Yep, that's right, there's 4 trimesters. I know, crazy, right? I didn't realize that after having Lana, I would have another entire trimester ahead of me. The 4th trimester begins right when pregnancy ends and your beautiful baby has been brought earth side. For me, I entered 4th trimester with a baby fresh out of the womb laying on my chest. I had no idea what was to come, I was clueless at what it took to be a mother and make it through the 4th trimester. Those first days in the hospital were in no way a glimpse of what life would really be like with a brand new baby. In the hospital, they cater to you. Need more water, it's delivered right to you. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served about the same time everyday and you never have to do any preparation. It's just dropped off for you to enjoy. If you have any questions or need assistance with that new bundle, someone is always right there for you.
Then, you leave. No, things don't go downhill, life doesn't fall apart, but reality indeed hits hard. We got home with our tiny squish and I thought, "now what?" What do you do with a brand new baby? I literally told my mom, I have no idea what you do with a baby. Help!!! She said hold her, love on her, change her and feed her. Ok, easy enough! I totally have this, and I did. I'm not going to say being a mom was a breeze for me, but I felt that I was a natural. Yes, there were moments that I cried because I had no idea what she needed. There were times when I just needed a break. Those first days/weeks were terrifying. It didn't dawn on me that my husband and I would be solely responsible for raising this child! Are we even capable of this?
As days turned to weeks, I realized I gained a bit more confidence in being alone with our baby girl. I wasn't terrified when my husband left for work in the mornings and we made it through our days. Our days consisted of waking, nursing, changing diapers, nursing, cuddling, nursing, sleeping, and did I mention nursing? I thought in no way is this child still hungry! I was handling myself, I may have cried a time or two, to people who didn't know what was coming their way. Those poor unsuspecting individuals had no idea. Oh, the hormonal, emotional person I had become! Yep, I was suffering with the baby blues. I kept telling myself, these days won't last forever and one day I will miss them. I did my best to cherish every moment. Now, those teary eyes still come, because of course, I'm still a nursing mother and hormones are raging. But, those early baby blues are gone and I'm realizing how quickly these days are passing.
Of course, I learned all of these nursing sessions weren't just for nourishment. Sometimes they were for comfort, to feel safe, to sleep and just because she wanted to be with her mommy. Really, all she's known for 9 months is me! How scary it must be, to leave your home after 9 months and enter this new world. Of course, you would want to cling to the only thing you know.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to adjust to a "new" body, worry about the condition my house is in and attempt to make sure I feed myself, along with about a million other things. Out of all of the prep classes we took, not one of them told me what these first few months would hold. Let me be real honest for a minute, they were challenging, scary, stressful, loving, joyful, exciting and most of all, they passed to quickly. I'm thankful that we had a freezer full of dinners and a family who did so much for us during this crucial period. Otherwise, I would have been a frantic new mommy and not been able to sit back and relish in the joy of this new life.
Now that we have passed the 4th trimester, I sit her thinking how bittersweet this is. She's growing, thriving, and I couldn't be more happy. But, at the same time, she's becoming more independent and is completely okay playing by herself. She still needs me to feed her, cuddle her, carry her, she still only falls asleep on me, but I know there will come a day when she doesn't fully rely on me and I'm ok with that. But, for now, I'm cherishing every time she looks in my eyes, grabs my finger, looks up at me while nursing and smiles at me. As trying as the 4th trimester can be, it is only the first chapter of the sweetest book ever written.