Hazily stumbling into our apartment with a new baby was—how was it, again, exactly?
Overwhelming. Daunting. Our new, needy roommate terrified me. Truly. I longed for a moment to catch my breath. To process the massive event which had just occurred inside my body. An event that left me leaking, achy, and exhausted. An event that produced an adorable, but lifelong, responsibility. I could barely fathom the next eighteen years, the next eighteen minutes made me want to cry.
I vaguely remember heading straight to our bed and crashing for what felt like days.
When I awoke, there was a puddle of drool on my pillow. Always an excellent sign of deep sleep. I found my bearings: bed, room, home, baby, mother. I trembled again at the foreign word, mother.
My senses perked up to the smell of an especially delicious aroma, beckoning me to the kitchen.
Ben greeted me with our sleeping newborn daughter in his arms, “Rachel brought over a beef pot pie, babe. Why don’t you grab a bite before Carson needs to nurse again?”
A savory balance of health and comfort silenced my raging hormones. Rachel’s beef pot pie was warm, hearty, familiar. (Just like Rachel herself, come to think of it.) On a day when nothing seemed as it should be, Rachel’s pie was. My body was fueled with iron and protein, my soul nourished with the comfort food. Maybe I would make it through this mommy gig, after all.
It’s not an understatement to say I looked forward to this dish making the rounds on our meal train after our second daughter’s birth. I told Rachel that her pie is worth every contraction. She thinks I’m joking, but I’m really not. Ben and I celebrated when we saw her van, full of children she has mothered, pull into our driveway.
“The beef pot pie is here!” Ben exclaimed, this time holding our newborn and our toddler in his arms.
Postpartum is tender. It is vulnerable and strong. Precious, fleeting days with a newborn intent on growing and changing so rapidly in front of your eyes. A time for slowing down. For savoring. Savoring the little one who’s been placed in your care and, if you’re lucky enough, Rachel’s beef pot pie.