Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Care and Feeding of a New Mom, aka, "patrol the permimeter and secure protein."

Here's my short list of things I learned over the first two weeks of "patrolling the perimeter and securing protein," after Laura gave birth to Ivy in our house. 

This time, recovery is all about extra eggy French toast. With Shaw, it was ham and eggs Laura wanted. I'm cooking a lot, focusing on fish, meat, broccoli and salads. Lots of yogurt, eggs, bread, potatoes, yams, are in the house. Our Meal Train started, so we've got food dropped off by wonderful folks a two or three days a week.

Lessons learned, recipes and a shopping list are at the end of this post.

Eggy French toast and ham

The try is actually an old backing pan covered by a napkin, no need to buy more stuff!
Gluten free Cod fish sticks, and I even like them (tons of Parmesan cheese).

Spinach mashed potatoes and  Teriyaki salmon - Omega 3's are key before and after prego

I've been supporting my wife and new daughter in the baby cave for two weeks now at our house now.

I'm also bro'in down with our 2 3/4 year old son Shaw, taking him to school, picking him up at noon, scheduling grandma's and friends for playdates, feeding and putting to bed.

My shoulders are achy, especially my bad one, even though I got to the gym yesterday. I didn't warm up, or i'm just getting old, but that's another post.

She was an eating machine while pregnant. Protein helps keep prego folks from being tired I hear tell....

First off, I understand why a lot of my mother's generation was spent 10 days in the hospital after a birth. My mother's friend Ginny actually has the bill for her birth, it was $36.00 for 10 days. This was about 50 years ago.

I'm not defending the heavily drugged, separated from child, put in stirrups, silliness of that time as good practice nowadays, but I get it for back then. It was a time when many men weren't doing a lot of laundry, cleaning, shopping, and homemaking, midwives weren't as trained, and so a hospital makes sense. And believe me, 10 days make sense.

Laura's body and mind are recovering from a very intense physical event that shot all kinds of adrenalin and natural pain killers through her body as her midsection did UNFATHOMABLE things to push out 9lbs of live baby. He body is drastically reforming, with major organs moving entire feet (nice play on words). Meanwhile, her body, with no turn aournd time, must repurpose as milk producing nursing machine. The midwives are right about short visits, and about the mother not being left alone too long, even if she says it's okay. She is recovering.

Many women over time have recovered and raised great kids without much support at all, but here's what worked for us for the first two kids, both times.

Patrol the perimeter and secure protein list

  • Take care of yourself. When someone is visiting her, go out, go for a walk, or to the gym. 
  • You have only this time when having a kid, so make the most of it. I'd say take at least 10 days off, if not more. You'll have hours every day to work on the computer, or other projects in or near the house, but take off from going into work if at all possible. If you do have to work, get a person to take your place as support person.
  • Hold the baby every day and make eye contact. Changing diapers is an easy way to do this.
  • Learn her appetite, shop for that stuff, and surprises. 
  • Check the house for safety. From fire alarms to door locks, to clutter one could trip over and dryer vents. Thing need to work as best as they can. Check even the car, etc.
  • Keep the house warm and quiet.
  • If folks want to help, have them help with outside the house stuff (shopping, errands).

Recipes and shopping list

I tend to simplify recipes, mostly from The Joy of Cooking and major recipe sites on the Internet. I cook fast and focused and I love it. It's one of the few times I'm in control of almost everything I want to be, and can experiment with lots of variables while in "flow."  
  • Keep a water bottle by her bed full at all times.
  • Keep prunes around. She may...need them. 
  • Eggy French toast. 3 eggs, 1oz water and 1oz milk. Scramble. Soak bread 10 minutes flipping in eggs. Cook in butter. Pore extra eggs over top of toast right after you put it in the pan. Side with ham or sausage and real, Vermont, Maple syrup, if she wants it. Strangely, Laura didn't want any syrup at all this time.
  • Teriyaki Salmon and spinach mashed potatoes: Get salmon, put in a baking dish with some Teriyaki sauce on top. Bake 400 until done. Half potatoes, boil until soft. Mash with butter and milk. Put in lots of spinach while it's hot, mix.
  • Fish Sticks, gluten free and I even liked them! 
  • Yogurts from the discount grocer by the case for Shaw. Throw some high fiber O's in and there's no dishes. But CAUTION..."Fage's," separate fruit containers are trouble since he just eats the fruit...get fuit on the bottom!

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