The Fourth Trimester

When life takes over, it can be a beautiful thing! With change, transformation will inevitably follow. Personally, I am loving the journey so far, it is far from glamorous and certainly not easy, yet somehow beautiful and so natural.

Nine months went by in a flash and in that time, so much happened on the interior and the exterior of course. The exterior can be summed up as the most beautiful I have EVER experienced – the interior however, gosh, where to start, so much to be said. In summary, I transformed!

This was the start of a journey of profound self-appreciation, I felt powerful, I was forming a whole human being from scratch — the most beautiful and surreal experience, no amount of words in the dictionary can begin to fully explain it all. Icing on the cake – I was the healthiest I had ever been, it is crazy what expecting moms won’t do to ensure they have a healthy baby (minus the major indulgence on milkshakes lol).

Life After Birth

Parenting is beautiful, but at times it can be tough. How do modern parents navigate through the first three months of parenting?

“The fourth trimester refers to the first three months of a baby’s life, is a time when a newborn is adjusting to life outside of the womb”.

 Dr. Harvey Karp

For us, it was rough, bumpy and dare I say – sleepless. In retrospect, I am grateful that it wasn’t smooth and easy, baptism by fire was probably what we needed to fully embrace our new life. Yes, babies cry (a lot), but what we learnt was that as parents we need to trust our instinct and not entirely trust that experts “always” know best. Our little one had a case of infant acid reflux which we had no idea until he was 6 weeks old, we obviously knew that something was not ok. Four paediatricians later we got a diagnosis, our persistence eventually paid off. To all the moms and dads out there, you know your baby more than you know, trust your gut.

Thankfully baby boy is now doing so much better, sleeps longer and we are able to slowly form a routine (and I can blog again). I will blog about how we managed his acid reflux in another post.

3 things I learnt in The Fourth Trimester:

1. It is ok to ask for help

The thing about the maternal instinct is that you may feel the need to do it all by yourself, but it is also important to spare some time for “mommy self-care”, this will ultimately benefit the baby. It will positively affect your disposition, making you less impatient or grumpy, babies can sense it all. Ask for help and squeeze in an hour or two of sleep, or a shower.

Perhaps you just want to chat to an experienced mom, vent or discuss – reach out to friend or someone you know that has been in your shoes. Sometimes we just seek relatability, someone to chat mommy jargon and share experiences.

2. Embrace the changes

Body – The post baby body is not glamorous, so what – you have super human abilities, you just gave birth. It took nine months to get it done, give yourself at least nine months to get your groove back. So what if it changes forever, the new chapter in your life requires a whole different you any way. Think of it this way, you were just divinely sculpted for a much higher purpose, embrace it mama!

Life – Adapt! It is what we do best as humans. If you don’t have everything together, it is ok. Sometimes you will feel like you are scrambling and days will go by without any real “productivity” but if your little one is fed and is sleeping well, you are being VERY productive. The fourth trimester is meant to be slow, soak it up, they truly do grow fast. Besides, productivity has a whole new meaning!

You may still be missing a few supplies that you didn’t account for before, make the time to go get what is missing – online shopping is a saviour. You didn’t fail to plan, you are learning on the job.

Love – It will never be the same, it will be better. I personally have fallen deeper in love with my fiancé, watching him care for our son has been the greatest joy.

3. Shed the load with Daddy

More often than not, they want to do more. This also offers him the opportunity to bond with the baby, you have had nine whole months. Modern dads are just as involved, they do just as much research and worry just as much. Let them do their thing.

the fourth trimester Carla xiii blog
Happy baby with daddy

Maternity leave is almost over

If you asked me four months ago, I would have told you that four months is a lot of time! Truth is, it is simply not enough, I am far from ready to not see my gorgeous little boy for more than five hours — but reality is, duty calls and life awaits. I blinked and it is over.

The best advice I received when I expressed my anxiety about returning to work, came from our midwife “it is now about quality time more than it is quantity“, and she is right, coming home to his sweet face will be the highlight of ALL my days.

I am also excited to be blogging again, now with a different kind of purpose – I hope to connect with moms from all around the world and share experiences. Gosh, moms are officially my favourite superheroes and I can hardly wait to craft so much more content with them in mind.

Mother’s Day is just around corner, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms/superheroes out there.

the fourth trimester carla xiii blog
Happy mommy and baby, he was about 2 months here.
the fourth trimester carla xiii blog
Baby Boy at 3 months… I simply cannot get enough!

PS: If you’re a new mom or know someone who’s about to be… make sure to sign up to the newsletter and/ or refer my blog, sharing links are just below.

XO,

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