Monday, February 28, 2011

On bathrooms and letting go

When we moved into our house almost 3 years ago, we spent a lot of time painting the interior. We started with the most public rooms first before even moving in - the living and dining rooms - as well as our bedroom because it is small and would have a lot of furniture. Over the next six months, we painted the guest bedroom, guest bathroom, kitchen, and entry/ hallway.

About a year after moving in - which was also about a year after we started trying to conceive - we painted what we called the "extra room," but was really the nursery. The nursery that we very much wanted it to be. I painted it with hope that I would soon be filling it with a crib and colorful decor, and chose a mocha color that looked non-nursery enough to paint before I was pregnant, but could be a nice backdrop for a well decorated nursery. We now call it the "brown room," although it is still the nursery in my heart.

Out of all of these rooms, the only one we left unpainted - and was rather ugly - was our tiny master bathroom. At first it was simply because we were too tired of painting and home projects to start, and we were the only ones who ever saw it anyway. As time passed we also realized just how small, old, and unpleasant our master bath is, and started dreaming of a full-fledged bathroom remodel. Simultaneously, we also began fertility treatments. I had been saving money ever since we had begun trying to conceive out of fear that it would come to this - every work bonus, gift, or tax refund that came our way was now in a nice little account I called "our baby bucks fund."

Fertility treatments began, and we spent the first large chunk out of our baby bucks account. We had saved enough for two fresh IVFs, and expected a little more money to come in the next six months to do a third. So as I spent the money on the first IVF, I secretly hoped that we would get pregnant from our first IVF....and then be able to use the extra money in the baby bucks account to do a modest bathroom remodel.

Five ART cycles later, the baby bucks account is as empty as my womb. I am so, so thankful we had that money to even try - I know many couples do not - and that we are very fortunate to have been able to afford infertility treatments. I do not regret spending that money because we had to try, although I also cringe when I do think about having nothing to show for it.

Two weeks ago I entered our master bathroom and began to scrub and clean. And as I did so, I realized all over again how much I don't even like the space, and had the fleeting dream of a remodel again. But just like a baby is not in our near future, neither is a bathroom remodel. Isn't it strange how many things I can link to our infertility? As I scrubbed, this bathroom symbolized our barren bank account, which is intricately tied into my empty womb. And I hated the bathroom.

President's Day arrived and brought with it a three day weekend, and DH and I tackled our bathroom. We could not pay for a full remodel, but we could afford a can of paint. We could not tile a shower, but I could get a pretty shower curtain to cover up the avocado green shower surround. And so, 3 days and $300 later, we finished our bathroom face lift.

Before:



After:


It's hard to photograph the tiny room, but I think you can tell it is a much cleaner and happier feeling room now. :) It is a light, light olive green, although it looks almost white in the picture. We're really happy with it and it was a fun project to do together.

I feel like I am in the process (a very long and difficult process) of letting go of my dreams of pregnancy and normalcy in how we build our family. I think by finally doing something with the bathroom, I moved a tiny step forward. Things might not work out exactly as I had dreamed, but our bathroom is still pretty nice. We have much to be thankful for.

19 comments:

One Who Understands said...

Bathroom looks much nicer. We have so many things that we want to do around the house, but we are too consumed by IF that I can't take on one more thing. (Even if I not currently cycling) I'm so glad you were able to start healing and letting go.

lifebytheday said...

LOVE the bathroom! And love that you did something to make yourself feel less empty...hugs.

RMCarter said...

Love the new bathroom and your fighting spirit. I think about you all the time. You are inspiring.

AplusB said...

It looks lovely.

nobabyruth said...

The bathroom looks really nice - the curtain is really pretty and I really love the new medicine cabinet.

Keep up this spirit. I can imagine how hard it is to let go, but you are so smart to keep doing what you can, to keep moving forward.

Vi said...

It's strange how those two completely seperate things: infertility and a bathroom are engraved in your heart as one, but it's good that you've taken the first step forward- congratulations! And the bathroom is lovely:)

Vi said...

It's strange how those two completely seperate things: infertility and a bathroom are engraved in your heart as one, but it's good that you've taken the first step forward- congratulations! And the bathroom is lovely:)

A said...

Wow, the bathroom facelift looks great! Praying for you as always (hug)

andreajennine said...

Lovely makeover! And you do such a good job communicating how infertility intersects with so many areas of daily life.

Leah said...

Your mini remodel looks great. :)

I know what you mean about having to try the treatments. My biggest fear going through treatments was stopping them. I mean, what if the very next treatment would be the one that worked? I needed to exhaust all options before letting go.

Thinking of you as you move onto the next step.

Christa said...

Our intended nursery was painted green. We have since called it "the green room". I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that.

I like the bathroom! You have such a great touch with decorating.

Christa said...

We painted our intended nursery green when we first moved in and have since called it "the green room". I'm glad we're not the only ones who call the nursery the color of the room.

Your bathroom looks great! You have such a great touch when it comes to decorating!

Missy said...

The new bathroom is beautiful. Great job!

Rach said...

It looks very fresh and lifted! I hope you are feeling the same.

cowgirltn said...

The bathroom looks alot brighter, nice job and for only $300.

Rosie said...

I'm proud of you Hillary! You can move forward but you don't have to give up hope. Thinking of you.

kkasun said...

Wow, what a turnaround with only $300!!!

I like the shower cutain!!

Michelle said...

I love the bathroom (and I personally like avocado green, so I didn't mind the "before" look). What I most love, though, is that you did more than just "make do" with what you had already - you made it beautiful! I have full confidence the same will be said, eventually, about your family.

Anonymous said...

A job well done on your bathroom- it looks so fresh and inviting.
Everyday you are one step closer to holding your baby... God has a plan for you and it will be revealed. xo