“ARGHH!!” There I was, moaning in pain through each and every contraction, while all I heard in the background was the “BANG, BANG, BANG!” of our contractor’s hammer working away. Strangely enough, it was music to my ears. In fact, I jokingly referred to it as the soundtrack for my labor. At that point, I was so anxious for the house renovation to be completed that even if it meant having people work on the house while I labored in it, I didn’t mind.
It had been a long two months. Demolition started on our 3-story house the weekend of my graduation from medical school, which also happened to be the same weekend we held our baby shower (that was a busy weekend to say the least!). Although the house needed a lot of work, thankfully no structural repairs were required, so our renovations pretty much consisted of removing and replacing. However, there was a ton to replace. That weekend my hubby rallied a team that included cousins, friends, and both of our dads to demo the house in order to save on cost.
After demolition, the plan was to have all renovations completed within 4-6 weeks, meaning I would be about 8 months pregnant at that point, leaving 1 month to move in, set up, then have the baby right on schedule. Oh, and let’s not forget… I’d be starting residency somewhere in there as well! We had renovation budget spreadsheets, an itemized materials list, and lots of enthusiasm. It would work out perfectly!
Then, as most renovations go, we hit a bump in the road that derailed our timeline. Our flooring was supposed to be placed over the course of 3 days by a major retailer, but once they showed up on site, hidden costs came up, so our contractor volunteered to help us out and do the floors himself. However, since he was graciously working without a team to help cut costs, he had to install the floors by himself. Our floors which were supposed to be done in 3 days, were eventually completed in 2.5 weeks. This, of course, set other things back in our project. For example, the kitchen renovations had to be pushed back because cabinets couldn’t be installed until the flooring was laid.
During this time, my dear husband worked on the house every night after work (and practically lived there on weekends!) in order to cut costs and help move the project along. Being the sweet and thoughtful provider he is, his main worry the entire time was about getting things done before the baby came. I think he reminded just about everyone that came to work on the house that he had a baby coming soon, so timing was essential! I did what I could as well: coordinating design elements, bargain shopping, and visiting the house late at night to check in on the work (I couldn’t be around during the day with the workers there. The smell of the paint and dust was super nauseating to my pregnant self). Despite our best efforts though, renos simply are what they are, and they take time. So all in all, our 4-6 week project ended up taking 2.5 months. That being said, completely renovating a house that size in that time frame is no small feat, and took lots of planning and many blessings.
Needless to say, the little guy decided he had spent enough time in my belly and it was time leave. I went into labor exactly on my due date, with the stairs and the master bathroom yet to be completed. And because part of my birth plan was to labor at home as long as possible, (although that plan did not include doing so in the middle of a renovation), I began my labor and delivery journey upstairs, with our contractor hammering downstairs, and with my awesome mom and husband by my side (well, kind of…he was going back and forth between floors, helping our contractor, and painting our closet, while helping me).
Want to find out how the entire labor and delivery story went? Check it out next week!
Missed part 1 of “Big Belly, Big House?” Check it out here.
Ever had something not work out exactly according to plan, but it turned out okay anyway? Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!