The 4th trimester is hard! Most days feel like a blur. It’s chaotic and busy and I feel like I don’t get anything done. This is my fourth time in the 4th trimester and I can’t even say that experience makes it any easier to get through.
Right now my focus is on my mental and physical health, controlling the things I can control. Letting go of the rest. I feel my best when I’m eating nutritious foods and taking 30 min a day to move my body.
I’m grateful I get that opportunity to take care of me, but I promise that wasn’t always the case. I guess that’s where my experience comes in, even though things are chaotic during the 4th trimester, I know from experience that I can stay in my center when I carve out some mama time!
The 4th Trimester Blues
A week or so after Baby Judd was born I felt them. I felt the blues coming on. I haven’t had them with my previous two babies, but that week I could sense them in my body and my mind. I felt the frustration of newborn cries. The hard of nursing (the pain those first two weeks is REAL) and he really struggled. I have nursed ALL my other 3 babies – why was this 4th so hard? It was really making me emotional.
I prayed that I could feel comfort and have patience because I was just over tired & overwhelmed. One day during the second week, my husband got home from work. I knew he could sense something was off with me, probably before I even did.
I didn’t even need to say anything, but he came into our bedroom, looked at me, asked me if I was okay… and I broke down. Just that one question triggered the tears.
He completely took over and held and rocked and soothed our fussy baby. He took a feeding that night and got Judd to finally take a bottle (praise the heavens).
The next day when I felt so much better, stronger, lifted up, I realized… I need to know the signs and also to be better at asking for help.
We Try to Be All the Things
As moms, we try to be and do all the things. We want to take care of everyone, it’s our nature as women. This 4th trimester feels different for me, even through the chaos, because I have more tools to help me get through it. I know I don’t have to do all the things.
It’s hard for me to admit that while I am in the moment, but it’s okay to not be able to do all the things.
I’m learning to ask for help. I’m learning that I cannot control everything right now. My priority is to take care of myself and my new beautiful baby boy, Judd. Of course I am taking care of my other 3 kiddos, but I’m lucky that they take care of each other.
Jackson has totally stepped up as the oldest and will help with breakfast for the girls so I can help Judd. It’s like they know mama needs a little help right now and I am learning to lean on them!
Let’s Shift the 4th Trimester Stigma
The 4th trimester brings up a lot of emotions! Postpartum is no joke and all women who have endured deserve more credit than they get. I’m feeling a lot of things right now.
One of them is that I wish this process of ‘losing the baby weight’ was faster. Feeling like I am living in a body that is not my own is a challenge – Does that resonate with you, too? I keep reminding myself that even a little progress is still progress and for that I’m proud.
It’s okay to have stretch marks, to have extra skin, to still carry the extra weight put on during the pregnancy.
When I was coming home from the hospital after baby Judd was born, my 3 year old said “Mommy had a baby boy, and now she’s going to have a girl!!”
I think with my other kiddos that would have stung a little more – but I know my worth is not determined by my size or my weight and goodness, I just had a baby! Of course I am going to still look pregnant! Everything is still adjusting to a body without a baby inside of it!
I’ll be the first to admit, I used to envy the women who could pop out a baby and two weeks later look as if they never had one.
I am not one of those women (they are a rare breed, and if that’s you – girl you’re amazing, too!) and I’m proud of what my body is doing after having baby number 4. We as women and moms put so many unnecessary expectations on ourselves.
Through pregnancy and postpartum- there’s just no one size fits all.
We do not need to feel bad about ourselves for one second when we look like we just had a baby (or that we might look 6 months pregnant according to our toddler 😂) during the 4th trimester.
This is a natural way for the body to heal and recover. It’s time to shift the stigma around what we are expected to look like, feel like and be like after baby is born.
We have a special gift as women and for some reason and at some point we started talking negatively about our bodies – these magical bodies that create human life. Let’s shift the stigma.
Shift our self talk to that of gratitude and LOVE for what we do have! Because our bodies are made for this.
Whatever you are feeling, you are not alone.
I write all this to share my experience and to let you know that whatever you are feeling, you are not alone. The 4th trimester is hard. So hard. But you are strong and you can do this. I know you can, because we are made of the same stuff.
You are MADE for more. Made for greatness & confidence and LOVING yourself through every stage and shape and size. Let’s never forget that!