Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Cave

The last weeks of pregnancy are very strange. Not only do I feel an intense need for pregnancy to be over, but it's almost completely overpowering. I can't focus on much else than nesting and preparing myself. Being someone who works from home, I assumed I could work up until the day I delivered. But suddenly, at about 36 weeks, it became incredibly taxing to think about work. It's not even hard work. The smallest, most mundane task that doesn't include preparing for Abraham is like asking me to run a marathon in my bare feet.
They say in the wild that mother animals go into a cave or far off place when they're ready to deliver. In fact, even animals at the zoo will halt their own labor until they get away from the crowds of people and hide in a safe place. I suppose my mind was telling my body it was time to find a cave. I've got a really nice cave with some unbelievably soft sheets and air conditioning.  And today I finally turned on my work email's automatic responder and let all the clients know that it was time for me to retreat.
So at almost 3cm, 37.5 weeks, and other encouraging numbers as well, I am surrendering to the fact that this last phase of pregnancy could certainly last 3 weeks or more and there's not a darn thing I can do about it. First pregnancies go past due all the time. The worst part of it will be answering, "Yes," everytime someone asks me if I'm still pregnant until early September. But, if that's the worst part and I end up with a healthy, fully-cooked Abe, it's worth it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Latest Numbers

70% efaced
-1 station


Locked and loaded, but we all continue to wait...

Friday, August 20, 2010


In the ongoing quest to make my life difficult, my OBGYN and Endocrinologist seem to be having a letter-writing war over whether or I not I visit a high-risk OB specialist. The Endo insists it's necessary (more than likely because she's liable), and my OBGYN sees no reason for it as he has treated me for 9 months. So finally last week my OBGYN showed me the Endo's requests and told me he didn't care either way if I wanted to see a specialist for my last ultrasound, that he would be glad to refer to me to get this Endo off his back (my words, not his). So I begrudgingly agreed.
The specialist, Dr. Stone, is in a different hospital. The waiting room was FILLED with people who looked like they needed "special care", if you know what I mean. After waiting 45 minutes and avoiding contracting hepatitis, we finally heard my name called.
"I'm the nurse, I'm going to ask you some questions about your medical history." You can imagine my uncontrollable jubilance for having to give another medical professional my medical history. I answered all her questions, wondering why there isn't some database somewhere that contains all my medical history for all these information-hungry people without taking up an hour and a half of my day. You can get my address and favorite food off the internet in 3 clicks. Why not what drugs I'm allergic to?
As with all medical professionals, to her I resembled a giant checked box with "Gestational Diabetes" written next to it. She described my risks, including a stillborn baby (thanks for bringing that up again), and encouraged how incredibly important it was that I keep my sugars under control. As she spoke, my husband could feel me posturing. I wanted to stand up and yell, "LADY! I KICKED INSULIN'S ASS. MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS BETTER THAN MOST OLYMPIC ATHLETES. I HAVEN'T HAD ICE CREAM IN 6 MONTHS. THERE'S YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY." She could tell I was incredibly annoyed and sped up the questioning. This was, admittedly, not my shining moment.
After waiting another 15 minutes to get into the ultrasound room, a lovely woman walked in and began covering my belly in goo and taking Abe's measurements faster than I could even watch them on the screen. "Femur, looks good. Heart, looks good. Head's down. Here's a foot. There's his package. (She really said that.) Head is big. Ok all set. The doctor will be in in a moment." By this point I'm thinking, hello? I came to you people because you're specialists. You're SPECIAL! Do something SPECIAL!
That's when Dr. Stone walked in. Dr. Stone is apparently Javier Bardem's incredibly hot, middle-aged uncle with an unbelievable Spanish accent. He began looking through the pictures with me on the screen and I listened to his pronunciation of every word, big and small, and probably giggled more than I have since high school. My husband could have chosen to be intimidated, but that's so not his style. He thought this was pretty much one of the coolest doctors ever, too. Dr. Stone even answered his iPhone in the middle of our conversation, hung up and said, "That was my wife. If I don't answer, she gets pissed off. You understand (motioning to David)." I love this guy.
And I love him even more when he tells me what he sees. A 6 pound 11 ounce baby boy in the 53rd percentile, measuring exactly where he should. His head is the only big part of him, but it's in the right spot and facing the right direction. He tells me my sugars are fine, the placenta is fine, and the baby is fine and not to worry. And then he looks at me and says, "You know what you need to do? Stop checking your sugar so much. Your sugars are fine. Relax." HOW MUCH DO WE LOVE HIM?
He checked our due date using an app on his iPhone and shook both of our hands before congratulating us and leaving the room. BOOYAH GIANT BABY THREATENERS. MY BABY IS NO GIANT! Now, the giant head could pose a small problem with the exit strategy I have in mind, but we're going to think positive, yes?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have not eaten a meal that didn't result in this stain on this spot of my stomach for 3 months. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Bit Louder Now

I cooked dinner last night for my husband and I after a day of doing nearly nothing else. The moment I sat down to eat with him, I started feeling a tightening in my back. My husband was chatting with me about his day and I interrupted him to say, "My back hurts, suddenly."
"Oh," he replied. "You want me to rub it?"
"No," I said. "I'm fine."
My husband kept talking while the tightness in my back slowly spread around to my sides. I sort of drifted away from the table and stared at the wall. His voice started sounding like a quiet Charlie Brown's mom. Then the front of my belly started cramping and within in a few seconds, it felt like a huge belt was being tied around my midsection. While my husband talked, I froze like a statue with my hand on my fork. Finally, my husband stopped eating and talking long enough notice I'd become a wifesicle.
"E? You alright?"
"Yeah," I said. I wasn't alright-eat-your-dinner-I'm-normal alright, but I was alright. Finally, the belt started to loosen and I picked up my fork and ate dinner like nothing happened. It was a little out-of-body.
Nearly the same thing happened at lunch.
So when I went in to the doctor to get an update on Abe and I's mountain ranges, I asked him about that feeling. "Oh yeah? Sounds good. Those are real contractions," he smirked.
"REALLY?" I asked a little louder than necessary.
"Sounds like it. Make sure if you start feeling them often you time them."
"I had real contractions?! Like to have a baby?!?"
"Yep. It's normal."
At this point the doctor replied only with nodding. He sees this happen everyday so if I'm having contractions a dilating a cm, he's not really that impressed. I was smiling like someone bought me a huge ice cream and I was actually allowed to eat it. "Any other questions or changes?"
"Oh yeah, one more. There's been a lot of...stuff...coming out of...my lower regions."
"Ok. What color?"
"Oh, that's your mucus plug. You're slowly losing it. Also normal."
"It's all normal. You're fine. It could be weeks. Just go home and relax."
I couldn't understand how the doctor was so casual with all this information. I mean, this means we're on our way to having a baby, people! This is it! Shouldn't there be some kind of confetti or presentation of beautiful flowers or SOMETHING? If I ever become an OB-GYN, I'm going to have streamers and noise-makers all set up in a special room where women find out they're in the early stages of labor. It's only right!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Measuring Mountains in Centimeters

Twice a week I have to go in for an NST, non-stress test. They wrap a bunch of cords around my belly, sit me in a broken and uncomfortable recliner, and agitate Abe until his heart rate goes up enough times in 20 minutes that they consider him "reactive". Abe hates this. I hate this. It's uncomfortable and long and frankly, worthless. I have figured out that if I eat an apple in the waiting room and chug ice cold water as soon as they hook me up to the machine, Abe is "reactive". Kinda fishy that I'm able to manipulate the test so easily? Rotten salmon fishy if you ask me. But whatever. I oblige twice a week.
This pic is upside down, so flip your screen over for a minute.

So there I sat in the chair Friday, all wrapped up in cords, waiting for Abe to make enough mountains on the paper print out to prove that he is still fine.

When the nurse came in, she was very please at all the mountains Abe made on her printout. But more than that, she was kind of surprised by another mountain range. "Is he kicking you a lot?" she asked.
The lefthand mountain range is Abe's, the righthand mountain range is mine.
"Well, yeah. I mean, he's definitely moving around in there, why?" I asked. She sat and watched the printout for a minute or so.
Finally, she said, "It looks like you're having contractions. Are you feeling them?"
"Me?" I asked. Admittedly, this was a dumb question.
"It looks right here like you had a contraction." She pointed to a mountain. "You're not feeling them?"
"No, I'm not feeling them." Kind of awesome if I am having contractions, I thought. Labor is EASY.
I met her in an exam room and she measured my belly. Thirty-six weeks, dead on. She pushed around and asked about pain, blah blah. She sat down and opened my chart. Then came the words any perfectionist kills to hear. "You know, Erin, no other patient in the last 15 years I've worked here has ever kept their sugars so consistently logged and level as you have." Some women like it when men compliment their bodies. Others love to hear that they're kind, selfless people. I swoon over being commended on my rule-following ability.
"It's probably a good idea for us to check you and make sure you're not dilated." I laid back. No modesty with the "checking", I can assure you.
"Oh," she said.
"What?" I asked.
"I'm not going to check all the way so I don't encourage dilation, but I think you're already about a centimeter. And you're definitely thinning." Translation? Labor has begun! Now, labor can begin weeks before you actually pop the kid out, but still. My body, with a million doctors telling it that it could never handle this on its own, had started doing EXACTLY what it was meant to do. I almost cried on the table. I was so unbelievably happy. I also cried earlier that day when I realized my husband bought me two tubs of cottage cheese, not just one. Nonetheless, it was a poignant moment.
At 36 weeks, the docs aren't quite ready for me to give in and just let Abe fly out. So I'm ordered to modified bed rest for the next week. Basically, I have to lay down whenever possible, but if I need to make a sandwich or go to the store, I still can. They should rename modified bedrest "Dream Come True."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'll Have the Vindication, and a Side Salad

My husband and I went out to dinner that night. I sat at the table daydreaming about how great it will be when Abe is out and I don't have to deal with these doctors anymore. I decided earlier that day that despite this pregnancy being stressful and difficult (as I'd imagine most are), I want to have another kid JUST to try different doctors and start with what I know now.
At 8am the next morning, my husband was putting on his fancy shoes and getting ready to hit the road. I was still rolling around in bed because, honestly, peeling out of bed before 8am feels like a sledgehammer to the soul. He came in to give me a kiss goodbye and the phone rang. Oh dear lord, I'm not ready for the fight. I'm half asleep. Please don't let it be the Endo nurse.
"Sure, yes, I'll see if she's available...Erin? It's the Endo nurse."
I tried to perk up and make it sound like "good morning" weren't the first words I'd uttered that day when I picked up the phone. I had that half adrenaline, half heart palpitations thing going, hoping that I was awake enough to make sense in my arguments and remember all of my questions.
"Hi, Erin. How ya doin' babe?" she asked.
Wait. Babe? Hmm. This is new.
"I'm doing just fine, thanks, how are you?"
She skipped the answer and told me she'd pulled my file and spoken to the doctor, who she calls "Doc". I find this insulting to people who have actually been doctors for more than 10 years and earned the nickname "Doc." She went on to say that Doc had no idea I wasn't on insulin. (Well, surprise, surprise. Doc hasn't spoken to me in 8 weeks and you forgot to write it down in my chart. But who wants to dredge up the past?) And then...she said, "And Doc said that's fine."
Wait again. "Doc" didn't argue?? Ooooh reeeealllly??
"Doc said as long as you're keeping your daily numbers in check, there's no need to go on insulin now since you're due in 4 weeks."
I was ready for a fight. This sudden compliance with the validity of my concerns COMPLETELY blindsided me. My first instinct was to say, "Now you listen to me, nurse lady..." but I didn't need to.
"So, anyway, doc said that if your numbers do start to go up, we'll need to revisit the insulin but for the mean time, you're doing a great job with the diet and you don't need to go back on it."
"Oh," I said. "Ok, great. So there's no concern about my sugars?"
"Nope. You're all set. Just keep faxing in those numbers every week and let us know how you're doing, ok dear?"
I hung up the phone and sat in stunned silence for a moment. My husband was waiting for me to tell him what she said. When I gave him the other side of the conversation, he smiled and raised his hand in the air. "High five! Team Cohen! Way to be an informed patient who thinks for herself and listens to her instincts!!"
Ha! Yeah! Booyah! Abe and I are fine! I questioned injecting myself with toxins everyday for the "health" of my baby, and vindication was mine. I felt so proud that finally, for the first time during this pregnancy, I listened to my body FIRST. Now, none of this is to say that I won't have lunch with Clyde again if my baby's health depended on it. We are lucky enough to live in a country with immediate access to life-saving medical solutions. But somewhere along the lines, we forgot that we can think for ourselves instead of nodding and carrying our prescriptions to the pharmacy. Scary!
So Abe and I continue to live a protein-rich, insulin-free life together. Hopefully, though, he'll choose to live that life SEPARATELY from me sooner than later. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who Ya Gonna Call?

After Clyde and I broke it off and I told all my doctors our relationship had ended, I continued getting my Bonnie Numbers four times a day and faxed them to the endocrinologist weekly. My numbers have been lovely and steady, thank you body. So far, so good.
And then the poo hit the fan. Last week my endocrinologist's nurse asked that I get a hemoglobinA1C blood test. This is a simple test that looks at red blood cells and gets the average glucose percentage in your body for the past 3 months. Anything between 4.9 and 6.0 is normal. Mine was 5.1 several months ago; totally normal. But she wanted me to take another to get an update. Rule-follower that I am, I didn't ask questions. I took my veins down to the local blood suckers, who actually know me AND Abe by first name now, and left a little sample.
This week, the nurse called back and left me a message.
"Hi Erin. This is Dr. Endo's nurse. She said your hemoglobin A1C went up and she wants you to up your dosage of insulin starting this week. Call me back, thanks, bye."

Several things wrong with this message:
1. Will I ever talk to the endocrinologist again, or just the nurse?
2. She never mentioned what my A1C percentage was now? I'll be completely panicking about that until I get back in touch with her.
3. I'm not taking insulin anymore, and I told her that 2 weeks ago. How do I up the dosage if I'm not taking any?

I called her back and she told me my A1C was 5.6, and then immediately had to run and "would call me back to answer more questions." Now, I'm not sure how good you are with numbers, but to me, 5.6 still appears to fall within the "normal range." I mean, double check my math...but...
So instead of calmly determining my next questions before the nurse called back, I started crying and getting very angry.
Irrational, party of 1? Your table is ready.

My husband was out of town and I didn't know any friends who would understand why I was so angry and felt in my BONES she was going to tell me I had no choice but to go back on insulin despite my awesome Bonnie Numbers and normal A1C and how FRUSTRATING THAT WAS!

And then a little song began to play in my head.
"When a doctor's nuts, and you need some guts, who ya gonna call?
When they don't make sense, you need good defense. Who ya gonna call?

I rattled off the whole story to Doula and she agreed, it didn't quite make sense yet. She helped me formulate my questions (Why are you recommending insulin? Is 5.1 to 5.6 a big jump? Is there lab variability? Do my Bonnie Numbers mean nothing?) and armed me with a little pep talk about trusting my instincts. And when that nurse called back, I was ready. An informed patient, I offered up my questions and encouraged her that I was glad to take the insulin so long as I understood why. First, she was appalled that I wasn't taking insulin (apparently she forgot to write that down in my chart 2 weeks ago when I told her), and second, she couldn't answer any of my questions except to say that she had no idea I wasn't on insulin. Finally, she released the biggest, most frustrated sigh I've heard since I last learned we were out of cottage cheese and said, "Well, I guess I'll have to pull your chart and discuss your questions with the doctor because I don't know the answers."
Um...thank you? For doing your job?

Nearly 3pm by that point, I had a sinking sensation I wasn't going to get an answer anytime soon. I sat, completely terrified that I was missing a precious day of insulin that could be saving my baby just because I was raising a stink about why I should take it. Am I completely selfish? Am I one of those patients that assumes to know more than the doctor? Are my instincts clouded by pregnancy hormones?


Monday, August 9, 2010


This is where it gets personal, folks.

Everyone assures me that eventually during my pregnancy, I will meet a little guy named Herman. Who is Herman, you ask? Herman is a hemorrhoid. I didn't really know what one was. It's the one thing EVERYONE warned me would happen (just you wait), and it never did.
Until one night.
I had a mad craving for a certain fondue restaurant. I found a coupon (which makes food taste better, if you ask me) and invited my husband out for a date. It was the first time in months that I ate until I could barely move. I whined and moaned the ENTIRE drive home, "Oooh I'm completely full of baby and food, and the baby is kicking the food. Oooooh."
I immediately stopped in the bathroom to pee when we got home. It felt so comfortable there on the john, that I picked up a magazine and read for a few minutes. I never do that, but I was secretly hoping that if I sat there I could convince my stomach to empty its contents and give me a little more room. (I'm saying all this as politely as I can...)
I stood up to walk into the living room and stopped dead in my tracks.
"What?" my husband asked.
"Hemerrhoid,"I replied.
"You got one?"
"What does one feel like?" I asked, but it came out more like pleading.
"I don't know. I think it's like something is coming out. Or hanging around," he responded.
"Oh. My. God."
I stood there staring at him, like if I stared long enough he would tell me he was sure it wasn't a Herman and we could all move on.
"Well," he finally said, "touch it. Is something there?"
I went into the other room and started sobbing. "I touched it!" I screamed. "I have one! I have a Herman! I have a huge belly, an aching back, leg cramps, sore feet, and a hemerrhoid! Babe! No! I don't want this!"
"It's fine, honey!" my husband spoke through the door. "It will probably be there for a while and then it will go away, I don't think it's a big deal."
I continued sobbing. My husband went into my drawers to get the antidote; I always kept hemerroid cream around because I saw on the Today show that it can help reduce under-eye bags (and it really does work, you should check it out). He cracked the door, handed it to me, and told me to try it. I sat there, sobbing, and "tried it." Then I walked back to the bedroom, more crying, more whining, and tried to go to sleep.
"Yeah?" I sniffled.
"Are you going to blog about this?"
"Of course I am. The people have a right to know."
I woke up 15 times in the middle of the night to pee and everytime, I grabbed the antidote. I'm not sure what the maximum usage in a 24-hour period is, but whatever it is I'm pretty sure I quadrupled it at least. This was war.
I woke up the next morning and hopped in the shower. I'd almost forgotten about Herman. He suddenly flashed across my mind like a swift right hook and I closed my eyes. Please, lord. Take Herman away.
Several minutes later I came running (well, walking at a pace faster than the slowest saunter you could possibly imagine is "running" right now) out of the bathroom in a robe screaming, "Babe! IT'S A MIRACLE!! IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!"
"What?" he shouted.
My husband remarked that that was wonderful and went back to his coffee.
I felt very good about myself the rest of the day having killed Herman in one night. And to all those threatening that Herman will return, I laugh at your threats. I have the antidote. And I know how to use it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Analyze This

Ok, dream analyzers. Tell me what this one means:

So I'm 9 months pregnant and helping a friend get out of a maze. I black out and when I wake up, I'm in a hospital room and I've given birth. There are about 30 nurses meandering around, as well as my whole family. One of the nurses is holding my baby, so I approach her and she asks me if I want to hold "my baby." I say yes, remarking to myself how strange it is that I can walk without any pain.
I take the blanket and in it is an African Parrot. I'm trying to hold the parrot like a baby, but it's really fighting me. It hates being on its back. It starts pecking me with its beak and eventually gets out of my hands and flies away. I'm really disappointed; I want to see Abe.
So I turn around to wash my hands in my kitchen sink, which is there in the room, and someone hands me "my baby" again. It's a little Filipino girl, probably about 6 months old. She has a really runny, crusty nose. I start to feel horrible about myself as a mother. I don't want this little girl at all. She's cute and nice, but I don't love her. I love Abe. And I can't find him. I wipe her nose and put her on my hip.
Then the doctor emails me. My computer in there in the room (luckily) and I read that he has never seen a patient like me before in his entire career and that it's all really strange. I concur in my head. I turn around and ask how much Abe weighed when he was born. My mother, in scrubs, tells me he weighed just over 4 pounds and if I had carried him any longer I would have had a lot of pressure an felt very uncomfortable. She still didn't tell me where he was.
Then another doctor comes in to give my family, and all the nurses, a power point presentation about pediatricians. He recommends to me that I should see one pediatrician in particular, an Asian man, because my daughter is Filipino. My mother agrees (she's sitting behind me and wearing black skinny jeans with a ton of jewelry now). I turn and tell her I like the pediatrician I chose and I don't want to change and she looks at me like I'm crazy. "Oh," she says. "Well, I like this Asian one." I leave the room and start walking down a hall to find Abe. I'm sobbing because I feel terribly that I don't like that little girl.
And then I wake up and pee.

Analyze. Go.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Defying Gravity

I got a little more floor in this one than I'd prefer, but the point is this: That is one good-looking kid, no?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Break Up

So, Bonnie and Clyde (read about them here and here) have been by my side for a little over a month now. My Bonnie Numbers are good. I'm always within the perfect range and Bonnie has been as gentle with my fingers as she can be. But to be honest, Clyde and I have been having some trouble in our relationship. He's VERY demanding, and even though I know he means well, he starting to hurt me. It was all well and good at first, but slowly I felt like things got abusive. He's one of those guys that assures me the bruises are all going to be worth it if I just keep up our relationship; he likes to remind me he's the only one that can help me with Gestational Diabetes. There have been many nights I looked him right in the eye and said, "I can't do this, Clyde. I don't feel right about it. This feels toxic." And then he just slyly responds, "It's your choice, but do you really want to hurt your baby? I need you and you need me, and we both know it." How do I argue with that?
Well, I'll tell you how. One morning, I woke up and decided I couldn't take part in this co-dependent relationship anymore. After talking to Bonnie, I stood up and walked right past Clyde. I didn't even wake him up to tell him I was leaving. I didn't want the arguing or to feel the guilt I'd knew he'd try to smack me with. I just left.
That first day was hard. I constantly thought about what Clyde said: "Do you really want to hurt your baby?" The last thing I ever want to do is hurt my Abe, but something told me that I could do this without Clyde. It took a lot of Bonnie Numbers and a lot of protein, but I did it. And with each passing day, it got easier and easier to ignore Clyde.
The next big hurdle would be to tell my doctor that Clyde and I broke up. My doctor has not exactly demonstrated himself to be the most flexible when it comes to my relationship decisions. Plus, he REALLY likes Clyde. He feels like we're perfect for each other. My aunt gave me a pep talk, reminding me that I'm a grown up and my doctor is not in charge of my life. So at my next appointment, I told him. No, he wasn't thrilled. But I think my forthright attitude gave him little room to argue. I was finished with Clyde, and that was that.
So, it's been a little over a week since I've seen Clyde. He doesn't even live by my bed in anymore, he's completely moved out. Bonnie has been a big support during this time, and we both knew it was right. She's helped me to see that. Maybe someday Clyde and I will be friends again; maybe we'll find a way to have a mutually beneficial relationship. But for now, we're not good for eachother. And I feel stronger for having made the choice to let him go. I appreciate all the support I've gotten from friends and family, and if you hear from Clyde, please tell him I hope he's well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Saw the Sign

These should be posted in EVERY parking lot ACROSS AMERICA. FOREVER. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm a Decorator

I am NOT good at decorating. It has taken me a year and a half to get our living room into a configuration that's both attractive and functional. The walls are still bare. People give me ideas constantly, but they all seem so monumental that I just anxiety and take a nap.
So while I spent an entire afternoon on the internet trying to decide how to decorate Abe's room with more than just a glider and a crib (and subsequently rearranged his clothing for the 823rd time), I came upon some very cool vinyl stickers on Etsy.com. Of course, I bookmarked them and then took a nap because it was too overwhelming to commit to buying them. But when my husband saw them, he immediately picked a few that he thought would look nice in our bedroom and Abe's room. He's more of a do-er. I'm more of a list-maker and organizer. And napper. (Have I mentioned naps?)

We first got these big beautiful birch trees with sweet little brown birds for our bedroom. I think it helps to complete the West Elm look we've been going for.

Don't let the simplicity fool you. It took us about 4 hours to get them onto the wall. First I cut them out, then my husband taped them up, and then he painstakingly smoothed every inch of them onto the wall once section at a time (ensuring that each section lined up perfectly so each one looked like a single tree). If left to do this on my own, I ABSOLUTELY would have been covered in wrinkled, torn vinyl birch tree stickers and sobbing within 45 minutes.

I added the brown birds, which was easy enough because they were each one sticker. It's probably best you don't mention to my doctor or mother that I climbed my 8-months-pregnant-self to the top of a ladder to do it. It'll be our little secret.

Once I did the birds around the trees, I decided to tackle the wall above the changing table in our room. The dresser is my husband's maternal grandmother's. After she passed away, she left many beautiful old pieces of furniture in a storage unit and we snatched this one up. Such character. Neat that her great grandson will be changed on her dresser. :)
Anyway, the birds add a tad of whimsy and remind both my husband and I of one our of favorite books, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

We added an owl above the bed in Abe's room because it's freaking adorable, and because it came free with the birch trees.

My friend Tamara made these AMAZING letters by HAND for Abe.
We hung those above his crib and finally agreed upon a place for the hippo and viola! Abe has a few decorations! I'm a decorator! Kind of!