Pregnancy can bring many surprises to expecting mothers, but this one definitely caught me by surprise — I’ve been told on several occasions that I’m tiny! Okay, when people say this, they don’t mean that I’m tiny but that my stomach is smaller than that of an ordinary 20-plus-week pregnant woman. The former would have been a fabulous compliment, but being told that my stomach seems underdeveloped definitely brings a concern, especially when it comes from your own baby doctor!
From the time I discovered that I’m pregnant, at around 14 weeks, to now, I’m down about 12 pounds from my normal weight. Most of the poundage came off during the first trimester but I haven’t been able to add much more, even as my appetite returned to almost normal. This was definitely a source of my worry and insecurity for the last few weeks.
Luckily, during my last prenatal appointment, I had my belly measured and learned that Pon Pon is growing right on schedule. She’s at around two pounds and 14 inches, spot on with the average 27-week bun in the oven!
A lesson learned here – everyone is different and there is no reason to be worried just because you might think you’re a little different from the mom-to-be next door. Instead of feeling insecure, I’m now considering myself truly, truly lucky that I’m still able to feel comfortable with no back pain, no swelling, and no cramps – symptoms that usually come with an expanding belly. I know that my stomach will expand rapidly as I enter the third trimester, so I’m going to enjoy this “tininess” while it lasts!
On the topic of food … I made some steamed bread for snack this afternoon. I was craving something sweet but not in the form of cookies or anything buttery, so I went to my go-to recipe for the Japanese mushi (steamed) pan (bread).
This is a wonderful recipe! The bread comes out fluffy and nicely chewy, stay moist even the next day. All the ingredients are things that most of us have sitting around in a pantry, and there’s no milk or eggs so it’s health friendly (if you don’t put in chocolate chips, of course). It’s still high in carbs but it is a much better alternative to a calorie-laden cupcakes. You can add matcha green tea powder and azuki (sweet red beans) for Japanese-inspired flavors!
Steamed Bread (Mushi Pan)
Inspired by a recipe from Cookpad.com.
150 g flour
40 g sugar (I used brown sugar)
4 g baking powder
150 ml water
Sprinkle of salt
Handful of chocolate chips
Measure and mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and mix some more (but not too much). Divide and pour the mixture into 5 cupcake linings (I used my trusted silicon liners) and sprinkle a little bit of chocolate chips on top. Steam for 15-30 minutes. Enjoy!