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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