Surviving the 4th Trimester
There's a reason why the first three months postpartum are referred to as "the 4th trimester." It is the most exhausting, exciting time of your life. You spent almost a whole year creating this little person and now they're finally here. And they're cute af. But also, needy af. I'm talking can't-pee-with-the door-closed, forever-cold-coffee-drinking, barely-sleep-a-wink type of commitment. I wanted to share a few ways I learned how to survive the fourth trimester as a first time mom.
Y O U R P A R T N E R / Before Walker was even here, I thanked my lucky stars for Joel. I 100% cannot imagine doing life, let alone parenting, without him. From the second those two blue lines appeared on that stick you peed on to the monumental moment your baby is placed on your chest, both of your lives are forever changed so it's important to remember to lean on each other. Communication has never been as important in your relationship as it is now that you're both equally responsible for another human life. As a mom, ask for help when you need it--in other words, don't wait for them to have to ask because by that point you're usually resentful. It's going to be challenging, especially those first few weeks but as long as you talk to each other and work as a team it will get easier! Come up with a schedule that works for you guys. For example, since Joel works most nights I am on solo mama duty through the night and then when Walker wakes up in the morning I feed him, change his diaper and then Joel takes over until the first nap so that I can get some extra Zzz's in. Also, DATE NIGHT. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant but be sure to continue to cultivate your relationship--after all, that's what got you here in the first place :)
G I R L F R I E N D S / Of both the mom and non-mom variety. Fellow mamas are great for obvious reasons. They’re right there in the trenches with you. But don’t forget about your other girlfriends too. They may not feel as relatable as they once were during that season of life when you were out at the bars together until last call but continue to cultivate your relationships with these friends because they will keep you grounded and help you remember your identity outside of being a parent.
G E T I T D E L I V E R E D / I did not want to go ANY where after having the baby. Not only was I suddenly terrified of the outside world and convinced the air alone would harm my child, but I was simply too exhausted to go anywhere. With the help of amazing 21st-century advancements such as Postmates, Amazon Prime and Instacart, I didn't end up starving to death or forced to deal with the hassle of taking a newborn to the grocery store (that came later tho).
M E T I M E / Something I didn't anticipate was just how not myself I'd feel after having a baby. I mean, I knew I was going to feel different but I did (and still do) struggle with my new identity. Something I found helped a lot was getting away--even if just for an hour--to be alone and do something for myself. For me, it was going to get my nails done. For that hour and a half of a mani/pedi I was blissfully pampered and came back relaxed + refreshed which is a win for everyone, really.
M U S T - H A V E S / These are just a few things/products we found really helped us get through the first few intense weeks. In fact, many of them we still use and I know will continue to be a part of our regular rotation for awhile.