I’ve survived a stroke and brain surgery. I relearned how to walk and swallow correctly. Pregnancy with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) was worse.
Early in my pregnancy, when my daughter was as big as a sweet pea, I searched for nursery reveals. Everything in a typical nursery reveal looks so gorgeous. Pristine. Perfect. The mother looks ready. She has thought of every detail.
I stopped working (and thinking clearly about anything) at about 17 weeks pregnant, as my SPD started to wear me out. Soon it hurt to open a jar of peanut butter or walk to the bathroom. There were no cute motifs going through my head that made any sense. The pain was unreal. It was a constant, unrelenting pain that you can’t take drugs for.
Well, you can sort of take drugs for it. You can take tylenol — which does nothing. I was on 20 mg of oxycodone to stay out of the hospital the last month of my pregnancy, but the drugs didn’t really work. 20 mg of oxycodone was enough for me to be able to sleep for a few hours and get to the bathroom. I was always in pain. I told my husband it felt like I was being tortured. I would wake up screaming. I cried throughout the day. So, nope, didn’t have a color scheme.
I did make things for the nursery, however. To deal with the pain, emotionally, I taught myself how to sew and make felt flowers. My mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine. A couple weeks after the baby was born my brother (Uncle Jonathan) and his girlfriend (Auntie Debbi) came over and put up all the things I had made for Elro. So, this doesn’t look like those nursery reveals I scrolled through months ago. It’s a lot of color. I suppose if it has any kind of “theme” it would be Frida Kahlo’s awesome spirit. She was my inspiration during those painful days and I have a giant watercolor of Frida on the wall, along with giraffes and cows wearing flower crowns.
It makes me so happy that Elro loves looking at the things I made her. This bunch of lavender, for example, is above her changing table, and she digs it!
I’m obsessed with tiny houses. This is just halfway homemade! I bought them unfinished, then added paint and paper and a string of lights.
I remember being in so much pain while making these felt flowers and using wire and glue to adhere them to this bird cage. It makes everything feel full circle when I see Elro watching the felt birds move in a breeze. I was on a 10 out of 10 of pain that day I made the birds and ended up being treated in the hospital for early contractions because of the pain. What a nightmare. And the pain comes back, but not nearly as bad, every month before my period. But she was worth it.
Part of my deal with bipolar disorder is, I can’t sleep without medication. So my darling husband has spent every night with Elro. When he went away on business, my best friend stayed in this room. So we knew we wanted a bed in the nursery — might as well make it kind of gorgeous, right? It’s a queen bed and very comfortable.
My dog, Sunny, shares this space with her during the day.
It’s not the perfect nursery reveal I was dreaming of when I first got pregnant — but it’s perfectly us, and I love that.