Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Feeding Samantha and us

You know you are a geek when your one week old child has a blog. I must say that it was Jason's idea. I was way too overwhelmed the first week to write anything. But I am finally getting into a routine. It looks something like this.
  • Feed Sammy
  • Change a diaper
  • Feed Sammy some more (she likes a little dessert after a diaper change). In fact, she likes multi-course meals. Sometimes we end up going through 4 breasts in one feeding. I mean she'll eat some on the right, then take a 5 minute break. Then some on the left. Another break. Then right again, and left again.
  • Swaddle Sammy
  • Put her in the crib
  • 5 minutes later Sammy is crying because she managed to unswaddle herself and can't fall asleep.
  • Reswaddle her, rock her, and put her to sleep again.
  • Phew -- try to eat and drink to get ready for the next feeding.
  • Rinse and repeat
Today was going so well, that I even managed to write a little post about breast feeding on Sammy's blog. If that's a topic near and dear to your heart, check it out. But I assume most of you care more about what Jason and I have been eating than what Sammy's been eating. So here is a little update.

For the first week and a half, we are eating amazingly well. A lot of it is thanks to wonderful friends, and Jason's willingness to go food shopping and help in the kitchen.

The hospital food was horrible (no salt, vegetables cooked beyond recognition, overcooked fish and meat, and unbelievable amount of mayo). But Zia Gaia and Zio Jerome (zia and zio are aunt and uncle in Italian) came to visit us the day after Sammy was born with prosciutto wrapped pears, zucchini hummus rolls, pasta, carrot fennel salad, roasted salmon, fruit tarts and champagne! I've never felt so pampered in my life :) Maybe I should give birth more often...

A few days later, I got an e-mail from Genieve signed "Your pregnant friend." That's to remind me who she was because we just met in a cafe a few days before I gave birth. Oh, but how could I forget! Genieve is due in a few months and we hit it right off talking about pregnancy, babies, food, and France. I couldn't believe that someone I've only met twice would be so kind as to leave food by my door. It couldn't come at a better time since we were in the middle of a little breast feeding crisis that day and the last thing on my mind was what to feed Jason and myself.

Diana and Tse Wei of Love + Butter and Off the Bone blog have offered to bring food too. I feel almost guilty accepting their help now since we are getting back to normal, so I am taking a rain check till another crisis which I am sure will arise earlier or later.

What have we been eating otherwise? Pretty good stuff:
  • Tuna sashimi (courtesy of Carl at the New Deal Fish Market). On our first day from the hospital, Jason stopped by to tell Carl the good news. Carl insisted on sending him home with a gift of a gorgeous piece of big-eye tuna. The easiest meal for nursing moms: slice, eat, and enjoy! All you folks concerned about me eating tuna while nursing, please don’t waste your effort on warning me. I’ve looked into this issue in great detail and came to a conclusion that one piece of tuna every few weeks will do way less damage than the “nutritious” food given to us at the hospital.
  • Broiled bluefish and bass. Best 10 minute dinners. Jason cooked us a large pot of lentils and we’ve been having it as sides combined with some roasted or sautéed veggies.
  • Braised short ribs with noodles. I had some left in the freezer from BC era (that’s “before children”)
  • Seafood and corn bisque. I had that one in the freezer from BC era too. After defrosting, we added some canned crab meat, frozen corn, cream, and ta-da – looks like we are having a fancy meal.
  • Burgers – that’s the one thing I didn’t eat during pregnancy. A medium-rare burger. We opened a bottle of Vietti Barolo that we brought back from Italy 2 years ago to celebrate Sammy’s one week birthday. Of course, she woke up demanding food as soon as I put the burgers on the grill and there went the relaxing dinner :) But Jason and I did have a quiet and awfully good glass of wine once she was fed, changed, and quiet again.
  • Beat risotto with Swiss chard – Jason picked up our farm share on Sunday which made side dishes very easy for this whole week. All we have to do is stop by the fishmonger or butcher to pick up some protein. But since the local fish shop was closed yesterday, we just had a vegetarian meal. It was a nice change after burgers.
That’s all the news from Lake Wobegon (Fresh Pond in our case), where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.


Katerina said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you are eating better then any Mum with a 3 week old child I have ever met. Or me currently, when it all comes down to it.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Sounds like you are doing so well. And please, do appease me by eating some raw milk cheeses as well. I truly think some of these rules about women can and can't have whilst pregnant/breast feeding have gone over the deep end. *ducks anticipated flame mail*
I love to hear a much more reasonable learned tone.
Oh..and i adore the prairie home sign off.

Anonymous said...

Your post absolutely glows with the wonderfulness of new parenthood, Helen! In the world of perfect timing, Mark Bittman, the Minimalist at the New York Times just did an amazing article:

Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less.

Not recipes per se, but short descriptions of fast, easy, delicious things to make. Print it out. Stick it on your fridge. It will save your sanity more than once, I'm sure.


Helen said...

Jo: raw milk cheeses -- bring it on :) I actually ate them all through my pregnancy since according to the stats the odds of harming your baby with listeria are WAY lower than the odds of harming your baby by driving in cambridge. I decided to cut down on the driving and eat my cheese ;)

Terry: great suggestions from Bittman. That's just the kinds of meals we've been making. Dinner tonight is going to be Salade Nicoise. I was blanching green beans, boiling eggs, and making dressing in between trying to rock Samantha to sleep (it's been a tough morning -- she didn't settle down till 1pm!)

Oh, there she is again. Got to run.

Anonymous said...

I have faith that you will continue to eat well - thanks for sharing your fortunes so far. And that picture is one of the nicest things I've seen in weeks (maybe this year!).

Anonymous said...

congratulations again, on breastfeeding and eating in style. Not to scare you, but since you refer to saving friends' offers of food until the next crisis...Our first crisis came when both my husband and I became ill at the same time, while I was breastfeeding. Another time came when I woke up with my neck absolutely stuck in the position I'd assumed while asleep....turned all the way to the left! Just try breastfeeding like that! Anyway, it's so great to have friends to call upon in those situations, to feed you or just to take the babe for an hour's stroll. I never was the type to pump and freeze much milk, but when I needed to take some medication to unfreeze my neck, I was glad to have what little breastmilk I did have in the freezer. Here's to your continued good eating and living/loving with your babe.

Anonymous said...

Love the pic above. Glad you've been getting offers for some better food. Happy eating!


Anonymous said...

hi, do you read barbara's blog tigers & strawberries? she wrote about baby food, etc. do check it out, it's excellent.

Helen said...

Anonymous: oh my, that sounds scary! I was actually thinking -- what happens if I get sick. I think I'll start pumping once a day and freezing the milk in case of emergency.

Maninas: thanks for the baby food tip. I'll check it out.

dina (Lucas' mom) said...

aww look at those little feet..congrats!

shecurmudgeon said...

Those feet! Oh my goodness! That's what I would have for dinner. : ) Congratulations.