Friday, September 14, 2018

Hark! A baby!


Baby bean is here! Well, to be more precise, baby bean is now more than a month old and over 10 lbs (I may have cheated slightly by nursing her before they weighed her). There's nothing stopping me from writing here. She's a sleeper. I'm just lazy!


Her first and middle name mean 'peace' in two languages and she's living up to it, completely unlike her big brother, with whom we stumbled around in a sleep-deprived haze for the first two years. She is a 'trick baby' - tricks its parents into thinking babies are easy. (100% of smug sleep-training guides are written by the parents of trick babies.) I joke that if we'd had her first, the kids would be closer in age...

So, mentally, I could go back to work tomorrow. Emotionally and intellectually, I really enjoy baby snuggles (and catching up on my reading/ TV*, heh) and I know that this is probably going to be the last time I have a teeny tiny infant. Meanwhile, my husband had a couple of weeks off and is working from home. We don't have any family nearby so having him around for non-baby chores is invaluable! Thanks to a flexible, all-but-dissertation grad-student schedule, we spent the last two weeks reconnecting over board games while the baby napped and the big kid was in preschool.

Physically, the last few weeks of pregnancy, I was just DONE. Basically any time I left the house, I was a sweaty, uncomfortable mess, buoyed only by the thought that I couldn't possibly be pregnant forever. Fortunately, labor and delivery were fast  and intense. The day before my due date, we went to the hospital at 8am, and by 3.30pm, voila, baby. Being well-rested and pushing for only 10 minutes has made recovery that much easier - no pee leakage and my pelvic floor, core and legs feel so much stronger than the first time around. The minor trade-off is stretch marks and a squishy middle - I'll take it.


Ironically I am running no miles and eating no ice cream unless it's dairy- and soy-free. Baby bean is sensitive to something in my diet, as per the gas, goopy diapers and blood in stools, and those are the two most common triggers. This makes grocery shopping a challenge and eating out a nightmare. My 3 most helpful tips, via friends:

- Look up Whole30 recipes, as those are free of dairy and soy and generally don't use processed ingredients with soy hiding in them.
- Look for foods labeled parve/ pareve -- under Jewish law, you can't consume meat and dairy together, so these foods (which are 'neutral' & can be eaten with either meat or dairy) definitely don't contain any hidden dairy, you just have to check for hidden soy ingredients.
- Coconut aminos are a decent direct substitute for soy sauce.

it's very kind of him to read to her but 100% of the audience is asleep

What now? I'm itching to run again. Starting again will be slow and frustrating. But I trust that my body knows how to run (been doing this since I was 12) that it'll come back to running when I'm ready (having taken breaks before, first for dance and then for baby 1) and that I'll one day feel stronger and sharper and hungrier for speed than I ever have before (not 'back to the same', but beyond it).

I'll run this fall, of course, but I'm not planning to race till mid or late 2019. I want to enjoy life with two kids, figure out a new routine, and while I'm doing so, figure out how to fit the necessary 'extra salt' (strength, stretching, rolling etc) into my routine. What better time to build in the extra salt from scratch, if my world is going to be turned upside down and rebuilt anyway?


*Reading, TV and boardgames enjoyed:
Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1
The tail end of Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Season 1
Exo, Fonda Lee
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I was Ready, Meghan O'Connell
The Smartest Kids in the World, Amanda Ripley (on the education systems of the best-performing countries)
Let Your Mind Run, Deena Kastor
Educated, Tara Westover
Pandemic: Legacy, Season 1 (boardgame, good for 2 players)

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