19 Weeks and Homemade Gluten-Free Wontons/Dumplings

I must say, the second trimester has been just wonderful. My nausea is not preventing me from eating more healthily, I’ve got enough energy to workout and run errands, and my baby bump is finally showing. I’ve been in a great mood ever since we found out that Dumplin’ is doing great, and am now riding that “omg I’m pregnant,” awesomeness every day. I’m not kidding, I wake up every morning, in a fantastic mood because I feel so grateful to be pregnant. After three years of infertility and multiple pregnancy losses, I feel like finally, maybe things are gonna go well for us. I’ll still be guarded though, until we’ve got our take home baby. Then I’ll probably be a super worry-wart for the rest of Dumplin’s life. That’s just how it goes though, isn’t it? 

So yeah, I’m good. Things are busy over here, which makes the weeks seem to fly by. I don’t even know how to focus my weekly updates, but I am fine with keeping my focus kind of random. 

New things this week:

– I have officially started leaking colostrum. A couple of days ago, on a hike with DW and the dogs, I felt this lightning shock kind of feeling through my right breast, and checked my bra. I had leaked a clear, colourless fluid with almost an oily consistency. It soaked through my sports bra + cup pads, and I could feel the moistness through the outside of my shirt. Craziness! Week 19!

– This morning, after a very nice orgasm, I noticed that I could see the outline of my uterus! I put my hands on my belly and I could feel the hard outline of my uterus under my skin. I guess the orgasm caused my uterus to contract a bit, which was really neat! Normally, my belly just feels soft, and I can’t really tell where my uterus is. 

– I think I’m starting to get some pubic symphysis (the joint at the bottom of your pelvis) instability. At the gym yesterday, I was doing walking lunges, and I could feel a pulling in my groin region, but deeper, like at the level of the bone. I could also feel my deep gluteal muscles struggling to help me keep good form, as my lunges got a bit shakey towards the end of each set. Lunges can be challenging in general, but waaaaay more when your centre of balance is changing (baby bump), and your ligaments are under the influence of relaxin. 

– Strangers are noticing my baby bump and feeling confident enough about it to talk to me about it. Today, I had lots of errands to run, including buying the dogs some food from PetSmart (which is having a 15% off friends and family event this weekend so we stocked up). I piled up three 26lbs bags of dog food and a couple bags of treats into my shopping cart, and checked out. At the register, the cashier asked me THREE times if I would like a carry out (basically, an employee pushes my cart and loads the dog food into my car), despite me declining the first time. She looked at my belly and asked if I “was sure?”. I appreciated her offer and concern, but I’m used to carrying the 26lbs of dog food on my shoulder normally, without the use of a cart. Then, I went to Costco, where I usually just bring cloth bags with me and forgo the cart because the Costco near us is always jam-packed and I can maneuver through the pylons of people and their poorly placed unattended carts a lot easier if I just carry my groceries in the cloth bags. I did the same today, and I had one bag filled, and then carried two cases of 6 packs of chicken broth tetra packs in each hand. Then I walked and lined up at a register. Each register has a cashier and a “bagging person”. When it was my turn to pay, the bagging guy kept insisting that he get me a cart. I said I didn’t need a cart. He asked how I was gonna carry my stuff to my car. I said, “in the same way that I carried it through the store… With my arms.” He said, “but you’re pregnant”. I said, “yeah, I’ll be fine. Thanks though.”. Then he said how I needed to conserve my energy for the baby, or something like that, as I speeded away…. Wow, it’s so interesting how people treat you differently when you’re pregnant. I don’t feel like these people were being rude at all. They just wanted to offer me some assistance. They were just being nice. I just would rather continue doing the things that I can do while I can still do them. I actually enjoy lifting bags of dog food into the car, and carrying heavy boxes through a parking lot. It’s kind of like a light workout to remind me of awesome muscles are.

– Cravings. Last week, all I wanted was beef and cabbage- everyday, and for every meal. This week, I’ve been craving all sorts of random things. Sadly, most  all of them contain gluten: fish ‘n chips, cinnamon sugar donuts, pizza buns, and Chinese wontons/dumplings. Yesterday, I was downtown, and was able to stop in at one of my favourite gluten-free restaurants for some really lovely fish ‘n chips. I posted a photo of it on my Instagram if you’re interested @mamaetmaman . It is drool worthy. Now, my mission is to make the remaining food items myself from scratch. The challenge is, that they all have to be gluten-free. Luckily, the state of the Internet is such that there are tons of people who have experimented with making these things already. First up was the homemade chinese chicken wonton soup, which I am happy to report, I successfully made today, and they tasted amazing!

I’m not going to go into great detail into how I made them because other people have done this for me. What I am gonna do is copy and paste links to the recipes that I used , and add photos from my cooking today.

I basically made this meal in four parts: 

Part 1: the wonton wrappers: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/best-gluten-free-wonton-wrappers/

Part 2: the ground chicken stuffing: http://ironchefshellie.com/2012/01/17/chicken-shiitake-dumplings/

Part 3: assembling the wontons (see instructions from Part 1)

Part 4: making the soup: add 8 wontons (add 4 at a time, let come to a boil, then add four again) to a litre of chicken broth and let boil for 10 minutes. Add some noodles if you’d like about half way through boiling (I added glass noodles today). Add some dried shiitake mushrooms and a handful of scallions  at the end of your cooking, and let boil for another 2 minutes. 

(Any leftovers can be frozen and cooked on another day!)

DW came home in time for a hot bowl of wonton soup! These wontons tasted like the real thing. I honestly couldn’t detect a difference in taste or texture. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

   
     

Some Random Tidbits

Well I’m 7w6d (based on LMP), or 7w2d (based on my last ultrasound), and I’ve got a couple of things to update you on. I’m considering doing those weekly Bumpdate posts, but I’m kind of nervous, and am not sure which dating to use at this point. Suggestions?

Midwife Appointment:

I was so happy that DW was able to meet the midwife with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had applied to 6 midwifery clinics in my region, and all were either full or wouldn’t accept me because I’m out of their catchment area. I was really bummed about this, but then, I received a call from the midwifery clinic that is the furthest away from me, offering me a spot. They were going out on a limb accepting me because I don’t live near their catchment area at all (compared to 3 other clinics where I’m on the border). Something feels serendipitous about this, and I feel like I will have a really good experience with them. 

Things that I wasn’t thrilled with:

– all of the pregnant women in their waiting room looked grumpy and unfriendly. Not a single one smiled the entire 20 minutes we sat waiting to be seen.

– my midwife was 20 minutes late for our appointment. Granted, she was with another patient, but my family doctor and endocrinologist are ON TIME or have a maximum wait of 10 minutes. I timed this because most appointments will be during the work day, and if I have to drive across 3 cities to get there, I need to factor in how this will work with work. 

Things that I really like so far:

– our midwife used to be an OB-GYN in India. She practiced for 20 years before moving to Canada and trained to be a midwife. She has been a midwife for 10 years. This means she has a lot is experience, even beyond the scope of midwifery care. 

– our midwife is a good listener. I felt comfortable interrupting her to ask questions. She paused many times to offer me opportunities to digest information and to ask more questions. She explained things well, using a slow but comfortable pace. 

– Our midwife was very clear about informed choice, and that her job is to lay all of the options out on the table, but that the choice is ours. There would be no bullying me into choosing one way over another. With both DW and I being highly intelligent, with backgrounds in science and medicine, this appealed to us. I’m also incredibly picky, and am a stick in the mud when I don’t get my way.

– I have two midwives: at any given time, there is always one that is on call, and the other is in the office available for appointments. I will meet the other one next week. 

– at our birth, the midwife from my pairing that is on call, plus another midwife from another pairing will be attending. There will always be TWO midwives present: one for me, and one to take care of Dumplin’ (I LOVE THIS). 

– despite being outside of their catchment area, both of my midwives in my pairing live close to us, and are willing to still do home visits after Dumplin’ is born.

Last Intralipids:

Well I had my last intralipid infusion today. Being all paranoid that this infusion wouldn’t have enough lasting power to get me into the “safe zone”, I asked one of the nurses if she could ask the head nurse if they’d let me do one more infusion in a couple of weeks. The nurse said that once the placenta is established (8-12 weeks), I shouldn’t need it anymore, but everything I’ve read about NK cells is that they are active (ie. A threat) until 16 weeks. We’ll see what they say. Those of you who have been pregnant on intralipids- at how many weeks did they do your last infusion?

Diclectin:

Diclectin successfully turned me into a bed-ridden zombie with a hangover. The drowsiness was so bad, that I dialled back my dose from 2 at night + 2 during the day, to just 1 + 1. It’s still managing to prevent me from puking, but I feel less like a waste of space, and can actually interact with my wife.

Pregnancy Acne:

I have honestly maybe had 1 pimple in 12 months. But this past week, 6 nasty pimples erupted on my face. They are the small red ones with deep white pus coming to the surface. I am gross and have been expressing them, but the pockets are so deep that a few have gotten worse or won’t drain completely. My face is an absolute mess, and I am embarrassed to go out in public. I’ve been dabbing them with tea tree oil, hoping that they will just go away. You know that alleged “pregnancy glow”? Well apparently my version is just extra oily pizza face. Ladies- those of you who experienced this, does it go away? Or do I need to go into hiding like a celebrity who’s recovering from several major plastic surgery jobs?

Baby or Carb Bump:

Is 8 weeks too early to be sporting a mini baby bump with a singleton? Or am I carrying an anterior-facing carb monster from the 8 meals of pancakes with maple syrup that I’ve eaten this week? PS- DW has been bringing me pancakes in bed these days, which has helped tremendously with my morning sickness. She is amazing. So is pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hmmm… I think that’s all I’ve got for now.