24 February 2010

Parachute Pants

Oh where to begin?

I have been extremely busy over the last couple of weeks so I will try to catch you up on what has been going on.

Firstly to say that on the 13 February my little darling turned 2! It was a happy birthday spent with family. We took her to the Dead Zoo exhibition at Collins Barracks and later had a family dinner for her, which she loved.

Secondly I was going to post (but never finished the post) on my anger surrounding the Prime Time investigative report on the practice of symphysiotomies in Ireland. I have written to my three TDs to demand that the issue of an independent review is opened by the HSE. Apparently over 1500 women were maimed, sliced and diced and left with incontinence between 1950 and 1983. The rest of the western world had abandoned this practice in the early 20th century. Its use here, encouraged by the religious orders who ran the hospitals (oh surprise surprise the Catholic church was involved?) was revived so that women could not be limited in the amount of children they could have as c -sections were limited to three at those times. The stories on Prime Time were particularly horrific and the one that really affected me what the woman who never talked about it, but 40 years later recalled how when they sawed open her pelvis they perforated her baby's head in the process. The injustice of it all makes my blood boil. Childbirth is the most vulnerable time in a woman's life and to have these decisions made about your body WITHOUT your consent is absolutely insane. Furthermore these women deserve to have their voices heard and they deserve answers as to why when the rest of the medical community had tossed out this practice as BARBARIC this was being inflicted on them.

Finally, I have been having issues with my c- section scar recently. I was bitterly disappointed when I realised yesterday that I have a keloid scar. I thought that every woman who had a caesarian suffered from this type of disfiguration! My scar has been very irritated lately and I am finding it nearly impossible to sit comfortably with jeans (or anything else) on. So I have resorted to wearing parachute pants. Yes granny underwear that goes up to my navel. I am hoping that it does not get worse as my uterus expands with this pregnancy but I am certain it will.

08 February 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Everywhere

I have a problem. I am totally and utterly addicted to chocolate. It was bad on my first pregnancy, at one point I was definitely eating two chocolate bars a day. Husband once tried to rationalise with me and insisted that it wasn't good for the baby. The poor guy nearly had his head ripped off (I was 37 weeks at that stage - nothing was going to stop me from putting chocolate in my waiting gob). But this time I fear it is even worse. It all started at Christmas, the season for good eating, and here in Ireland, it is the time when family eagerly gather around giant tins of Caburys 'Roses' to pick out their favourites.

But I am not your average chocolate eater, unfortunately I can't be appeased with a Brazilian Dark or a Golden Barrel. My parents started the rather unfortunate tradition of buying us a small box of See's candy (Mixed Nuts and Chews) for Christmas. At Easter time we each got two large See's easter eggs, usually some kind of walnut whip and my favourite, a Bordeaux. Every year they have continued on with this tradition and usually on Valentine's Day Dad makes us each a red paper valentine that says be mine and it is accompanied by a small golden box of See's delights. Well the grinch was certainly to blame this Christmas. For the first year EVER there was no candy box tucked in with my Christmas presents. I tried not to think about it, tried not to care but I really missed my chocolate! When visiting Chicago for my friend Diane's wedding was I really hoping that we might happen across some See's, even though I knew they were a California thing.

Matters became worse when talking to my mother last week. 'Oh poor you!' she exclaimed sarcastically when I tried to explain that the holidays just weren't the holidays without my box of candy. (Hmm not unlike the time I tried to discuss being deprived of radishes as a kid). 'Mom!' I was rapidly losing patience, what little I have these days, 'You can't make something a family tradition and then one year just not do it anymore, it isn't fair!' I decided I would purchase my own box and send it to her house for her to include with darling's birthday gifts. However, I couldn't wait until the 13th February and decided to ship them to myself.

Today there was a knock at the door as I was working away on my lecture. It was two pounds of glorious chocolate. (Hey I figured if it cost so much to ship I should have at least bought a double order!) I customised the box with scotch marshmallows, dark california brittle, butterscotch squares, milk butterchews and my personal favourite, dark and milk chocolate bordeaux. I reverently lifted the lid and selected a dark bordeaux. Hesitantly I bit into it, not wanting this moment to end. It was like music to a pregnant woman's ears. Now my goal is to try to make them last as long as possible.

06 February 2010

Three words

Butternut Squash Ravioli.

The other day when passing the Asian market near the Jervis Centre a brainwave hit me. Wonton wrappers. They were my Italian grandmother's solution to quick and easy raviolis. I always remember to look for them when in Dunnes or Tesco's (neither of which sell them). But finally I marched myself in to the market and picked up four packs. This morning I took one out of the freezer and decided that today was the day. Coincidentally after I had already decided I would use the giant butternut squash that I had sitting on the counter, a cooking program came on with a recipe for butternut squash ravioli. Very simple to make and with a sage butter sauce with toasted pinenuts and rocket. The toasted pinenuts really make this dish. I wasn't sure whether or not to use the entire packet of wonton wrappers but figured I'd make some for darling's dinner. We were not disappointed - they were absolutely beautiful. Wonton wrappers, while not 'real' raviolis, were a great substitute (seeing as how I never did get that pasta machine for Xmas...). Darling wasn't too impressed but husband and I managed to make short work of our own portions plus her share.