The 4th Trimester – (hint: They Lied To You – You’ll Sleep, You’ll Dream and You’ll be FINE!)
Today is Ari’s three months b-day! and I want to take this time to truly share with you my experiences of the 4TH TRIMESTER (hint: bc its nothing like I was told it would be).
If you’ve had a baby, it may go something to the likes of this:
first trimester– nausea, exhaustion, excitement, a mild case of disbelief and an occasional daydream of a future and a past
second trimester– energy, (pretty good s’x, missing foods like raw fish and loving foods like a guiltless ice cream, small changes, a babymoon perhaps and a blissful notion of what’s to come.
third trimester– nothing and everything changes daily. heartburn if your one of the lucky, then more heartburn. Excitement and fear. A sudden need to read everything and then disregard it all together because it becomes impossible to imagine anything past the day you’re in. Less mobility and endurance. Kicks- amazing kicks. Fear and doubt along with an ‘I got this’ adrenaline high.
the last two weeks are probably a sudden combination of panic and exhilaration. The two emotions working together so tirelessly that you’re in a constant state in limbo. The notion that it can happen – now! looming and toying with you at every meal or stoke of the clock.
Finally, the question will anything ever be the same? That question floats through your mind daily days before delivery, as if you are hallucinating of water pools in the desert.
Then the birth happens– and with it you realize that all of it is as special and natural as any movie has ever depicted EVER // and that all of it happens unlike any movie that anyone has ever depicted ever.
Basically- the feelings they tell you are real, and the staged notion of a perfect water-breaks-in-Central-Park-delivery is anything but…
But that’s where the movie ends.
Typically (in the movie) everyone lives a’ ‘happily ever after’ and the kid winds up in Harvard one day and probably (if its a good movie, or a really bad one) the kids saves the world one day, or at least becomes Secretary of State.
KEY POINT: no one ever talks about the school loans Harvard incurs, as no one ever talks about the fourth trimester.
What they tell you about Trimester Four:
What’s crazier is when you do hear about it, it’s full of horrors like- you’ll never get sleep, your relationship with your partner will change and you’ll never get your abs back.
Plus a million other(very scary) things that people tell you:
you’ll never get your body back (bull s’h’t)
you’ll never sleep you’ll never get your body back (bull s’h’t)
you’ll never do what you want again (bull s’h’t)
you’ll never travel (bull s’h’t)
you’ll never ever _________ (bull s’h’t)
If you’re just thinking of getting pregnant, considering it or are in it- well, the fear of months 9-12 are very real – after all they are an unknown like no other, depicted by most of the world as tough, exhausting – a tornado of emotions and chores.
I read one woman describing this time as ‘endless laundry and exhausting sunrises’.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found a sunrise exhausting- not even after partying all night. Sunrises are amazing notions of your life- you’ve made it to another day. It’s beautiful. Sunrises are unique and special and promising.
Sun rises embody hope and love. And so do babies.
Here’s the thing I think people should talk about more when it comes to trimester four:
It goes so fast that as you look back it, it’s a spec of life. A very, very special spec of life that you will cherish and want to re-live often in your life.
It happens once in a lifetime, or once per child.
Sleep, YOU’LL HAVE IT. Despite what they tell you you’ll get plenty. It just may be a bit more scattered then you are used to in the first few weeks. (More on this below)
Relationships will be challenged because you and your partner will see things about one another that are new and different (insert seeing your husband holding his son or daughter for the first time- MAGIC) and (insert an argument over towels) – and once you figure out things together you’ll become stronger then you ever thought possible.
Basically, the fours trimester will undoubtably challenge you, but not because you are sleepless and tired, but because you are adapting to a very special new normal. meaning- you will need to care and worry about someone other then just yourself.
Life will go back to normal faster then you think, the direness will be that you’ll be treated by a smile that will melt your heart and you’ll be excited to get home to see that smile again.
You will be rewarded by a love you have never felt before. You’ll see new things in the world, and you’ll view the world differently- thinking of traveling, learning, laughing and even tasting through the eyes of your child.
As far as sleep is concerned- your body will adapt seamlessly and you will not be living in a tormented zombie existence. Basically the adrenaline in your body will help you wake up easily for a hungry little baby an then go right back to sleep. You will learn to sleep and adjust around any feeding (and they will get easier every day, until in just a few months the baby will seep longer an you will feel like yourself again- only better!)
So- how do you get through it? PERSPECTIVE friends- so long as you maintain a good perspective you’ll be more then fine.