Mom Wars

I am twenty-three years old and a first time mom...something that is not totally "in vogue" in many parts of the country. I have no luxury vehicle, baby trust fund, or uber successful career under my belt...but I've got a lot of love. A lot of love that I fully intend on lavishing on my little girl, unapologetically and with abandon for the rest of my life. In my mind it is that, not the car or job or back-stock in dollars, that most qualifies me to be a parent.

I get so sad when I read blogs, forums, and witness where moms are so hard on one another. We are our own worst critics...and we shouldn't be. Breast feeders and formula feeders, attachment parenters and self-soothers, working and stay-at-home moms...it would be so much better if we were all in this together.

Each and every "you really shouldn't be doing that" should turn into "you're doing a great job...here, let me help you if/when you fall". Because we all fall...because no parent (or person) is perfect.

My little song-bird will be two-weeks-old tomorrow...and I cannot believe it. She already seems so big to me. I am finally out of the baby blues fog (which felt like it would never, ever end). I am still baffled by the depth and darkness of the feelings that closed in on me when we got home from the hospital. Hormones...I hate you, and I am glad to see you go...don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out (or do, I couldn't care less).


Umbilical Madness

I apologize for the lack of posting lately. To be completely honest, I am dealing with a major case of the "baby blues" (something that, apparently, no one talks about...and something that should really have a stronger name..."baby blues" just sounds so easy to handle).

Regardless, something happened today that I could not resist posting about. This morning, somewhere between feeding, burping, changing and napping a fairly monumental thing happened. I looked down on my nightgown and saw that Evie had lost her umbilical cord.
On. My. Pajamas.

Yeah. That is my pajama top...with a belly button on it. Ga-ross.

Here is a before picture...disregard the sucking...she LOVES to suck on anything and everything.


Happy Anniversary, Sorry for Crying on Your Steak

As many of you know, my husband and I are middle school sweethearts. In fact, on our first "date" (when his parents took us to a Braves game) we looked exactly like this:

August 6, 1999...I do not remember who won the game...but I was pretty sure (even then) that I had met the one for me.

Fast forward ten years, and we are celebrating our third wedding anniversary today...and even though our "romantic evening" consisted of going literally down the street to the local Mexican joint, chasing our chips and salsa with a plethora of pills (from a plastic baggie, no less), and me sobbing sporadically throughout the meal (because OH THE HORMONES...someone should send you home from the hospital with a sign attached to you that reads "SO MUCH AS SPEAK, and this woman will cry"), there is nowhere that I would rather be and no one whom I would rather be with than you, my love.

At least we attempted to have a little alone time today...as we were walking out the door I told him that he should feel like the luckiest guy in the world that I had mustered the energy to put pants on and dry my hair. The flowers he got me were pink, because today was little Evie's one week birthday. He is so awesome.

Happy Anniversary...You are and will forever be my Only One


The Man of My Dreams Turned Dad of My Dreams

My husband has only been a father for 6 days...and at least once during each of the first 4 days (while we were in the hospital) I had a nurse or a doctor tell me what a phenomenal dad he was...one did so with tears in her eyes. I agreed with them, smiling and knowing that I had already counted my blessings and told myself what an amazing dad he was at least 3,000 times in any given minute.

Graham, I have loved you for a very long time (10 years, to be exact)...and I have always been thankful for how wonderful you are...but seeing you with Evie overwhelms me with so many emotions. I am beyond grateful that our little girl gets to have a father like you...and I feel both completely undeserving and totally fortunate. You have already proven yourself as World's Best Dad in my book...and if there were a Rookie of the Year Award in parenting, your name would be on it. Thank you and Happy First Father's Day.


The Chapters We Skipped

After Evie was safe and in our arms on Tuesday, Graham and I admitted to each other that, despite all of our preparation and reading in order to get ready for labor, neither of us knew a thing about C-sections; we had skipped all of those chapters in our books. We just didn't see it as a possibility...but now it is our reality. I am beginning to think that it is the curse of a planner to have things not go according to plan.

Here is how little Evie's grand entrance came to pass: Monday evening was our first night of contraction counting. The real kind. The outch kind. We had our contraction counter application in hand because, well, you all know how much of a geek my husband is. The next morning I woke up still contracting...and they were getting closer and closer together. I wanted to stay at home and labor as long as possible because my biggest fear was getting to the hospital and being sent home...but Graham insisted that we go ahead (probably out of fear that my stubbornness would lead to him having to deliver a child IN OUR BATHTUB).

We get to the hospital and they hook me up to the monitor, and then everyone leaves the room. We start watching my contractions...and realize that with my first big contraction Evie's heart rate starts going down...and down...and down. Graham and I look at each other questioningly. "I am going to get a nurse" he says to me, and I (still being stubborn and not wanting to look like the typical "first time mom") tell him that someone will come in if anything unusual is happening. In that same second, 5 nurses run through the door and begin working on me.

I try, as politely as I can, to tell them that I do not want an IV...this was going to be a natural childbirth and pain medications were not in our plan. It turns out they were not interested in our plan, they were interested in keeping my baby alive (I am forever forever grateful to those 5 quick acting, slightly abrasive nurses). With every contraction that came, her heart decelerated, and within minutes my belly was being shaved and I was being wheeled off to the operating room for an emergency c-section.

When I woke up, I was a mama to this gorgeous little girl.
She was 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 19 inches of over-cooked goodness and, just like everyone said she would be, totally worth the wait.

She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and there was a kink in the cord so that every time I had a contraction her oxygen supply was cut off. The night after my c-section, I came down with a 102 degree fever. The fever spikes lasted over the next several hours, until I got put on antibiotics for the Strep B virus that my blood-work showed I had (which I had tested negative for on May 16th). Strep B is much, much worse for babies than it is for adults, so the doctors decided to go ahead and put Evie on antibiotics preemptively...they wouldn't get her blood-work back for another 24 hours and they'd rather be safe than sorry. The problem with the antibiotics, from a new mother's perspective, is that they had to get an IV in her arm...and seeing your 2-day-old baby being used as a little pincushion is akin to having your heart yanked out of your chest by a bulldozer and then having that bulldozer run over it...repeatedly. To make matters worse, they were unable to find a vein, and they can only try so many times before the risk of introducing an infection begins to outweigh the benefits of giving the medicine in the first place, so they did not get to start her on antibiotics yet. They are going to try again if her blood work comes back this afternoon and shows an infection. It has been a whirlwind. At times terrifying and, at others, blissfully amazing.

As one of our doctors put it....our case is very "interesting", and "interesting is not something that people want to be to him". My placenta is, as we speak, being shipped off to some super secret crime lab to be examined...which is all at once pretty cool and totally disgusting. We are still at the hospital, but hoping to be able to go home sometime this weekend...where we will get some much cuter pictures with Evie's brother (who cannot wait to meet her), her room, and all of her little lady clothes!

The important part of this story is, obviously, the ending..and regardless of which chapters we did or didn't read, we still got our happily ever after.


Dear Evie -

The world just got ten billion times better: you are now in it.

At a certain point while carrying you I stopped being able to remember a time without you. I suppose that is how things are going to be from now on...my life will revolve completely around you. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Even though we technically just met, I feel like I know you already. Every little kick and hiccup throughout the past few months has seemed like a precious look into who you are, and it makes me so excited that I get to watch you grow and learn and become.

These are the promises that I make to you:
1. I promise to love your daddy
2. I promise to always put your needs and his needs ahead of mine
3. I promise that, even when it is hard, I am going to be your parent first...friend second
4. I promise to try and see everything in a positive light, in the hopes that you can learn to, too
5. I promise to, from henceforth, stop living in the future. I do not want to miss one second of this roller coaster ride by wishing that tomorrow would hurry up and get here.

I can tell you already: I was completely unprepared for what this love would feel like. Thank you for teaching me so much.

- Mom


Desperate Times

**Warning: If you have a "thing" for men with facial hair please...for your own good...abstain from reading this post. It might just drive you crraaaazzzyyyy**

In the wait for Evie to arrive we have resorted to desperate, desperate measures here in the Scobey household. Graham, his dad and Bear are on strike. They are refusing to shave until the little one shows up.

This is OK for now...but, at the rate we are going, they could be looking a little rough by the time the big day actually gets here.

Yikes. Let's all hope she comes. Soon.

(major props to the person who can name the person's beard who David is sportin'...major MAJOR props if you get Graham's, too)


June Ten Eyck Tuesday

(I am still pregnant. I do NOT want to talk about it.)

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go down to New Haven for the day and shoot some gorgeous people, flowers, dresses, and rooms. There was just gorgeousness galore that day...what can I tell you?! The New Haven Lawn Club set the stage for an amazing shoot, while Tony Palmieri, The White Dress by the Shore, and Jennie Fresa added unbelievable details (because what's a stage without props? empty. that's what.).

Here we have the lovely Mandi rocking a bird-cage veil. Those things just scream "vintage". I love it!

Tony (of Datura, A Modern Garden) is a genius of the floral-loving variety...and I have these pictures to prove it. Seriously, he does things with plants that could blow your mind!

This one is cheese-o-riffic, I know...but a little cheese never killed anyone (unless you are super lactose intolerant...in which case I am sorry...because that means you are missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures: soft-serve ice-cream)

More amazing sculptural floral pieces...

I love this shot of Candace...she is very elegant with the side swept hair

This shot of Mandi in her orchid shawl (yes, you read that right...there was a shawl. made from orchids. ahhh!) is one of my favorites.

And there you have it. To see more pictures of this beautiful day check out the pros and their blogs: Carla, Graham, Katie, and Eric...the talent and dashing good looks behind C10ike Photography.


Full Moon...Full Weekend

This weekend has been great. Despite the fact that I have been a little bit cranky lately (read: pretty much a holy terror to be around) my sweet family has gone out of their way to take my mind off of the inescapable fact that I...am...still...pregnant.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Mystic (which is a small town, down by the coast, that has lots of cute shops) and then ate at S&P Oyster Company. It was soooo delicious. If you are ever in Connecticut give it a try.

Here we are doing a little bit of shopping...Graham has been so wonderful and patient with me this week. I can barely stand to be around myself lately, so I would not blame him if he hopped the next flight to Tahiti...but he is here...letting me cry/complain/turn up the air conditioning as high as it will possibly go...and loving me nonetheless.

Today Graham had his first soccer match for a recreational team that he just started playing on. There are few things more attractive to me than a guy in some sort of athletic uniform...so stick my husband in one and...well...I was pretty much drooling on the sidelines for a solid 90 minutes. I really encouraged him to join the team pretty much for that very reason. Don't tell him. He might feel objectified.

After the soccer game we went to the Coventry Farmer's Market. This is seriously my favorite place in all of New England...and I look forward to it every week. I lovingly refer to it as The Most Magical Place on Earth (please do not sue me, Disney...I am but a lowly blogger) and it is...it really is.

Here is Bear getting some time with his Pop...can you tell that they really don't like each other at all? Can someone please tell this dog that he is not a person...what kind of animal with any self respect sits like that!?

On another note...there is a full moon tonight so I am still holding out hope that tonight could be the night (yes, I know that it is already 10:00pm...but I am a desperate woman, people...I will take hope wherever I can, no matter how irrational)

Come ON crazy gravitational pull...work your MAGIC!


Only 999 Left to Go...

Graham's parents flew into town yesterday afternoon. They had already cleared their calendars around Evie's due date...and we did not want her late arrival to keep everyone sitting around on their hands. After going through a local attractions guide over breakfast, we decided that it would be fun to take a tour of The Mark Twain House in downtown Hartford (and that, even if it wasn't fun, the large quantities of stairs and walking might force me into labor).

The whole experience was a really pleasant surprise. Mark Twain (whose real name was Sam Clemens) was a remarkable man with a strong sense of humor. Learning about him made me think that, had he been alive today, I would like to have been his friend. His house here (where he spent the "happiest 17 years of his life") is absolutely gorgeous. Graham is going to build me one just like it someday.

Or at least he will build me a Lego house just like it...which is pretty much just as impressive as the real thing. I mean...can you imagine the skill that it would take to make something like this? Amazing!

Our tour guide informed us that The Mark Twain House is featured in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die...which was really exciting to me because I love lists and checking things off of them...and there are only 999 things left on that list. And at this rate, we can get through the entire remainder of the book before our daughter is even born.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little to no influence on society" - Mark Twain


Operation Eggplant

This morning, as I was reflecting on all of the advice that I got from my last post (thanks everyone!), something inside of me snapped. I became a woman on a mission. My mission: get this child OUT OF ME. I know that I am only one day late...and that many women (especially first time moms) go way longer than I have...but I am so type A and this is killing me. Just the fact that anything associated with me has the word "late" attached to it makes me want to pull my hair out one angry strand at a time.

So this morning I woke up and promptly kicked my husband out of bed so that I could clean the house...starting with the bed he was occupying, of course. Two floors of scrubbed tiles and hardwoods later I began to think that this Old Wives Tale is probably not an Old Wives Tale, at all...it is probably an Old Husband's Tale. Some evil man out there, in an effort to give his over-pregnant wife something to do...and because I am sure he thought it was hilarious (he is evil, remember) made this one up.

When the floor scrubbing did not work, I decided that I was going to hunt down some Eggplant Parmesan to eat for lunch. We live in a very small town, so this was no minuscule task. Then I found it...approximately 30 minutes away, in Manchester, a labor-inducing-dish was waiting for me, ready to cure me of my achy back and pelvis. So we drive (Graham goes with me because, frankly, at this point I am sure he fears for his life, or at least for his most prized appendage, should he say no).

We get to Bertucci's and sit down. In all honesty I am not really looking forward to this meal from an eating standpoint because I am not a big fan of eggplant. In fact, I have only ever had it in breaded, fried and cheese-covered form (and what wouldn't be good prepared that way?). I order the Eggplant Parma...and here is where my troubles began. "Oh" she says "That isn't breaded. Just thought I would let you know. That changes some people's minds." Not? Breaded? Gross. But I forge ahead. There is no other comparable dish on the menu, and this is still the closest to the real thing.

Then our meal comes. Apparently the waitress misunderstood. She must have thought I had ordered "Poop-plant Parmesan". Not only is it not breaded, but it is not fried, and it is not smothered in cheese. It is barely dusted with cheese.

I start making gagging noises, and Graham looks at me, disappointed. I know that I am being a baby...an embarrassing-to-be-seen-with-23-year-old-child, but I truly think that I am going to be sick if I attempt to eat this dish...I have not had any food aversions so far in this pregnancy (in fact, I have been less picky than usual)...but even the smell grossed me out.

"You said you would do anything" my nemesis taunts. I take a fork-full.

It is literally the slimiest, most horrible thing that I have ever put in my mouth. I have not felt so disgusted by food since the time, when I was 11, I threw up at the dinner table after my Dad made me eat scrambled eggs. Apparently I have food texture issues.

I get about five bites down...three of them accompanied by a large chunk of bread (to help with the texture). Every fork-full makes my body convulse. I am done. Operation Eggplant was the most gigantic of failures.

Oh, and I am taking the baby ticker off of my site because it is mocking me. "You're baby is 1 day old". Stupid ticker, I hate you.


Happy Birth Month!

Well, it is officially June. I cannot believe it (wasn't May 1st like...two days ago!?). Anyways...even though we do not have her here yet, little Evelyn will be born this month...one way or another...whether she likes it or not.

So...Happy Birth Month, Lazy Bones!!

For those of you who care/know what any of this means (I barely do) my appointment today revealed that I am 70% effaced and less than 1cm dilated (but not ZERO...a win!). As far as a time line, this means absolutely nothing...but it gave you an extra paragraph to read, didn't it?

I have been trying all of the different Old Wive's Tales...to absolutely no avail...but all of those long walks are at least providing me with a little bit of exercise (which I have had NONE of for the past couple of months). Does anyone out there have any...umm...techniques that you would recommend to expedite this little bundle of joy? While you all comment, I am going to go upstairs and scrub my floors on my hands and knees.