And that explains March.

honk up kat's sourdough it's a girl winter rosemary mastsTwo months! I did not expect to stay quiet so long. The short version of events is that I spent February very pregnant indeed: exhausted, contemplative, huddled against the chill and snuggled up with my boy in our last weeks as a dyad. For a time it seemed I might be pregnant forever – but instead I had a baby, and that explains March, I think.

I don’t intend to write too much here about about the final weeks of my pregnancy (which were more intense than I expected) or my labor (which was more beautiful than I expected) or our first weeks together as a family of four (delicious, but also something I want to protect). But I’m home with just the baby this weekend, and the day is stretched out before me in a blissful haze of nursing and nuzzling and coffee sipping and probably a misty walk to the bay. I think I’ll have to wait for this sweet fog to dissipate a bit, or at least until some semblance of a nap rhythm emerges, before I return to writing here in earnest (I have so many ideas for this space!) – but I want very much to check in, and also to yoke a few words to these fleeting weeks.

I can’t think of a single thing analagous to bringing a baby into the world, and appropriately, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the last five weeks thinking Enormous Thoughts. Did I really grow AN ACTUAL PERSON inside my belly, again? Does my body really make food for her? Are we qualified to usher these tiny exquisite people through this scary and beautiful world for the next twenty years? 

Much of the time, though, I am just here. I hold my babies close, and I cheer on the melting snow, and I watch gulls soar high above the surf before dropping clams onto the rocks below to crack them open. In the evenings, I crack open one rich and malty porter and I lean against my husband’s shoulder and we start another episode of Breaking Bad (and I look down at the sleeping newborn on my lap and whisper to her: dream of mama milk and big brotherly love instead of a suspicious old RV in the desert outside of Albuquerque).

And I eat. Man, there is nothing like pushing a baby out of your body and then feeding that baby with your body to make food taste otherworldly. Here’s just some of what we’ve been eating:

  • this pulled pork with ancho, cinnamon, and cocoa, which remains one of the best things I have ever eaten
  • these lamb shoulder chops braised in garlicky tomatoes and a bit of white wine
  • this cauliflower roasted with thyme and parmesan
  • bowl upon bowl (upon bowl) of this oatmeal (I like it with yogurt and half an apple, diced)
  • these scones with prunes, caraway, and olive oil
  • these blondies (twice!)
  • an amazing pecan sourdough boule from Kathya, and many bowls of this popcorn on Sunday nights when we watch David Attenborough documentaries as a family (my mind is still completely blown by what I’ve learned about monotremes), and a not insignificant amount of chocolate sent in the sweetest care packages by friends who understand me
  • a freezer full of sturdy stews and casseroles – a true labor of love on the part of my mom and dad, who don’t even eat much meat, but who figured oh so rightly that the sort of dishes that usually grace a church potluck table would also be deeply appealing to a woman who just had a baby and her farmer husband

It’s a delicious, if fairly monochromatic, list. Hearty fare. The right sort of stuff to see us through The Winter That Would Not End. But I’ve been thinking about coaxing spring indoors with these pea shoots, and down at the farm, the greenhouse is filling with seedlings, and the chickens have started laying again, really laying. I’m really excited about fresh food. More importantly, I feel like I’ve made it through, am more or less on the other side of something really hard: leaving our farm, leaving New York, letting go of the pregnancy and birth I had expected, soldiering through a long winter. I don’t know what this spring holds, but I do like these blue skies.

9 thoughts on “And that explains March.

  1. Jennifer Jo

    Congratulations! And I’m glad to see you’re back!

    After seeing that you and I share a fondness for the same types of foods (the last few wedges of caraway prune scones are hanging out in my freezer waiting for a hot bake in the oven…), I thought I’d pass on this roasted cauliflower soup. It’s from Joy the Baker (but it felt like a Luisa soup), and I made it the same day my sister-in-law had her third baby. I gave her a pint of it because it felt like just the thing for a new (again) mother. http://bit.ly/1ofmOKH

    Soak up the milky baby smells for me. I miss those fuzzy little heads…

  2. KC

    I would love to have you over to my house to wine and dine with me. It sounds like you enjoy food as much as I do and therefore we would have the grandest time. Thrown in four kids under 5 and who knows what fun can be had!

  3. Sarah

    Hooray for those pea shoots! For someone who has a real garden/farm/etc. I know it can seem gimmicky, but there’s definitely something nice about the windowsill nearness of them. Cheers—S

  4. amanda

    love seeing you surface and stop in here. those last weeks of pregnancy and the first weeks of new baby are a sacred time, meant to be savored. glad you’re doing just that. xo

  5. Kener

    I’m thrilled that you did check in. I had just discovered you during your last blog. Reading today’s makes me want to read more. But I understand with a newborn and another child and a hubby. I’ll satisfy myself by reading your old blogs.

  6. amanda

    oh I’m so happy that you shared a bit of these precious days~ love your writing here in this post, laughed at the whisperings to babe over Breaking Bad, lulled into a happy place at the mention of blissful and hazy days spent nursing, snuggling, drinking coffee and walking in the mist. perfect. and I know it isn’t all perfect, moment to moment, of course, but you make it sound just right~
    cheers!

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