Postpartum reflections with Grilled Muenster and Truffle Honey

I started this blog years ago for a few reasons:

1) to give myself some creative outlet when I felt like I settled, selling my soul to banking (I no longer work in banking)

2) to inspire any who would read it to cook and eat well and happily and easily (I had my husband in mind as the specific audience type – one who originally knew only how to boil water and fry an egg when it came to cooking because he could not make a meal without a recipe). This was always meant to be a recipe-less blog

Now I’m adding a third reason for myself and anyone else who needs it:

3) to keep reminding myself and committing myself to cooking and enjoying cooking even postpartum (1 month and 1 day now as of today, May 7, 2022).

Everyone says you have time for nothing once you have a baby and they’re not really wrong. I believed people in theory but had a hard time understanding why this would be the case. Well I for sure know now!

My days now are filled with feeding my baby, burping him, changing diapers, pumping, sterilizing bottles and pump parts (I did not know this was a thing!), changing his clothes, and holding him as he screams his head off until he is soothed and he falls asleep…all of this every 3 hours. In the 2 or less hours I usually have in between, I try to eat something, pee, and load the dishwasher (I am forever loading the dishwasher these days).

My body doesn’t feel like mine, I have pain in areas I’d really rather not name, and I’m still adjusting to how much my body has changed and continues to change daily even 4.5 weeks after birth.

Needless to say, cooking and the joy I derive(d) from it has not been easy to get back – mainly because I struggle to have time for it these days and it physically hurts to do it.

But I haven’t given up and I refuse to. My kitchen is mine and it will remain my happy place! Especially since I finally got the oven I’d waited the entire duration of my pregnancy to receive.

Oven of my dreams: ordered July 2021. Received March 2022.

If chopping up onions and tomatoes on my Boos Block gave me joy before birthing, it gives me tenfold joy now.

The picture above is a meal I asked my husband to make – a meal I would have wanted to enjoy before having a child and didn’t want to now not have time for after having a child.

The truffle honey my dear friend Jenny bought for me demands all future grilled cheeses to be made to include it.

Here are my gratitude reflections for all things I had taken for granted which I pondered on while enjoying every crunchy delicious bite:

  • Being able to move without help. Right after delivery, I could not get out of bed without my husband lifting me up. I could not pee without the nurse. And forget about #2 – I was so terrified of it I avoided it for 3 days. And yes it was as horrible as I feared when it finally did come.
  • Being able to see my ankles
  • Being able to

Well I never did get to finish my post and I guess this is postpartum reality – a lot of things started and unfinished. When baby cries, there I go.

But now three weeks later – May 29, I sit at a local cafe enjoying a hot chai latte and slice of pound cake in the company of my best friend and husband, and I continue. Because that’s how it works now.

I even appreciate the interruption and attempt now to remember what it was I wanted to not forget being grateful for, so let me try:

  • Seeing my ankles should not be taken for granted. I had swelling during my final days of pregnancy but it was loads worse after birth – it was so intense that I could barely fit my foot into the size up Birkenstocks I had gotten for myself specifically for swollen feet. My face and entire body swelled along with them. When my husband called me beautiful I remember breaking down in sobs as I never felt like I looked uglier and yet so loved by him.
  • Being able to bend down is so delightful! With a 25+ pound bowling ball attached to me during my 3rd trimester, and all the pain I was in weeks after delivery, now being able to put my own socks and shoes on feels like a huge accomplishment.
  • Time. Time to do anything at all. Having time to brush my teeth, wash my face, eat, use the restroom, anything considered ordinary – is no longer to be taken for granted either. Now time revolves around a tiny human and I never know when I will have any of it for myself, so if I have even a minute, it’s precious. I used to be a slow eater, used to like savoring every bite. Now I still enjoy food but at a very accelerated pace. And each day I manage to make the bed, I feel like a winner.

Bottom line, time in my kitchen and time to cook is more precious than ever before. Homemade meals made by me are edible trophies. I still have a great desire to try new things – in fact I managed to BAKE cookies (lactation ones but they’re basically chocolate chip cookies with a few extra ingredients) for the first time ever just a week ago. And now I’m totally wanting to get into baking.

My love for the kitchen and food is still on fire and I’m not letting the flame die – even if it’s much harder now to keep it burning.

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