Sunday, 6 June 2010

LABOUR RECIPE: Honey ice pops

I must be emerging from my new-mum bubble. For one thing, I’ve cooked dinner for two consecutive nights and I no longer survive on ginger stem cookies and sponge cake – I throw the odd sandwich into the mix too.

So yes, my bump has become a baby and a beautiful female one at that with skin as velvety as a peach and big expressive hands. At this time just over nine weeks ago I was devouring a celebratory BLT sandwich (made by proud father S) after bringing our daughter into the world in our very own living room. The home birth was everything we hoped it would be – gentle, calm, natural – and with one other major plus: access to our own kitchen. 

In the run-up to the birth, I became fixated on what to eat in labour. I’d recently read that Chris Evans and his wife had gone to Locanda Locatelli for a slap-up dinner while she was in early stages. Okay, I thought, this could be a seminal eating moment. 

A quick ask around the office revealed a wide spectrum of experience from “nothing, I felt too sick” to “Champagne and chocolates” (admittedly post-birth). A friend advised against steak – “too hard to digest” while others relied on M&S sandwiches. S and I deliberated and settled on meatballs – comforting, filling and fuelling. I stocked the cupboards with the right ingredients and added meat-ball making to my nesting list along with regrouting the bathroom and making cushions. None of them were ever ticked off as five days before the bub’s due date, I went into labour.

The day had started with a ravenous hunger (see my previous posting – Berry Blister Smoothie), which clearly was my body’s way of alerting me to the marathon ahead (literally, my midwife said a woman in labour uses the same amount of energy). I had a light lunch then devoured a pack of hot-cross buns then made a salad for dinner (not sure what my body was doing there – wrong signals).

By the next morning, the denial that I was in labour was turning to the realisation that YES, I AM IN LABOUR – and I don’t really fancy making meatballs. It was looking doubtful if I could prepare my other labour snack in time – honey ice pops. One of my managers had suggested it (the very same who ducked out for lobster and chips while waiting for her induction drugs to kick in and packed her favourite chocs for that perfect ‘I’ve done it’ moment). The two seemed the perfect combination - honey gives you a steady energy boost without the refined sugar crash and the ice quenches the thirst of labour.

I quickly made the ice pops, prepared the house for a home birth (birth pool inflated, piles of towels assembled and candles arranged) then headed out for supplies. Flapjacks and posh cold sausages from Flavours deli round the corner, and milk and bread from the corner shop. Within hours we were eating my labour supper – the classic meal for runners or student boozers - chicken and pesto pasta. Not original or inventive, just good stomach-lining food.

Three honey ice-pops later (semi-set but very good) and our baby was nearly with us. And for the final push – two segments of Montezumas dark chocolate. Welcome to the wonderful world of food, Gracie B.

Honey ice pops
Mix a few spoonfuls of honey with cold water. Pour into a mould. If you’re going into hospital, make ice cubes then pop out into a thermos.

No comments:

Post a Comment