Lessons Learned from the Fourth Trimester
My baby is four months old today, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about my experience with the fourth trimester. The fourth trimester is the first three months following birth. I didn’t really know this was a real thing before, but it is. And the struggle is real! It’s one of those things where you learn as you go and honestly no amount of advice or anything I read prepared me for it. However, I’m a better mom now from what I learned and experienced during those months.
Being a mother is like being a warrior.
Giving birth was tough, but actual motherhood is on a whole new level. There have certainly been challenges, but being a mother is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It’s love. It’s sacrifice. It’s becoming a warrior. We are fighting emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Your body goes through a ton during pregnancy and a ton after birth. And honestly, I don’t even think that sentence describes it well enough. Your body is no longer your own during pregnancy and then after birth, you begin to figure out what your new normal looks like. Your own body is trying to adjust and so is your baby. Honestly, it’s exhausting and overwhelming at times, especially when you are running on little to no sleep. But, through it all – I’ve become a warrior. Whether it’s interceding constantly for my son or simply trying to get a pair of pants on him, it takes time and dedication! I know that all my hard work is paying off and that it is more than worth it.
Breastfeeding did NOT come naturally.
When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding if I produced enough milk. I thought that would be the biggest roadblock, but I WAS WAY OFF. Milk production was not an issue for me, it was the process of breastfeeding itself. I was under the impression that babies would latch on and eat and everyone would live happily ever after. Nope! It was a long process for me AND the baby. I cannot tell you the amount of tears that I shed WITH my baby because this process was so difficult. But, even when everything seemed to not be working, even the tips from a lactation consultant, I didn’t give up! Now, we are doing great and have been breastfeeding for four months!! I’m so proud of us! We are champs! I’m thinking of writing a blog post about that experience in more detail, but we shall see! Let me know if you’d be interested!
Don’t compare your baby to others.
I really struggled with this during the first couple of months when it came to my baby’s weight. It seemed to be like everybody AND they mama commented about how big my baby was. I’d then see babies who are older than mine who weigh less and it made me worry even more. I was concerned that this would somehow make my baby more susceptible to childhood obesity (so naive). Even my lactation consultant told me my baby was gaining too much weight, though I was exclusively breastfeeding and only fed on demand. Since then, I’ve realized that every baby grows differently. Some have baby rolls and some don’t! They’re all perfect as long as they’re following their own growth curve, according to our pediatrician. My baby is PERFECT just the way he is. No more comparison here!
I know this is only the beginning of my motherhood journey, so I hope I’m doing a good job of taking it all in while I can. These days feel like hours sometimes with how quickly everything is going. It’s my prayer that one day when it’s all said and done, my hubby and I will have raised a strong and courageous man. So far, so good!
For the mamas who are reading, what was your experience like?
I feel you!! Can totally relat!