Now that I've had just over three and a half months to calm down, slow down, get some sleep, get my head on straight,* and even get a little work done, it's time for overdue thanks.
The three of us are so lucky to be blessed with helpful, loving friends in the Bay Area and family across the country.
In no particular order of importance or timeline:
Rachel, who visited us in the hospital, after which she went to feed and check on the cats and then surprise us by taking out our garbage. Rachel, as you remember, was my pre-labor companion at the Great American Food Festival, so it's only fitting that she later showed up at our place to spend hours sitting with me and making us endless stacks of BLTs using heaps of heirloom tomatoes and two kinds of bread.
Jen, our first visitor who came to the hospital, took dozens of gorgeous photographs and brought us delicious macarons from the City. Jen has continued to be an unofficial family photographer whenever we see her, and her artistic eye is most precious to us.
Jen and Jeanne, who brought us tasty tacos and Jeanne's delectable cake with fresh strawberries.
Fatemeh, who came down the day of a doctor's appointment and put together the bouncy chair, do a load of laundry, and help the Evil Dr. Mathra pack up a diaper bag we had totally forgotten at our first appointment.
Joy, who has managed to douse me with a steady stream of almost daily phone calls to make sure I'm okay, that the Bug is okay, and that Dr. Mathra is okay. Joy is also the reason why I finally got to taste Dynamo Donuts and why Mathra made it to the hospital before the real contractions hit.
Catherine, who brought us a pan of pesto-marinara lasagna, a flask of grapefruit-elderflower-tequila cocktails, chocolate chip cookies, salad, vinaigrette, and a sausage-cheese quiche. None of those things lasted long enough as we ate nothing but those things for several days. Catherine also was very Catherine about having cooking instructions thoughtfully taped on the foil covering the lasagna and quiche.
Sam, who brought a heavy bag full of French pastries and sandwiches in those first few hazy and painful days after the hospital. Days when we were going on little food and less sleep and everything felt strange and scary. A special necklace was also included in the food drop-off and caused me to leave an overwhelmed and tearful message of thanks on her voicemail.
Sam and Contigo, who arranged to bring us a moveable feast for dinner one night. All efforts I have made to eat at Contigo in person have been thwarted by attacks of food poisoning (Sam), sudden deadlines (me), an unexpected closure (Contigo), a power outage (Contigo), and going into labor (me). It's both my Brigadoon and my white whale.
Kristen, my pre-natal yoga and walking companion, who not only brought me the Shokolaat meatloaf sandwich she knew I had been craving, but brought lunch for Mathra and my mom as well. A few weeks later, her baby boy was born. We are once again yoga and walking companions, now with babies, and I thank her for that as well.
My mother, who came and cleaned and cooked and ran errands a week after the Bug was born. I know I was supposed to "let go" of needing the apartment cleaned, but I can't tell you what the messy apartment was doing to my already tired and ravaged soul. Clean things -- sheets, rooms, clothes -- soothe me. Mom also left us with three frozen meatloaves, and while we tore through two right away, we're saving the last for the first fall night.
My mother-in-law, who also came to clean and cook and run errands. She left us with a freezer stocked with pesto and grilled chicken, but, more importantly, she instructed Mathra on how to cook the famous rosemary-smoked grilled chicken breasts and our favorite grilled vegetables.
All my friends on Facebook, who have reacted to my constant stream of photos very appropriately. Lots of virtual coos, screeches, kisses, and suggestions that the Bug go into baby modeling.
Now that I've been through it, I know exactly how to be a good friend post-pregnancy. I don't think I ever fully understood it before, but I now I know.
*Caveat: I still managed to leave the house today without brushing my teeth, but at least I was fully dressed, which is huge, given how accustomed I've become to walking around in a nursing bra.