I always knew I was going to have a Harry Potter nursery. I have always said, if I’m going to be in there at 3 am changing a poopy diaper or soothing a crying baby, it better be my happy place :). Luckily, Paul likes Harry Potter too so he doesn’t mind! Another thing about me: Once I find a theme, I run with that theme! I am my mother’s daughter after all :).
When we found out we were pregnant with Cora I was so excited to get started on gathering all my Harry Potter items I’ve gotten over the years and deciding where I could incorporate them into the nursery. I would say I got about 65% done with the nursery before we lost Cora. I meant to get more done but I always thought I had more time.
Immediately after we lost Cora we decided nothing was going to be taken out of the nursery. We had planned on having a HP nursery for each kiddo because it was practical and gender neutral. I couldn’t fathom having to put things away in the nursery. It was too hard and almost made me feel like I was giving up on kids. So we kept everything in there, as a memorial to our sweet girl and as a hope that one day we would bring home a baby.
When we found out we were pregnant again I knew I was going to have a lot of time on my hands to get this nursery done. But it took me a while to want to get into the nursery again. We had a scare in September that pretty much guaranteed I didn’t buy anything for the nursery for months. December rolled around and I figured it was time to complete this bad boy.
First, I had to decide which of Cora’s things would stay in the nursery and which would be taken out. We’ve also got a beautiful trunk that we can store some of her most special items. But I did want to leave a few things meant for her on the walls or shelves. It was hard. It’s so difficult to want to honor her memory and make sure I wasn’t just covering up her things with her brother’s. I know one day he is going to ask about her footprints he see’s on the wall or a blanket with her initials. I hope I’m prepared to answer those questions but more than anything I want him to know the love we have for his sister. And that its okay to talk about her and ask questions about her.
We have had a tough time not calling the nursery “Cora’s Room”. We took forever picking out a name for our little man so I just got used to calling it “The Nursery”. It also helped me to organize the room with both of my babies in mind, it was her room and now it’s his.
Today, I *finally* finished the nursery! It only took me about two years but we are so ready for our little one to come home with us to this colorful place full of Harry Potter happiness :).
Below are pictures & descriptions of the nursery:
This is what the nursery looks like when you walk in. I chose neutrals for the big items while everything else is virtually a rainbow of colors. I have never been one for a color scheme, I pretty much use every color under the sun when I’m allowed :).
This is our dresser/changing table. To the right is what I’ve lovingly called “Cora’s Corner”. I couldn’t bring myself to take those items out yet so I just left them where they were. It’s a little crowded but if you know me…I tend to put up things on the wall until I run out of room!
These are some of the new things I got in December. A majority of these “prints” are actually cross stitch patterns that I downloaded from Etsy and framed. It was cheaper than getting normal prints and I loved how unique they were. There is a print for each House at Hogwarts, a Harry Potter alphabet, a “Hogwarts in my Home” print, and a “When in doubt, go to the library” print. There is a niffler that Paul gave me for Christmas in the left bottom corner. If you look towards the top, there is a picture of Cora’s feet. I love baby feet and seeing her actual feet is a reminder that my baby girl was real.
This print is one of my favorites in the nursery. This illustration was used on the baby shower invitation for Cora and it is inspired from Chapter 1 of the first Harry Potter book. Both of our babies are so loved.
This print is above the crib in between watercolor prints of Hogwarts and Fawkes. This print was given to me by Paul for Christmas about 3 years ago. If you know Harry Potter, you know how important the phrase “Always” is. And you know how powerful the love behind that statement is. Little did we know that “Always” would become our phrase for Cora. We will always love our baby girl and remember her. Just like we will always love her siblings.
This (terrible) photo of the watercolor print of Hogwarts was my original inspiration for the nursery. I loved all of the colors. I love that it was Hogwarts but it was artistically done. To any HP fan, they’d recognize it immediately but it could also stand alone as beautiful castle.
These prints were given to me by my sister for Cora’s nursery. These are some of my favorite quotes from the series! The little canvases are precious pieces of artwork that were painted by some of our dear friends. I love this part of the nursery :).
I had to take a close up of this hand painted artwork by our dear friend, Sarah Morris. When she sent it to us last year, it took my breath away. And now it has even more special meaning considering the phrase she chose to use and the stag antlers. It was meant for Cora. I will treasure this artwork for forever.
Since we live in a 1960s Ranch house, closet space is minimal at best. I did my best to get everything organized into bins or holders. I have zero expectations that 6 months from now it will be this organized :).
Here is our rocker with my adorable “Always Look on the Bright Side” pillow from my girl, Kelly! I have also kept Cora’s Molly Bear in the nursery. I love holding her bear every now and then. To feel the weight of her again is always a comfort to my heart. And the super precious HP quilt in the back from Oscar & Brian :). The blanket was given to us for Cora but we can’t wait to wrap our little man up in it!
Curtains tend to be the bane of my existence. I hate picking them out…I never find any I like and I usually want some obnoxious print or color that would give most people headaches. So, I decided to go neutral but added in a rainbow felt garland. This is my only intentional nod to the fact that we are having a rainbow baby.
Well these shelves are jam packed :). The top shelf has my childhood set of Harry Potter books. The pages are covered with Cheetos stains, doodles of my name in the inside covers, and I typically find about 5 bookmarks in each book. There is a fondant Hedwig from Cora’s baby shower and the unicorn her Aunt Joey got her. Couldn’t take that unicorn out ;).
The bottom shelf has my illustrated Harry Potter books along with several trinkets we’ve picked up. The most important is the tiny urn in the center, this contains a portion of Cora’s ashes. There is a super cool donkey from Mexico from Aunt Megs and a picture of my mom holding me as a baby. There is also a teeny tiny purple purse that my niece picked out for Cora from Hawaii. She constantly reminds me of the intuition that precious children have.
I LOVE this quilt! It sits atop the trunk that contains all of the special gifts, mementos, and priceless items of Cora’s. This quilt is so perfect with all of the house colors and it has a snitch stitched onto the back. Also, that is a Detroit Lions sugar skull given to Paul by one of our good friends. We’re going to have a battle over who our kids cheer for in football ;).
These are clay imprints of Cora’s footprints and hand prints. I have tried twice to take them out of the nursery but I always end up putting them back in. Apart from her ashes, these are the most precious items I have of hers. I touch them daily sometimes multiple times a day. It comforts me that she was real and she was mine. There is also a program from her memorial service and a beautiful golden wing given to me by a fellow loss mom. She is a co-founder of One Wing Foundation. If you are not familiar with them, please look them up. Their work is incredible.
I don’t know where I’m going to end up keeping this precious item. I know I will eventually need to keep them in a safer place from sticky little kid fingers but for now, I need to see them out. And I love seeing them in the nursery.
I wanted to share a post about “The Nursery” so that other loss families could see an option on creating a nursery for two. I respect anyone’s choice to have as little or as many memories of their angel babies in the nursery. You have to do what is right for your family. These nurseries are some of the only things we have of our children that are no longer with us. Whether you only had time to buy an outfit or bib or, like us you had quite a bit of decoration, you can make it what you want.
I also wanted to show those who haven’t lost a baby that sometimes we need to honor our children in the places we feel best. And if you have a friend or family member who might be choosing to do what we have done by keeping some of Cora’s things in the nursery or they may choose to completely start over, know that it can be a very difficult decision. We might need a little encouragement, a little sympathy, or a little understanding.
I hope our nursery brings a smile to many faces because it certainly brings a smile to mine. I loved being in this room when it was strictly Cora’s. I loved being in this room when we lost Cora because it made me feel close to her. And I know I am going to love being in this room with her brother. Reading to him, loving on him, cursing the poopy diaper smell but being ever so grateful I have a poopy diaper to change.
Cheers to the Bright Side <3.