Send Food, Not Flowers

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: June 30, 2020
I think I was maybe four days postpartum, in the middle of a July heat wave. I was spending my days at that point in bed trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn and feed myself. Since it was so hot, my baby and I lounged around mostly in our respective diapers and not much else. I had gotten good at ignoring the knocks on the door in the middle of the day. 

My thought process was: if I’m not expecting you, I’m not getting up to put on clothes to answer the door. 

At probably three in the afternoon there was a knock at my door. I did my usual— ignored it. Then the knock happened again, louder— Ignored. My phone began to ring and it was a flower delivery guy calling to say he was at my door with my delivery. I almost told him to just leave the flowers outside. But it was really hot and I didn't want them to die. Instead, I told him to just give me a minute, that I was holding my newborn, needed to dress myself, and that I was moving rather slowly. When I finally answered the door holding my sleepy baby, he held out the flowers as if I was going to be able to take them with one hand. I looked at him and asked: “Can you just come in and set them down in the kitchen?” He was nice enough and did, and before he left he congratulated me on the baby.
 I opened the envelope to find a sweet note from my best friend who was a thousand miles away in my home state. The bouquet of flowers was absolutely beautiful.

But I stood there, hands full of a baby who was about to wake up to cluster feed at any moment, looking at my gorgeous flowers and started crying, wishing the flowers was a burrito, a pizza, or literally anything else that was edible. 

I didn’t even have a chance to unwrap the flowers because my hungry baby summoned me to our spot on the couch where we’d spend the next few hours together nursing and napping.
 It wasn’t until months (almost a year) later, that I told my best friend the story of my reaction to the flowers. She instantly felt horrible. But of course, she didn’t know that she should have sent food, not flowers. Her gesture was out of love, and I knew that, it just didn’t fill my hungry belly.

I was the first of our friends to have a baby, so she didn’t know what I would need, because I didn’t even know what I would need.

So let it be written here, send food, not flowers!
Category: Fourth Trimester
Tags: support system , new mom advice , new mom , postpartum recovery , postpartum nutrition , first time mom