Finally, her room is finished! And just in time, too. Her due date is July 19th, but I’m currently at 5 cm dilated and she’s head-down and low…so we could be looking at any day now. With Thursday marking 37 weeks, any day now would be just fine. 🙂
We started working on her nursery very early and I’m so glad we did. With Eddie’s injury, painting would not have been an option a month or two ago. And we were able to take our time and find the perfect pieces for each part of the room.
My favorite part is probably the dresser. We had planned to refinish an old wooden dresser but I could not get this particular IKEA dresser off my mind. Then when we got it, we decided to change it just a little bit by adding fabric to the drawers. It’s just hot glued around the back of the drawers, so if she wants to change it one day, the fabric can be taken off and it won’t be damaged. (The framed quote is from the Etsy shop that made the decal behind her crib. She found the quote on this blog and included it as a gift! “Not only is your story worth telling, but it can be told in words so painstakingly eloquent that it becomes a song.” – Gloria Naylor)
And then the area above the dresser is very special to us. Almost everything is handmade, custom made, or from Benjamin’s nursery. The alphabet poster and wooden owl are from his nursery, as well as the framed owl artwork (although the frame is new). The embroidered owl was made by me and says, “I love you for who you are, who you’ve been, and who you’re yet to be.” The smaller embroidery hoop was made with leftover fabric from the curtains. The dandelion puff artwork below that was made by my friend Jen Hinds, the crayon art is by me, and the iron owl hooks were custom painted by The Shabby Shack on Etsy. On the bottom in the center is a framed picture of my favorite ultrasound shot; the first time we could clearly see her profile. This picture was taken right after the successful CVS pass. I spent the week just going back and looking at her sweet little nose.
In the center is Benjamin’s Memorial Tree, with fingerprints from friends and family on both sides of the country.
The “frame” was painted and installed by Eddie.
The decal is, of course, another one of our favorite things about the room. In the corner are two paintings of simple dandelion puffs, done with leftover paint from the room. Below those paintings are the lyrics to I Hope You Dance. May you never take one single breath for granted.
As well as the beautiful bedding, a gift from her grandparents and Uncle Glenn. 🙂
And I am so happy to have these fabric book slings, also made by Jen Hinds! I am hopeless with sewing and she was a lifesaver. And you know Eddie super secured them to the wall. It’s a really great way to display books when you’re running out of space for a bookshelf, like we were.
And finally, the quirkiest and funkiest wall piece in the room, which happened to match the blue we had been using perfectly. And of course, love the owls.
And with that, we are as ready as we’re going to be. We had a lot of fun putting it all together – so much so that I’m kind of bummed it’s all finished.
(“But where is the glider?!” We have one in the living room. Her nursery is right next to Eddie’s office, so during the day we won’t be in there. She won’t even be sleeping in her room for a few months, more than likely. And there is just no room for a glider in there, anyway.)
To quickly update on Eddie and his back, he has had a few very good days! I think he has only had to take painkillers once in the last three (maybe four?!) days and his mobility has drastically improved. He even put his socks on — while standing and without wincing. Really hoping he continues to improve. He will hopefully be seeing the new neurosurgeon pretty soon so we can get an idea of how he’s healing on the inside. Our main goal was to avoid surgery and if we have done that, that’s all we can ask for at this point!
I came across a quote that really struck me the other day. We’re in the final days of this pregnancy and I keep trying to go back and remember the final days before Ben was born. How did I feel physically? What did we do to fill the time? I try to think about the hours leading up to and immediately after delivery and even the month and a half in between pregnancies. It seems like there are chunks of time missing from my memory. Sometimes those memories come flooding back, or I’ll remember one thing that leads to another memory, which leads to another, and eventually I find myself back in September. I don’t know if my brain blocks out certain things in an effort to protect itself from pain or if the pregnancy hormones are just continuing to destroy my memory. Either way, I don’t know how we made it through. And with “not knowing how” being on my mind a lot lately, this quote hit pretty close to home.
What I do remember is looking at Eddie and myself and thinking about how we’d never be the same. Thinking about when we first met and how different we were then. I was 18 and he was 22; we’re now 26 and 30. So much has happened in that time, good and bad. I remember hoping that we’d grieve together and support each other, because experiences like this can bring two people closer together or it can tear two people apart. Being the same person, or the same couple, is not an option. It goes without saying that we wish the price paid – not just by us, but most importantly by Benjamin – had never happened, but I am happy with the person who walked out of the storm, and the person who walked out by my side. We are a little bit broken, a lot humbled, but more than anything else — stronger. As individuals, as spouses, and as parents.
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore