While we are pregnant, we are given free advice all the time — most of the time without ever asking. But for some reason, we are never told about the first days “post baby.” Some call this time the “fourth” trimester, and I believe we all should be given a proper warning about what to expect as a new mama!
1. You have a recovery.
I had no idea I had to recover from having a baby even though I didn’t have a C-section (maybe I’m the only one who felt out of the loop on this one). They tell you about caring for the baby but not about caring for yourself. Women walk out of the hospital glowing with superhuman strength, and you forget that their body is in the process of healing itself during the most tiring and busy time of their lives.
2. Loving your body is hard.
It doesn’t matter if you’re back in your pre-baby jeans or still able to run a half marathon, your body is different. Hips have widened, belly has sagged, and those stretch marks you worked/prayed so hard not to have may have appeared anyway. You may have eaten right and exercised, but the changes still crept up and took place despite your efforts.
3. Jumping back into your routine is near impossible.
Do you want to go meet up with friends? Run an errand? Grab a Starbucks? Sorry, but the baby is hungry. Baby needs to be changed. Baby.is.melting.down. Accept the fact that being late or saying “no” is now a part of life.
4. The hubby takes a backseat.
You may have said that you wouldn’t be one of those women who neglects your husband because your marriage comes first! I’m sorry to tell you it doesn’t matter. For at least the first few months, no matter how hard you try, the hubby takes the backseat. (Hopefully graciously, until things get easier and more balanced). This isn’t a permanent seat, but it just happens. And it’s okay.
Now for the positive….
It’s all worth it, beautiful, and I’d do it again. The recovery process paled next to the fact my body was strong enough to keep my little one alive and thriving through feedings, cuddles, and protective instincts (even through nights when I felt like a zombie). The changes in my body were welcomed due to the fact they were marks of a “warrior” who brought life into the world despite pain and self-doubt. Routines suddenly didn’t matter because I felt much more alive when my two babies were smiling at me as if to say: “Thanks for spending time with me mom. I love you!” And my husband and I, although time together has changed or become nonexistent some days, have fallen more in love with each other through the bonding that occurred in that delivery room, through the support and dependency that took place and the teamwork that has followed ever since.
You may know all there is to know about the baby, but you cannot prepare yourself for the changes that take place within YOU — beautiful and life-altering changes.
Tell us in the comments what changes YOU experienced during the “fourth” trimester.