As many of you know, I have 3 children.
We found out we were pregnant with my oldest son the first weekend we moved to Honolulu. We had just taken over Honolulu Eye Clinic, and out of nowhere, I came up with the idea to have a nursery in our office. My husband thought I was crazy, but I figured, we are the owners, we can do what we want! And, I also predicted (correctly, as it turns out), that Hawaii is so family centric, so focused on ohana, that I didn’t think patients would mind. Plus, since I am a pediatric ophthalmologist, there were going to be kids crying from dilating drops anyway, what’s one more kid?
At the back end of the office, there was this room which Dr. Edwards was just using as a storage space. I told Jeff I thought this would be the perfect nursery. He didn’t have the vision I did and had a hard time imagining it. He said “We’re going to put our first born in a storage closet?”.
It was definitely a bit of a mess. The 2 nice things about the space was that it was pretty large and that it was right across the hall from the pediatric waiting room. (which we stayed up until midnight before our first day putting together).
So, after craig’s listing everything in the room and reorganizing it all, we had a blank slate. The room is actually bigger than the nursery we have at home. I kept everything pretty simple. Just some paint on the walls and I found a comfy chair to nurse in off of craig’s list. I was given a second hand pack and play which fit better in the room than a crib. Then off to Target for a couple rugs and a changing table.
Hard to believe it’s the same room ,right? I made some green curtains from fabric from Walmart to hide all the storage we still needed to keep in the room.I cut the top off cardboard letters and filled them with fake flowers from Ben Franklin.
It was so wonderful to have my kids close by when I was nursing. It really helped me go back to work sooner, because I wasn’t worried about who was watching my children. We were so blessed to find a wonderful nanny, Gabi. And, I just scheduled a block in my schedule mid-morning and mid-afternoon to breastfeed. It was ideal. I never had to pump or worry about not producing enough milk. Though the downside was that none of my 3 kids ever learned to take a bottle, they were very spoiled! Our nanny would take the kids for walks, and when they were older to activities like Wee Play, Ohana Music Together, Children’s Discover Center, Aquarium, Hawaii State Library, Honolulu Zoo. Queen’s is so well centered, that a lot of things were walking distance. So, as the babies got older, they weren’t actually in the office nursery for that long, but they would come back for lunch and nap, and just seeing them at those times was wonderful too. Gabi moved to the mainland when Nikhil was a little over a year old, and we were blessed again with another amazing nanny, Shawna. She truly loved our kids as if they were her own.
The other plus side of having a nursery in our office was that my children grew up with the wonderful girls we have on staff. They call them their “Clinic Aunties”. Again, another reason they could have been a little spoiled. My kids love coming to the office because not only do they see us, but they adore seeing their aunties too!
And, that’s what is truly wonderful about Hawaii – my patients loved seeing my kids, they wanted to see the nursery and be updated on how they were doing. I have one patient who even made her appointment times with me around my baby’s nap schedule so she could see him!
My youngest child juststarted preschool last week – hard to believe! So we will no longer need the nursery in the office and the plan is to turn it into an exam room next month. I know, kids growing up is all a part of life, but clearing out this nursery definitely tugs at my heart strings. And, no, we’re are 100% not having any more children!
And for any other DIYers out there, here are some pics of our nursery at home. It’s the same room, just decorated differently. For Taj’s nursery below, my mom made the crochet airplane mobile with sewed in musical buttons. I painted the canvas with Taj’s name in Tamil and his Chinese name as well.
When we had Arya, we moved Taj to another room and I really DIY’ed everything from the crib bedding (thanks Mom!), to the felt mermaid crib mobile (made that while sitting in the doctor’s office during my pregnancy), hand stenciled curtains for Arya’s room with a coral paisley (absolutely never again – want to get back pain? then hand stencil curtains when you’re 36 weeks pregnant and then sew them with black out liner), paint stick mirror, gallery wall from old frames that I got for free from Pictures Plus and spray painted gold. For some reason, I really love designing and decorating kids spaces. I think they’re just so much fun and are meant to be creative spaces for your little one to grow. It’s my stress relief from work!