The 4th Trimester…. If you’re anything like me (first-time mama over here) then before you were pregnant this may have been a completely foreign word to you. Everyone talks about the three trimesters in pregnancy but it wasn’t until I was sitting down 5 months pregnant reading the infamous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book when I noticed there was an entire chapter on the 4th Trimester.
From there on out, I read ALL THE THINGS about the 4th trimester. Everything you need to know about life with baby postpartum and life with a newborn and how your body changes. Let’s not leave out all the fun posts about the “postpartum bathroom caddy” you have to have because a simple task such as going to the bathroom now is a multi-step process and no fun walk in the park.
But what I started noticing as I dived into the 4th-trimester articles and posts and blogs was that almost everyone talked about the scary stuff. Now I am not putting this down, not at all. I loved those posts, I am thankful for all you wise and experienced mamas who have gone before me helping me out with all of your tips and tricks for handling your new postpartum life. However, after I had my baby and I continued reading more of these posts I noticed nearly everything in regards to mothers and their post-baby life had to do with Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Postpartum Anxiety (PPA).
I am extremely aware that these two conditions are VERY real and HARD on mamas who are also trying to learn this whole new game called parenthood. I give anyone out there struggling with this major kudos because you are one strong mama. I feel so fortunate that I luckily did not deal with either of the two after I had my son so I will not be talking about those things as I have no personal experience with them.
This post is for the mamas who are somewhere out there floating around in the middle. We are the mamas who are lucky enough to not have PPD or PPA but yet we still are trying to figure it all out and aren’t sure what to do with all these hormones and emotions we have inside of us right after going through arguably one of the most traumatic events thus far in our life.
Postpartum is a tough gig. You have an overwhelming sense of love for this little human you just created and sometimes it can be overpowering. I remember the first week or so after I had my son, sitting up in bed; sleep-deprived and awake nursing him every 2 hours with tears rolling down my face. Most of the time I had no idea why I was crying, sometimes I didn’t even realize I was until I felt the tears hit my cheeks. That my friends are what they call the postpartum blues.
That was a strange time and I am oh so glad it didn’t last long or turn into anything more than that. If you are a mama who is going through or has recently gone through this and feel like you can’t complain or talk about how your feeling because in comparison to others your situation isn’t that bad. I am here to tell you – STOP. Stop comparing your situations, your life, your feelings to anyone else. Because guess what? They are YOUR feelings. You are allowed to have them and they are all still valid.
Yes, you can still feel anxious at times for no reason and all at the same time feel totally okay with family and friends loving and holding your baby. Yes, you can work yourself up thinking of SIDS and any and everything bad happening to your baby while still being completely okay with them spending a night at their grandparents away from you because you need a baby-free night. Yes, you can love them more than anything and at the same time feel lonely or miss pieces of your pre-baby life.
You can feel all the emotions and more or less. Everyone goes through their own experience on their postpartum journey and every journey is normal for each and everyone of you.
Whether you are loving your life or are going through a rough time right now, you will get through it. 4th trimester is a weird, wonderful, scary time no matter what else you do or do not have going on. But it will come and go oh so fast and I promise life starts making a little more sense with each passing day. You will find your groove and things will become easier. Just keep loving on those babes and know you are doing an amazing job.