If you’ve noticed, I’ve not written in about two weeks. That’s because I’ve been searching high and low for PEACHES. I’ve learned that peaches are just not available in the Midwest during the months of March/April. So, while grocery shopping today I spied a lovely nectarine and thought that perhaps that would make a nice stand-in for WEEK 13 since the produce clerk told me I was out of luck on the peaches front until June.
So… prepare yourselves for an amazing peach pie recipe later on this summer. Now, back to celebrating WEEK 13!
WEEK 13 was the last week of my first trimester, and boy was I anxious to get it OVER with. Why? A few reasons.
1). Every book I read told me that morning sickness would begin to wain once I moved on into the second trimester.
2). More importantly, the chances of having a miscarriages decreases significantly once you’re no longer in your first trimester.
Up until this point Jeff and I had decided not to do a whole bunch of purchasing or planning until we had officially reached the 14th week of our pregnancy. Not out of superstition, but out of caution. It took us so long to get pregnant – we just wanted to make sure we were smart about how we progressed.
Near the middle of WEEK 13 I started to experience very painful cramping in my lower abdomen. At first it occurred only when I stood for an extended period of time. But, after a few days it became a constant and somewhat excruciating pain. By the very last day of WEEK 13 I couldn’t walk, let alone stand. I’d called and left a message for my doctor, but hadn’t heard back from her and kept telling Jeff that I was sure everything was just fine, even though I was terrified something terrible was happening.
The last night of WEEK 13 was a rainy one. We had several thunderstorms roll through that brought lots of lightening and wind and other spooky sounds. Around 10:30 PM I tried to get up off the couch to go pour myself a glass of milk and I had to stop, doubled over, after only taking two steps away from the couch. Jeff said, “That’s it – I’m taking you to the emergency room”.
We drove in the pouring down rain to the closest hospital, forgetting to take umbrellas. When we got to the ER doors Jeff told me to hop out so that he could go park the car. As soon as I closed the door I saw that they had free valet parking and tried to get Jeff’s attention before he took off by pounding on the car hood, resulting in him backing over my toe. Luckily, it was the very tip of just my shoe and other than panic I felt nothing.
The ask-a-nurse that I’d spoken to just moments before Jeff whisked me away to the ER had told me there was a good chance that I was having a spontaneous abortion. Typing that even now brings tears to my eyes. I was so very terrified and all I could think was “not even two hours left of my first trimester and everything is coming to an end”.
After what seemed like hours, which I’m sure was only minutes, we were called back into one of the rooms where we were greeted by a very friendly doctor who asked a bunch of questions. They took several viles of blood on three separate stickings and told me it seemed as though I was dehydrated, so they immediately put me on an IV and started having me drink glass after glass of water. The doctor told me that from what she could deduce I may just have a bladder infection, but wouldn’t be able to confirm that until after reviewing lab results and a sonogram.
Now… I’d never been to an ER before I’d met Jeff. However, after meeting my husband I can tell you that I became well versed in ER visitations. But this was the first time I’d ever been the one on the table instead of the one in the chair. After hearing that the doctor thought I might simply have a bladder infection, laying back in that cushioned table/bed flipping through the TV channels became quite relaxing. I had a warm cozy blanket and cool beverage to sip on. Had I not been interrupted umpteen times by a nurse needing more blood I would have said that that part of the evening had been quite enjoyable.
But, I was quickly reminded that I was not on a mini-vacation when the sonogram technician came to whisk me away. We flew through the halls as if we were on a roller coaster with Jeff trailing us the entire way. When we got into the room where the monitoring equiptment was I began to panic all over again. What if the sonogram showed us something we didn’t want to see? What if the nurse on the phone was right and this wasn’t just a bladder infection?
I couldn’t lay still because I was shaking so bad. Jeff kept asking me if I was cold – I wasn’t. I was scared. But then we saw him/her – our baby. And it was amazing. So tiny, so precious, so ACTIVE! The sonogram technician said, “Well, I can tell you this much – all of that movement is definitely a good sign. You have one very mobile baby in there”. And, at that very moment we saw our sweet baby jump and both arms flew towards his head and Jeff said, “Look! He says ‘HI’ like his daddy does – with both hands!”. That is when I lost it and began to cry – happy tears this time. I was so relieved that everyone – my baby and myself – was okay. I began thanking God immediately.
When the doctor came back to our room with the results from the lab work and sonogram it was well past 2AM. She told us that everything looked just fine, except for the level of sugar I had coursing through my body. I explained to her that earlier that night I’d made blueberry lime jelly and had eaten one or two (okay three) biscuits completely slathered with it. She agreed that that was probably why my sugar levels were sky high. But, no bladder infection. No problem with the baby. And no explanation for why I was having terrible cramps in my lower abdomen. She suggested that perhaps it was because I wasn’t drinking enough water and encouraged me to make sure I get at least eight glasses a day.
Jeff and I drove home happy. We’d seen our baby and knew that he/she was just fine. I was still in a lot of pain, but I wasn’t scared anymore and that made the pain bearable. What started off as a terrible and scary night turned into the night that we were able to see our baby for the first time, and for that reason it ended up being quite lovely.
At WEEK 13 our baby was around 3 inches long, about the size of a nectarine. Fingerprints had formed on our baby’s tiny fingertips, veins and organs were clearly visible through still-thin skin, and his/her body was starting to catch up with his/her head — which made up just a third of his/her body size.
NECTARINE AND BLACKBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH FRESH WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
As I admitted above, I had planned on doing a peach recipe for WEEK 13. But, for the life of me could not find one. I searched at least 10 different stores in two different cities. So, much like WEEK 10 (where I had planned on using kumquats but ended up using habanero peppers) I decided to switch gears. And, I’ll tell you now – I’m glad I did! Because nectarines are delicious! I’d never had one before today, but I’ll certainly be eating them from now on! They’re just like peaches, only not fuzzy, making them super easy to prepare. They’re just as sweet, perhaps not as juicy, but equally delicious and satisfying. I wish I’d know that two weeks ago!
For this recipe I used Betty Crocker’s shortcake recipe using Bisquick because I wanted to make a short-cut shortcake and they turned out fantastic. Light and sweet with a tender inside and crispy outside. You are welcome to use whatever shortcake recipe you want, though.
- 1 (6 oz) pkg blackberries, washed and drained
- 3 nectarines, cut into chunks (no need to remove skin)
- 1/4 c white sugar
For the shortcakes –
- 2-1/3 c Original Bisquick mix
- 1/2 c milk
- 3 TBSP white sugar
- 3 TBSP butter, melted
For the whipped cream –
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 c powdered sugar
- (If using the this shortcake recipe) Set oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix blackberries and nectarines with 1/4 c sugar and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir Bisquick, milk, 3 TBSP sugar and butter until a soft dough forms. Drop into six equal mounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until gold brown. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until desired consistency.
- Split warm shortcakes and fill with fruit mixture and whipped cream. Enjoy!