We’re waiting, and eating. I can’t tell you how much the past seven months have challenged me, mentally. Sure, there have been physical changes, too, but more than anything, I’ve never been so simultaneously anxious, exhilarated, thrilled, excited, and terrified. I wake up in the middle of the night, my mind racing, wondering what my life will be like three months from now, how I will adjust to this new life, and what uncertainties it will bring. I grow frustrated, reminding myself these are the last few precious months of uninterrupted sleep and I should not be wasting them, yet I lie awake night after night, plagued with insomnia like I’ve never had before. I fear everything: my mental health, my physical strength, my perseverance, my capacity to adapt to change. My ability to birth a baby.
I have sworn off reading the baby books. Instead, I ask Matt to research questions I have as they come, and ask my doctor the big questions. Call it what you will, but I prefer not to know everything, which is completely the opposite of the approach I take to all other things in life. I am just over two months away from giving birth and I have only recently started feverishly planning the nursery. I am still confused about which car seats and strollers I need. Unlike many women I know, I generally prefer not to talk about my pregnancy; the aches and pains, the uncertainty, the paranoia, the emotional ups and downs. I’d rather focus on the more immediate stuff: my work, my passions for cooking, photographing, writing, and spending time outdoors.
Having spent years reading a number of blogs written by women who chronicled their pregnancies and consequently either dropped off the blogosphere or related everything in life to their children, I swore to myself that I didn’t want to become a ‘mommy blogger’ — not during nor after my pregnancy. While I have always wanted to be a mother, I have never wanted motherhood to define me. But, slowly, I found my interest in all things motherhood and women’s rights piqued. I have become passionate about things I had never paid much attention to before — maternity leave policies, work/life balance, security vs. flightiness and adventure.
I have always wanted this space to be honest and I’ve recently found myself struggling to share stories that ignored the fact that a really big thing was happening in my life — bigger than anything else I had ever experienced. I’ve never not known so much and yet felt so close to understanding everything. Instead of fearing judgement, I’ve realized that I need to stop judging myself so much and to embrace the life I’m living. One in which I’m forging forward, but slowing down a little, too. One in which I may or may not change my mind about things. And one in which I can be a mother, a writer, a cook, a professional, a wife, a traveler, a friend, a fashionista, a goofball, a daughter, an active human being, a blogger, and a wanderer.
Weeknight Noodle, Vegetable and Shrimp Soup
This is a simple and nourishing soup, the kind of thing I’ve eaten many a night over the course of my pregnancy. Noodles and Asian flavors seem to be this baby’s thing.
Note: we happened to have some lump crab meat on hand, and threw some in the soup as well. If it’s crab season in your area, feel free to add some crab to soup, after you’ve added the noodles and vegetables.
2 large handfuls of soba (buckwheat) noodles
8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
3 heads of baby bok choy
1 carrot, sliced into paper thin ribbons
1 tablespoon of white miso
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of diced green onion, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon of finely diced, fresh ginger
finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
1/2 pound of cleaned, de-veined, tail-on shrimp (frozen ok)
1. Combine the broth, green onion, and diced ginger in a large sauce pot. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a low boil. Whisk in the miso paste. Separate the bok choy leaves and roughly chop any particularly large ones.
2. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the noodles and vegetables, along with the soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the shrimp are fully cooked and vegetables are tender.
3. Divide soup among bowls. Top with more green onion and chopped cilantro. Give each bowl a good squeeze of lime and a few squirts of sriracha (to taste).
Musical Pairings: Chet Faker – Thinking In Textures EP + Weeknight Noodle, Vegetable and Shrimp Soup
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