater to my lazy-ass-ness).  Of course, I make any stew less healthy serving it with baguettes (or tortilla chips if it's any sort of chili).  It's just the Kathryn way.

Moroccan Stew

Recipe courtesy of
****I doubled the spices, and didn't really measure anything.  But I guess that's the beauty of stews.  The original recipe is below.

1 cup French green lentils
3 bay leaves
2 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed hot chile flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and
cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (8 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1.Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the lentils, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer lentils until they are cooked but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Place lentils in a bowl; toss with olive oil, thyme, and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic. Remove bay leaves and whole garlic cloves; set aside.
2.Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant. Add garlic, onion, celery, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, and squash; cook 3 or 4 minutes.
3.Mix in the lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas, and vegetable stock. Raise heat to medium-high until stew just begins to boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the chopped parsley. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some chopped mint, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

This stew is easy and inexpensive; lovely meatless wonder with the addition of the chickpeas!

I can't begin to describe the warm aromas when you add the spices (particularly the cinnamon).  Such a great one-pot Sunday supper.

Take me to Marrakesh, baby!