On l’appelle Boulette: the return of the four gestational dwarves

I’m coming out of blog semi-retirement (a.k.a. parenting a toddler) to announce that Jean-François, Arthur, Odie and I are expecting an addition to our family in June.

The four gestational dwarves are back! We’re nicknaming the fifth – the squiggly human in my belly – Boulette, which is French for meatball.

Boulette: view from above

When we embarked on our first adventure in human creation, I had no idea how difficult being an adequate all-at-once parent/wife/employee/family member/friend/neighbour would be. We’re knee deep in child-rearing and I don’t know how I keep up with my life.

So much mischief

Here’s a quick comparison of my two pregnancies.

Pregnancy awareness

  • Baby 1: I kept a lengthy journal, read a dozen parenting books, and took prenatal classes. Lumpy was the centre of my universe.
  • Baby 2: I actively have to remind myself that I’m 22 weeks pregnant. I lift heavy boxes before noticing that my belly is in the way. I pour myself a second cup of strong coffee before realizing I can’t drink it.

One of two belly pics I’ve taken

Exhaustion

  • Baby 1: I napped regularly. I took baths. I meditated. I went to bed before 10 p.m.
  • Baby 2: I wake up with my toddler at 5:30 a.m. I fall asleep at 11 p.m. having spent my evening cooking, playing and cleaning. I don’t sleep well because my brain worries about all sorts of dumb things. Remind me, what are naps?

Diet and exercise

  • Baby 1: I ate pretty well and made time for long walks with Odie. I biked, stretched, and focused on making my body a friggin temple.
  • Baby 2: I make a balanced breakfast and dinner (for my son) but lunch is a disaster. I binge on cookies. And my BBQ chip consumption is way up. I’m lucky if I can get my tired ass out to yoga class once a week.

Me and my main squeeze: BBQ chips

Preparedness

  • Baby 1: I kept a ruthlessly organized to do list and steadily ticked every box. When Arthur was born my house was spotless, freezer full, birth plan printed, nursery fully stocked, carseat installed, and hospital bags packed and loaded.
  • Baby 2: I’m kinda getting there, I think?

Telling people

  • Baby 1: When I announced my pregnancy on Hello Field I was three months pregnant and had already told close family and friends.
  • Baby 2: I’m about five months pregnant and I still have a niggling feeling I forgot some people on my “Yo, I’m knocked up!” list. Sorry guys!

The photo I JUST took to announce the pregnancy on Facebook

Money

  • Baby 1: Boy did we have it good! Our expenses were limited. We were showered with gifts, and bought all our additional baby supplies without batting an eye.
  • Baby 2: Daycare is hella expensive. We’re saving aggressively for a) a (eye roll) minivan and b) 18 months of parental leave. This little girl is going to be wearing a lot of red plaid and blue stripes, because we’re not buying her a new wardrobe.

Our relationship

  • Baby 1: We went on weekly date nights, talked for hours about what life with the baby would be like, and stayed constantly connected.
  • Baby 2: We’re lucky if we get to slump onto the same couch for 30 minutes to watch TV. JF is still my superhero, but now it’s because he devotes his heart and soul to being an amazing parent. Dates are a distant memory.

JF is my all-star

Given the lack of care and attention Boulette is already experiencing, I am a bit anxious about life with two children. Will I manage to offer them both enough love and support? How in the name of Moses will my house stay clean?

BUT that doesn’t take away the excitement, deep in my gut, at the prospect of meeting this brand new person. I look forward to that baby smell, first smile, and the weight and warmth of her tiny body on my chest.

This time around, I have the added anticipation of watching my first baby fall in love with my second. What a joy that will be.

Arthur, at three(ish) days old

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Third trimester musings

With five weeks until Lumpy’s due date, I can feel my whole focus shifting. Between my pea-sized bladder, sore hips, and overactive mind, sleep is beginning to elude me.

Here I am today – 35.5 weeks pregnant and feeling quite whale-like

The little energy I have, I direct to working, eating and preparing for Lumpy’s arrival. My relationships, Twitter feed and housework are suffering a bit.

A month ago, I was tweeting regularly, but living on the edge of nesting panic. Our bathroom was in shambles and Lumpy’s room was still filled with construction debris. But with a giant boost from family and a week off work, we managed to :

  • Finish the bathroom
  • Finish the nursery
  • Pack for the hospital
  • Take a hospital tour and drop off our forms
  • Meet with our lovely doula and doctor
  • Attend an ultrasound
  • Install the carseat
  • Finish our birth plan
  • And more!

Bathroom, before and after

Lumpy’s room, before and after

Since that busy week, our dear friends Mireille and Patrick hosted a beautiful shower so that we could celebrate Lumpy with our Toronto crew. The gifts from that event, combined with those from the lovely local shower my aunts JoAnne (a.k.a. the paint fairy) and Denise hosted in January, mean we have more than we will ever need to care for this little gaffer. He is already so very loved.

JF and the awesome motorcycle Daryl and Kyrsta made us out of baby supplies

We’re not totally ready. I still haven’t bought nursing bras, prepped healthy frozen food, sterilized bottles and breast pumps, or given our house a good scrub down. But the bottom line is, if Lumpy were to pop out of my uterus tomorrow, we’d be alright.

More than alright, really. Because we have the best support network in the whole land. Everyone (parents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbours) has offered to pitch in and help us when caring for a needy newborn turns us into zombies – or in my case, a pair of zombie boobs.

My favourite corner of the nursery, because it’s filled with gifts from our friends and family – everything from the crib, to the books, to the stuffed animals

Plus I know I have a stellar partner to get me through. JF continues to be amazingly thoughtful and patient through the wild hormone adventure that is pregnancy. I’m grateful for him every day and can’t wait to see him get his dad on.

This man is going to be a great parent – and Odie is going to be a stellar brother!

Given my recent tiredness and upcoming labour, this may be the last post for awhile. Wish us luck! I’ll update you all as often as I can. xo