The last few weeks of ‘Three in the Canoe’

In the darkness of the nursery, I press my feet against the floor, rocking slowing in the oak rocking chair. It’s 3am. I lean my head back against the hard back of the chair and listen to Henry as he drinks his bottle. His head, as usual, is nestled into the crook of my left arm, while his body curls around my protruding 36-week baby bump.

It seems that most of my time for reflection over the past 15months has happened in this chair, in the darkness, in the wee hours of the morning. Tonight is no different. The little life inside me squirms and kicks, pressing up against Henry’s body. I wonder if he can feel it. My mind starts to wander to life after this little one’s journey to the other side. How am I possibly going to cope through the nights with two waking babies?! It seems like a tremendously impossible task, and to be truthful, I am terrified.

My pregnancy has flown by. I feel like I hardly even acknowledged that it was happening until the heartburn, back aches and constant squirming were too frequent to ignore. It has been such a different experience this time around. With Henry, throughout my pregnancy, I knew to the day how far along I was. Every week, I Googled how big my growing baby was compared to various fruits and vegetables (i.e. Your baby is as big as a honeydew melon!). I compared my baby bump to other women’s, obsessing over it’s size (i.e. I’m huge!). I fantasized about what the baby would look like, what it’s personality would be like, who he or she would grow up to be, etc.

This time around, despite the fact that my bump is impossible to disregard, I feel like I haven’t yet fully grasped that this is actually happening and that in a few short weeks, I will be mother to TWO babies under a year and a half!

Brushing our teeth!

Over the past week or so, my anxiety about exactly this has mounted, resulting in 4am To-Do Lists and nesting urges. Since the new baby will not have a room of it’s own, today, I felt marginally better after purging my clothes to make room in my dresser for neatly stacked newborn diapers and swaddling blankets. While, folding up tiny newborn sleepers, I finally felt a twinge of excitement! A new adventure, soon to begin πŸ™‚

One of my biggest apprehensions has been that with a newborn on the scene, I won’t have enough time nor energy to devote to Henry who is increasingly a going concern. Over the past month, he has continued to change and grow. Since his walking debut on Christmas Day, he has steadily become more and more agile. It took him a week to truly get going, and now, there is no stopping him! He is as busy as ever and loves to ‘run’ with Dad, attempt to jump up and down, do (Henry’s version of) somersaults on his mat, kick a ball around the house, climb up and slide down the stairs, as well as the usual getting into every drawer and cupboard in the house.

Playing with his train set from my sister, Leah

I’ve noticed even more leaps in his language skills over these past weeks too. It has become quite helpful now that he can communicate his needs (i.e. “all done”, “more”, “bobble” aka bottle”, “fleece” aka I need a nap with his treasured lambskin, etc.). Every week, I find he is adding more and more to his vocabulary. Although his articulation is still not there yet obviously, he has lots to say!

He also loves to read and will bring you a book, plop himself down on your lap and ‘read to you’, which in his version of the story involves sounds that animals make (i.e. neigh for horse, quack for duck, grrrrr for bear, woo woo for dog, etc). and actions (i.e. he will sniff the page if there is a picture of a flower, kick his feet up in the air if there is a picture of toes, etc.). It’s super cute!

Much to Blake’s happiness, Henry has also become very excited about skiing. Since renting him little ski boots and downhill skis, Henry and Blake have been out, even in the coldest of weather, skiing down the path at the side of our house. Henry will often run over to the foyer, find his ski boots and yell ‘SKI!’, while trying to put his boots on himself πŸ™‚

Skiing down the path

Blake came and picked me up from work one day, and Henry still had his ski boots on in the car πŸ™‚

Unfortunately though, it always seems that Henry gets sick as soon as Blake is away. Recently, Blake drove out to BC for two and a half weeks of skiing. His last big trip and ski adventure before baby #2 arrives. I had been working like crazy up until he left, then had been preparing and packing for our last trip North before the start of my maternity leave. I was truly beyond exhausted and stressed about going North. Being in a medical profession isn’t always helpful and I had been imagining various scenarios of being 35 weeks pregnant, in a fly-in nursing station, hundreds of kilometers away from anything, and knowing that my labour probably wouldn’t allow me time to get to a hospital by plane in any timely manner.

To make matters worse, on the Sunday before our departure, Henry awoke from his nap and promptly started vomiting every 15 minutes for the next few hours. It was terrible. At one point, my good friend Megan came by to help me out and found me standing there in a sports bra and PJ pants, with a pukey baby, piles of pukey laundry and me in tears. Not our best moment. As I was alone and hadn’t been able to finish packing or been able to put Henry down all afternoon/evening, and at 10pm, I emailed my medical director with the decision to cancel my North trip all together. I just couldn’t do it. I instantly felt much better. I had definitely underestimated how anxious and stressed I had been about going North this time around!

A very sad Henry

The next day, my Mom joined us in Sioux Lookout. She had been planning on accompanying us to Neskantaga and was a great sport about jumping on a 5-hour bus from Thunder Bay to Sioux Lookout instead. I was so relieved to have her arrive. For the rest of the week, I saw as many patients as I could by videoconference from the hospital, while Mom and Henry hung out at home. Despite having Mom there, it was still a worrisome week for me as Henry, who had previously been a fabulous eater, refused pretty much all solid food. He even turned his face away from blueberries which are his favourite!

Again, being in physician is not always helpful and throughout the week, I swung back and forth between minimizing his symptoms and thinking of the worst possible diagnosis that could explain his acute food refusal and strange coloured poops. In the end, all of my worrying was thankfully for nothing and on the day I had finally decided to bring him to see a colleague Β in the ER, he ate a full breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could have cried I was so relieved!

With Henry back to his normal self, and a week of Mom and Dad with us in Sioux Lookout, I am truly starting to get excited about the next few weeks. Some big changes are about to happen to our little family – Blake will hopefully return home happy and rejuvenated, Henry will start daycare next week, I will finish my last full week of work and soon, very soon, we will be a family of FOUR!

As always, thanks for your love and support and here’s hoping I can find the time continue this blog after baby’s arrival πŸ™‚

Here are some pictures of Mom & Dad’s visit in Sioux Lookout over the past two weeks.

Dad and John go fat biking

Henry just loves the guitar

Kisses for Uncle Johnny!

Time for bed!
Mom snowshoeing across the lake with Henry in tow

He liked it so much that he fell asleep πŸ™‚
Out for Saturday breakfast at the Wellington

More train track building

Dad making the pizza dough for the Friday night cook-off

Friday night pizza cook-off between Dad and Meghan

Daily sled rides in the afternoon with Mom & Dad
Jammin’ with Dad

Everyone must wake up bright and early when this guy is around!

Building towers with Mom

Uncle Johnny building the ultimate track

Dad and Henry dancing!

Enjoying the bright sun with Mom

Walking all on his own outside in the snow

At the Hub with Mom

Henry’s favourite – the slide!
Yes, he’s ditched his pants. Playing is much better pants-free πŸ™‚

Can’t get enough of the trains!

Snowshoeing with Mom & Henry

Mom doing the work on the way home

A beautiful wintery day
Working on the Dukey Blues

Hunter and Sailor visiting

Uncle Johnny playing Henry a bedtime tune

Henry’s very lucky to have great grandparents – on both sides!Β 

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