my second trimester and three new liver recipe I don’t hate!

I haven’t been writing much again, partly due to a shift in my priorities and mindset. Pregnancy is weird in a lot of ways, and I think a big part of that weirdness for me has been the unexpected change in mindset in a lot of things in life. Things that bothered me before I barely care about now, and random new things feel really important to me all the time.

I was just listening to a podcast (called “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”) which suggested looking back to when you were ten years old, and thinking about what things you enjoyed doing then. Those things tend to be hints to what you might still enjoy now, or possibly make you very happy. The first thing that pops into my mind about when I was ten years old was that I would spend hours upon hours writing stories, poems, letters to friends… and of course my infamous endangered species or horse club newsletters. So before I cared much about the right way to write (is there, even?), or whether anyone would really care about what I was writing, I just wrote things just for the fun of it. So I’m going to try doing that again right now, and if anyone’s actually reading it or caring about it- then even better! Winking smile 

I suppose another reason why I haven’t rushed online to write my 2nd trimester update blog post has been because it feels like I don’t have much to report in terms of actual happenings. To a pregnant lady, that’s a good thing. To a random reader, maybe that’s boring. Of course pregnancy has continued to feel like a wild ride for me, and I can’t believe that another couple of months have passed and I’ve continued to grow a tiny little human just by eating, drinking, and generally taking good care of myself- and I think that in and of itself is pretty extraordinary. But I don’t have any dramatic stories, neither good or bad. So if you’re up for the mediocre, boringly normal yet real updates, read on!

They say in the second trimester your energy is supposed to just spike back up and you feel like a Whole New Person. I certainly did notice an improvement on my energy over all, but I felt more like my old self rather than a whole new person. I’ve had pretty good energy for the most part, and have been able to walk at least 5 miles a day most days, which I’m very happy with despite it being quite different from my usual running and weight lifting pre pregnancy. (No, I don’t actually expect to be able to do that now, nor do I want to- it’s just an interesting mental shift that needed to happen.) I started prenatal yoga and go a couple of times per week and absolutely love it. Yoga feels like the best thing I can being doing for my body and baby overall.

My food cravings and aversions are basically gone, and for the most part I just want to eat healthy foods (and the occasional ice cream or chocolate…), and more of them than normal. I enjoy waking up hungry and making big breakfasts. It’s also been fun feeling like cooking for myself again more often, where sometimes in the first trimester I just didn’t want to be around food as much because I had less of an appetite. I’ve tried to focus even more on getting in lots of nourishing super foods for growing baby Dela, and all the kicks and punches are good reminders and motivation to why I’m doing this. I keep reading about how what I eat now is actually shaping baby’s food palate and preferences for his or her future- ah! It can be overwhelming to think of that all the time, so knowing that it’s extremely important, I just try to do my best and know that it’s great.

Liver is an incredible super food, and is super rich in the B vitamins and iron, both of which are always important but especially now. I’ve had a lot of attempts before now to find a liver recipe that I can handle (liver pills, beef liver pate, beef patties with liver “hidden” in them, and more) and have never really been successful at it until now. I have actually found three new liver recipes that are definitely my favorites thus far. The first one I made for Brian and didn’t expect to even try a bite of it, let alone tolerate it at all. Brian grew up eating plain old liver so doesn’t mind it at all- so I have made him plain fried liver before, and that’s worked for him. This time I made him Rosemary and Garlic Beef Liver- pan fried liver with a tremendous amount of fresh garlic and rosemary, and actually cooked the liver to perfection rather than over cooking it and making it turn out rubbery. He loved it, and I was able to take a few bites here and there before ultimately getting overwhelmed by the taste of liver. It’s still a little more brave of a liver recipe, but I do recommend it for those who don’t despise the taste of liver!

liver
(Liver, mmmmmm…….)

The second recipe I discovered which I have enjoyed more than that one was a Chicken Liver Pate with Mushrooms and Bacon. I’ve never had chicken liver before, and I found it to be much less potent of a taste and much easier to handle overall. The mushrooms and bacon helped tone down the liver taste as well. I made 1 lb of chicken liver worth of pate, and froze small amounts in mason jars. My goal is to have one little mason jar every other week. I have it as a dip with fresh apple slices and veggies and it’s not too bad! To me, it’s far worth it for the multitude of benefits. Lastly, the third liver recipe I found has also been a staple recently, and that is Amy’s Secret Liver Burgers. Maybe it’s been a favorite also because I made it with my wonderful friend Katie (who is also expecting and is due 10 days before me!) –as cooking with friends makes cooking unpleasant things much more enjoyable- but either way it’s great! I think it’s so palatable because there are so many delicious ingredients in the burgers that actually do tone down the taste of liver quite a bit. Bison, ground beef, bacon, and lots of onions and garlic. We made a double batch and I’ve kept them frozen and dethaw one for breakfast a couple of times per week.

katie me
(Katie and I!)

The only and main bummer of my second trimester that I should mention was that I had what my practitioners all agreed to be a shifted rib in my upper right side. I had a pretty terrible twelve days, then all of a sudden it was like nothing was ever wrong. It all started when I woke up an hour after going to bed, laying on my right side, and was unable to breathe in very far and was in the worse pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I tried to wake Brian up for help but since I couldn’t move and could barely talk, I started to panic and just started crying. Poor Brian was confused and scared too, especially when I would scream at him for touching me at all or even moving in bed. This went on for awhile before we paged my midwife at 3am, who helped calm up both down just from talking to her, and prescribed me muscle relaxant to a 24 hour pharmacy, thinking it was back pain related and luckily nothing more serious despite the high pain. The muscle relaxant helped a little, but I remained in terrible pain for a few days until I could get in to see my acupuncturist. I was basically on bed rest- or couch rest, since I had to sleep propped completely upright, for a few days. The acupuncture helped incredibly, but I still saw a chiropractor a few days later which helped even more. Eventually the pain subsided and it felt like whatever it was that was out of place (supposedly a shifted rib) miraculously went back to where it was supposed to be! I don’t have any back pain anymore (*knocking on wood*) and certainly hope it stays this way.

Baby’s kicking and moving around all the time, and my belly’s growing rapidly. Last week, I felt baby Dela have the hiccups a few times and it was the sweetest thing ever. Our last couple check ups with the midwife have been wonderfully boring- I’m right on track and baby is growing well. Besides logistical things and some standard questions, there’s not much we need to talk about during the visits. Brian and I both enjoy the midwife visits very much. We’re very comfortable with each of the midwives who will be at my birth, as well as enjoy hearing baby Dela’s heart beat and the consistently positive updates. I always leave the midwife’s clinic feeling even more empowered and prepared for the rest of the pregnancy, the birth, and parenthood.

I just had the glucose tolerance test done, which screens for gestational diabetes, but luckily I was given some leeway to take the test slightly altered. Since my midwife knows my diet and lifestyle and that I’m therefor at a low risk for gestational diabetes, she allowed me to do the test without drinking the terrible, sugary soda-like solution. As an alternative, I was able to do the test by eating my normal meal including some carbs and sugars. So I got my fasting blood sugar blood drawn, then ate a normal meal (had some breakfast sausage, avocado, a ripe banana and a few plantain slices) then they took my blood sugar levels an hour after eating. My results were great, and I certainly don’t have gestational diabetes, which I am very grateful for. They also checked my iron levels, and were happy to report and a little pleasantly surprised that I’m very much not anemic, which is actually quite unusual for the second trimester. I attributed that to my liver consumption. Winking smile  Getting those positive test results were great motivators to keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my health.

My parents helped us paint the baby’s room, and we were gifted a beautiful painting called the Giving Tree from my parents which I can’t wait to see in baby Spud’s room. We have chosen the few practical, big items like the crib, stroller, and car seat. We have taken a couple short parenting types of classes through Swedish hospital and start our main childbirth class series in a couple of weeks. These things make the anticipation of baby Dela’s arrival feel so much more real…which is probably a good thing, since he or she will be here in no time!

baby room

Thanks for listening, and for those of you in my daily life, thank you so much for all the support and love!

2 comments

  1. Jeanne marlow

    Emily. Lovely to hear about your pregnancy. Janine and I will be in Washington in July. Hope we can see you while we are there. Bob and gayle are so excited for this baby. Great the pregnancy is going so I well

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