Wednesday, 6 July 2005

What to Expect: Eating Well When Expecting

Now that we know we are pregnant (10 weeks), we brace ourselves for our new routine in the 7 months ahead.

Here's our "exciting" routine on normal working days:

5.00 am Wake up
- a healthy breakfast of half-boiled eggs or oatmeal with fruit and a hot drink
- steam rice, stir fry a vegetable (spinach, brocolli, lettuce or mixed) and a main dish (steamed fish, meat/ chicken with soy/ black pepper sauce, or some other stir-fry or slow cooker soup
- iron clothes - primp & preen

7.00 am Leave the house - pack for 8.00 & 10.00 am snacks (protein-rich bun or salt-free crackers with a hot drink)

8.00 am Morning snack

10.00 am Mid-morning snack (I'm not joking!)

12.00 nn My delicious (ahem! ahem!) home-cooked lunch
6.00 pm Leave work (with laptops to check emails later ok) - fry vegetables for dinner, heat soup etc 7.00 pm Dinner
9.00 pm Supper - Bedtime

On weekends, we go out for breakfast of either koay teow t'ng (rice noodles with soup), loh shee fun (another rice noodle variation), pan mee (wheat flour noodles) or eggs on toast.

After that, we spend slow & easy days at home, recuperating from the work week.

It's true, ALL pregnant mothers do in the first trimester is eat! LOL

I'm afraid poor Hubby has his work cut out for him as laundry and dish-washing continue while marketing is an added chore besides the regular run around the banks and post office.

 We're food lovers but never before have our lives been organized around meal-times (and my gnawing hunger) than now. This growing baby places timely demands that I need to eat at 2-hr intervals...gas & indigestion threaten to overwhelm us should we be but a few minutes late!

 All this sounds incredible but it's true and to our relief, other pregnant ladies shared similar experiences. I'm looking forward to the second trimester when things ease and it'll be stable enough for me to get some exercise.

 It's a demanding routine that needs careful planning and execution but we're into our second week now and all has worked like clockwork, except on days when Hubby needs to stay back for meetings. On those days, I scavenge my biscuit tins for snacks that will stave my hunger pangs until we get home for dinner --- or we rush to the nearest restaurant for a quick instant meal.

 One favorite dish is black pepper venison, which I've not particularly liked previously but now that I'm pregnant, I seem to have grown fond of red meats and less poultry & fish. Hormones at work? 

Hubby has taken on this new role with much chivalry, enthusiasm and his usual easy-going smile (I'm proud to report!). He's amazing at making his wife very comfortable and has also stocked the home with loads of food this expectant mother can munch on when needed. I'm also impressed with his estimation skills while marketing because initially I'd argue with him that he's got too much meats and vegetables but in the end, we end up finishing them.

 Furthermore, he's tried his hand at gutting fish like the bawal putih (white pomfret). I'm afraid pregnancy makes me queasy... I'm proud of him because most men recoil at the sight and smell of blood (esp during storytelling sessions of labor room adventures).

Surprisingly, Hubby has been bragging about it in the office to his male colleagues! Well, I'm glad he's got a bunch of male friends trade stories with on the new pains of living with his pregnant wife. 

Having been out of touch with cooking for years, it's quite fun to getting acquainted with the kitchen utensils and condiments. So far, I've tried stir-fry vegetables, steamed fish, fish with taucheo (fermented soya beans), meat with soy sauce, herbal chicken soup, ABC pork ribs soup and Malay-style chicken soup.

Poring over cookbooks and online sources (eg Kuali at the Star Online) for more ideas on stir-fry and soups - found some more tasty recipes which I can't wait to try out. Some of my colleagues have also suggested tried-and-tested homemade dishes.

There are also some fantastic resources on Chinese stir-fry on the net (if anyone is interested):
- ChineseCookingBasics (Chinese Cooking 101)
- Chinese Stir-fry Recipes (a plethora of recipes to tempt your palate).

 All these additional meals have made most (if not all) of my skirts and pants unwearable esp since they do not have elasticized waists. Last weekend, I was given strictly only 1 hour (by Lt. Gen. Hubby) to shop for maternity pants.

Thankfully, the maternity sections had a selection of work pants, besides the tons of flowery, ribbon-y, bow-y and lace-y maternity dresses.

Feminine dresses are kind of cute but at 2 months, I'm not ready to wear them yet and will bide my time till later when I'm obviously pregnant. Even then, I'm not sure I'll go for the ribbon-y or flowery types ;-)

Hmm...I'm sure the doctor will comment on my weight gain at our next visit!

BABY NOTES:Your baby now is somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 inches in length and probably weighs about 4 grams (which is about the same weight as 4 paper clips). In terms of physical development, your baby has toes, eyes that are usually open, and ears that are completely formed. Your baby now has lips and the genitals that are becoming more clearly defined. The little pollywog you have inside loses its "tail". This is what is termed "the fetal period".

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