Do y'all wanna see photos of my little future kitchen helper? I sure hope so.
So, CAMILLE. She came out of me. I can't believe it, but she did. I am not sharing my birth story, because this is a food blog. If you're anxious about child birth, and want to hear my happy, positive experience, email me and I will share everything with you.
I am weirdly proud of her stats. Out of my tiny body, I had a big, healthy 7-pound 10-ounce babe. She was 20" long, and her feet are so big, they barely fit on the paper for stamping. Now I know why I always felt her foot in my rib cage.
I do want to share about the foods I ate to put me into labor, and the foods I'm eating now. Because: food blog. You know. So, I was 39 weeks and 2 days, and feeling great. I was starting to feel some aches and pains from the excess weight, but otherwise totally fine. And then bam! This little doubt crept into my mind that my body could not start labor on its own. I know most first babes are late, but I was anxious.
I asked Dr. Google about foods that cause uterine contractions. It turns out, foods that cause inflammation in your body can cause contractions. These foods are normally absent from my diet, since we mainly follow the Mediterranean diet that is sometimes called the 'anti-inflammation diet.' So, I told my husband 'we are going out for cheeseburgers, fries and fried cheese curds tonight. And pick me up a box of real licorice.'
We went to dinner at 8pm. Things started happening 7 minutes past midnight. Oh yeah. Greasy, fried food and licorice put me into labor, I believe. It's probably not true, but those types of foods are a real shock to my system, since I tried to eat healthfully my entire pregnancy. I mean, I did go through an intense chocolate milk phase and ate SO many desserts at the end, but overall, I was healthy. Almost everything I ate during pregnancy was homemade. I'm such a believe in that. Even if I'm going to eat chocolate cake, I'm going to make it from scratch.
What am I eating now? I'm such a believer in healing foods. I read somewhere that strawberries have natural aspirin in them, and I could use a little pain relief right now. I bought that GIANT box of strawberries at Costco. You know the one. You walked by it and said 'there's no way I could eat that whole box before it goes bad.' Um, I did. I'm also eating tons of yogurt. I had a teensy tiny little fever during labor and they gave me a dose of antibiotics. I swear, I didn't really have a fever. I dealt with the pain of contractions by placing a blanket over my head, and I think it just made me hot. But, anyway, I want to build my immune system back up, so serious yogurt sessions right now.
BREAKFAST: I stocked our freezer with homemade bread loaves, and eat two slices every morning with nut butter. On the side: yogurt + strawberries. I've always been a huge milk drinker, and I usually guzzle my first glass in the morning. I'm finally allowing myself a little caffeine again in the form of green tea. I've never been a coffee drinker, but you know this.
LUNCH: My lactation coach told me that oatmeal helps with milk production, so I usually eat oatmeal for lunch. My favorite flavor combo is prunes + lemon zest + hazelnuts. But, dried figs + orange zest + chia seeds is another great one. Sometimes, I get lazy and just stir peanut butter, cocoa powder, and brown rice syrup into the bowl. I usually add a big glop of applesauce on top, too. Does that sound disgusting? Sorry.
SNACKS: I always have an afternoon snack. Well, snackS, really. I've been into my Kerrygold cheese stash, crackers, popcorn, and more fruit. Oh, and a glass of milk or calcium-fortified orange juice. Melons are so, so great for a dehydrated nursing Mama.
DINNER: Dinner is one of the many meals my sweet, sweet Mom packed in our freezer. She stocked us with Southern comfort casseroles (like my Chicken Spaghetti recipe), and they feel so good in my belly. I love them. (Warning: Velveeta alert. She puts in her casseroles, and I love it! It's my food cheat forever and ever, Amen).
I have strong urges to cook again. And I have. The second night home, I made breakfast tacos and fried potatoes for dinner. We ate it at 9pm, but I'm still counting it as 'I cooked dinner.' I took the next night off from cooking, but managed to make Marcella Hazan's 3-ingredient tomato sauce to slather on meatballs from the freezer.I stuffed them into rolls to make meatball subs, and I also ate them spooned over polenta, too.
So, I'm up in the middle of the night at least twice for feedings. And I get HUNGRY. I also get cookie crumbs on Camille's sweet little head. I stocked my freezer with Mel's Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola cookies. Again, with the oatmeal.
It's so, so good to be home. Hospital food was terrible. I subsisted on fruit plates and bags of pretzels. I ordered a breakfast bagel with scrambled egg whites and Swiss chard one morning. What I got was a white bagel with burned egg whites and 2 (TWO) leaves of baby spinach. BABY spinach. My husband went out to get me Panera the next night. I'm happiest when I'm eating well, and taking care of myself with food is the only way I'm surviving on 4-hour bursts of sleep.
I'm not sure if I'm doing this the right way, but the way I've been feeding Camille is to wake her every 2-3 hours during the day. At night, I try to get one or two 4-hour stretches out of her. It's been hard, but last night, I think we found the answer. We put her in one of those swaddle sleepers plus we swaddle her in a muslin blanket on top. Two swaddles = two extra hours of sleep. It's glorious.
Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to buy every single swaddle sleeper I can find at Babies R Us.
Thanks for spreading kindness, friends!