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The Cheese Plate

May 19, 2010

Last night at yoga, we had a doula come speak to us about bringing our little one home. We discussed sleeping, breast feeding, eating, etc. She really stressed the fact that we should not be afraid to ask for help, something I have never been good at doing. I’m a very independent and stubborn person, and I’ve always done my own thing. It is so difficult for me to ask anyone for anything. Do you struggle with this? After the speaker left, our yoga teacher told us that with her first baby (she is 8 months pregnant with her second), she decided to take 40 days to simply bond with her baby, and lined up friends and relatives to come stay with her and husband to help with the baby, cook, chores, etc. I think I’d like to do something like that, but at first I just want it to be me, CD, and baby…at least for a few days. In fact, I think that’s what I’m looking forward to most – those first few days of just being a family. I don’t know – to all the moms out there, how were those first few weeks at home?

Anyway, onto breakfast. Last night was a bit rough, and I was up until midnight feeing AWFUL. My days are so much better, but the nights are still horrible. Everyone tells me it will get better soon. OK, I’m ready…please get better. I just can’t wait to feel normal again, but you know what always helps? CHEESE! πŸ™‚

Whenever I go to a party, it’s never the dessert tray that entices me. Nope, it was always the cheese! I would down 10 cheese cubes before even thinking, and please don’t get me started on the melted brie. Oh, how I loved the brie! I was also the girl who cherry-picked (strawberry-picked?) all the berries from the fruit tray…grapes too. What is about cheese and fruit? I’ve avoided them both for years now. Yes, I still ate fruit, but due to the sugar content, I tried to keep it to one to two servings a day, and as far as dairy goes, I’ve cut way back on my intake over the last two years which has helped tremendously with some chronic infections I was getting. Then I discovered goat cheese which doesn’t seem to bother me, and it’s been a cheese love affair ever since. Seriously, over the past few months, all I have I wanted is cheese, cheese, cheese!

This morning I cut a whole wheat pita pocket in half, and toasted one side with goat milk cheese and the other with blue cheese. Normally I avoid all cheese except the goat stuff, but melted blue cheese sounded so perfect in the moment. So, I went with it. (And yes, I know pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses, but this was pasteurized, and I heated it). I filled the rest of my plate with fresh strawberries and went to town. Again, there is just something to that cheese/fruit combo. It was perfect.


What about you? Which party tray do you gravitate towards? πŸ™‚

107 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 8:18 am

    I looooove cheese too. But I’m also big into salty snacks, so you can usually find me hanging out near the chips and salsa. πŸ˜‰

  2. Kari permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:00 am

    I would have to say the best thing my husband and I did was decide not to have any family or friends stay with us until Ella was a week old. Everybody kept telling us that we were crazy, and that we would definitely need help, but it was such a beautiful time in my life. My husband AMAZED me by totally taking care of us. He is not normally the kind of guy that is nuturing, but having that baby girl brought out the most gentle and loving side of him. He would make fresh juice daily and soaked grain vitamix pancakes/waffles, etc. I do most of the cooking from scratch, and I really thought I would starve during that week, but he wowed me with the best food!! I asked him over and over if he was sure that he didn’t want my mom to come out and help during the first week, but he said that he could handle it and that he wanted that time for just the three of us.

    I really hope that you feel better soon. I had a hard time… veggies for 5 months, all day nausea, etc. The nausea did go away at around 41/2 months, but I never felt normal during my pregnancy. I could only eat or drink small amounts at a time, and found it daunting to get all the food intake I needed daily. However, I never had any back pain, swelling, or other discomforts, and I now have a beautiful little girl that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Hang in there….I’m sure you will start feeling better soon.

  3. May 19, 2010 9:20 am

    It depends on the baby. Some babies just don’t SLEEP! (I’ve had three.) If this is the case, or your baby has any health problems, the idealic “family time” turns into a nightmare with your husband and you so sleep deprived you can’t think straight. If I didn’t have my mom to come help with my third one I probably would have done something or said something I would regret. Some babies though, are angels; especially the first few months. I’m just saying maybe don’t make any decisions now, and have people kinda “on call” for help if you need it. Every baby and family is different.

  4. May 19, 2010 9:27 am

    I always go for the cheese tray or dips, I’m in love with dips.

  5. Claire permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:28 am

    I used to always go for the meat and cheese,but after years of being a bloated child and teen, my doc told me to stay away from dairy:-( Now, I can be found hanging out by the hummus and pita or chips and salsa.I’m known as the chips and salsa bitch.hehe…

  6. Sunshine permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:28 am

    My best advice? Take all advice with a grain of salt. Do what works for you and your family. Be willing to ask for help, yes, if needed, but don’t feel bad if you just want to hang out ‘just the three of you’ for a while.

    The first few weeks are all about adjusting. I mean, you’re bringing a new person into the world and then HOME. There’s only so much you can prepare for…the rest you just figure out as you get to know your baby. And it’s wonderful, and amazing, and exhausting, and every emotion, really at once.

    I truly hope and pray you feel better soon. I remember that icky feeling all too well. My babies are 5 and 3 now.

  7. Dawn permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:31 am

    Hi Heather! I am with you on the cheese, though omelets with Daiya are my
    current favorites. I know you will feel better soon, so just hang in there
    breathing through each moment. And when you feel well? You’ll look back
    and say “man was I ever strong!”

    Thinking of you and sending love!

  8. May 19, 2010 9:36 am

    i definitely gravitate towards the cheese and crackers plate too.

  9. May 19, 2010 9:37 am

    I totally gravitate towards any tray that has fresh, cut-up fruits and vegetables–even if it means grabbing them off the other trays! I especially love strawberries, grapes, and blackberries. I’m not crazy about cheese or dips, but I just can’t enough fruit and veggies! Your pita with cheese, though, looks so delicious! Enjoy that cheeeeese!

  10. May 19, 2010 9:47 am

    I’m offering help in any way I can πŸ™‚ My mom didn’t have a doula, but she did use midwives for all of her pregnancies (3). My grandma lived just a few miles away, so she was always helping out too. She actually retired when I was born so that she could help out.

    I’m always afraid to ask for help. It gets me in trouble though.

  11. May 19, 2010 9:51 am

    Thanks Dawn. πŸ™‚

  12. May 19, 2010 9:51 am

    Thanks Maggie. πŸ™‚

  13. Allison permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:06 am

    Neither my husband or I knew anything about babies when our first one was born. I mean NOTHING. I had never changed a diaper or even held a baby before so we really needed help because we were scared to death we were going to break her. So my mom stayed with us for the first week or so. It really helped to have a third person there with a little more experience. Three kids later, it turns out they’re pretty sturdy and I can nurse one, bath another and do laundry all at the same time:) But I remember being really nervous and overwhelmed with the first one.

  14. May 19, 2010 10:12 am

    Before I went vegan, I would go to town on the cheese platter especially with fruit! Brie and pear is a guaranteed foodgasm πŸ™‚

    Now I hang out at the veggie tray though typically I’m lame and avoid food at parties and eat before (or after). My dietary choices just complicate my friend’s lives and I do not want them to cater to my crazy dietary choices even though they try!!

  15. Meg permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:12 am

    I hated hearing all the “do’s and don’t’s” of pregnancy! You will hear so many crazy things. Funny thing is, other countries have completely different rules. My doc in Japan told me to load up on sushi…no American doc would ever say that :). Also, in Japan they thought driving was too dangerous while preg! hahahah, imagine that! I say eat what you can hold down…that is what I went with anyway.

  16. May 19, 2010 10:14 am

    With the birth of my first child it was mostly just us. We were relieved to get home after a 5 day hospital stay after an emergency c-section. We don’t have family in town so there weren’t a ton of people knocking on our door (except our church family brought food). These first few days of being just a family are intense and special. Like the Sunshine said, do what you need to do for your family.

    I LOVE cheese too!

  17. May 19, 2010 10:17 am

    hmm, how about every plate? haha. i love cheese and crackers, but if there are chips and some kind of dip – salsa, guacamole, hummus, etc. – i’ll just keep inhaling it all!

  18. marshell y. Roper permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:21 am

    Oh yeah!! Give me cheese any kind of cheese and I will eat it.
    I actually think I was “mark” by cheese at birth ( if that is possible)!!!
    A party without a cheese platter, is not a party at all!

  19. May 19, 2010 10:31 am

    Are chocolate covered strawberries a party tray, if so that is my favorite πŸ™‚

  20. May 19, 2010 10:36 am

    Total cheese girl. Fruit, too, but normally cheese. πŸ™‚

  21. May 19, 2010 10:37 am

    I like cheese as well, but the dessert is definitely my favorite at parties. I love when there is a chocolate fountain for chocolate fondue! And dipping in fruit and marshmallows yummm

    Love your blog thanks for the post =)

  22. May 19, 2010 10:37 am

    I’ve been kinda out of it..and away from the computer for some time so this might come as a shock…but CONGRADS on the baby!! I’m so excited for you. Sending big virtual bows for the baby xoxo


  23. May 19, 2010 10:38 am

    Glad you’re starting to feel better. Hopefully your nights will get better soon. I know you are good at listening to your body, so you should be just fine!
    I haven’t craved much at all during my pregnancy, but I find myself gravitating towards cheese ALL THE TIME. I don’t crave it, it just always sounds perfect with every meal and for every snack. Cheese and grapefruits are my 2 things

  24. May 19, 2010 10:42 am

    I gravitate towards peanut butter and coconut oil. I’m craving them as I eat sushi

  25. Sarah permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:43 am

    i am like you! i never really go for desserts…i always crave salty. if there are any chips, cheese or bread i will be eating it!

  26. May 19, 2010 10:44 am

    I agree whole-heartedly with Amara, it completely depends on what your baby and your birth are like.

    If you end up having a C-section, you may need more help due to the surgical aspect, but more importantly if your baby is anything like my first, Gigi, was, you may want help. My mom virtually came to stay with us for the first week and then we were on our own for the next three weeks, barely leaving the house and holing up, like you mentioned. Gigi had jaundice, so she was on these bili-blankets plugged into the wall for most of the day, plus we had trouble breast feeding and she was just downright miserable and colicky for the first three months. I SO appreciated having someone experienced to cook, clean, change diapers or just listen to me vent. Heck, that sounds nice now. I wonder if I’m ovulating πŸ˜‰

    Pea Daddy was there, yes, but he was caught up in the newness of the experience too. It really is like going to a foreign country and not speaking the language, and I saw my mom as the interpreter.

    But you will know what feels right at the time. If being a mom has taught me anything, it’s that you can plan your heart out, but really you aren’t the one who’s in charge πŸ™‚

  27. May 19, 2010 10:48 am

    My sister has a two month old. She is REALLY independent, never asks for help about anything– and she finally broke down after the first week and asked my mom to come help out and sleep over for a few nights. It made a world of difference, and she was really happy that she did it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!!!

  28. Tracy permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:48 am

    I definitely veer to the cheese/fruit/veggie tray over desserts any (every) day!

    Definitely do not be afraid to ask for help!! This is no time to prove you’re Superwoman! Besides I know there are so many of your friends and relatives who would love the chance to help you AND spend time with that little bambino. Who doesn’t love babies!?!

    To be honest, the first few weeks were the easiest for me every time (4 kids, 3 deliveries cuz I have twins). They sleep soooo much during that time. It’s after that beginning stage that the newness has worn off and the baby starts spending more time awake. You might line up some help then. See what works for you!

  29. Tracy permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:52 am

    Hey Heather, I thought I should add that my mom did stay with us for the first week every time and it was great to have her company and experience during that time!!

  30. May 19, 2010 10:53 am

    Heather have you tried goat brie? I love it!

  31. Danielle permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:56 am

    Oh gosh, I wish I could offer advice on parenting but I’m nowhere near being a mom (thank god lol). I need to find a guy first πŸ˜‰

    I’m def. more of a sweet than a savory person…so I’d hit up the dessert tray!

  32. May 19, 2010 11:12 am

    Throughout my pregnancy, I had planned on having no help for those first few days after my daughter’s arrival. A c-section and my husband’s need to return to work soon after delivery modified those plans slightly. My mother stayed with me during the day (for the 1st 2 weeks as I was limited in the things that I could. However, evening and nights were just the hubby, our baby girl and I. Friends and family offered to take night shift duties….but we wanted to handle things ourselves. Granted, it was not always easy — and the hubby had several days where he worked on little sleep. But in those moments, I fell even deeper in love with the hubs — and bonded with our daughter. I would not trade those moments for anything in the world

  33. May 19, 2010 11:19 am

    Sweets. Hands down.

  34. Sandy permalink
    May 19, 2010 11:21 am

    With my first child I had no experience at all with babies but I am so independent and I wanted to not have anyone else in the house with us. That would have been much more stressful to me. I had an emergency c-section and still did just fine and even sent my husband back to work because it just didn’t seem necessary for both of us to be there all day watching the baby sleep. My mom came for a weekend after a month when we had adjusted. We lived close to my parents when #2 and #3 were born so she was available to take one or two of them if I needed but I still didn’t really “need” the help. I’m sure you will do just fine and know that grandmas will love to come as soon as you give them the okay but you should be comfortable first.

  35. May 19, 2010 11:27 am

    As others said, hang in there, you will feel better pretty soon, I promise!! The first 3-4 months are the worse when we are adapting to the new pregnancy state of our bodies, but after that it is great and wonderful! Midway my 4th month was when I started to feel better from my throughout-the-day-sickness/nausea/vomiting-sessions (yes, it wasn’t only in the morning with me either!), and after the 5th month I barely got sick, I had nausea sometimes due to smells or foods, but not regularly. The best thing was that I had a lot more energy and felt really good, from there on I loved my pregnancy day by day!
    In terms of help, I had my mom here for the first 20 days right after my son was born. It was great to have her here mostly for helping with cooking and laundry, because the baby we took care of all by ourselves. It was a lot to ask my husband to suddenly do all those things that I did before, he was just as overwhelmed and sleep deprived as I was with the baby, so mom being here did help a lot.
    After those 20 days though I was much more ready to start being on my foot and taking care of baby and me all by myself, cooking and cleaning and all.
    I am also super independent just as you Heather, I don’t ask for help much, but sometimes we just need a hand here or there.
    To be true I would have liked to be just the three of us for the first 3 days, but more than that would have been truly hard on me. Even after my mom left it was a lot to handle, as my husband also had to go back to work after two weeks. There were plenty of nights during the first month or so after my son was born when I had oatmeal or cereal for dinner and the husband fixed himself whatever he could find, so on the cooking department it was the best thing to have mom helping, she never left the house (doesn’t speak English), but she took care of cooking, cleaning and writing grocery lists so my husband could stop by the store.
    In the end I think that it all depends on how you feel about it and how you would like things to go! (and also as others pointed out how your delivery goes, I had my son naturally, but if it was a c-section I believe recovery would have been a lot harder).
    Wait until it gets closer, don’t worry too much about it now! I never did to be quite true, not until the last couple months, then I started thinking about it. Enjoy it all now, it is an amazing time for you!
    When it comes the time you will feel more prepared and will know for sure when to call for help!
    Fingers crossed here that you will be feeling better really soon!!

  36. Kayla permalink
    May 19, 2010 11:29 am

    I go towards the dip trays!! Hummus, 7 layer, any and everything πŸ™‚ Oh lordy, especially if there is chips and salsa, then I’m all over it!! I’m such a sucker for anything dippable and crunchy πŸ˜€

  37. May 19, 2010 11:36 am

    I’m sorry you’re still not feeling better! I hope you’re feeling great soon!!!

    I always go straight for the dessert — I’ve got a bigger sweet tooth than anyone else I know!

  38. May 19, 2010 11:36 am

    MORE cheese talk?!?! Ugh, I really gotta try some goat cheese πŸ˜‰

    Thank you again for the suggestions!

    I always gravitate towards the hummus and peppers (red or yellow, please!) and the fruit – nothing beats a great summer fruit salad. Hopefully I’ll be gravitating towards the goat cheese more often, too πŸ˜‰

    Have a great Wednesday. Wish I could give ya some baby advice, but I’m 20 and not looking to concieve anytime soon πŸ˜› haha!

  39. May 19, 2010 11:41 am

    I gravitate to bread, crackers and cheese. I LOVE cheese! πŸ˜€


  40. Chandra permalink
    May 19, 2010 11:56 am

    Do I have to pick just one??? Seriously, it’s the fruit tray…I’m a huge fruit lover.

    I can’t thank you enough for posting the Maple Nut Oaties recipe. I’m going to have to go back and find the creator of these little nuggets of delight and give her a big shout out…they are divine!!!

  41. May 19, 2010 11:57 am

    Babies are different for everyone but I know lots of friends really enjoyed the help.

  42. May 19, 2010 11:58 am

    I am all over the fruit tray. If people come near it I get a little nasty. πŸ˜€

    I can’t offer any first hand parenting advise, put I can say that everyone I know with kids says they spent days and weeks planning for things, but when the baby comes, all that planning goes out the window, and you ride the roller coaster. Sounds fun!

  43. May 19, 2010 11:59 am

    Ok-you said “bring the little oneS home.” as in plural. more than one…
    is that a typo or are you trying to tell us something??? πŸ˜€

  44. May 19, 2010 12:03 pm

    my mom stayed with us for 15 straight days right when we brought out first baby home. we had it clear, we take care of the baby, she takes care of us (laundry, food, cleaning up, greeting guests (and sending them home) if you set clear boundaries and everyone is game, then I’d say go for it.

  45. May 19, 2010 12:09 pm

    I’m nowhere near being a mother yet, but your idea of a few days alone sounds like a great idea. I’ve heard of mothers who let their families in and it became too easy to let a family member bottle feed the child when you want to go take a shower or a nap, and then the baby won’t breast feed. I feel like breast feeding is really important so asking your family for some alone time sounds perfect!

  46. May 19, 2010 12:11 pm

    Hope your nights get better. Maybe a bowl of cereal will help? yummy! And you can find me right by the hummus and veggie tray at ANY party. Or fresh shrimp and sauce!

  47. May 19, 2010 12:19 pm

    I like cheese but I’m not in love with it like many people I know!

  48. May 19, 2010 12:25 pm

    Just want to say not asking for the help I needed after my 1st birth (an unwanted c-section) bit me in the behind spiritually, physically & emotionally. I stayed in bed for a week after my 2nd birth ( a homebirth) and spent much of the 2nd week in bed, too. I feel like a completely different mom, even 6 months out.

    So step up help now so it’s there if you need it πŸ™‚

  49. May 19, 2010 12:29 pm

    I have trouble staying away from the tortilla chips myself! But I love strawberries too. I just got some organic ones from Whole Foods and it is amazing how much better they taste and I loved ’em before!

  50. Deadra permalink
    May 19, 2010 12:32 pm

    I loved the baby bonding time with the family. With my first, it was a little disrupted because she spent some time in the NICU, but when we did come home we had to move, but once we were moved and settled it was bliss, lots of time cuddling the baby in bed, her and I have a strong attachment. With my second, there was no stress, he was healthy, (VBAC, YAY!) and came home right away, and while there was less cuddle time in bed because we also have a toddler, we had a good time, just the 4 of us, bonding. So I am an advocate of the family bonding time. Besides with wee newborns, they are less demanding than people think. i also agree about taking all advise with a grain of salt, because there is so much, and someone will always tell you that you’re doing it wrong. (and if you choose an alternative parenting choice, get ready!– I cosleep and all that, so many naysayers!)
    Oh and I had a doula for both births, it was great money spent!

  51. Kari permalink
    May 19, 2010 12:35 pm

    Yes, I should add that Greg and I didn’t really set anything in stone, but I told my parents that we would probably take a week for ourselves. She was our first child; so, we didn’t have to worry about taking care of other children. She slept with us and we were definitely sleep deprived, but I think that is normal for parents of a newborn baby!!

  52. May 19, 2010 12:49 pm

    love seeing all the responses here about what to do in terms of help with the baby.. i agree with most, it definitely depends on the baby and the family. dont etch anything in stone, but dont be afraid to reach out for help. i know with me, i was young, had a rough delivery, problems breast-feeding, and also had no general clue what to do, so it did help to actually be living with my parents, my mom “rescued” me more times than not! the next time around, i wont have my mom around, it will be me and my hubz πŸ˜‰ and we are looking forward to trying to go at it with just each other.. and with our older girls help too lol

  53. Scott in Ohio permalink
    May 19, 2010 12:49 pm

    I haven’t said “hello” for a while (but Christina and I still talk about you lots) so…”hello!”

    We are enjoying your saga but hope you feel better soon!

    Cheese? Yes, please! πŸ™‚

  54. May 19, 2010 12:55 pm

    do you take your vitamins before bed? just curious because at least for me, if i take them before bed after dinner. i wake up in the middle of the night feeling as if i might puke. so i now take them with food and changed brands… just a thought.

  55. May 19, 2010 12:55 pm

    Okay, clearly I missed the pregnancy announcement – CONGRATULATIONS!! SO exciting!!
    I just had my first baby 11 months ago and definitely recommend taking time for it to be just you, your hubby, and the baby with one exception – a good friend or family member to be “on call”. We found that we needed a lot of last minute things one the baby was here – little things – but things none-the-less and it was nice to have family in town that were willing to lend a hand when and where needed.. I am so happy for you – this will be the most amazing experience ever!!

  56. May 19, 2010 1:08 pm

    I definitely understand not asking for help. I never do. I like to do everything on my own, and I always feel like I have to not only achieve, but overachieve. It’s a curse.

    I brought my baby home 6 months ago, and the first few weeks were the hardest of my life, but totally wonderful at the same time. Your whole world really does get turned upside down. I joked that it was like Vegas, where you can’t ever tell if it’s night or day.

    I didn’t have anyone come and help, mainly because nobody could help with what I needed most–sleep. When you’re establishing a nursing relationship, there just is no such thing as sleeping for more than 3 hours or so for the first couple of months. If I have any regrets, it’s not asking people to help me make sure I had healthy meals. That said, I wouldn’t trade those few weeks for anything. It was a beautiful time of bonding and self-discovery. I can’t wait to do it again.

    In fact, it’s been such a rewarding experience, I’m looking into becoming a Lactation Consultant. I believe that is one area where help is vital.

  57. May 19, 2010 1:13 pm

    A belated congratulations to you and your husband πŸ™‚

    At parties I hover over the cheese and veggie platter. I steer clear of any dips because im weary of people biting and dipping. Thanks seinfeld πŸ™‚

  58. May 19, 2010 1:22 pm

    I know what you are saying about the brie- there is nothing like it!

  59. May 19, 2010 1:34 pm

    Like you, I am not one to ask for help. I wish I had when my son was a newborn though.

    I had a great drug-free hospital birth and the first few days were pure bliss. My husband cooked, and I fed and rested our new baby.

    I never asked my husband to get up with our son or to let me take a nap. A few weeks after giving birth I had to go back to the hospital for a night. I was exhausted when I got home and still didn’t ask for help. Colic started about the same time. My husband would leisurely eat his dinner while I tried to calm my colicky baby each night. I was up with all night with our baby who had days and nights mixed up while my husband slept. My would mother come over to help me, but I felt bad going to take a nap instead of entertaining her.

    Looking back I should have asked for help. My mother and husband would have been happy to let me rest if I had asked. I became resentful that my husband didn’t help but looking back, I probably didn’t give him a chance.

    That said, my husband and son have a great bond now and the three of us have a great thing going.

    I think they gave you great advice and agree that a few days to yourselves is lovely.

  60. eredblue permalink
    May 19, 2010 1:53 pm

    Forget about it! Heating the cheese makes it good. I even craved bologna while I was pregnant–can you imagine–but I heated it and I ate it and never looked back. (Too bad they don’t sell single slices of bologna. I never had that craving again!)

    As far as the first few weeks home goes, our little one had a longer stay in the hospital and I remember being so glad when he got home I couldn’t stand it. I do know the housework lapsed big time (so we did a lot of ordering meals in) and the baby had the hardest time with the transition from day time to dark. He just cried and cried when the sun went down, but I did ‘the tour’ over and over with him, wearing down a path in our living room until he slept. And it is so precious, Heather, my goodness it is so precious when they are so small and they still have that magical smell and they put their tiny little hands around your finger…one time as I held him he wrapped both his arms and legs around my arm and I could have just died it was so amazing.

    We don’t have any family living out here so that wasn’t really an option. We could have called on friends if we had to but we kind of did what you’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had enough arguments as to how to do this or that, but what we really learned–maybe because we had to–was how to lean on each other. Because I was breastfeeding I did the ‘nightshifts’ and after the first week my husband skipped his usual martial arts in the park on Saturday to let me sleep. I didn’t even know it until I woke up around noon!
    What I’m saying is while I know it must have been super hard, that’s not what sticks out in my mind so it must not have been more hard than it was wonderful–does that make sense? Anyway, whatever you decide will be just fine! There are so many wonderful days ahead. (No comment on the nights. I never did figure out why they called it ‘morning sickness’).

  61. Kristy permalink
    May 19, 2010 1:58 pm

    Heather, a big congrats! I was so happy to read you were expecting!!! I am expecting #4 right now. AS far as those first few days/week go, it will be a time you always look back on and remember so I applaud you for knowing that now and planning ahead for it. Keep in mind that both you and your hubby will be very tired when you come home. I have great memories of the 3 of us: hubby, baby and myself, all snuggled up in bed together. Meals planned out though will be key. You will be STARVING if you are breastfeeding so stock up ahead of time. SOOO happy for you! We are going to need a belly shot pretty soon!

  62. nikkionlunch permalink
    May 19, 2010 2:03 pm

    Oh boy, the party trays. I think I am more with the salty or carby foods, unfortunately! I do have a weakness for nachos whenever I just need to snack on something. On the other hand, I LOVE the raw veggie trays too.

    As for your pregnancy, I wish I had advice or even comfort to give, but I’ve not had kids yet. I just do wish you the best and will send over some warm and fuzzy thoughts to you guys. I also have to agree with Kristy – WE NEED BELLY SHOTS (when you have one of course!)

  63. May 19, 2010 2:08 pm

    I am so with you! Cheese + fruit + bread + wine. The four foodgroups of my calorie-free fantasy world.

  64. May 19, 2010 2:20 pm

    Thanks Maggie!

  65. May 19, 2010 2:21 pm

    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement Kristy and best of luck with #4! So exciting. πŸ™‚

  66. May 19, 2010 2:26 pm

    Everyone’s stories are so fun to read.

    My first (18 years ago, yikes) was colicky for 6 weeks non-stop. My mom flew in to be with us for a few weeks, but ended leaving early because she was snowed in, we were trapped due to weather and the day and night screaming from the baby was wearing us all down. I appreciated having her there, but seriously it was easier when we were alone and could just do what we felt right. With my 2nd, things were just easier. I think my mom waited a week or two to come out, it was fall so the weather was better and we were all just more relaxed and he didn’t scream 24 hours a day.

    Also, Like Mama Pea said things are different if you had a C-section. With my first I was put to sleep with a C-section and I didn’t get up for a couple of days (they seriously kept me in bed with a catheter insterted). My second C-section was planned, I was out of bed that evening and walking myself up and down the hall. He stayed in the nursery with me. It was an entirely different experience, and part of it was my attitude since the first c-section was unplanned and the hospital was more backwards in their ways.

    My point is, each baby, each birth is totally different. It may depend on the time of year, the type of people your guests are, etc. Just go with your gut. There is no right or wrong answer.

    Also, make sure to use the lactation consultants. I had none on my first birth and had wonderful ones on my second, although I was more prepared and already had experience that time.

    I’m a hummus and dip, fruit and I used to be a cheese kind of girl at parties.

  67. May 19, 2010 2:26 pm

    Kathleen, I’ve had the hardest time with my prenatals. The ones I’ve been taking for years starting making me really sick when I got pregnant. I tried spacing them out, eating them with meals, taking them in the morning, at night, etc. NOTHING worked. So I just gave up, and I’m now taking 2 children’s chewable vitamins which are the only ones that don’t seem to bother me…but they taste so freaking good! I have to stop myself at just 2. πŸ™‚

  68. May 19, 2010 2:30 pm

    Shelly, I have not! What brand do you like and where do you purchase it?

  69. May 19, 2010 2:34 pm

    Chandra, You’re so welcome. It’s my recipe – just made it up one day. πŸ™‚

  70. May 19, 2010 2:35 pm

    Heather, Oops, definitely a typo. There is just one HEABlet – I promise! πŸ™‚

  71. May 19, 2010 2:51 pm

    While the cheese tray is always tempting, I usually head straight for the salsa!

  72. StellaDoesHealthyEating permalink
    May 19, 2010 2:52 pm

    So funny to see you post this today – I’ve been in such a cheese and fruit phase the last few days having just tasted brie with apple, I thought grapes were the only fruit that would work with cheese but I’m definitely going to need to experiment further πŸ˜€

  73. May 19, 2010 2:55 pm

    Gosh, you are killing me with the cheese! How I miss thee…let me count the ways! I am totally the veggie fruit tray girl. If there are carrots and grapes, they are all mine!

    I am definitely not one that asks for help. I grew up with 3 sisters and my youngest one is 16 years younger than me. I practically raised them since my mom worked full time. I cooked, cleaned, did the grocery shopping and worked too…I just don’t know what it is like to ask for help. I knew how to take care of a baby, but definitely not one that was my own! Long story short, my parents and I had a very strained relationship for the first part of my marriage and I just never felt good asking them for anything. So, Tony and I just did it ourselves. We preferred the laid back approach. We slept when we could and we just went with the flow. I worked full time with our first one and Tony was the full time parent. I highly recommend breastfeeding. It is the best bonding you will ever have! You just have to jump into it know that you do whatever you can when you can. In the greater scheme of things, the laundry and cooking don’t matter. Make food easy and just enjoy every second of it…the good and the bad. It is time that you will never get back! Not to say I am picky, but I get annoyed by people telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. You will have to find what works for your family. You are lucky though, you have your mom close by and I am sure that she knows you well enough to know how to help you. Just know that you will be tired (exhausted) and the house will not be clean, but you have a sweet little one in your arms! Oh and I will happily come and cuddle with the little one so you can take a nap!

  74. May 19, 2010 2:58 pm

    Thanks Sarena. πŸ™‚

  75. snackface permalink
    May 19, 2010 2:58 pm

    Errg sorry about feeling icky at night! It has to pass. It will!

    Oh how I love fruit and cheese! When I was growing up, whenever my pops had to work late, MamaJ would serve us big wedges of melted brie with apple slices, grapes and French baguette. I was a spoiled little child! It’s still one of my favorite meals (that I haven’t had in forever!).

    At parties, I love chips. I think it’s because I don’t really buy them for myself, so if I see ’em, I want ’em. I also adore the cheese, fruit and desserts. YUMS.

  76. May 19, 2010 3:05 pm

    I am so grateful that you blogged about being able to handle goat cheese, because I also can’t do lots of dairy unless it’s from a billy goat, which I probably would have never known otherwise.

    Gah, your pregnancy is so exciting!

  77. May 19, 2010 3:10 pm

    Hayley, Oh my gosh, so glad the goat cheese is working for you. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without right now as cheese is my #1 craving!

  78. May 19, 2010 4:17 pm

    A cheese/fruit combo is the greatest! Especially in the form of jam and cheese sandwiches!

  79. May 19, 2010 4:44 pm

    I eat cheese just because it’s there…there is nothing it can’t be paired with…or I’ll close my ears and hum and eat it anyways and defy the odds – it’s ridiculous my addiction.
    Now, your pita bread – I want it! Looks gooood.
    Hope your nights get better soon!
    How are you feeling about having a new addition to your life ?? You don’t have to answer if that’s too personal!! A friend of mine started seeing a therapist for a while because , although not a surprise, she was just overwhelmed with the change her life was going to be heading…ever grateful though! Just a lot to take in I imagine. But change is good.

  80. Kendall permalink
    May 19, 2010 4:45 pm

    Does your Trader Joes carry the goats milk brie? It is the best thing ever, and if you haven’t tried it, holy cow…well I figure you would have mentioned it by now if you had. Here is the picture of the label. Their cheese section is overwhelming to me so I find pics help locate new stuff! I hope they can stock it for you if they don’t already!

    They also have a KILLER goats milk gouda, in regular and mixed herb which I highly recommend. I’m kind of obsessed with goat cheeses, can you tell πŸ™‚ So re: the soft cheese ban for pregnancy, is regular old soft chevre (my ultimate fav) out of the picture or is it just soft cow cheeses?

  81. May 19, 2010 4:48 pm

    When I brought all my babies home I liked just having my husband and I. I seem to feel I have to entertain when I have people over and it is really nice to just bond with the baby. You are getting used to each other and it is nice to have a quiet, stress free place to do it in. I did have my mom come over for an hour or so to help, especially when I had the other two children. I needed to rest. I think that it is good to have some time to bond with just the baby and your husband. Just remember to rest when the baby rests!! Laundry, cleaning, chores can all wait.

  82. May 19, 2010 4:54 pm

    Kendall, Thanks for the photo of the goat milk brie. Very helpful! I’ll be on the lookout. As far as I know soft cheeses are fine as long at they are pasteurized, and yes, that includes both goat and cow’s milk cheeses.

  83. May 19, 2010 4:56 pm

    Eatmovelove, I’m looking forward to our little addition but have been planning on it for a while. Would have been completely different say 10 years ago. We waited until we were felt 100% ready.

  84. Marisa permalink
    May 19, 2010 5:07 pm

    As a birth doula myself, I would recommend keeping help on “stand by” like a girlfriend or mom. Someone you feel completely comfortable with as you will be learning to breastfeed, healing from birth and simply “feeling” your way through those first weeks. Make sure to have an open honest conversation with CD about expectations, his and yours. Having a plan and a doula will be a great start!
    I found that food based prenatal vitamins are easier on the tummy.

  85. Katherine: What About Summer? permalink
    May 19, 2010 5:23 pm

    I gravitate towards the ground in the most literal sense which makes me crave jumping on a trampoline right about now

  86. May 19, 2010 6:04 pm

    I LOVE the cheese and fruit plate, it’s definitely the best one!!

    Hope you feel better soon!


  87. May 19, 2010 6:14 pm

    I started training as a doula, then worked as a midwife’s apprentice overseas, and I’ll echo the comments about each baby, each birth being different. Personally, I think I want the family bonding time right after my (hopefully) future baby comes, but that could change given the nature of the pregnancy, how my partner is doing and a host of other factors.
    Sending empathy waves your way. My first pregnancy didn’t work out, but I spent five and half months with my head between my knees, and consumed a ridiculous amount of Ensure in a bid to keep weight on. But, everyone else says it will get better, so let’s defer to them in the spirit of positivity πŸ™‚

  88. Melissa R permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:10 pm

    first of all…dont give birth without a doula. depending on your, cd and baby might be just heaven for the first few days. but if you need help or have questions, a good birth doula can put you in touch with a postpartum doula…and they totally rock. They are there to help with anything and everything from your needs, baby needs, and simple household things. every birth is different, every mom is different and every baby is different. postpartum doulas are there to meet you exactly where you are…not to push opinions ..just to help. dona is the best place to find one in your area. i would recommend taking a newborn/breastfeeding class so that you have an idea of what to expect. lots of childbirth classes cover that. just remember that your baby has all he/she needs with you and a clean diaper. all that other stuff is just fluff. follow your instincts and talk with women you can be totally honest with. btw my shift keys are on the fritz so thats why i have no punctuation …smile wink
    youll be great heather…your body was designed to carry, birth and feed this beautiful baby – smile xoxo
    and please take me up on any questions you have…i eat, breath, sleep all this lovely stuff

  89. May 19, 2010 9:10 pm

    I’m new to your blog and also a first time expectant mom (due Oct. 26!). I felt great in the first tri but poopier now, so maybe if you’ve felt bad you’ll have a brighter second tri?

    As a first time mom, I’m mostly worried about breastfeeding (I want to do it and fear I’ll have problems) and about having a baby who’s colicky or otherwise uncomfortable and therefore inconsolable. I guess I’m more afraid of not being able to HANDLE either of those situations. I don’t have much family around me, but I’m lucky to have a long maternity leave and a husband who gets a lengthy paternity leave. I’ll rely on that and hopefully find a good mommy support group near me.

  90. Samantha permalink
    May 19, 2010 9:36 pm

    I often gravitate towards cheeses too or dips…soo bad, such hidden fat and calories!

    The first few weeks at home with both my boys were rocky but still wonderful. With my oldest, the day after he was discharged he was then re-admitted for extreme jaundice and hospitalized for a week in an isolette under lights. Then for 2 weeks after, had a bili blanket at home. Very scary for a first time mom. But he pulled through just fine and is healthy as a horse at 7 now. With my 2nd, I was kept in the hospital a few extra days due to abnormal bloodwork. And when the wee was a week old my husband deployed. Getting used to being mom to 2, one a newborn, without the husband, was a challenge. But all in all we were very blessed with both children that they were relatively easy births, healthy, and the transition was smooth.

    And you know what? Now that they are 7 and 4, all those things are just very distant snapshots of memories and all the good of today is what remains.

  91. May 19, 2010 10:20 pm

    i def gravitate towards the desserts…and veggie tray. gotta balance it out, right? πŸ˜‰

  92. May 20, 2010 4:43 am

    Everyone has given you great advice. I agree that it totally depends on the situation. With my first, I was in a lot of pain (he was posterior and I pushed for 5.5 hours) and he was a very fussy, not very sleepy baby. I was exhausted and it was very, very hard. Help was invaluable. With my other two, the births were quite easy and they slept a lot, so I didn’t need/want the help so much. Having someone on call would be ideal if this is possible. My only other advice for this early postpartum period is to have TONS of food on hand (frozen meals prepared ahead if possible and lots of snacks and good drinks) because you will be so hungry, and to have a lot of “light” entertainment that you can do while resting with the baby–easy reading, your laptop, etc. Yes, you will want to gaze at your baby, but I also really enjoyed vegging out during the postpartum period. Once that baby wakes up a bit more, you won’t have a chance like that again for a long time. πŸ™‚

  93. eugenie permalink
    May 20, 2010 7:16 am

    Really drawn to things like OLIVES, vegetable-based spreads on seeded crackers, hummus, fruit & brie (yes yes yes), stuffed mushrooms (!!!)

  94. May 20, 2010 7:31 am

    Racheal, Thanks for the kind words – so sorry to hear about your first pregnancy. Sending waves your way for that beautiful future baby to come. πŸ™‚

  95. May 20, 2010 7:39 am

    BethT, Do not fear breast feeding. I was the same way, but I’ve had gotten some wonderful emails and advice from friends and I’m just planning on making it work. I know some women simply can’t for physical reasons, but if all goes well, I’m determined that I will breast feed as I know it’s the best thing for the baby. The hospital where we are giving birth has a wonderful lactation staff, and they will come to your house if needed. As much as I hate asking for help, that is one area where I told myself that I will ask for help whenever I need it! You and your husband will be fine – just think positive, and know that I’ll be doing the same. Many congrats on your pregnancy – so nice to know there are others out there going through this right along with me! Hope you feel better soon…I’m much more tired this trimester…just waiting for that second trimester “I feel great and have so much energy” feeling that everyone keeps telling me about. πŸ™‚

  96. May 20, 2010 7:40 am

    I am with you on the cheese! There could be all the desserts in the world but I gravitate right to the cheese. There’s just something about it. Especially around that time of the month- my husband ALWAYS knows once I start making that grilled cheese sandwich with some tomato basil soup! Haha.

  97. May 20, 2010 8:43 am

    Ohmygosh, my favourite snack in highschool was to stuff a pita with cheese and melt it in the microwave. Pita + melty cheese is soooo good!

    I’m always drawn to the sandwich plates. Namely, the little egg salad sandwich triangles on white bread. LOVE those.

  98. Andrea permalink
    May 20, 2010 10:35 am

    Hey Heather…sorry I’m late to chime in on this one (busy day yesterday). Anyway, I totally agree that it should be you, the baby and CD at first. The one thing you can’t predict after having a baby is how your hormones are going to be and I tell you…it can be dicey. And it was much better with just my husband and I after our first one. After our 2nd, my in-laws came 3 days later (the day my milk came in….happy times) and I broke down and cried twice b/c I just wanted to “get back to normal” and not have everyone trampsing through my house. It’s hard to imagine (I certaintly didn’t see it coming), but my hormones were all over the place and it was so much better to deal with that with me, my husband and the baby. Hope this helps….I’m so impressed with your forward thinking…I would have never even considered this before, but it’s definitely something I should have!
    πŸ™‚ Andrea

  99. May 20, 2010 12:07 pm

    Thanks Andrea. My hormones are already all over the place. Great advice! πŸ™‚

  100. May 20, 2010 1:27 pm

    I used a doula for my 5th baby and it was fantastic!! I totally recommend using one – esp. if you are thinking of going natural. And she is totally right about asking for help. Having a new baby can be so overwhelming (or not – but you won’t know how you’ll handle it until you’re in the thick of it) and I’m sure your friends and fam would be thrilled to step in and help out for a bit.

  101. May 20, 2010 5:42 pm

    I wanted exactly what you wanted, the 3 of us bonding time. And no one interfered. About 2 weeks out, I wanted dinners though! We got them the first 2 weeks but after then and until a month or two after the baby came home, I still wanted people to bring me food (and actually food that I’d eat!)

  102. Galit permalink
    May 20, 2010 7:50 pm

    Mazel Tov on the pregnancy! So happy you are going to use a Doula. Support is sooooo important (both in labor and after). Please let me in know if you need any midwife (in training) loving!

  103. May 20, 2010 7:58 pm

    Thanks Galit. πŸ™‚

  104. May 20, 2010 9:10 pm

    Omg a million comments and opinions.
    I did not have a doula. I did not have family help. And Skylar is 3 yrs old and we have used a baby sitter twice and we live 3000 miles from family. It has been the Averie Show, raising Skylar. And Scott, too πŸ™‚ I didnt want a doula or help b/c I know under stress or extreme/new situations, I function better…alone. No matter what the “Crisis” is, I want to be alone. I dont want to have to worry about another’s thoughts or emotions and if they are with me, I will. I do not regret NOT having a doula or help. At all. I am glad it was that way.

    Your doula is old school. There is a period of 40 days called “laying in” that old school doula, midwives and lactation educators ascribe to where the women of the community or family of the preg woman help her. I personally wouldnt want all those ppl up in my space, but to each her own!

    As for nursing, you can and will do it. Enough said. πŸ™‚ And if you need help, you can put me down as your lactation educator and I will be here for you, no matter what.

    Sickness. Hate to be the bearer of this, but I never felt well til I gave birth. I was still throwing up daily til almost 7 mos. Fun.

    But on that, I will also say that prenatals…didn’t do them. Did a Women’s Once a Day by Rainbow Light brand. Sometimes. Sometimes not. Honestly, did our grandmother’s take vitamins? No. Or women 200 hundred yrs ago? No. Did the human race survive. Yes. Eat as right as you can, sleep as best you can, stay hydrated, stay happy!! and baby will thrive.


  105. May 22, 2010 11:41 pm

    Hi Heather πŸ™‚ I am a lurker-for-awhile but wanted to finally say hello πŸ™‚ You have made a difference in how I eat and exercise – thank you! I’m so excited for you that you are expecting – it brings back memories of my pregnancy (just had my first baby 5 mos ago). I loved being pregnant and I hope your morning sickness gets better soon! 😦

    I would agree that you need to listen to your instincts – it sounds like you already love your little one so much, and that love will guide you really well in how to care for her (in terms of getting to know her, learning what she needs, etc.) The more you bond with her, the more time you spend with her (am realizing I keep saying “she” – I have a daughter, as you can tell πŸ™‚ ), the more intimately you two will know each other. It is just awesome once her little personality starts coming out and you realize how much of your love she has soaked in, and how much she trusts you because of it!

    We did NOT have anyone stay with us at any point, although we had a hospital birth and I stayed as long as they’d let me so I could be cared for and served hot food I didn’t have to make! (stayed 2 nights) Also my mom and sister came one day about a week in and just made a ton of food for us to store (and I had cooked up a bunch of things and frozen them in my nesting frenzy). This worked fine for us. I will add that my sister is a postpartum nurse, so she was able to help me a lot with figuring out breastfeeding and other early stuff – I’m glad you mentioned the staff at your hospital that can help you, just in case. I absolutely love breastfeeding, even though it can be exhausting sometimes to be the only one who can meet baby’s needs in that area. It’s worth it.

    My memory of that first week was: wonderful!! It was so fun to just be the 3 of us, on our own little schedule with nights and days a little askew, but napping here and there, eating when we needed to, and just soaking in the wonder of having her. I know some people have a very tough time at first though, if breastfeeding is hard, or if the baby is colicky. It really depends on your baby. Just be ready to go with the flow.

    That said, I do love that idea of taking 40 days to just bond with your baby. A few alternate ideas to the idea of having someone stay with you: (1) let your house be messy and splurge on take-out for that first week or two while you still focus primarily on bonding (but after a few weeks, I think the messiness inherent in being a new-ish mom can add to postpartum blues, so it can be nice to get some help with that). (2) Maybe you could line up someone(s) to drop off meals for every day (or every other day or something), and someone(s) else to come clean up the place for an hour or two every couple days, during those first 40 days, but not have someone stay with you? Just an idea. Heck – if you end up having a shower, you could suggest that people offer their help as a gift!

    Re: vitamins – I have a friend who did just what you did (chewables) because she could not stomach the prenatals – her kids both turned out great πŸ™‚

    Anyhow, hang in there – each season is just a season, be it nausea (even if it lasts all 40 weeks!) or colic or whatever. It has its upshots and its drawbacks so just take each season for what it is πŸ™‚

    Sorry this was such a long post…

  106. May 23, 2010 7:58 am

    Congrats on your little baby girl, and thanks so much for all your advice Katie! This was very helpful. Like I said, I’ve always been very independent, and although I’m a very social person, I like my space and privacy. Yeah, I definitely don’t think I could handle people staying at our house b/c I would constantly feel like I would need to entertain them, and that’s the last thing I want to be doing when the baby arrives. Out-of-town guests are going to have to stay in a hotel. I hope they don’t mind, but I think I would be much more comfortable doing it that way.

    Everyone keeps telling me to get help with meals, and so I’m definitely planning on that. My mom lives close-by and loves to cook for us. I know she’ll help out as much as she can.

    Again, thanks for everything – your words were very encouraging! Sincerely, Heather


  1. Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer with Fresh Tomato/Basil Salsa | Appetizer Genie

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