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The Fourth Trimester: Part One

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Originally written... sometime early 2020

Guess Who’s Back!

So, it’s been a while. It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. It’s been a while since I’ve written in my diary. It’s been a while since I’ve written… anything, really.

But guess what? I had a freaking baby!

Mid-November, just over a week before his due date, my son was born. And, boy! Has it been a whirlwind ever since?

They call the first three months of a baby’s life “The Fourth Trimester”, the period of adjustment both mother and baby take to acclimatise themselves in their roles as new-born human and new-born human protector. This is also known as the period where a new mother’s sense of self-care goes out the window because, although technically not always instinctual, our perception of health and care and warmth has shifted. Now, we have to take care of this floppy little thing that forcefully erupted from our bodies.

When a baby is born, a lot of the focus is turned to them. How are they eating? Are they gaining enough weight? Are they sleeping X number of hours throughout the day? You suddenly find yourself inundated with check-ups and milestones and weight charts that you have to keep up with on a daily basis, lest your child slip one day, fall behind on a measurement, not smile until after the sixth week of life.

At least, that was the case with me.

I stopped caring that I hadn’t eaten all day, or had downed ten cups of earl grey in a row because I wanted to stay awake to watch the baby sleep (which is definitely not recommended, by the way). My main goal was to make sure my son was breathing, sleeping and eating. To hell with what was going on in my body. I’d downloaded all the apps I could find: weekly milestones; feeding, changing and sleeping tracker; what to expect of my healing body. But the latter, I never really took seriously.

“Sleep when baby is sleeping!” Something I heard ALL. THE. TIME. But, how can I sleep when I know he’ll wake up soon for another feed? The app tells me he will. Or, how can I sleep when he’s making these weird breathing noises… I’d better get on Google.

Drink water, get your calories up, move only when necessary and don’t lift anything heavier than your baby.

Why did I think this didn’t apply to me? Did I now consider myself Superwoman because I brought a life into this world?

For the record, for anyone who hasn’t given birth, when you feel like your body is being torn apart piece by piece both horizontally and vertically and you still manage to come out of that alive… yes, for Christ’s sake, yes, you are Superwoman.

But even Superwoman needs a rest.

So eventually, after limited movement, on midwives’, doctors’ and the health visitor’s orders, I finally feel able to write again. I’ll admit, I’ve dipped a toe in the ocean here. Consider this the intro into what will undoubtedly become a very telling ramble-blog on what’s going on in the mind of a new mother. And on broken sleep, while breastfeeding at all hours of the day, it’ll be my luck if those ramblings ever really make sense anyway.


Wait… who am I again?

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