Our Master Bedroom and our Fourth Child

Well, we have been at our house for 2 full years now. And there are no itches to move or buy another property that currently need to be scratched. There are lots of little things that need to be finished up on the house but we are just enjoying living life here and a big part of our life has been welcoming our fourth baby, Theodore. Theo is a month old now and he’s doing swimmingly. I’ll be talking about his arrival later in the post so if you aren’t into birth stories, you’ll be able to read about our bedroom and move on!

Our bedroom has always been a bit of a dumping ground and the lowest on the priority list of what needs to be clean in order for people to come to our home. After Theo arrived we had a photographer come and do some photos of him and our family. Because she was coming to take lifestyle photos in our house, I needed to have several areas of our house tidy. Things were pretty under control because I had got the nesting bug the day before Theo was born and Aaron had taken a week off and kept the ball rolling, but I did have to spend the better part of the day before she came cleaning our bedroom. I did it the day before because I didn’t actually contact the photographer until then(and thankfully she was able to come so soon) and also because I’m a procrastinator and that’s just how I work best! Anyway, all this to say, I never showed our bedroom before now because it was never clean. So here we are. We had some lovely photos taken and I had a clean room to post.

Here are a few of the photos we had taken. The photographer was Julianna Pennings from Red Rubber Photography and she was so great to work with. How she got everyone looking the right way and smiling (like real smiling, everyone was actually happy and it was 7:30am) is beyond me.

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Now here are a few photos of the room before we bagan stripping wallpaper the first weekend we were here.

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If you’ve read my other posts, you know the drill- strip wallpaper, pull up carpet, clean nicotine, paint, potlights and new carpet. We originally were going to drywall the ceiling because it is popcorn but we really wanted to move into our bedrooms so we decided to see what it would look like just to paint it. And it actually doesn’t look too bad and it’s just a bedroom and life is about compromises (well for some things). And once you put in a downlight, like the potlights we installed, it honestly makes it very difficult to see the texture on the ceiling. You know it’s not flat but it doesn’t look crazy 80’s. I painted the same colour as the hallway in our bedroom. It’s Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies. And it’s funny because I used that colour through the hallway, staircase, bathroom and our bedroom because I didn’t have the mental capacity at the time to choose different colours but because it changes so much depending on the light, it often looks like a different colour in each of those spaces.

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We got a king size bed shortly after moving here and the reason was three-fold. First, we had always wanted one to fit the children who end up crawling in with us, and to be able to sprawl out ourselves. Second, we finally had room to fit one. Third, our queen mattress was packed in the very front of our shipping container which would not be emptied for another few months. We love having the bigger bed! I purchased the headboard from Homesense and Aaron built the frame and he built it like a wall in a house with 2×4’s 16 on center! It’s a little extreme but at least it won’t go anywhere?! It also still needs proper legs.

You will also notice that there is a crib in our room. That is because we don’t have a nursery. Let’s go with the term this lady coined, a mastursery- a master bedroom and a nursery. Maybe that makes us seem like we planned things out better… or maybe it sounds like mastitis in which case let’s not use that term because I just dealt with a case of it, and I don’t need the reminder. Really though, I’m not a huge propenent of having a “nursery” because it is such a short lived stage and I actually do like having my babies close by. It makes feedings easy and what noises I end up hearing from the baby (over the jet engine level of noise from the fan we sleep with), I find comforting. Once Theo is big enough to withstand constant hugging, lifting, poking, prodding etc. he will move in with Myles. And then our room won’t have the baby stuff in it. And I will either be excited or a blubbering mess- depending on how the next year or so goes. So far I’m leaning toward blubbering mess; I’ve been surprised at how much I had missed this stage and I’m so glad we’ve found ourselves here again.

Here is a panorama of the room. It represents the colour of the walls better than the pictures above.

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So onto Theo’s arrival. Theodore means “gift of God”. Aaron suggested the name a month or so before we met him and at first I said no because of all the nicknames tied to it, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I had some worrysome moments throughout the pregnancy which made me realize what a gift each child really is, so it just fit. He was due April 15, so I assumed he would come anywhere from the 17th to the week after. I’ve never had a baby early and assumed this time would be no different. This also would be my third vbac. If you haven’t read it, this is Leah’s birth story, which was my first vbac and was extremely empowering. Basically, a third vbac carries the same “risks” that a first one does in terms of uterine rupture, but two previous successful vbacs are good evidence for the liklihood of success a third time. I put quotations around risks because the risk of rupture in someone with one prior c-section is actually not much higher than that of a first time mom so it isn’t something that I worry about, other than how it pertains to other complications that may arrise in the pregnancy. I decided to go the midwife route this time for several reasons. My first baby’s birth was attended by a midwife which I loved and even though it had a dissapointing ending, I was still so thankful to have a midwife because she could come to me for appointments while I was healing from surgery, and she was able to help us through a difficult start to breastfeeding. I would have gone the same route the second and third time if it weren’t for local hospital policies and a lack of space for me at city midwives clinics. So two and three were born in London with an OB. I had a doula present to help me manage pain and to help keep me on track with my birth plans. They were both good experiences and I have very few complaints about the care we were given. I felt I was able to make decisions on my own without being pushed into anything and they didn’t make a big deal about the whole vbac situation. I don’t think anyone even mentioned it being a vbac during Leah’s birth other than to explain why I would be continuously monitored. LHCS is a large, teaching hospital, and they have a high volume of births, so nothing is really new to them. This was perfect for me for those births. Sure, I didn’t know the people with me during my births from a hole in the ground, but I had my husband and my doula and I had the vbacs I planned to have and I had healthy babies. I did really miss the aftercare though. And I didn’t enjoy having to pay $15 to park and waiting up to 3 hours for a 15 minute clinic visit. I also really didn’t like having to share a recovery room after Evelyn. In the meantime, our county’s midwifery clinic changed hands and a bunch of new midwives joined the practice, so I thought this time I would have a midwife again. I could have a hospital birth in Stratford or at home if I wished.

At my 37 week appointment my midwife felt that baby had moved sideways into a transverse position. She suggested some exercises to help him move, but also planned to refer me to an OB to do an external cephalic version (ecv). At this point I asked for prayer that baby would move into the correct position and made some attemps at spinning babies exercises. I had not felt him move out of a head down position other than noticing kicks in a different spot and over the course of the next week I did not notice any huge movements but did note that I kept feeling kicks in different areas, so I think he was all over the place. A week after we discovered he had moved, Aaron and I headed to Stratford to have the ecv. When we got there we were taken into triage and I was given a gown to change into. Then they moved us into a labour and delivery room and I was hooked up to the monitor. I was monitored for a half hour or so before the OB came in and used an ultrasound to say for sure what position baby was in. He was head down! So we did not have to go through with the ecv and I was thrilled because I had heard it was uncomfortable and could possibly not work anyway. Later that day I had a midwife appointment so Aaron was able to come with me to that. My midwife usually would not do any cervical checks until closer to my due date but because being overdue could complicate things for me because of the vbac (Stratford will not use oxytocin for induction or augmentation in the case of a vbac) we decided to do a stretch and sweep and see if we could be proactive. The next day I was supposed to be somewhere in the morning but I felt like I really needed to stay home and get some things in order and clean the house a bit. We went to bed that night and I woke up around 2 to a very mild contraction. It wasn’t painful at all but 5 or 6 minutes later there was another one. And then another etc. So I sent a text to Aaron’s sister to make sure she was on call and ready to come over when I needed her to watch the kids. After getting ahold of her I went back to bed and while I was lying there the contractions started to get painful. I called my midwife and she headed out. By 4:15 or so Aaron’s sister and the midwife arrived. My contractions hurt but they weren’t that bad and they were probably around 4 minutes apart. I was 4 cm so I got up and went downstairs to have a bite to eat and move around a bit. That got things happening even more and I was starting to have to concentrate to get through the contractions. After a bit of that I went upstairs and my midwife checked me again. I was 6-7 cm so she suggested that we head out if I was wanting to go to the hospital. I’ve never had a home birth and I felt that it wasn’t a decision I wanted to make at the last minute when I was pretty sure I could make it to the hospital. Our entire second floor is carpet, I feel like that’s just something you have to mentally prepare for! I know that midwives know what to do to make sure your house doesn’t look like a crime scene afterwards but I felt okay for the drive still and if we had waited around we probably would have experienced murphy’s law and waited forever. So off to the hospital we went. It was April 6, and it was snowy! We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and I laboured while the midwife got to work doing her thing getting set up in the hospital room. The second midwife showed up and after a little while I was checked again and was 9 cm. My water was breaking in stages and there was still some trapped that was causing pressure and preventing me from dilating the last cm. After we got rid of that things moved right along and began to have a strong urge to push. I actually can’t remember how long the pushing stage took but Aaron thinks it didn’t last as long as I remember so maybe my sense of time was a little off. Theo was born at 9:29 am. I say it all in a couple of sentences but it was intense. Like most women, I went through a stage at the end where I didn’t think I could continue. I am pretty sure I asked to be sedated and have my baby just taken out (🤣 it’s funny now) but sure enough my body did what it was supposed to do and I was able to bring a 10 lb. 3.5 oz. baby into the world. He was our biggest yet by 6 ounces. He looked like a mixture of Myles and Leah with Evelyn’s colouring. I loved that he came directly to me and we got to spend the first hour or so of his life uninterrupted before he was checked over. And I loved that we were able to take him home just a couple hours later and spend the day resting in our own bed with him. The kids met him that evening and have been in love ever since.

If you’ve been wondering about our attic, it is “finished” and being used daily by three crazy kids. I will do an updated post on it soon but you may have to wait until I get a chance to clean it!

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