Intro

It has been seven days since Roman entered the world. Seven days of recovery, rest, restlessness, craziness, confusion and complete joy.
If you had been following my Twitter at all you would know that I was done with pregnancy. I had had enough aches, plenty of restless nights, more than enough outbursts of uncontrollable sobbing, I was tired of being tired… I was just over it. So when my due date came and went I was willing to try anything and everything to encourage this baby to GET OUT!!
I ingested some horrible tasting tincture of Blue and Black Cohosh sold to me by a Doula at the Farmer’s Market. I ate pineapple, black licorice and enjoyed a glass of red wine. I even visited an Acupuncturist for some sort of electro-something procedure and did acupressure. (There were a few more things I tried but will keep this post G rated).


We had a date scheduled to be induced but was really hoping and praying that it would not come to that so when I woke up on Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. to some pretty intense contractions I was thrilled. I had never been so excited to be in pain. I grabbed Gabe’s iPhone, which had been our tool for timing all the other “false alarms”, and began to time them. I layed in bed just hoping that another contraction would come and sure enough like a faithful friend they kept coming back. I got out of bed and went to the couch and they were still there. They weren’t very regular but they were painful.
After timing the contractions for half an hour I thought I should let Gabe know what was happening. At first I was a little hesitant and didn’t want to alarm him. So I told him that I think we should start to get ready as we will probably need to go to the hospital soon. He didn’t even open his eyes. I asked if he heard me, “uh huh”. Again without opening his eyes. I let him sleep a little longer until I really knew that this was the real thing. I approached his side of the bed got down right to his face and said, “it’s time”. That got him.
If you ever been pregnant you probably had the perfect labor and delivery imagined in your head only to have it vanish when the reality takes the place of that dream. Well I can honestly say that this labor was exactly and at the same time more than what I could have imagined.


I felt plenty of pain which for me is gratifying and just part of being a woman and the process of giving birth. But I also felt the relief of pain with the wonderful modern invention of the epideral. Because of this numbing drug I was able to enjoy the actual birth of my baby as I was fully present and aware and could experience that joy without pain with the select few who were present in the room with Gabe and I. I was so eager to really experience Roman’s entrance into the world that I asked to have a mirror so I could see all that was happening. I apologize if this really grosses some of you out (believe me, my husband thinks I’m insane and had to have his back turned just so he could stay in the room) but it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced.


I won’t go into to much detail as again I am trying to keep this rated G but I will say that apparently I had the biggest smile on my face as I watched the very moment that my baby’s head exited my body and entered this world. I watched as each arm and leg made there way out and as soon as he was completely exposed I held him so tight and kissed his sweet little face and promised to love him for the rest of his life.
During both hospital stays with each delivery of my children I was very well taken care of by the wonderful nurses. A couple in particular were like angels to me as they satisfied an intense craving when they brought me graham crackers. I know, strange right? At no other time in my life do graham crackers taste as good as they do after I give birth. It’s my comfort food. They are sweet and satisfying and always remind me of many happy memories of either topping the tasty crackers with chocolate and fire toasted marshmallows or crumbling them up in a bowl and topping with milk like my dad taught me.


As I continue to recover from the latest birth and as the weather slowly creeps towards Summer temperatures my desire for these crispy crackers continues and even grows stronger. You can be sure that as I begin to bake again soon (once standing up for long periods of time is tolerable again) I will be making these graham crackers and smothering them in a hefty portion of Valrhona 70% chocolate and a toasty, gooey homemade vanilla bean marshmallow.

Graham Crackers
Adapted from French Laundry

8 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp vanilla (or ½ vanilla bean with seeds scraped)

Make graham crackers
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream the butter, sugars, and honey in a mixer on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Sift together the flours, salt, and baking soda, and pour into the mixing bowl. Mix on slow speed until just combined. Turn out the mixture onto a clean surface. Press the crumbly looking dough together with your hands until it just holds together.

Press the dough onto a 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into a rectangle and cover it with another 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment. Roll the dough out very thin by rolling from the middle of the paper outward. If the dough is difficult to roll, add a tiny bit of flour between the parchment and the dough on both sides. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet, patching it to make an exact rectangle.

Bake the dough until the top is golden brown, slightly blistered, and dry-looking, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a fork to mark rows of holes, 1/4 inch apart, all over the dough.

 

11 Responses to “A Sweet Entry Into The World”

  1. Heather

    Graham cracker mush! My grandfather taught me to make that when I was teeny, and to this day it is also one of my comfort foods. I whipped up a batch of homemade grahams for the first time a couple of months ago, and let me tell you, graham cracker mush made from the homemade variety far surpasses the storebought!

    And of course you have a lovely new little person to love :)

    Cheers!

    *heather*

    Reply
  2. Deborah

    He looks so precious- I can’t wait to meet your new little man. Congratulations on a smooth delivery. I can’t wait to hear all gory details! And about adjusting to two!

    Reply
  3. Carrie

    Ashley,
    I am so happy for you all it makes me cry! Man, I am such a girl! I love the way you explain it all. I am right there with you about all of the the ups and downs of pregnancy and birth.

    Thanks for the graham cracker recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

    Carrie

    Reply
  4. MG

    who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??? I NEVER thought about making graham crackers! Ty and I wil try this!

    So glad to have new photos of Roman…what a cutie…I’m curious how Mr. Baron is adjusting to being a brother…I remember Luke, and I was so torn with his feelings and caring for the baby Lucy.

    Take care…this is such a precious time in your life.

    Reply
  5. Cutzi

    Many congratulations to your little family!

    Since both my children are adopted I got to watch both their births without the distraction of giving birth… ;-) It is such an amazing thing to watch – how wonderful that you were able to be more present as little Roman arrived.

    Reply
  6. Joy the Baker

    HI Ashley- This is my first time visiting your blog and I had to stop and tell you what a beautiful job you’re doing! the photographs are beautiful and completely inspiring. Your post about the birth of your second son literally brought tears to my eyes. You write from the heart with such ease. I truly appreciate it. I also read your bio and was inspired! I’m living in Los Angeles right now, but hoping to move back up to the Pacific Northwest in the near future. To read about young people with a family who have done what I dream of doing is always fun. I’m going on and on… I just wanted to let you know that you struck a chord with me and I’ll be back again and again. Congratulation on the addition to your lovely family!

    Reply
  7. Jamie

    Hi Ashley,

    Happened across your food blog while doing some random blog surfing this evening, and wanted to say congrats on the safe and happy arrival of your son; he’s a cutie, and Roman is a great name. :)

    Oh, and I’m going to have to try these graham crackers — I’m sure my kids will love them!

    Reply

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