I can’t believe it’s been just over 3 months since baby Isla made her debut, and that her dad and I survived the fourth trimester!! I had been told that once you got to this point it really gets better, and I have to say I’m definitely seeing a shift to a more manageable and FUN stage –
Not to scare any fellow new moms or moms-to-be reading this, but I feel like the fourth trimester was hard AF for me. I touched on some of what we went through already at my one month update, so I’ll go into some different things here. Keep in mind this period also included my 30thbirthday, Ryan’s birthday, our first wedding anniversary and now the holiday season, so it’s been a lot!!
As I’ve shared before, the sleep deprivation is still the hardest part for me. I don’t know what I expected before having a baby, but the general consensus I’ve picked up on now is that while sleep definitely improves around the fourth trimester mark, you likely won’t get consistent full nights until about 5/6 months (sobbing). Isla is doing great though for her age and we are down to one overnight feed at around 5AM! Sometimes she blesses me and sleeps straight to then from her bedtime at around 8PM and then goes back down until about 8AM, and others she fusses several times until then. But she’s at least given me hope that she’s capable of good full nights so I know better days are coming and I just need to be patient. We have been using the Taking Cara Babies sleep training techniques since she was about 5/6 weeks after it came strongly recommended from several of our friends with kids. So far, I really find it to be great and I think it’s given us good habits (ie. Isla already sleeps in her crib, takes regular naps, etc). TBD if we’ll need anything additional in the coming months (I’m praying for not too bad of a ‘4 month regression’) but I’m hoping for the best!
More unexpected is how my own sleep habits have changed in the fourth trimester – I have never had any issue falling asleep and now most days it takes me longer to fall back asleep when Isla wakes up than it does her (frustrating, to say the least). I was so excited to not be pregnant anymore and go back to being a back sleeper and now I can’t get comfortable on my back or any other way consistently. I toss and turn a ton more and am also even more sensitive to light (have to wear an eye mask bc the baby monitor makes me CRAZY). I also adjust my pillow situation on the daily now. No idea, but I hope this passes as hormones continue to regulate. If anyone else has gone through this, would love some words of encouragement lol.
So back to the baby lol – the end of the fourth trimester has brought so many new fun traits from Isla. She makes super fun noises now, and smiles, and has started to ‘play’ so overall I just feel like she’s becoming so much more fun and full of personality. I personally find this super exciting, because as I’ve mentioned before, the redundancy of days (eat, burp, change, sleep) has been really hard on my mental state. I’ve also gotten more comfortable in taking her out and am lucky she’s such a good girl in the car and car seat which allows me to mix it up. Now that she has a ‘bedtime’ and semi-regular naps, it also allows me to be less stressed about getting stuff done for myself (showers, work outs, reading, quality time with Ryan, writing posts like this, etc.) because I know I can squeeze them in or do them at night if nothing else (& if energy permits lol). I’m not someone who was around any babies really before having Isla, so I sometimes don’t realize how sweet of a temperament she has until others point it out, but I know we are SO lucky. She’s such a chill, happy girl and I love that.
Going back to workouts, I got right back into it once I was cleared at 6 wks, and while I can say getting my stamina back has been TOUGH, it’s coming and I’m really proud of myself for just kind of hitting the ground running. I don’t weigh myself but know that I gained around 25lbs. when I was pregnant and I would guess I still have 8-10 to go to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I haven’t really been limiting myself with food lol, but need to be more conscious of that since it’s always how I see the biggest results. In the meantime, I’m back in my jeans (even though some are a little snug) so I’m on my way. Please if any other new moms are reading this be gentle with yourself – you literally just created a LIFE in your body which basically makes you a god IMO. Also, now having a daughter more than ever I want to set a good example of speaking to myself with kindness.
So the other body stuff lol… stop reading if you are offended by TMI, but I think important to touch on. I’ll keep this topic brief but sex for us after has been completely back to normal (thank god). For sure the first time once I was cleared was a little nerve wracking but happy to report we are all good. Don’t let fear put you off, if your OB says you’re good, you are! And don’t forget, if you’re not trying to get pregnant again right away, consider whatever form of birth control works for you because you are super fertile post-baby (yes, even if you’re breastfeeding). What did catch me off guard though, was my first period post-baby… I’m talking heaviest of my life and teen level leakage. Wtf. I don’t think I’ve leaked on my sheets since I was 13 but there we were lol. My doctor assured me it was totally normal and that my cycle/flow should go back to what it was before in a couple of months. I’m about to get my second period and already have noticed less symptoms and no spotting leading up, so let’s hope it was a weird one-off but be prepared!
To wrap this up, I just want to add that what I have been most pleasantly surprised with this fourth trimester is the community of women, moms, friends and family who have checked in on me, given me advice, lent an ear, come by to give me a few minutes of help or adult conversation, invited me out to get me out of the house, etc. I SEE YOU AND I APPRECIATE YOU ALL MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW. I honestly hope to pay that forward to any and every expecting friend of mine in the future. Lastly, just a little note to say that any discomfort or struggles I’ve shared in this post is completely overshadowed by Isla – I have a beautiful, healthy daughter who I know better than anyone else does & that is pretty damn amazing. I am officially one of those moms who looks back at pics from the day when she sleeps lol.