The Birth!

So our baby boy is out loose in the world at last and life, as we know it has altered forever.

So in the end all my yoga, birth training and intimate (ick!) massages were in vain. Baby Bean was delivered by c-section just over a week early. There was a bit of a frantic dash to the hospital after a phone call from my doctor that included the panic-inducing sentence “we’re delivering this baby tonight!”. To explain I am Rhesus negative and had some blood test results that suggested he had better come out sooner rather than later. When his call came I was lying on my bed in a towel (post bath), settling into a Girls marathon and a box of truffles. Minutes later I was running around the house throwing essentials (like A.S. Byatt’s tome of a novel Possession) into an Ikea bag and frantically calling Tom. Yes, despite repeated warnings in the prenatal class, I never did pack the hospital bag. Tom came home to this scene and calmly grabbed a snack (a snack!) while I finished flinging things around. We actually had a bit of trouble hailing a taxi I’m convinced that unoccupied taxis see a heavily pregnant woman with a suitcase and deliberately switch their lights on to avoid a potential soilage scenario.

When we arrived at the hospital I was installed on the labour ward while they set up a monitor on the baby. All around me woman were in the throws of the miracle of life wailing, vomiting, crying etc and as frightened as I was of the surgery I did think I was probably lucky dodging the birth bullet. We decided to name the little bean Orpheus…only joking! We went with Henry in the end to at least try to set the tone for a normal childhood though with us for parents…!

I decided to breast feed, which I am currently finding quite a challenge. A lot of people warned me that nursing would take a lot of energy so right now I am just devoting myself to feeding Henry and ignoring the chaos currently reigning in our house. Anyone who comes to visit without Tupperware containers of delicious food is turned away. I’m finding that nursing is making me insanely hungry and unfortunately all that seems to be within reach is the chocolate digestives so I have a big stash of these tasty fig and coconut truffles to keep me going. They are so easy to make that I was able to instruct Tom remotely from my newly christened “Breast Nest” (it’s an armchair with loads of strategically placed pillows and errant breast pads where I feed the baby). On a side note now that the novelty of breastfeeding has worn off I find I am in need of distraction during feeds (with Henry it actually seems to be just one really long continuous feed). So here are some suggestions for those looooonnnnngggg nights in your own “Breast Nest”:

1) Podcasts- such a life saver. Now I find myself saying things like “have you heard that Miriam Meets with Amy Huberman and her mother?”!

2) Friends who have emigrated- it’s always daytime somewhere.

3) Water, cups of tea and snacks- the deal I’ve struck with Tom is that once I am installed with these essentials he can go back to bed (I figure no point in both of us being up and he can pay me back with a morning lie in).

Fig and Coconut Truffles (makes 12-15 truffles)

  • 100g dried fig
  • 100g dried apricot
  • 100g pitted dates
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 25g desiccated coconut

Place all the dried fruit in the food processor along with the cocoa powder and maple syrup and blitz until well blended. Taste the mixture and add a little more maple syrup if you like the extra sweetness. Spoon out 20g chunks of mixture onto a baking sheet then roll between your palms to make little balls. Roll each ball in the coconut, pressing the coconut gently, place the truffles on a plate and refrigerate to firm up. I like my truffles out of the fridge anyway and these healthy little treats really remind me of chocolate truffles.

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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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