Saturday, December 9, 2017

A New Era

Earlier this year, my sister Laurie and I were walking around St. Petersburg, Florida, telling her coworker Maggie about my wedding.

"So, I flew home and tried on my mom's wedding dress," I extolled. "And it just happened to fit perfectly. Which was awesome because I married Quincy the next day and it wasn't like I'd have time to get it altered."

Here's a random picture of me in my momma's wedding dress

I was trying to paint of picture of myself as the quintessential goofball, unable to plan appropriately and saved by the grace of my loved ones.

But with a quasi-exasperated eyeroll, Laurie turned to Maggie and explained it this way: "Because reality has a way of bending to Becky's whims."

I've thought about Laurie's words a thousand times since that moment, not only because her younger-sister annoyance makes me laugh, but because I truly feel like a inexplicably lucky person.

Which brings me to the birth of my son.

Spoiler alert: This story has a happy ending

Whenever anyone asked about my plans for the birth, I kept saying, "All options are on the table." I mean, I've never done this before and I don't know what will happen, so why stress about the perfect delivery?

But even though that informed, open-mind would be the most rational tack, I think everyone has that vision of what the best case scenario would be. For me, I had imagined laboring as a team with Quincy, dealing with the pain through those cute coping techniques Lamaze taught, and bringing Era into the world without an epidural.

Well, I'm telling you: When the contractions started kicking in, I forgot all about laboring tips and comforting techniques. Also, I forgot where my go bag was, how to time a contraction and how to walk.

I was under the misguided impression that the contractions would start slowly and at a low intensity and then build. That is not what happened. I had a monster contraction at 7 a.m. as I snoozed and by the time I started timing them at 8:15 (Oh wait! I have a app for this. Phone. Must phone. Where app? AGH.), they were three minutes apart.

It's getting real.

Quincy flew around the apartment to gather the supplies we needed and make sure the cats would survive our absence and we made the 30 minute drive to our hospital, arriving at 9:30. I was 7 centimeters dilated and clinging to the hope that an epidural would be forthcoming. Dr. Beck, the OB on call that weekend, held her face close to mine and, with her hand on my shoulder, asked me to mentally prepare for the possibility that we wouldn't have time for an epidural.

Needless to say, I was not mentally prepared for anything.

Quincy was, though. Whenever the contractions came, he used one of the Lamaze tricks and applied counter-pressure to my lower back, which helped. He was calm and focused and amazing.

And then, it was time to push. And then, Era was here. At 11:30 a.m., all nine pounds, nine ounces of our little boy entered the world. No epidural, just a ridiculously short labor and a healthy, hefty baby. It happened so quickly, I spent the next day just convincing myself that it actually happened.

Brand new babe

One of the labor nurses said I was an Amazon. I would like that as my epitaph.

My folks on the left and Quincy's on the right

Fortunately, my parents and Quincy's had time to arrive and admire their first grandchild. And when Laurie and her husband came, Laurie sat on the corner of my bed and soaked in the whole delivery story. And in a quasi-annoyed voice, she said, "Of course. Reality has a way of bending to Becky's whims."

Handsomest three-day-old ever

And I truly feel like it has. It was a unbelievable, beautiful, crazy wonderful experience. Not even my English degree and can cobble together the words to express the gift of this quick, amazing labor.

Party of three

And now I'm a mom. We're a family.

Some of us are happier about that than others

Era Eventide Robinson
Nov. 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
9 pounds, 9 ounces
21.5 inches long


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pregnant Pause: Kingdom of Feels

Just in case no one has told you, being pregnant is not that fun.

Making peace with a changing body, weeks 6 - 39

Just ask my sister - I doubt she'll ever procreate after listening to me list the myriad unpleasant consequences of expecting. (It's my own fault... There's just something really satisfying about laying the concept of "lightening crotch" on a pregnancy newbie.)

However, I like to save my complaints for loved ones who cannot escape my phone calls. Here, I will detail the aspects of creating a new human that I will miss.

What I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

1. Being congratulated for going to work.

Not at work... At MacArthur Beach State Park at 40 weeks, 3 days

I have felt unreasonably well for most of my gravid adventures, so rolling into work past-due was no big deal. But, even though I felt completely copacetic, my caring coworkers made a completely enjoyable fuss over my continued work activity.

I will miss hearing a hearty, "I can't believe you're here!" upon rolling into work 20 minutes late and wearing the same outfit I wore last week.

2. Being encouraged to have sex.

Pretty sure he's ready for parenthood

Weeks ago, my doc told me, "If you want to get out of this, you need to do what got you into this." Everyone from those awesome coworkers to friends, family and of course, my parents have nudged my husband with a knowing smile and goaded us to get it on.

Not since we got hitched has our love life been so sanctioned.

3. Receiving lavish attention.

Beautiful words from a beautiful friend

It's no secret that I'm a spectacular spotlight hog and I'm telling you, if you want to stop traffic, have involved conversations with complete strangers and be constantly complimented on your cuteness, being preggo is the way to go. At one point last week, I was surrounded by no fewer than six Macy's make-up counter attendants as they squealed the sweetest compliments about my bulbous body.


4. Tooting with impunity.

I found your problem right here. (From the notes from my non stress test.)

That's all I've got to say about that.

5. Sharing magical, intimate moments with my little boy.


I'm currently lounging on a loveseat, typing onto a laptop, and listening to a pillow salesman on the television. And, throughout this entire mundane experience, my unborn boy, half me and half the man I love, has been rolling around, filling my middle with an indescribable miracle.

It's mind-bending and magical and I'm savoring every secret moment he and I share.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pregnant Pause: The Great Snark Hunt

Literally no strangers have touched my tummy. None.

I mean, I touch it all the time. 37 weeks

I get tons of questions and comments and so far, 15 total strangers have correctly identified the gender of my baby based solely on the basketball-like nature of my bump.

But unapproved palms on my protrusion? Zero.

I'm going to chalk this up to a rockin' case of Resting Bitch Face and thank my luck stars.

Literally resting bitch face at 37 weeks

My new theme song:

Cankle In The Wind

Goodbye, normal jeans
Though I seldom wore you at all
I had the choice to don myself
In whatever in my closet called
Platforms and tailored trousers
Heels, they whisper into my brain
They set me down a spiral
And I prop up my feet in shame

Cankle camouflage at 36 weeks

And it seems to me, I'm living life
Like a cankle in the wind
Never knowing what to put on
Over swollen skin
And I would have liked to look cute
But I'm making a kid
My cankles bum me out
More than heartburn ever did

Be-cankled kitty kisses at 36 weeks

The other day, the handle on my awesome pink water bottle snapped, and it crashed to the floor of my office.

What did I yell?

"Oh shit! My water broke!"

Broken water bottle
Pro Tip: Do not text this story to your husband. He will not think it's funny.

Fortunately, my boss saw the whole thing and squelched the alarm before my coworkers could bring out the tarps.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pregnant Pause: Generation of Whine


I got my first, "Wow!" the other day.

Jabba the parturient at 29 weeks

You know, the loaded Wow that says, "Girl, you're huge! I never knew a human body could take up so much space! How are you physically upright at this point? AND YOU HAVE THREE MORE MONTHS TO GO???"

I laughed at the time, but it continues to roll around in my head.

I mentioned the unfortunate encounter to my father-in-law, and in his thoughtful Kentucky drawl, he said, "You know, people get so excited when they see someone in your condition. Men, especially. And I don't think they know what to say. But they see you looking beautiful and they just react."

blockin' and bumpin' at 29 weeks

Aw. Thank you for the perspective.


I really struggle with the "rules" when comes to what I can and cannot do as a beautifully budding bumpmobile. I like to think I'm a rebel but, quite frankly, I'm worry-averse and will do nearly anything to avoid having to question my decisions later.

26 Weeks Pregnant in West Palm Beach
No regrets at 26 weeks

It wouldn't be so nerve-wracking if the body of research on gestational ingestion wasn't so nebulous, but conflicting and contrived advice abounds when it comes to what a expectant mom can consume. There are moments of doubt when I just want to call a fetal guru and demand, "JUST TELL ME IF I CAN HAVE A DAMNED TUNA SAMMIE."

I find myself tumbling into a google abyss on the most banal of topics. I'm strangely craving a latte... Is that off-limits? (I went with decaf.) Is nail polish poisoning my progeny? (Maybe? But I've always liked to have a reason to by nail polish, so non-formaldehyde varnish it is.) But seriously, what about the tuna?? (I'm eating it once a week. Damn the man.)

Even with my devoted vigilance to doing the right thing, I still screw up. At the farmers market Sunday, a radiant lady sold me a cup of the most beautiful ruby-colored iced hibiscus tea and only after I had slurped up half the glass did I pause for a googling.

2017-08-31_03-50-15 Hibiscus Tea

Turns out, hibiscus tea can cause you to go into labor.

Thankfully, I didn't even get gas from the faux pas, let alone launch myself into preterm terror. It was demoralizing, though, to set down the cup with a sigh. I consoled myself with... You guessed it: a tuna sammich.


Lamaze class is awesome, y'all.

This is how you practice, right?

Yeah, I knew I'd gain some skills and see birthing videos and further my insane research into all things natal. I expected that. What I didn't really expect was to fall in love with my husband a little more as he practiced massage postures and breathing techniques with abandon in a room full of total strangers.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching him become a dad.

We're awesome at practicing.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pregnant Pause: Fear and Loving

Hey, y'all. You may know that I am currently knocked up. Preggo. Expecting. I have a proverbial bun in the oven. And, actually, I wouldn't mind having an actual bun in the actual oven. Mmmm carbs...

Feeling myself at 24 weeks, 6 days

Anyway. Here are some thoughts on potential parenthood from a familial neophyte.

Earlier this week, I was listening to NPR at lunch and heard and interview with a woman who miscarried at five months.


I am 25 weeks right now and the only thought that frightens me more than the concept of natural child birth (currently the plan, BTW) is the idea that I will somehow lose this little fish that's been flopping in my gut for lo these many weeks.

Keeping this pregnancy secret for several weeks is probably the most heroic feat of my life (until, I assume, I actually bring this kid into the world). As my clothing choices no doubt illustrate, I am patently terrible at playing it cool, being subtle, and/or doing anything in a low-key fashion.

At the same time, I understood that some pregnancies just don't come to fruition, and the idea of crowing my enceinte state to all my friends and coworkers and then having to crawl back to retract the good news was downright terrifying. Secrets suck but sharing heartbreaking news is even worse.

5/16/17 - The notes I took on the phone with my doc 
The notes I took on the phone when my doc called to tell me that all the tests for genetic issues came back negative and, congratulations: You're having a boy! 

So, I kept my clam clamped until the obligatory 12 weeks. (13? 15? I can't remember. Pregnancy Brain is real.) And now I find that, in addition to worrying about whether I'm consuming enough protein, I still get to worry about this sweet fluttering phantom keeping his home for our remaining months.

I'm trying to make peace with the idea that mothering involves a sizable and unending amount of worry, but man.


Living approximately 1,000 miles away from my family is not ideal. I wish I could share more of this insane experience with them, though they probably don't mind being distanced from my crying jags, cravings and constant complaining.

3/28/17 Ultrasound
The excited photo I texted to my folks back in March when this kid was nothing more than a blueberry with a heartbeat

I have to say, though, that my phone calls with my mom have been extra delightful these days. I spoke her last week, upon the completion of The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy (which I honestly loved), and told her that I'd come to the chapter about sex postpartum.

Me: Mom, the whole time I kept thinking, 'Well, if my parents are any indication, I will have many decades of happy lovemaking after having this kid.'

Mom: [Guilty giggle.]

6/29/17 - A-lined
Trying to look cute and desirable at 20 weeks

We went on to have a frank and funny discussion. I will leave it at that, and continue to reflect on how amazing my family is.

Does every woman feel like they are the first human to ever experience pregnancy? For the first three months, I was convinced to my very soul that I had invented the condition.

4/1/17 - The only April's Fools joke are these Sea-Bands
Taken on April Fool's Day, when the only joke was these Sea-Bands doing absolutely nothing for my crippling morning sickness

Now, however, I am devouring every story/insight I can into the experiences of my fellow mamas. (Also devouring anything that contains even a small amount of heavy cream.) I truly love that whenever I confess my fecund condition to any parental female, I am regaled with stories of her own pregnancy, labor and crowning achievement (weird, quasi-gross pun INTENDED). Regardless of relationship (coworker, sales rep, complete stranger) or location (the copy room, the elevator at my condo, TJ Maxx) my happy bulletin inevitably escalates into a personal paean of blood, sweat and tears.

I love it.

I'm nearing entry into the maternity fraternity and welcome the honesty and guidance of veteran progenitors. I'm obviously going to need it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Frumpy Summary

I imagine everyone who knows my currently gestating situation would prefer I post pics of myself frumping up the bump, as it were.

Too bad!

Some months back, I was approached by Emma Eisenberg, a freelance writer, as she compiled a piece on a topic close to my heart: Frumpiness. Inspired by her inquisition into my specific sartorial style, (and frankly, kinda tired of crafting clothes that compliment my rotund tummy), I'm taking a mental vacation from maternity.

Here are some highlights of frumpy duds from the last year or so.

(And, fine. I promise I'll post about my impending parenthood presently.)


May 27, 2016

I wish I could remember from whence this fantastic dress came. I think it's from Stitches and Rust, the most excellent purveyors of vintage wonder in South Florida.

Anyway, this frock is now one of my favorite dresses (still fitting comfortably at nearly 25 weeks preggo), and this pic was snapped in Over-the-Rhine by one of my favorite humans, Josh Flowers.

Quincy: If all the world was drawn by six-year-olds, you would disappear.

Tell me about it, stud. #studs #carousel #sequins #pony #grandmastyle #grease #ootd #wiwt

June 3, 2016

Young gentleman at Goodwill: Is this... for you?
Me: Yep. Why, I don't look like the kind of gal who dons sequined carousel horses?
Young gentleman: Uh, no. Please don't.


July 17, 2016

What to do when you're headed out to see Duran Duran in mere hours? Why, stop by the nearest Goodwill and treat yourself to some beaded shoulder pads.

Shower cap and yapping cat

Aug. 15, 2016

TFW your in-laws know you so well they gift you a frilly shower cap for your birthday and you're so filled with joy, you squeeze a cat. #blessed


Aug. 27, 2016

If you find yourself near the Rural King in Lake Wales, Florida, I highly suggest scoping out its fine fashion offerings. You may just come away with a number like this from Wilderness Dreams.

Pink toy cap gun and holster sold separately, of course.

Honestly, I was just so in love with the idea that this bikini exists that I felt compelled to tell everyone I know. It's... magical.

Car show in West Palm Beach

Jan. 15, 2017

My mom hates this romper.

She and my sister and I were scouring the stacks of unfathomable treasures at the Gap Clearance Center when Laurie scored this sweet wrap romper by Diane Von Furstenberg. Fortunately for me, it proved too scanty for her bosom, so I snagged it.

Anemic chest for the win!


Jan. 17, 2017

These boots were made for walking. Actually, they're made to protect my tootsies from possible mangling, as they have incredibly heavy steel toes. After a small fire at our recycling facility, I was called on to take some pics and send some tweets, but only if I donned my safety gear first.

Thanks to my boss for snapping this, even if he only did so to mock me.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Point of Revue

2016 in Revue

It seems as though I haven't posted in a year. I think we can all agree 2016 was a tumultuous trip around the sun, and if you'd like a peek into my personal experience of the last 12 months, I'd implore you to enjoy my 2016 in Revue mix.

A distillation of all (well, most) of the songs I fell in love with this year, 2016 in Revue is free for your perusal by download here.

Or, if you prefer, you can just hit play on this YouTube playlist.

Or, if you'd like to get your paws on one of the little luggage tags I crafted from vintage book pages, I'd be more than happy to trade you actual, physical mix CDs. Just drop me an email to arrange.

2016 in Revue

2016 in Revue
1. Born Again Teen - Lucius
2. Up on Cripple Creek - The Band
3. If U C My Enemies - Rubblebucket
4. Queen Bee - Taj Mahal
5. What a Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers
6. Love as Strong as Doubt - Fort Defiance
7. Sila - A Tribe Called Red feat. Tanya Tagaq
8. JJ - Priests
9. This Land is Your Land - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
10. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke - The Flying Burrito Brothers

Perhaps a little more upbeat than such a year would warrant, this mix is primarily love songs that reflect my happy first year of marriage as well as cheery songs I sought out when feeling the burden of a bad news-laden year. I hope it brings you cheer.

Here's to comfort and joy in the new year.