Monday, May 9, 2011

Owl Therapy

Although I didn't think so at the time, looking back, I realize that my first pregnancy was pretty easy: minimal nausea, plentiful resting, part-time job, no children demanding my attention... I had lots of time to dream & nest & plan. Heck, I even took a 3 week trip to Europe days after learning I was pregnant! General life chaos was at a minimum. Pregnancy #2, however, was a completely different story. Here's a snapshot of the chaos in our lives during those 9 months:

  • I spent my days occupying and caring for a precocious, extroverted, extra-verbal 2 year old - which takes an incredible amount of energy.

  • I was working part-time at our church (where my husband is a pastor), and there is always plenty of chaos behind the scenes at a church! Staff transition, money issues, disgruntled parishioners...

  • We had recently moved into our "older home with character" (read: "100 year old money pit"), with unforseen & serious plumbing issues.

  • 8 weeks before my due date, we embarked on a double-bathroom renovation/waste line re-do, which couldn't wait.

  • As part of the renovation, our master closet was temporarily moved into the nursery, and was unfortunately still there at the time of baby's birth. We literally had to step over gigantic piles of clothes that had no home.

  • I was sick. Nothing serious, just pregnancy aches and pains... migraine headaches, nausea, back & hip pain, general exhaustion.

However, I was still delighted to be pregnant with this new life, and cherished those months getting to know my new baby before anyone else. Because I had spent the first three months sipping ginger ale, nibbling saltines and taking deep breaths, completely opposite from Pregnancy #1 with my baby boy, I believed that this baby was a girl. Although I wouldn't say it out loud, even to myself, I was dreaming of tutus, headbands and dark little curls. So you can imagine that I was feeling a bit shell-shocked when we saw this image mere moments into our 20-week ultrasound, and heard our cartoonish Russian ultra-sound technician say, "You vant to know sex? (we nodded) Eeees boy."

We were definitely surprised. And my husband doesn't do well with surprises. Although I generally love them, surprises during these hormone-ridden, chaos-laden months weren't part of my plan. So in those seconds, I was bracing for a few difficult weeks adjusting to this news. However, miraculously, by the time the ultrasound was over, I had adjusted my expectations. I was excited to have a second little bundle of boisterous, house-wrecking energy... and most importantly, I had decided to decorate his nursery with owls. Why? I have no idea. I'd never considered owls before. In fact, I generally don't like children's rooms based on animal themes. But somehow the tangible idea of owls - stuffed owls, hanging owls, owls perched in trees - was helping me to cope with circumstances out of my control and outside of my expectations. I spent most of that afternoon looking at various owl fabric and owl paraphernalia online. I remember texting my mom that I had owls on the brain (she was delighted). Then I spent the next months creating a room just for my baby-to-be. Here are some pictures of the nursery that was birthed, with much love and creative energy, in preparation for the arrival of my precious little Emerson Reed. The stolen moments that I spent dreaming for, planning & creating this simple nursery with hand-made, budget-minded things and hand-me-down furniture, were my haven during those tumultous months. Little Emerson is only 9 weeks old, but he clearly loves his nursery - it's his favorite room to be in, and the owl mobile will stop his crying every time. I like to think I already knew him, even from within.

More on the details of Emerson Reed's nursery in an upcoming post!


  1. I love the owls. I seem to remember agreeing to make you a baby bag with owls inside at some point. Apologies! Life has gotten crazy. How about I promise a fancy adult bag down the road? Regardless, I love how you decorated Emerson's room. It feels very calming and comfortable.

  2. No worries! I understand crazy life. And an adult bag sounds even better!