Something Else I Didn’t Know {recipe: easy focaccia bread}

29 May

Right now I have 11 friends who are pregnant. And one coming home Friday with a baby from Ethiopia. That is 12 babies. That is a big enough number that according to the rules of writing, you don’t have to spell it out with letters. That is a lot of babies.

I am sorry, but there is still something that no one tells you about having babies. I am going to tell you abut it so maybe the seven of you who are pregnant with baby number one don’t for a minute wonder, “am I the only one?”

I am over most of the weird things that happen to the body. And those things are weird not because they don’t make sense or because they seem completely out of nowhere, but because all of these things happen to your body that all work together for a specific purpose to support you and the baby perfectly. For example:  Your body emits some hormones that make your ligaments all loosey-goosey. This could be annoying because if the hormones work in you like they did in me, you have to stop running and rest or your hip joints cause shooting pain down your legs. You could think this is annoying but really it is helpful. You don’t need to be running to prove that “you can still do everything you did when you weren’t pregnant,” and, you need everything to slide out of place a little to make room for that baby to make its grand entrance into the world.

All of that seems so weird because it really does work together so well. Most of what we experience in life doesn’t work together well because it gets wrecked up by us and our pride and our selfish motives or desire for someone else’s approval that we expect everything to get all messed up. When hormones and bones and body systems all work together how God created them to support and sustain us, it feels weird.

So here is the other thing:

It took a while to feel any love.

People tell you that the minute you have a baby, you experience more love and joy than you have ever felt before. Consequently, I was really confused in our first few weeks as a family. I knew I was supposed to take care of this baby, and I could do that, but I didn’t feel much love.

I felt tired most of the time and confused at how to get her to stop crying when nothing seemed wrong. I felt a whole new set of responsibilities and the weight of someone else’s needs being forever more important than my own. But I did not feel love.

And then that did funny things to my head like make me wonder what love and joy are and if I ever felt them before and what was I doing wrong? Because I was definitely not feeling like everyone said I would. And you don’t want to tell anyone that you don’t love your baby because surely someone will take your baby away and put you in one of those jackets where the arms tie in the back. And you remember the time that your husband came with you to one of your last doctor’s appointments and as you were leaving the doctor quickly said something under her breath to your husband about how if he ever sees any bad or depressed behavior in you post-delivery that he should call the doctor immediately. And I didn’t want to go to the crazy house. And I didn’t think I needed to. I didn’t feel anything bad, I just didn’t feel anything awesome.

In a moment of weakness or after a glass of wine (which I think are the same for me ), I tell my husband all of these things and he tells me he thinks that’s ok, he thinks what I am feeling is normal and that I am a good mother. He assures me that this is not grounds for the straightjacket. And that is what I need to hear and we talk about it again the next weekend and I can’t even remember the feelings of emptiness that I had because now I feel love and joy and I want to do nothing but hold that baby and if she cries in the middle of the night and it means I get to fall asleep holding her or see her smile at 4am, well, I just think that is wonderful.

And for the recipe:

This bread is awesome. Make a big bowl of dough and then stick it in the fridge and pinch off parts of it on different nights. Top with your favorite pizza toppings for a meal, smear some garlic butter on it for s side, or slice it open and make a tasty sandwich.

Focaccia Bread

Makes about three 12-inch pizza crusts.

2 3/4 c. warm water

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

1 T. salt

1/4 c. olive oil

6 1/2 cups flour

optional add-ins: garlic powder, rosemary, lemon zest, italian seasoning…

  • Put water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until most all flour is incorporated.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap or a slightly damp towel.
  • Let sit at room temperature 2 hours, use right away or refrigerate until ready to use (can stay in the fridge up to five days, the flavor will get yeastier as the days go on).
  • When ready to use, preheat oven to 400. If you have a baking stone, put that in the oven.
  • Pinch off the dough you want to use and slowly pull it out into a circle.
  • Place on baking stone or lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9-13 minutes. If I am making a pizza, I bake it about seven minutes, then put the toppings on it and bake about five more.

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7 Responses to “Something Else I Didn’t Know {recipe: easy focaccia bread}”

  1. Erin Young May 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Interesting post!! I’m not a mom, but this reminded me of something that I read once. It talked about how certain illegal drugs cause a euphoric chemical rush in your brain exactly like the one new moms experience when their baby smiles. So, chemically, new moms are basically addicted to their babies! But it also talked about how exhaustion and hormones can cause the overall level of chemicals released to be so low that it’s almost undetectable, until the levels rise naturally and then the mom can actually feel those rushes. Basically, they are happening, but they are happening in miniature until you get settled so you can’t feel them. And another interesting fact: a mother who is addicted to drugs cannot be addicted to her baby like other mothers can because her brain actually associates that whole chemical response with the drug.

    Long story short, all I mean to say is that I once saw some science that validates what your husband told you: you are/were totally normal and as someone who hopes to be a mom someday, I appreciate your honesty about how you felt!

  2. hilstreet June 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    As of today, you have ten friends who are pregnant! Yay for babies.

  3. Stephanie June 14, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I felt the exact same thing. I wish more women talked about it so we wouldn’t feel like freaks when it happens.


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