Nearly there… now if only this bump would let me sleep!

At last I am hitting the home stretch of my gestation period; which is great because the excitement is killing me (as is my back) from lugging around what is by now quite a sizable bump. As Tom says you have to look me up and down and side to side to take all of me in at the moment. Thank you, Tom. As you can imagine with comments like that the only action our bedroom is seeing currently is the slightly disturbing sight of a heavily pregnant woman being rolled over from time to time by a long suffering husband when lying on one side becomes too uncomfortable. To be honest the whole bed realm has become the site of much frustration. No not that kind sickos! Basically it is virtually impossible to get any sleep with a 10 pound bundle of joy in your belly. I have about twelve pillows strategically wedged under different parts of me in a bid to get comfortable. Tom says it’s like sharing the bed Jabba the Hut. As you can tell from his witty comments Tom is a man that likes to live dangerously.

With Tom kicking me while I’m down and Baby Bean kicking me from within I am in danger of starting to feel sorry for myself. Luckily I have loads to keep me occupied such as acquiring the huge quantities of apparently indispensable items a baby will need to survive me as it’s mother. So I am spending a lot of my waking hours trawling second hand sites on the internet looking for deals on baby mattress monitors and such the like. Lucky for us we have lots of generous neighbours also donating cots and baby baths etc.

With the rest of my waking hours I am attempting to do some cooking and freezer stocking. So each night I try to make at least double of whatever dinner we are having the idea being that we’ll eat half and freeze the other half to be consumed post baby. Extremely frustrating for me however is the fact that Tom appears to have taken up eating for two and just expands his appetite to accommodate the extra portions. It is driving me insane.

As sleep is eluding me these days I have taken to getting up at four and five am and going down to the kitchen to cook in secret so that I can at least try to get some nice food into the freezer. I guess it is probably good for me to get used to these ungodly hours anyway as, in a few weeks, I’ll be seeing a lot more of them. Here is a creamy, fragrant curry which I have hidden from Tom in the freezer in a Tupperware box marked  Sarah’s Placenta counting on the fact that Tom doesn’t know enough about the mechanics of these things to realise that the placenta is not yet out loose in the world.

Thai Prawn Curry (Makes 2 very hearty portions)

2 large onions, peeled & quartered

½ head of garlic, unpeeled, drizzled with oil and wrapped in tinfoil

Sunflower oil

1 thumb of fresh ginger grated

8 lime leaves

1 can of coconut milk (400ml)

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

4 lime leaves

Salt and pepper

1 aubergine, chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

150g cooked and peeled king prawns (ensure prawns are well cooked)

1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1 handful of peanuts, crushed (optional)

Chili flakes (optional, spice is unfortunately is a bit of a no no for some nursing mums)

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 350 degrees F, Gas 4. Season the onions with a little salt and pepper and toss with a drizzle of cooking oil then place in a roasting tin along with the tinfoil wrapped garlic. Roast for about forty minutes or until the onions are soft. While the onions and garlic are roasting prepare the other ingredients. When the onions are ready heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot and add the ginger and lime leaves. Stir these over the heat for a couple of minutes to release the flavours then add the onions and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins. Allow to cook for about five minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking, then add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Take the pot off the heat, blend thoroughly with a stick blender (leaving the lime leaves in) and stir in the fish sauce. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and add the aubergine, red pepper and the extra lime leaves along with some salt and pepper. Stir-fry the veggies until tender but retaining a little crunch then add this to the blended sauce along with the prawns (make sure the prawns are very well cooked), the chopped coriander and simmer until heated through. Serve with rice and sprinkled with peanuts and chilli flakes (if using).

Note: Be sure to leave out the nuts if you have an allergy or if you are making for children under 5 years.

Sarah Greene

I recently became pregnant to my delight, shock, awe, terror… you get the idea! I’ve been working as a chef since leaving college and have had the good fortune to have worked in kitchens in New Zealand and France before moving back home to Dublin last year to “settle down”. This involved marrying my boyfriend and then moving back into my parents’ house. I know, I know. There’s something wrong with this picture. In our defence we are currently trying to get a mortgage and saving for our first house so it’s not quite the arrested development that it sounds like. In all I think it’s going okay and my parents are slowly adjusting to the ‘clothing optional’ policy Tom adopts at breakfast time. Currently I work as a café cook in a busy and very popular breakfast and lunch spot in Dublin City.

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