December 31, 2017. 1:26am. I stare. Exhausted. at peace. Finally, he’s here. Baby boy is here and so begins my fourth trimester; the first three months of my little guy’s life … “He’s so cute.” Those were my first words as I saw him for the first time. Bloody, cone headed and swollen…I saw through it all. He was really cute. And he was here. Safe. Sound. My baby. And just like that my life is no longer my own. December 31, 2017. 1:26am. The pain, instantly gone. Well, not really gone, the pain returns, I’ve got to deliver the placenta. Ok, that was fairly easy. No more pain. Never mind…I had second degree tears, time for stitches. Oh God, it hurts so badly. “I never want to open my legs again.” I exclaim, tiredly. Instantly at peace. The memory of that tremendous, indescribable, raw, primal pain…gone. A distant memory. I’ve earned my mommy status. Holding my baby, I feel…at peace. No other word describes it. I feel as though all is well in the world. I feed him. Liquid gold. Those stitches though. Ugh, they hurt. Are they done yet? God, when will they be done? My partner, mom, friend, midwives, midwife student and nurse listen on to my mumblings. Ugh, How am I to use to washroom? I’m told I must use the washroom before I go home. The midwife follows me into the washroom and helps me clean myself. There’s no modesty in childbirth; I don’t care one bit. I’m told to eat. No appetite. My midwife won’t let me go home until I eat. My baby is here and I want to go home. I eat.
Day 1. Oh the crying. So much crying. He’s twitching. So much twitching. Is this normal? We google. We google some more. We consult. Is it because he got stuck? It’s his right side. Is that the side that was stuck?
Day 2. Midwife visit number 2. “He’s lost too much weight.” Oh, I was starving him. Mommy fail #1.
Day 3. I have milk, a lot of milk! My boobs are huge! He’s a good little eater, isn’t he? Geez, he’s always hungry. Maybe I’m not feeding him enough. Am I feeding him enough? Long enough? Milk drunk.
Omg. I can’t walk. It feels like my groin has been dislocated. Are my lady bits supposed to feel like this? Painkillers. Take the painkillers. Is he still twitching?
Day 4 – Day 90. So damn tired. How am I to function on such little sleep. I“I will not suffocate the baby with my boobs.” “I am not suffocating the baby with my boobs.” He’s choking because he’s greedy. I have a lot of milk, he hasn’t learned how to manage it yet. I’m told it will get better.
Four generations. In one house. First grandchild. More photoshoots!
Have you gone outside? You and the baby should go outside. It still hurts to walk. Ok, I’ll try. Nope, can’t manage. My body can’t manage walking…let alone through snowy sidewalks.
Mmmm Oreos. So many Oreos. And chocolate. I can’t stop eating Oreos. Omg. My belly is bigger now, than after I had the baby. I have to stop eating all of these oreos.
Six weeks postpartum. Ok, heading to the gym. Nope, not ready for the gym.
The time goes by so quickly. Cherish every moment. Oh dear, I can’t get a moment. To breathe. I’ve got to learn how to eat more quickly. The little guy is crying. The little guy won’t let me put him down. How am I supposed to use the washroom? I remind myself, this won’t last forever. I remind myself, cherish every moment.
Oh, he doesn’t want me? <insert confused sad face> He wants his daddy <Insert smiley face> Ha, it doesn’t last long, he’s back to me! <insert super smiley face>
He’s a pretty good sleeper. I get about 4-5 hours between feedings. It doesn’t last. So tired. He’s such a big boy. Uh oh, he doesn’t fit in the bassinet anymore. The crib is too far (it’s really not far at all…less than 10 footsteps away), I’ll just keep him beside me. Lots of people co-sleep. I said I wouldn’t, but it’s ok. I want him close by. Ok, it’s true, he should really be in his crib. Gotta get him to sleep in his crib. Good thing he likes his crib. Oh, he doesn’t seem to like his crib anymore. Ok, back in bed, beside me. It’s easier to feed him during the nights this way anyway.
Spitting up. Oh no, diaper rash?!?! Time for cloth diapers. He has a lot of gas doesn’t he? So much gas. Always peeing on us. He’s a demanding little guy, isn’t he? Why won’t he sleep? He’s such a night owl. Like his dad. Go! Take him! Take him for a walk. I need to soak. I must soak.
Back to the gym. Way too many oreos. For the first time ever, I love going to the gym. I love showers and I love the gym. My time. The little guy doesn’t like me going to the gym. No more gym for me. I take up baking instead. Nap time is great for baking a batch of cookies.
Is this colic? Does he have colic? What exactly is colic anyway? Oh, he stopped crying. It’s not colic. I need to drink more water. I must drink more water.
Why is he crying? Why was he crying? Does he have gas? He has a lot of gas. Does he only fall asleep in your arms? You should put him down, he has to get used to falling asleep without you. He’s not ready for you to be away from him. Let him cry, it won’t hurt him. You mustn’t let him stand on his legs. Should you be letting him sit up? He’ll get a long back and short legs. You should give a spoon of water. To stop his hiccups. Oh, he has hiccups, that means he’s growing. Does he always hiccup so much? You should put a cold piece of paper on his forehead to stop the hiccups. What did you eat? Did you eat? You need to eat?
How am I supposed to eat? Nap when he naps?! Ya right. He doesn’t let me do anything. No, I don’t miss work. No, I don’t get bored.
I can’t believe he came out of me. I can’t believe he was just in me. I love sleeping with him on my belly. It’s the only way I get to sleep. Yesss, sleep! He’s getting kind of heavy. He needs to use the bassinet. I can’t move when he sleeps on me. It’s ok, I’ll take the pain. I. Need. Sleep. My baby, I love him.
He’s so alert. Bright eyes. It’s like he knows what’s going on. He’s so smart. Do all babies do this? He seems extra sharp. Being totally unbiased, of course. He looks like a cherub. He’s an angel.
I’m still amazed at how far away the memory of pushing him out is. Those mind, body, and soul shaking contractions. The pushing. The pain. They were worth it. I’d do it all over again. My god, women are amazing creatures. I’m one of them. The fourth trimester has come to a close. An entire year of trimesters, complete. The little guy is 4 months now and continues to grow, learn and develop into a more competent and more beautiful little human everyday. It is truly an amazing process. Thank you Fourth trimester, for the ups and the downs. Forever blessed. Forever thankful.
We will soon be preparing for our first trip together; to Jamaica. He’s been there before actually, during our second trimester. The second trimester, that was a good one. I remember it fondly. To be continued…