I have always been overly worried about Eden. Not her safety nor her development but her feelings of fitting in. I’m sure this is connected to my move across the country at age 11 from small town Oregon to one of the most affluent suburbs of Chicago – a move which, as you can imagine, set me up for being a bit of the biggest dork in the 6th grade and resulted in me having a hard time making friends – and has very little to do with how Eden is experiencing the world. Since Nash has been born I worry that Eden will feel replaced, left out, forgotten, unloved, etc. These things, added to the fact that she’s a slightly odd child who would prefer to sit in the corner with a pile of books than run around with the other kids, gives me a lot of fuel for my fear.
Please help me welcome Baby Nash, one of the worlds youngest vegans, into this new life!
He joined us early Tuesday morning, wide-eyed and curious. Later in the day Eden met her baby brother, captivating her for a moment before returning to all the hospital room’s cool “toys” and cupboards. Once she realizes he’s coming home with us she might get a little more curious.
One year ago today I started the biggest, most fulfilling adventure of my 30 years. Unsure if I was ready for my life to be forever changed, I apprehensively went into labor. For 18 hours I labored, growing stronger as I transitioned into a changed me. In the moment I met Eden the world as I knew it faded away and nothing else matter.
I was madly in love.
Before Eden began eating solid foods I had big plans to make her a clean eater. I didn’t understand why kids had to get SO messy while they ate and simply put, pureed squash smeared across the face kind of grossed me out. Those first few days of eating I would hold her hands with one hand while spoon feeding her with the other. Her tongue explored the tastes and textures of this new experience, but that wasn’t enough. She wanted more. She wanted to feel the food between her fingers and learn how to bring the food to her mouth. She wanted an active part in this new experience of eating. And so my plans quickly changed.
Last week I prepared Eden’s first meals. With a couple sweet potatoes that had been waiting in my hanging basket and a summer squash from my farm share, I boiled and baked then pureed what will soon be her first solid foods. With a piping bag I squeezed them into ice cube trays, covered it up with plastic wrap, and froze.
By the time I got pregnant I had been a vegan for five years. Everyone knew me as vegan and the questions of “why” and “what do you eat” had long since past. So when I got pregnant a year ago I was surprised at the constant question, “Are you going to have a vegan pregnancy?” The question startled me every time because I hadn’t thought about it any other way. In fact I believed (and still do) that the vegan diet was the healthier choice for my fetus. Most questions were just curious, some cautious, but a few down right caustic.