Thursday, August 2, 2012

What I miss: Pregnancy Edition

First off, I would like to apologize for the radio silence on this blog for the last five months. David and I found out we were expecting our first child in late March. It is rather hard (at least for me) to write about what is going on in your life without mentioning something as huge as a pregnancy.  We were by no means trying to keep this pregnancy a huge secret. In fact, for safety reasons at work, I had to "out" my pregnancy as soon as a doctor confirmed it. Despite the early reveal, it was still hard to inform all of our friends and family in a timely manner. It took quite a while to contact everyone we wanted to personally inform. In fact, it took 22 weeks. :) We just "announced" on facebook a few days ago.  I debated long and hard as to whether I was going to make a facebook announcement, especially since I tend not to share my day to day life on facebook. In the end, I felt like it was the best way to inform people that I do not keep in close email contact with, but would still like to know.  Plus, I wanted to control the announce and not have someone else make that announcement for me.

I am coming back to blogging now, because I would like to be able to record my thoughts and experiences during the pregnancy.  I have no idea where I will be when and if I am pregnant again and I thought it would be nice to have some documentation. I know a lot of people who blog do weekly pregnancy updates with pictures, weight gain, etc....yeah, that is not happening here.

Some pregnancy stats:
 - Currently 22 weeks pregnant (or as is said in Germany,  I am in my 23 week)
- We do not know the sex of the baby and plan to keep it a surprise for the birth
Living in a foreign country during a pregnancy definitely poses an interesting set of challenges:
- cravings
- customs regarding raising your child (feeding, development, working )
- rules regarding name your child/finding a suitable name 
- baby gear you need
- attitude towards pregnancy
- finding maternity clothes
- dealing with +85°F days with no air conditioning

I would like address all of these topics individually. Hopefully, some of my American family will be interested in some of the cultural differences. I find these things fascinating, hence why I record this stuff in a blog.

First topic, pregnancy cravings.   When one thinks of pregnancy cravings, they often refer to the classic example of pickles and ice cream. Yes, that is also a classic example in Germany. According to my husband, any combination of sweet and savory is "pregnancy food."

During this pregnancy, I have found myself with very few "cravings". (I define a "craving" as a MUST HAVE IT NOW sort of feeling) I think most of that is that I simply do not care much for the food in Germany. (Sorry :)) Even after nearly three years of living here, I am still not really interested in eating the food at served at restaurants or in the work cafeteria.  Often just the sight or smell of many foods here is enough to turn my stomach. Just about the only "German food" that I like is lentils, and even that has a limit. Oh, I like the cheese, too. The good stuff that my mother-in-law gets at the farmers market. I love that she finds out what cheese I can eat.  Unpasteurized cheese is very common in Europe, so you always have to ask.

I think most of the problem is that I prefer to eat a mostly vegetarian diet. Prior to getting pregnant I ate fish, some chicken, and very little cheese (I prefer the good European cheese over the stuff people in the states consider cheese).  During pregnancy, my focus has been on getting plenty of protein in my diet...which at the moment has translated to eating lots of yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, goat cheese, and fish. (Don't worry...the goat cheese that I buy is pasteurized and I limit the amount of fish I eat) 

*interesting fact:  I find sweet cottage cheese disgusting, while my husband does not eat it savory.  Talk about a switch.

Since I am not living in the USA at the moment, I have found myself with more food aversion that cravings. Most of this is probably due to the fact, that I still prefer to eat more like an American.  Some of the more significant adversions include:
- Meat: this is pretty offensive to me at the moment.  I cannot be near grilled food and the sight/smell of most cooked meats makes me ill.
- Sweet foods: especially the smell, can be pretty unappealing, too. Sometimes, even fruit is too sweet for me.
- Tea: this is crazy to me, because I drank so much tea before becoming pregnant.
- smoothies: or any sort of sweetened drink.  Back in early June, I could still tolerate this, but chance. We were at a "Mexican" restaurant and David order a non-alcoholic strawberry Margarita for me...Oy! That was so sweet.)
- the smell of white wine:  I caught a whiff of white wine back in June...enough to squash any desire to drink wine until the baby comes.

Things I crave:
- Scramble eggs with veggies, fried egg sandwiches
- Spicy foods
- Thai food (especially a good curry or pad Thai)
- Toast with bananas and almond butter (the only way I can eat a banana, otherwise they are too sweet)
- Warm, brothy soups with shrimp and veggies (I use this recipe as my basis.  I currently do not add in the wine, and use whatever fish and veggies I have hanging around the house)
-French fries: I loved these during the first trimester, but now am sort of indifferent.

Unfulfilled Cravings:
-Life Cereal (probably too sweet)
-A good veggie burger
- Pumpkin Soup:  I am really looking forward to fall and some yummy pumpkin soup.

Things I cannot wait when I go to the states next month:
- Mexican food
- Non-alcoholic margarita (which sadly will probably be way to sweet for me)
- Sweet potatoes
- Yellow squash ( I bought some at a farmers market a few weeks ago...there were no words)
- Edamame ( I actually found some when we were in Stockholm...AMAZING)
- A good, southern breakfast biscuit (with egg...not bacon or sausage)

Thing I cannot wait to have once the baby is here:
- a glass of red wine
- smoked salmon
- a good chunk of age Gruyere cheese
- blue cheese
- more than one cup of coffee a day

Overall, I don't find my appetite significantly transformed by pregnancy. I still am eating my usual, veggie filled diet.

Any thoughts on the gender based on my cravings? 

1 comment:

  1. I also craved spicy foods when pregnant, but I, too, have always adored (real) (New) Mexican food. I think based on your cravings, you're having a sweet little boy, but I can also easily picture you with a precious little girl. What a fun surprise it's going to be when you first hold your little-one!