Saturday, January 30, 2010


* Click on the pictures for larger image. It's worth it.

The other night I was feeling starved (never put a pregnant woman on a poop-friendly diet), and started day dreaming of food.

That's when I remembered Beignets. I love them. I miss them. I want them.

Sure enough I ended up finding a recipe here

I had to mix bread flour and regular all-purpose flour. And I warn you its HARD to mix all the ingredients together, it takes some physical labor. Plus, the recipe makes WAY too many beignets, so I suggest you just make half. In the end, I put the dough in the fridge and just fried the beignets in the morning.

And it was WORTH IT:

That's when I realized how much I love dough.

Throughout my cooking history, I never ever made dough. It just scared me. But not anymore!

I got caught doing this:

Yes. I made a lovely pizza from scratch.

I found the dough recipe in my lovely new purchase: The Joy of Cooking.

I brushed the top of the dough with olive oil, and added a mix of tomato paste and red pesto sauce.

Then I carmelized some onions. And by some I mean A LOT:

I topped the onions off with some Italian herbs, black pepper, and rosemary.

Then I shredded some mozzarella and sliced some pineapples:

Add generously:

Top it off with LLOOOOVVEEE:

Pop it in the oven (HOT) for 10 minutes.

And voila!


It really was delicious.

Come visit me and I'll make it for you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

On Being a Fighter, AKA FML

Let me start off by telling you how much I wish I was one of those women who enjoyed being pregnant. You know, like the women that go through all 9 months with a glow and the 'ohmygod I'm so happy.'

My pregnancy has been a slow, excruciating process. Not very many women out there will understand until they experience something similar.

Let this be a "lesson" to all of you. This entry is in no way a means to scare you, it's just my experience. It might give someone comfort that they're not alone. It might make you think I'm an idiot because your experience was WAY worse than mine. And it might make you understand what happened to me these last few months.

The morning sickness was bad. Of course it wasn't at all in the morning. I still associate certain smells with that time period and these smells still make me sick to my stomach. I hated taking medication to stop throwing up, I hated that I could only stomach certain food. Most of all, I hated having to run to the toilet at 4 am to dry heave.

Back then my husband and I weren't living together and the weekends we visited each other were spent holding my hair back and trying to find 'pregnancy friendly' activities to do.

Then I started bleeding. I remember laying in bed, my mother bringing me a glass of milk and telling me to get some rest. I was shaking, almost certain I was losing this baby. I remember driving myself to the hospital the next day, and how the nurses and doctors rushed me in. They too were certain I was losing the baby. Needles, blood tests, ultrasounds. More pills. Bed rest for 3 weeks. The depression was deafening. I didn't want to see anyone or talk to anyone for weeks.

Then the second trimester hit and my husband and I went on our honeymoon to the Maldives. It was lovely for the most part. I couldn't walk much, couldn't do any water sports, couldn't ride on speed boats, had a restricted diet, and ohmygod the hormones. I cried. On my honeymoon. Almost every single day. I picked fights with my husband, I was a nightmare. I hated myself for having no control over who I've become.

But then things got better. They say the second trimester is the best, and I would vouch for it. I was working, traveling, seeing my friends, and eating well. And then I moved to Bahrain. The day I finally moved here, November 28th, I was admitted to the hospital for having contractions that came every 4 minutes. I was in pre-term labor for 3 days. Again, I had to listen to the doctors as they explained how little this baby's chances of survival are. The strange part was the fact that I was calm through the whole thing, almost like I had succumbed to my fate - whatever that was. Pre-term labor came and went and I was discharged with strict orders of complete bed rest till this baby comes. Yes, that would be 4 months.

I saw a lot of doctors after that, some who said I'm too high risk, some who said I'm totally fine. I eased myself off bed rest, found an excellent private doctor, started becoming more active, and finally started to enjoy the pregnancy.

Until last week.

I had a doctor's appointment with a British doctor who told me I was too high risk to be accepted as a patient. Its not insulting anymore when you've heard it more than a dozen times. Although there's no sure way of telling, almost everyone believes this baby will be premature, which is ok if I give birth at one of the two hospitals equipped to handle preemies.

On Wednesday morning I woke up with contractions. I had an appointment with my doctor later that afternoon so I decided to wait it out. As soon as I saw her I was strapped onto a contraction belt that showed I was having them every 20 minutes. The baby's heart rate was fine, but her head was low. After a few hours I went home with instructions to come back the next day if it doesn't stop.

Sure enough, it didn't stop. I went back and was asked to be admitted. No thanks. I knew I wasn't in labor yet.

I ended up taking 2 doses of dextromethorphan (helps develop baby's lungs), which I had already taken when I was in pre-term labor. Now I have no problems with needles, but this shot is a motherfucker. Ladies, if you're ever put in a situation where you have to take this shot, please be advised it HURTS, don't let the nurses lie to you.

What can make that weekend worse? Gucci got sick. I mean, really sick. I was having contractions while tending to a dog who was throwing up and pooping diahrrea. He had the chills all night, and I thought for sure he had eaten something poisonous and that was it. I know, Drama.

He was fine by the morning, but we still went to the vet.

And then the mother of all hemorroids decided to pay me a visit.

I've had hemorroids all my life. I know how to deal with them. But this? This is something on another level. My ass was a throbbing fireplace. For 3 days. No matter what I did, there was no relief. I couldn't sit, lay down, stand up, or even pee. And when you're pregnant, you pee - A LOT. I was such a joy to be around.

So off to the emergency room again.

The wonderful MALE Egyptian doctor proceeded to push the mother of all 'roids back in, while in full view of 2 of my 3 tattoos.
He gave me lots of wonderful meds to help reduce the swelling, as well as some painkillers. And for the first time in over a week I was able to sleep longer than 2 hours. This explains all the energy I have to write this long-ass, detailed entry.

Did I mention that I'm on a liquid diet? FUN

The moral of the story is: PREGNANCY IS HARD. 9 MONTHS IS A LONG TIME. And to be honest, not a day goes by without me asking myself if I would put myself through this again.

I want to tell you that I love my unborn daughter.
She's the fighter I'm referring to in the subject, not me. I love it when she kicks against my bladder and punches me in the ribs. I'm not even being sarcastic. Yes it's uncomfortable. But there's something amazing about feeling her ENTIRE body shift inside me. I can put my hand on my stomach and feel her foot push against me. I can nudge her and she'll move from my left side to the right side. I can FEEL her hiccups.

She loves it when I eat honey smacks cereal. She loves it when I indulge in my nescafe and soymilk. Most of all, she loves it when we listen to raggaeton music.

She is awake every night from 11 pm to 1 am.

And I can't wait to meet her. I really, really can't wait.

There are times where I think that somehow my experience has detached me from feeling maternal. I don't talk to the baby or sing to her or any of that. But I also know that when they put her on my chest and she hears me say "Hi little one," she's going to reach her tiny little hand up to my face, and her eyes will recognize that I am her mother. When I put her tiny naked body against my huge naked chest, the sound of my heartbeat will comfort her and she'll know that I will do anything to keep her safe and healthy.

I am almost 32 weeks pregnant, which means my daughter will be born sometime in the next 8 weeks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Last Stretch

Before I talk about the pregnancy I wanna take a minute and talk about how utterly devastating the earthquake in Haiti has been. I'm not there, I don't know. But I remember the 1992 earthquake in Cairo (we were living there at the time), and I can only imagine what's happening in Haiti. My heart goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones. I'm glad that my friends there are for the most part accounted for and are safe and sound.

Today marks 30 weeks of my pregnancy.

I can't believe I'm going to have a baby in 10 weeks. Given the way this pregnancy has been going, the baby will be here in less than 10 weeks!

I've been trying to get things ready. I don't have a nursery because our place is fully furnished and I can't clear out one of the rooms, but we bought everything that would fit in a nursery and will just scatter it around. We're moving into our own house by the end of the year, so I can concentrate on decorating the nursery then.

I'm really tired most of the time, hardly get any sleep, have lots of PAINFUL leg cramps, and have resorted to rolling off the bed and the couch. Lovely.

I mean, look at me:

Yes folks, that would be a grand total of 40 pounds heavier! *applause*

No, I'm not overeating and I am not diabetic. It's just the way that it is, and I don't want to hear any advice from anyone about how much weight "I should" gain. In my experience, you have very little control over it.

I'm enjoying these last few weeks with my husband and my dogs. My favorite time of day is bedtime when we all lay in bed together. We play with the dogs, feel the baby kicking, talk about what's to come, say our I love yous, and fall asleep. Although I get lonely and bored, I know I'm going to look back and miss these nights.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Week 28

Who knew I would make it to 2010?!

We're very happy baby ooops decided to stay in and I'm hoping I can carry her full term.