The Post Partum Vegetarian: Mom and Baby
The Arrival Of A Vegetarian Baby Girl!
Baby Yosefina is a month old, and my brain is starting to produce coherent thoughts again! Yay!
When Mom said my brain would turn to mush at the end of my pregnancy, I was skeptical. I’ll be just fine, I thought. I’m strong. I’ll work right up until the day and I’ll be just as alert as ever.
I should have known Mom is always right. First it was all I could do to drag myself through my day job. I had to go on maternity leave at the end of week 35. If anyone tells you how she worked long days on her feet right up until she went into labor, file that with the other fairy tales and plan on stopping work a bit earlier.
Once on maternity leave, I was putting so much creative energy into growing a baby that I didn’t have any to spare. Thus the long blog silence. Sorry for keeping you in suspense!
Yosefina was born 9 days early, after eighteen hours of labor, by emergency C-Section. I did my darndest to push her out, but she was face up and stuck. My doctor tried to turn her – no luck. So it’s just as well I didn’t go for a home birth this time around.
Sigh. The best laid plans of mice and vegetarians …
The good news is that Yosie is healthy and gaining well. We’re co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and according to the lactation specialist, this vegetarian mom is producing enough milk for two babies. I know she’s eating well. She started out at 7 lb 13oz, and is now 9 lb 4oz. Go, Yosie, go!
But I have to eat more than ever! Oh yes. The food craziness doesn’t end with pregnancy. Nursing mothers need 500 extra calories, over and above the theoretical 2000, according to ‘Becoming Vegetarian’.
That’s Good Calories, mind you – not extra helpings of dessert. Still, they can be a quite tasty 500 calories – as long as baby can digest them. Next time, I’ll pass on the big chocolate brownie. It was heavenly, but not worth the sleepless night that followed, soothing a gassy baby.
She tolerates my morning smoothie well, and that is a very yummy calorie-laden breakfast. For my Nursing Mother Smoothie, I add Greek yogurt, finely ground cashews, banana, mango, a couple of dates, and whatever other soft fruit I have on hand (peaches are awesome!) I use water and orange juice to thin it out.
Until just a few days ago, I had my Mom here to make the smoothie for me, along with blanched almonds and oatmeal. Now that is one serious breakfast. I’m doing my best to keep it up, with some success.
Having Mom (aka the Savvy Vegetarian) here to feed me while I recovered from the birth was amazing. We were happy to be guinea pigs while she worked on a corn chowder recipe, tinkered with her black bean burger recipe, and made amazing peach crisp with ripe Missouri peaches – several times.
We tried to keep her, but she was afraid my father would starve. What really helped was the food Mom brought me in the hospital. I found a few decent things on the hospital menu, but not enough to feed me well for three days.
If you’re a pregnant vegan, I recommend lining up somebody to bring you food if you give birth in the hospital. Otherwise you’ll probably starve – at least you would in my hospital. Then again, I live in the Midwest. Maybe hospitals on the coasts are hipper… maybe.
Here in Springfield, MO. they frowned at me for co-sleeping, and when I had trouble getting started with breastfeeding, the pediatrician threatened me with formula (Grrr). Thank goodness for Kathy, a pediatric nurse who’s also a lactation specialist. Kathy went out of her way to help me get Yosie latched on. She stood out in a sea of people who came and went, just doing their jobs. Bless her.
I am so glad to be home again where I can relax. Hospitals are good for life saving, but lousy for rest. Baby and I are developing a routine, and I am learning what not to eat. I’m lucky to feed myself and get a couple things done in a day – a little laundry, a few stretches, a few paragraphs of writing. Part of this was written while jiggling Yosie on my lap.
I know this will get easier and that more of my brain cells will come back. And I’ll be writing more posts for Savvy Veg as I learn how to be a veggie mom. I’m sure I’ll have an opinion or three to share.