The fourth trimester

Squish is about to turn six months… It is ridiculous and needs to stop. Time just needs to stop.

I already miss the new-born stage, how tiny babies are, their smell, lazy cuddles and feeding.

Those first 12 weeks are now commonly thought of as the fourth trimester and let’s be honest it does feel like that.

Your body is in recovery mode after giving birth (however your baby comes into the world it is a massive shock to your body). Your boobs are like dinner plates and so bruised. You feel like a cow. Your body is always being needed by someone else. Nothing fits. Your boobs seem to grow and shrink with each feed so your bra is super tight or not. You still look pregnant. Your tummy is squashy and hangs out over everything. But you can see your toes again! You can bend over and even touch them if you wanted to (but why would you when you feel like your insides are going to fall out!) Your brain is totally empty and yet completely filled with a million things. Time seems to pass in a blink and yet in the middle of the night those seconds feel like hours. If you have other children then you are always being touched…cuddles, hand holding, stroking, feeding the baby, restraining over zealous older siblings…you dream about having your body as your own for more than 30 seconds.

Emotions are all over the place. Like, one minute you are basking in the glow and joy of it all (how cute are those eyelashes resting on a sleeping cheek) and literally the next you can be crying over spilt milk. You worry about everything. You want to look like you have it together – managing the baby, your home, your family, yourself. But you dream of just lying on the sofa eating a 2kg bar of galaxy with a massive hot cup of tea in your pjs.

You are amazed at every little thing that baby can do…or not do. Like, how is it possible that they can not poo for 10 days…14 days even…(Fidget!). Or (Squish) 10 times in one day…at least! And, how can one baby be so cross that they are hungry WHEN THE BOOB IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM? Or that they need to learn how to fart.

So how to you get through these heavily sleep-deprived, crazy-hungry and ‘none-of-my-clothes-fit’ months? My tips:

  • snacks – especially if you are feeding always have snacks and water on hand. And there is no shame in what kind of snacks you have. Literally eat what you want at this point, especially is you are feeding. You need the calories
  • eat what you like – give your body a break. It just grew a person. This is so important that I made this point twice on my list
  • wear what you like – nothing fits so go for comfort, something that is easy to remove in case of vomit-gate or poo-mageddon. And especially wear things that are easy access to the boobs (for the baby and not your partner, husband, whatever). Make sure that they are easy wash, don’t need ironing and that you don’t mind if they are ruined by the stain or smell of milk
  • take photos – like all the time. Easier to delete photos than go back in time and take moments that you have missed. Take them of baby snuggled in your arms after a feed, in the bath, in all the silly outfits. Make sure that there are photos of you with the baby, no matter how rough you feel you look – in 30 years time you will think you looked ok!
  • have a bath with the baby – love the snuggles, the magic moment of feeding them in the bath and the all-important skin-to-skin
  • do get out for a lunch with the girls without the baby – and look forward to seeing them again
  • go for a drink with you partner – that first time you both leave the baby is huge, no matter if it is your first, second or third, so go do something nice and toast the new arrival
  • lie on the sofa and snuggle
  • have easy meals (from your freezer stash or takeaway) and enjoy a cheeky glass of wine
  • sleep whenever you can
  • keep moisturising – my skin was always shocking after giving birth so give yourself some TLC
  • keep a diary of things that you do and the baby does or how your little pattern of the days have gone – it is amazing what your forget, but lovely to look back on in the future
  • watch daytime telly (or kids tv if you have siblings about)
  • go to bed at 8pm

And being honest, this time goes too fast and not fast enough. So if you are finding it hard ask for help and if you are loving it then revel in it…Enjoy this time mama!


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