Archives for: October 2005
Well this was a long day (still no labor yet though!) I went in 4 times for my glaucoma screening tests. Everything looked fine, which isn't a big surprise at my age, but I'm happy to know that all is well nonetheless. It was easier to do before the baby comes, but still an ordeal with a 3 year old. My husband helped each time, so it all worked out. I am now officially no longer worried about the baby coming too early. My doctor's back in town, and everything is set for...whenever! I'm no longer taking it so easy, though I'm not lifting anything, I can now walk around as much as I want and get more done in preparation. The baby feels so big today, much bigger than a week ago, he feels like he's going to want more space to move soon. Thanks to everyone who has written wishing us luck!
I haven't been the best at replying to everyone's comments recently, but I shall, and thanks for reading!
I'm still in constant process of setting goals, and resetting goals. Right now my biggest goal is to eat more vegetables, and a bit more fruit. Leafy greens should be eaten at least daily and at every opportunity...I need to work on that. They provide Vitamin K, which is great for thin-blooded Os, as well as lutein and other nutrients that are good for the eyes, I bet there's something for every organ and system in a green leaf.
After a few weeks of not really being able to do much cooking, I have a lot of catching up to do.
This is now officially my Eye Health Awareness week, after giving it some good contemplation based on my eye doctor's concerns. I've realized that I'm at risk of glaucoma, retina detachment, cataracts, and possibly even Macular Degeneration. Not to mention that my eyesight just isn't great to begin with.
The glaucoma risk is because of thyroid disease. It increases the risk as much as diabetes, though through unknown mechanisms. Of course, it seems all glaucoma is through unknown mechanisms. It's more complicated than increased pressure in the eyes, but encompasses a wide range of mechanisms that can damage the optic nerve. If caught early enough, the damage can be controlled. I thought he had done all the baseline tests we needed last year, but then apparently my field of vision test wasn't up to snuff, so more tests. In the meantime, I'm looking into stress management and nutritional approaches that could decrease my risks.
The Macular Degeneration risk is because of celiac disease. I didn't have time to participate in the study, but they're investigating the link right here in Utah. The results aren't in yet, of course. Now I wish I had signed up. They check bioflavinoid levels and many things that could indicate risks for Macular Degeneration and other eye trouble. Anyhoo, I'll look into my bioflavinoid consumption and possible supplements.
The retinal detachment and cataract risk are from family history. One parent has healthy eyes with few problems, another parent has had lots of trouble but many successful surgeries to treat it. Oh well, at least I got the good teeth from that side as well!
I figure if you don't plan to have a long lifespan, your chances of it are lower, so I plan to live long enough to play with my grandkids and great-grandkids. Is that too much for a non-secretor to ask? Well, it's my goal even if I need to buck the odds...odds are nothing more than a worthy opponent. And I'd like to keep my vision with me as I age.
With BTD, I've overcome some troublesome health problems and quality-of-life issues that could have troubled me in the decades to come (joint trouble, digestive trouble, immune problems, depression/anxiety, and insulin-resistance), I've just never given much thought to the two organs that may actually be my greatest weakness. It's all interrelated, and I'm sure what has benefitted my other systems has also benefitted my eyes, but I need to do more to reach my goals.
Hey, I needed another goal anyhow. It keeps the fire under me to increase my compliance and follow-through.
Weight-loss goals will rear their head again soon as well, I weigh about 20 pounds less than I did when my first son was born, but I'm no featherweight when it comes to pregnancy weight-gain. The babies seem to be the right size though. Tom's article today with the blurb about big babies becoming obese adults made me reflect...I mean, have you seen what most babies eat these days? After a year old, it seems that anything goes...and it's mostly wheat with a little trans-fat thrown in. Corporations and ad agencies seem to determine what our kids eat more than mothers do. If you're a mother, take control back! Where are the vegetables, the meat, the fresh fruit? If you give them healthy foods, they will eat them and enjoy them, especially if you keep the junk out of the house. My son learned how to eat an artichoke and a pomegranate when he was 2 years old, he just wanted what I was eating and didn't have cheese crackers to compete with it. He also loves beans and avocados.
We're 37 weeks along now, officially fully ripe. No labor since Sunday night, and I aim to hold off on that at least a few more days. My refrigerator broke this week too, lousy timing, but I love the new one that arrived today...just wish the old one had held out a bit longer.
Just wanted to pop in and let y'all know I haven't had the baby yet. Looks like getting to 37 weeks will be no problem afterall. We've had lots of excitement and I almost went in on Sunday, but then it stopped. They always tell me to lie down to stop the contractions, but it seems getting up often helps more. That may change when the real thing comes along. This weekend is a long weekend break from school here, so many people are going out of town, including my doctor. He's arranged for a very good doctor (more his senior from the sounds of it) to take his place if I need him, but I hope to carry on through as I suspect the hospitals and everything may be understaffed a bit. From all indications, I've carried through the last few days with no further progression of labor, so I'm optimistic.
My eye doctor is running a bunch of glaucoma tests on me early next week (if I'm able to be there). Apparently I have a couple risk factors. Looking at family history, I have risk factors for other eye problems as well. So I'll start looking into strategies to keep my eyes as healthy as possible for the long run.
What else...oh, 'tis the season to be un-jolly, as my seasonal affective disorder kicks in mid-October. Not the best time to plan on a feat such as delivering a baby, and certainly not the best time of year to be sedentary as I've had to be for about a month. Early October worked out well with my first child, I was so out of it after his birth that I didn't notice any seasonal changes...I guess postpartum and SAD cancelled each other out, but mid to late october isn't great. So I'm upping my sources of omega-3s and DHA. Not only could that benefit my moods, but it's also great for the baby.
Wanted to thank Linda for passing on how she opens up a pomegranate...under water! That's a great idea. She cuts it in fourths on one end then submerges it in water with a colander, from there you can open it up without flying seeds, and easily separate the floating membranes from the sinking seeds. It probably minimizes the mess from broken seeds as well. Can't wait to try it on my next pomegranate.
We made it to full term, 36 weeks. Hooray! I think it will happen soon, but my husband is still set on the due date. He's trying to get me to visualize and plan for that, but I'm having a hard time believing it, there's just too much going on in my body right now; it's getting ready, so I am too!
I think I've found my approach to a pomegranate. I used to try to cut through the peel in fourths, then tear it open, but it tended to explode. Now I cut through just the peel of smaller segments, the first one looking much like a round disc, about 1-2 centimeters thick in the middle, then I pull this off. Then I go around making similar cuts and segments until all that's left is kind of the core under the blossom. Then I pick out the seeds from all the segments, and have fewer flying seeds, because each segment is small enough to bend without breaking. I used to not know that you could eat the whole seed, I'd chew on it to get the juice out, then spit out the rest. Now I eat the seeds whole, and I like them that way as long as I only eat a few at a time, rather than a big handful. Some are still on the sour side, but that doesn't slow me down!
Added Note for Ripe Pomegranates:
I just tried the method on a pomegranate that was perfectly ripe, and found it a bit more challenging. I made the cuts through the peel, but then all that would pull off was the peel itself, not the bigger sections. So I ended up with most of the flesh still attached to the core. From there I gave the core a twist, holding the stem end in one hand and the blossom end in the other hand. This worked well, a few seeds fell out but none flew through the air, and I was soon able to break it into more managable sections.
Well, my doctor was right. I was sure I'd go into labor once I went of the medications, but very little changed. I feel much better without the prescription, it had caused me low blood pressure, headaches, fuzzy-headedness, and red circles under my eyes. It was worth it to keep the labor at bay, but I'm glad we're out of the woods. In 3 more days we'll be out of preemie territory, and I'm grateful for that. It's common practice to give any baby born more than 4 weeks early a boatload of antibiotics and such, so it will be nice if we can spare him and his immune system that experience.
I'm not ordered to be on bedrest anymore, but I'm trying to be down as much as possible, while still soaking up a little fall sunshine. I've met most of my work deadlines, had some help with Halloween decorations, my hospital bag is mostly-assembled, and I'm ready for anything...the nature of my personality makes it hard for me to wait around and see what happens, yet also I can't quite figure out how we could make it all the way to 40 weeks. So, I'm waiting...
Pomegranates hit the stores here this week, and I'm trying to eat as many as I can before the baby is born and I'm no longer able to spend the time it takes to properly enjoy one. Studies show that if a pregnant woman drinks pomegranate juice, her baby is less likely to suffer any damage if he has any oxygen deprivation during labor. They're neutral for As and Os, beneficial for O non-secretors. B's and AB's could try other juices (cherry, blueberry, cranberry, any deeply pigmented berry should be good), which probably have the same benefits, just not the corporate backing for the studies to find it out.
I don't think I've ever posted these recipes in my blog, so it's about time I get around to it. The waffles are a real hit...
Things are going fine here, I'm at 34 weeks now and haven't had any more labor. Anyway, here's the recipes:
Yeasted rice bread: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, corn-free,
soy-free, nut-free, etc. Doesn't require kneading, just mix, rise once,
and bake. Version 2.0, edited on 5-16-06
1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil, then add
3 T flax meal
-simmer for 10 minutes then cool for 10 minutes
3 T olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
-combine, then add the cooled flaxmeal water
3/4 Cup rice flour
3/4 Cup sweet rice flour
1/2 C arrowroot flour
3 T Sugar
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tsp baking powder
-mix, then add liquid ingredients
Let rise for 20-30 minutes or more until almost double, bake at 350 F
until just starting to brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. It has
a rather large crumb, is a bit chewy, but holds together well and tastes
good. (the original recipe called for vinegar, lemon juice makes it taste
much better) keep refrigerated after cooling. It sticks to the pan with
just oil, so oil and flour the pan with rice flour.
Here's the waffle recipe, from Fall 2004 Living Without...
Millet & Sweet Rice Waffles
Be sure to soak the flour and milk overnight in the refrigerator
1 C millet flour
3/4 C sweet brown rice flour (white sweet rice flour works fine, it can be found at health food stores and asian markets)
1/4 C water
1 1/4 C milk of choice (soy, almond, rice or macadamia, buttermilk or kefir) additional 1/4 cup as needed
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
2 teaspoons baking powder (replace 1/2 tsp of baking powder with baking soda if using kefir or buttermilk)
1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
1 teaspoon dried seasoning like pumpkin pie spice (I like it better without this)
2 teaspoons citrus zest (I like it without this too, but frontier lemon extract is good)
1. Combine flours, water and milk in a medium bowl, whisk to combine. Cover bowl or pour mixture into a wide-mouth quart jar and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours. If using buttermilk or kefir, soak uncovered or topped with a bamboo mat at room temp for 8-12 hours.
2. Preheat a non-stick waffle iron.
Scrape soaked flour mixture into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk egg, egg whites and butter. Pour into flour mixture. Add baking powder, sea salt, optional flavorings. Whish briefly, just to combine.
3. Mist both sides of the waffle iron with olive oil or other compliant oil, pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the hot griddle (or right amount for model) cook to desired borwnness and waffle stops steaming, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not lift the cover for the first 2 minutes.
4. Remove with a fork and repeat. Use up all the batter, as the waffles keep better.
Serve plain or with jam, honey, maple syrup or almond butter, etc.
May refrigerate extra waffles in baggies for up to 4 days or freeze for up to four months (just toast from a frozen state)