Erin Trafford


How a Pre-Baby Guest Room DIY Had Me Thinking Love, Future, and My Mom

Who knew a guest room could bring tears?

Who knew a guest room could bring tears? |

If I had a nickel for every unexpected emotion I’ve experienced being pregnant so far, I’d have at least enough money to buy a milkshake. I mean, blogs and articles and books and doctors can attempt prepare you, but I have found it’s those weird unexpected twists and turns that are giving me the biggest and best emotional highs.

I definitely did not expect a room makeover (which I do all the time!) to become an expression of how I feel about this pregnancy and the changes happening in my life. Not at all. I mean, who cries over wall paper? Apparently, I do.

My pre-baby passion lies in the world of interiors and design, so it wasn’t a huge leap when I started to incorporate that thinking into planning for baby. (I’m knee-deep into our nursery plans and designs, and have shared with you my unconventional thoughts on nesting in the rest of the house already.) It only seemed natural that my excitement over my pending arrival manifest through design and DIY. It’s just, as they say, what I do.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve focused my attention on our guest bedroom.

The tiniest of rooms with the most stunning ocean views, I put it on my priority list early, knowing we’d likely have out of town visitors either before or after baby arrives. I wanted it to be clean, fresh, and carefree, so I wouldn’t have to worry about primping it too much ahead of guests when I’m up to my eyeballs in boobs, breast milk and all those other things I can’t yet imagine.

I know a lot of women who get emotional about their nurseries. I was totally expecting to feel all choked up when I put our first little baby bookshelf together, but I didn’t really. My response to that paled in comparison to what I’ve been feeling about this other room.

Surprised? I know I was!

As I spent hours painting and papering walls, and shining the windows and mirrors in that tiny space, I realized many loved ones will use this room, but there is just one person who the room is truly for - my mom.

Who knew a guest room could bring tears?

You see, my mom lives thousands of miles away from me. I’m carrying her first ever grand baby.

And until I started actually designing this room, I had forsaken my deep and abiding desire to ensure the bond among all three of us is strong, true and lasting.

I hadn’t considered how worried I am about her being so far away, not just for my sake with all the ups and downs I expect new motherhood will bring, but for sake of my baby and for her.

I had the most wonderful relationship with my maternal grandmother and I so desperately want that tradition to carry on between my mom and my baby. Now you can understand why I’ve been experiencing those intense and unexpected emotional highs.

“There’s always FaceTime!”

Everyone says that.

And I have no doubt that we will use technology to share moments and stay in touch. But it won’t be the same. For whatever reason, my mind won’t form even the vaguest of concepts of what it will be like to hold my baby and hold my iPad and talk to my Mom. It’s just not up there on my list of ‘special things I want to do and experience’.

As I made the bed, and stacked the pillows, I knew I was craving a tangible reminder that familial bonds exist. I needed something to literally reach out and touch. Or in this case, a bed upon which I could literally flop and have an afternoon nap.

I don’t think a finished space has ever brought me to tears before. This one has. Many times.

As the guest room transformed from a lackluster dated box to a French coastal oasis, it came with that brilliant picture in my mind’s eye of my mom and my baby - none of it included a screen or internet connection.

Who knew a guest room could bring tears?

An adorable toddler scampers towards her in the arrivals area at the airport, all arms outstretched.

Trips to get ice cream on the boardwalk.

Skipping on the beach, telling funny jokes, imparting words of wisdom, quiet evenings spent swinging on the deck watching the sun sink into the distance.

Just the thought of those moments, though not yet real, make my heart absolutely sing.

Just standing in this now-finished room makes me believe, even for a moment, that the distance won’t matter.

In the grand scheme of things, it is but a small thing. But at the end of the day, it’s those small things and not those digital things, that we hold most dear.

 RELATED: I'm Not Pregnant... WE Are Pregnant