When our first was born 18 years ago (18!) we lived on the bottom floor of a little duplex-technically one bedroom but there was a large back room I set up for him before he was born. It was part of an addition, and hence it was freeezing or sweltering, and also had an entrance door into it but my naive self thought it would work out well. Then he was born, and I couldn't imagine him sleeping farther than 2 feet from me, and what if someone stole him, or what if he was too cold or hot-I would never ever leave him to sleep in such a miserable room, what was I thinking? He slept in our room.
Fast forward a year, and I was pregnant with our second. We had just bought a 3 bedroom house and with one going on two children, we had enough rooms for each child to have their own. I did her nursery in navy and white and yellow-nice and neutral. I painted the walls myself, copying the print of a wallpaper I could never afford, and had the cheapest all white bedding I could find-with a few garage sale finds it turned out pretty cute. She slept in there half a dozen times because she refused (and I mean refused!) to sleep without a body laying next to her. She was the lightest sleeper ever and I thought it was all my fault. I read books and books and tried different things all to no avail. What a waste of time, it's the way she was wired. But the nursery was cute, it really was. It sat there, gathering dust, and looking cute for a few years.
When I was pregnant with my third we moved once again to a 3 bedroom house....2 tiny bedrooms, one without a closet, and a nice sized master bedroom. We shoved the crib in Isaac's tiny room after Matt was born, and that worked well...the "boy's room". He actually slept in his crib after a few weeks, that sweet little best baby ever. It was heaven.
When our fourth, was born, we still lived in that same house, so I set up his crib in our room. He slept on my chest for a good four or more months because of his terrible colic. He never ever napped in his whole life. Except in his sling which I wore from sun-up till sun-down. I collapsed into bed with him every night, my only reprieve from his constant stomach trouble and we both slept soundly, totally exhausted. Shouldn't have even set up the crib with that one.
We live where we do now when our fifth was born. We have four bedrooms. I went a little psycho when I was pregnant with our fifth, thinking and rethinking all different scenarios depending on the sex of the baby, of who would share with who and how that would work so actual sleep could happen for all. I switched all their rooms around once (seriously moving the furniture!) only to have changed my mind one week later and put it all back. I contracted an architect to draw up plans for an addition and got (astronomical!) quotes. I drove everyone crazy, including myself. But then Patrick was born and I decided for the present time he would share with Isaac-youngest and oldest. He did sleep in his crib-got the most use out of that crib out of them all-at least for naps, because Isaac was at school and it was nice and quiet. But at night, I couldn't very well put him to bed with a teenager who needed to study till 10 or 11, so he slept in...you guessed it...our room.
Where he still is. But won't remain. Or maybe he will. I don't care anymore, honestly.
We are plum out of room by today's standards. Yes, Isaac is going off to college, but he will come home again and again and it's not like we can pitch a tent for him in the backyard after we sell his (tiny) room to the highest bidder. It will remain his room, although I promised it to the next oldest boy in line for sleeping purposes only when Isaac is gone-there is to be no official "moving in".
The baby will share a room with us. I'm under no illusion anymore. Pretty wallpaper, pastel colors, expensive catalog fixings don't determine how well babies or parents sleep. I sleep best close to my babies-I know that. Mix some new mother anxiety in with every-2-hour-around-the-clock-feedings and my bed is where we sleep best.
So here's my nursery and I love it. I love it more than ever because after having five children I feel so settled in knowing what I want, and what I need and how I function as a new mom. No crazy planning or shopping or moving rooms around. Now don't get me wrong-I don't mind a good old stroll, ooohing and ahhing, through a Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but I laugh a little when I look at the photos. It's SO not what having a baby is about. I know that now more than ever.
My good very talented friend Jane, revamped my old bassinet for me-I had a chance to make it my own- she stitched it all together and I now consider it an heirloom to hand down to my children and grandchildren. Abbey helped me choose the fabrics after we scrubbed it all up. I love its simplicity. My changing table has every item of clothing and all the supplies I think I will need for awhile at least.
Now we just patiently wait for our sweet little one.
(I love this detail...it fulfills my adoration of ball fringe in a tiny subtle way.)