I just need some SLEEP!

When Henry was a newborn, like all newborns, he didn’t sleep that much. Every night I sat up boob-feeding him and listening to podcasts to wile away the terminally long nights. In the daytime during his naps I did as I had been advised to do and slept while he slept. This was all fine as I had nothing else pressing to do while on my maternity leave and also I was reassured by everyone from my mother to the woman in the supermarket that this was a phase and that he would eventually achieve that fabled state of “sleeping through’. And you know what? He did.

He began to ‘sleep through’ at the tender age of SIX WEEKS! Practically unheard of! While my other mum-friends where up all night and agonizing over ‘dream feeds’ and ‘sleep-training’ I was smugly asleep. Obviously I had sense enough not to gloat about this fact and I was so superstitious of breaking the magical streak of ‘sleeping through’ that I never spoke about it lest he stop. And you what? He did stop.

Two months ago he completely regressed to a newborn state of being up all night, merrily munching away and has been torturing me on a nightly basis since. Again I am being reassured on all sides that this is just a phase and that eventually everyone ‘sleeps through’. “But I’m not sleeping through!” I feel like shouting. I’d give anything to be able to sleep through… his cries that is! Tom on the other hand is a great sleeper. So on the nights when I deem it to be his turn, I have to give him a few kicks to get him up for the baby — meaning that I am awake whether I’m on Henry-duty or not. The main problem with all this is that I have now gone back to work so sleeping when Henry is sleeping is no longer an option.

Also I’m discovering that once the baby hits the six month mark people expect you to resume functioning on a normal level, which is completely impossible on no sleep. I feel I should qualify at this point that I love my baby yadayadayada but I just need some SLEEP. Okay rant over. When things are getting a bit much I naturally turn to comfort eating, and it is the season for comfort eating. This chowder is warming on a cold winters night and is suitable to blend up for Henry so at least if I’m putting in overtime through the night this makes feeding time a bit easier.

Salmon and Corn Chowder

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 230ml low salt or baby stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300g skinned salmon fillets
  • 350ml milk
  • 150g sweetcorn
  • A Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Peel and finely chop the shallots, carrots, potatoes and celery. Sautee these for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Peel and finely slice the garlic and add this to the pot. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaves. Bring the pot to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Check the fish for any fine bones and then cut into chunks. Add these to the pot with the milk and sweetcorn. Turn up the heat and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes more to cook the salmon. At this point I remove a small quantity to blend for the baby before finishing the rest with the parsley, roughly chopped and a few squeezes of ground pepper.

Sarah Greene

I recently became pregnant to my delight, shock, awe, terror… you get the idea! I’ve been working as a chef since leaving college and have had the good fortune to have worked in kitchens in New Zealand and France before moving back home to Dublin last year to “settle down”. This involved marrying my boyfriend and then moving back into my parents’ house. I know, I know. There’s something wrong with this picture. In our defence we are currently trying to get a mortgage and saving for our first house so it’s not quite the arrested development that it sounds like. In all I think it’s going okay and my parents are slowly adjusting to the ‘clothing optional’ policy Tom adopts at breakfast time. Currently I work as a café cook in a busy and very popular breakfast and lunch spot in Dublin City.

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