“I always wanted to be surprised too,” my grandma said matter-of-factly.
It was Christmas 2011 and I had just revealed to my brothers, sisters, grandma and uncle that Kevin and I were expecting a baby this July – and no, we wouldn’t be finding out the baby’s sex beforehand.
Of course, we had to remind Grandma that ultrasounds weren’t around in her day so she had no choice but to be surprised.
“Oh, that’s right!” she laughed. “Well, I’m glad I was surprised anyway.”
I’ve always known that if I became pregnant one day, I’d like to avoid finding out the gender before delivery day. I liked the idea of a surprise and especially liked that going gender neutral would ensure any future babies wouldn’t be stuck with all pink or blue – and momma wouldn’t have to spend extra money to buy baby items for the next kid!
Now that I’m actually pregnant, I’ve discovered another benefit to waiting to find out the gender. When the day arrives, I think the anticipation of finding out will help me make it through labor, knowing that the long-awaited question is just about to be answered.
That said, I can easily see why any pregnant lady might become quite upset with her significant other if she was talked into being surprised.
In a world of boy or girl, there is never a true gender-neutral section in a clothing store. There may be a shelf of items here and there, but the pickings are slim and the variety is lacking. Picture lots of green, yellow and ducks. Oh, the ducks…
I don’t mind it because I still think the benefits to not knowing outweigh any early clothing dilemmas. But it is definitely frustrating when your nesting instincts scream “BUY ALL THE THINGS!” and you are so limited in options.
And that brings me to another bonus: going for the surprise has also saved me lots of money before the baby’s arrival simply because there’s not a lot to buy!
Going gender neutral may be a challenge, but I greeted it with anticipation when it came to decorating the nursery.
The walls were already painted a light green last spring and I started planning the room soon after passing the first trimester. I bought the furniture and decor little by little through the months to keep the budget in balance.
With just three weeks to go before my due date, Sweet Pea’s nursery is ready and waiting for a little one to come and play!
Here’s a tour of the room …
The view of the nursery as you walk into the room.
I found the storage unit on Wayfair.com and use the bins to hold swaddling blankets, burp cloths and toys. The framed picture of Sweet Pea’s sonogram is a gift received from my friend Michelle after first finding out I was pregnant.
The white circular shelving unit above the storage baskets is from Land of Nod. I have random toys on there for now (the purple octopus and blue fish are actually bath toys!) but plan to change it up after the baby is born. I’m thinking the middle shelf will have the baby’s first initial of their name and I’ll change out the other two shelves whenever I stumble across something that just seems right for the area.
The light grey curtains and rods are from Ikea. The curtains are “light-filtering” but not total black-out curtains. I had the hardest time finding a light grey curtain that offered complete black-out material. I’m hoping these will do the job!
I also need to trim the length of the curtains so they aren’t laying quite so much on the floor, but I’m not really in a hurry to do that anytime soon. The glider is from Babies ‘R Us. I purchased it after my previous glider was backordered and not going to be delivered until mid-July. Luckily, I like this one just as much! The straw basket to the right houses blankets and a puppy puppet. The puppet was actually part of a diaper cake made by my sister-in-law and brother’s girlfriend for my baby shower! The bedding is from the Skip Hop Treetop Friends collection that I purchased off Amazon.
The dresser drawers and changing station is my favorite part of the room. I found a shop on Etsy to match the colors found in the framed pictures to the bedding and changing pad cover.
The frames are actually a grey color, but look almost black in this photo. The orange lamp is from Land of Nod and the owl is also part of the Skip Hop collection. The changing topper is from Pottery Barn Kids, although I think it might have been a waste of money. I’m pretty sure the changing station will stay just as well without a box to place it in – but I guess it does make for a nicer look!
The dresser is from Ikea and I absolutely love it. It’s really affordable, sturdy, and offers so much room for clothing, bibs, extra sheets and more.
The crib is from Pottery Barn Kids, the bedding and mobile from Skip Hop Treetop Friends, and the orange hamper to the right is from Land of Nod. I also purchased the white floor lamp from NewEgg.com.
Moving to the other side of the room, you’ll find the bookcase. It actually belongs to my mom and she gave it to me when I first moved to Boston back in 2007. She had bought it for herself when she was in her early 20s, just before meeting my dad.
The white circle mirrors are from Land of Nod. The wooden music box on the top shelf was a gift from my grandparents, and the signed plate actually contains messages to Sweet Pea from friends and family who attended my baby shower in Cincinnati!
The adorable veggie crate is a baby shower gift from my friend Erin, and the grey wicker basket on the bottom shelf holds future teething toys for Sweet Pea. I also bought the Sweet Pea candle when I was 23 weeks pregnant, although it will only be used for decor purposes!
Moving to the back of the room you’ll find a roomy walk-in closet.
It’s currently housing a few storage items for me and Kevin, as well as odds and ends we’ll need for the baby later down the road. I actually bought the light green Boppy breastfeeding pillow and matching My Breast Friend (another breastfeeding pillow option) from Once Upon a Child. I already had received a Boppy from my shower, but when I found this one for less than half the price, I decided to return the other and get this instead! Both pillows have zippers to easily remove and wash the fabric, so I didn’t have to worry about where it’s been before.
The bassinet is from my friend Meghan, who is letting me borrow it for the time being. I actually plan to use a Pack and Play in our bedroom, but this is also nice to have on hand in case baby doesn’t like the bassinet that comes with the Pack and Play.
I also prefer the Pack and Play because it contains a changing station as well, eliminating the need to get out of bed and walk to the nursery for any middle-of-the-night diaper changes!
And with one last look of this seemingly disorganized – but organized – closet (you can bet I know where everything is), the nursery tour ends here.
Now there’s just one last thing the room needs … and I can’t wait to show you once it arrives!