The Fourth Trimester
Hey everyone! So sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Vacationing with a baby is no joke. I definitely will be sharing my traveling experience very soon!
So today I want to talk about the fourth trimester. Most people aren't familiar with the what this is. You have the first trimester...cue the nausea and vomiting, bloating, the sore boobs, the crazy fatigue. Then there’s the second trimester. I like to call it the golden trimester. Your energy is back, your bump is probably noticeable enough so you don’t just look cubby anymore, and you might even have more of a sex drive. And of course, the third trimester. The final stretch. You’re huge, covered in stretch marks. Getting comfortable is 1000% out of the question. Baby kicks all night and you feel like your boiling constantly. All you want is to meet your little one! Labor, pushing, and finally...baby is here! And now, all the craziness is over, right? Well, at least the craziness that has been going on in your body for the last ten months, right?? Sorry mama, that’s not the case. Let me introduce you to the 4th trimester.
It’s a real thing, and it can be rough. It consists of the three months following the birth of your baby. It’s filled with a tremendous amount of changes and development for the baby, and is becoming more and more recognized as an important phase of a little one’s early days. But what about the parents? The 4th trimester doesnt just leave cause for adjustment for the babies, but also for the overwhelmed and tired adults in charge of taking care of them.
The newborn stage is hard for everyone. I was so blessed to have such an easy baby. She hardly ever cried, she would let anyone hold her, and she was so happy all the time. Mine my breastfeeding nightmare (make sure you check out that post too!), I had the easiest newborn of all time. But, that didn't mean that my fourth trimester was easy by any means.
Right after I had Paisley, I swore my body was never going to go back to normal. My stomach was weird and saggy, I had stitches in my lady business, and my emotions were out of control. I cried more in those three months after having Paisley than I have in my entire life, and it was most of the time it was over nothing too. A dog commercial, an add for baby soap, Tyler taking my favorite shirt to work (even though it’s his shirt), it would all set me off and next thing I knew I would be sobbing. I literally cried once because I didn’t get a close enough shave.
I feel like no one ever wants to talk about the fourth trimester because it’s uncomfortable. Literally, everything about it is uncomfortable. The stitches itch, and when you pee it burns like no other. And you can’t even wipe, you have to use a spray bottle to clean yourself (which is actually a wonderful little invention). Not to mention the constant bleeding and diapers (and I’m not talking baby diapers...I'm talking the adult diapers they send you home with from the hospital). I had zero pelvic floor strength or control for like 4 weeks after I gave birth, so I literally peed myself. Twice.
It felt like it would never end, and on top of that, I was supposed to be taking care of a newborn. I was sad, anxious, scared and uncomfortable. But the worst part was, I didn’t think what I was going through was normal. Everyone talked about what my life would be after I had a baby, but no one ever talked to me about what my body would be like after I had a baby.
I talked to my doctor about what was going on, and he just told me to give it six weeks and I would be back to normal. Let me tell you...that was not the case. Six weeks went by and I still couldn't wipe after going to the bathroom. I still was bleeding, and I was still super sore. I still had stitches that haven't dissolved yet. I was honestly convinced that this was just how my life was going to be now. It wasn’t, of course. A few more weeks went by and my body was ending its healing process. Every mom is different, too. For me, it took about 10 weeks for me to fully heal. I know one mom who was bounced back by the time her baby was a month old, and another who had to sit on a donut pillow for about 16 weeks after she had her baby. It all depends on your pregnancy, your labor and delivery, your body. How big was baby when they were born? Is this your first delivery? Were their any complications? These are all things that factor into what your healing process will be like post pregnancy. There is no set time frame that fits every mama, even though you usually get told by your doctor that its about 6 weeks. And a lot of what I am saying is based on my experience, have a vaginal delivery. The healing process is way different for those mamas who went through a C-section (I will be posting about that soon, too!)
To any expecting or brand new mama out there that might be reading this, my intention is not to scare you about what your body is going to be like after you have your baby. My intention is to tell you that whatever you’re going through after your delivery, emotionally or physically, it's 100% normal. And, the most important thing I could say to you right now is this: It will end. Your body will go back to normal. It might not go back to the way it was completely pre baby, (I still can’t hold in a sneeze or do jumping jacks because I will pee myself) but I can promise you that the pain and all the discomfort you’re feeling right now will go away. Try and remember, your body went through some serious trauma during delivery. Give yourself as much time as you need to heal.
So for right now mama, just try and relax. Know that this isn’t forever, and that before you know it things will be better. Spend your first few months relaxing as much as possible, and snuggling your new, squishy, little family member. While you're counting down the days until you can live adult diaper free again, they're getting bigger. So even though you may be in pain and you may be uncomfortable, try and cherish this time, because they truly do grow so fast.