And then it happened...

We're just a few days away from Thanksgiving, and I've learned new depths of gratitude over the past few months. There aren't words adequate to capture what I mean, but I'll try to get close.

I spent the last part of the summer busy preparing for the birth of our baby. We did all the usual stuff: painting the nursery, assembling furniture, cleaning house, gathering tiny clothes and super soft blankies, etc. Every day, we had a "to do" list as long as my arm and it felt as though we'd never reach the end of the chores, tasks, and projects. Truth be told, we never did. 

Photo by Rachel Joy Baransi

During the last months of my pregnancy, I also turned my focus inward to prepare myself to become a mother. I spent hours each week doing prenatal yoga to strengthen my body and calm my mind. I paid close, careful attention to my diet, ensuring each day that I was getting enough protein, and remembering to take all my vitamins and supplements. What an ironic thing for a long-time vegan like myself to have to worry about! However, when my midwives told me early on in my pregnancy that I should eat between 90-100g of protein every day, I'm pretty sure I didn't believe my ears at first. But, with some quick research and a little advance preparation, it was fairly simple. I'll blog more about that in the future if there's an interest. 

Photo by Rachel Joy Baransi

Labor began in the wee hours of September 4, our due date, and I thought it was some kind of insane miracle that our baby wanted to be born on his due date. For first time mothers, that's pretty rare. However, his entrance took a little longer than expected and he wasn't actually born until the next morning. We welcomed a strong, beautiful baby boy on September 5. As you can imagine, I've had my hands full with him ever since! 

Becoming a parent is not something that happens to you when your baby is born. It begins much earlier, although it's difficult to say exactly "when" it happens. (This isn't a philosophical question about when life begins, by the way. I'm talking more about the mental and emotional changes in the parent.) It's actually a gradual process, though, as you integrate the idea of parenthood into your identity, and you slowly but surely start to realize how BIG it is. And you also realize very quickly that you'll never really understand the breadth and depth of it. It's just not something that is meant to be fully understood or absorbed. It's bigger than us.

Photo by Rachel Joy Baransi
In the coming months, I hope to blog more. Period. 

The focus of my blog won't change. I'm still committed to sharing my advice and recipes for a healthy, whole foods diet and a sustainable lifestyle. I do know that I'll want to tell you more about my vegan diet during my pregnancy, what life (and dinner) is looking like these days, and to share some of the recipes that got us through those first precious weeks when we basically lived at the intersection of Tired and Tired-er. I realize that not all of you dear readers are parents or want to be, but we all have times in our lives when we are stressed, sleep-deprived, lacking in appetite or mental capacity to be creative in the kitchen, and still very much in need of sustenance. I hope my experiences will help anyone who finds themselves dealing with those simple circumstances of this thing we call life.

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