Well….the fourth trimester is over and baby no longer needs me. I know, I’m dramatic. That’s how it feels though. He’s now trying to hold his own bottle and sit up. Pretty soon he will be walking out of here and I will have a mini heart attack every time he is out of my sight. I did not prepare myself for motherhood. Yes, we chose Pampers over Huggies and almost cleared out our registry, but I didn’t prepare my emotions. I’m used to smothering hubby with love until he has to come up for air and chase me away, but he can take care of himself. I never read a single book about newborns or how to take care of newborns, mainly because pregnancy was a bit of an information overload. I was exhausted from how much you needed to know, let alone keep up with! I had just decided to wing it as I believed having the child here would be much easier. I wasn’t entirely wrong and to be fair, I don’t believe anyone can quite aptly put into words what it is like to become a parent. Probably it’s best too, as in the first stages, you will regret this decision many times, then carry the guilt of even having these thoughts.
I enjoyed the fourth trimester though it was whirlwind.
Mentally it took work to keep my focus on baby and not get trapped into the stereotypes or post-partum depression. It also took a lot of growing up and telling myself that I don’t need to be up to date with everything going on in the world right now. I needed to nurture the relationships I could stand for those moments when I needed adult interaction. I needed to maintain my usual level of calm, especially in the presence of the baby in order to not cause distrust or unnecessary alarm. I also had to learn to trust the process, get to know MY child and follow his lead, not the charts or the norm or what other parents were doing or advised to do. I also learned to divvy up my brain and adjust to dealing and supporting daddy and seamlessly easing into dealing with ad supporting baby. It was quite interesting to argue in front of the baby (life happens) but we have since mastered this art without even breaking his smile. I have also become a more supportive woman to other women, immediately I want to carry the burden of every mother I see. I smile and give reassurance every chance I get to other mothers because the job is so thankless and filled with so much judgement! People don’t for one second think maybe she does things differently based on just her culture alone, or religion or belief system or gut/motherly instinct-natures guide. Everyone has an ‘I’m right, do it now’ mentality and I’ll be damned if I even believe this for one second when each child is so different! Finally, I had decided to smile every time I was in the presence of my child regardless of how I was feeling and surprisingly he has learned to do the same.
Physically my body is nowhere near where I would like it to be, but checking myself out in the mirror every day is
awe inspiring. In the first couple weeks it needed extra care and I was sure to listen to my body and take things easy, especially since I had a c-section. I did push it though, but no more than I could manage. In the latter part of the trimester, I have not been eating as well or getting in the required amounts of water to boost my breast milk supply but I have learned when best to let baby nurse and have realized that formula is needed for both of us. I have made a plan to eat cleaner and can’t wait to kick things into high gear. I believe I am done filling up on all the things I couldn’t while pregnant and is regaining some normalcy in my diet. I am losing my hair but is not quite ready to make a big chop just yet. I know I have a lot of work to do body-wise but time will be my friend.
Emotionally I am a wreck, but you wouldn’t know. It’s a ‘joy’ of motherhood I believe. I worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry and worry some more, every hour, all hours. I worry about all things. It’s amazing how I make it through the day, but somehow I manage and pat myself on the back for holding things down. I still think babies should be born speaking but have made peace with that idea. Plus, the challenge of rearing an infant is sure to change you for the better. There are skills/characteristics to develop such as patience, acceptance, becoming
more reserved and learning to be grateful. If for once in your life, you really learn to just slow down! Take care of your heart and enjoy all things around you.