The Fourth Trimester is the Hardest

Posted January 19, 2015 by Julie in Parenting, TopPosts / 20 Comments

When I was pregnant, I thought the hardest part was the 3rd trimester and the labor and delivery part. Now I understand that the 4th trimester is really the hardest. I haven’t heard the first 12 weeks of your baby’s life being referred to as the 4th trimester until the last month of my pregnancy. I thought it was an interesting tongue-in-cheek type comment, but it really is hard. I don’t remember my pregnancy being this hard. In the first month I even joked about sticking baby back inside.

the-fourth-trimester-is-the-hardest

 

Reasons why the 4th trimester is the hardest:

 

  1. Labor and Delivery is a full body workout – you are so sore. Everything hurts, things you didn’t know existed hurt, and you know what isn’t all that much fun when you’re already hurting? Weight lifting. Bending over and picking up baby is definitely a workout.
  2. Going to the bathroom is painful and scary. Not only are your pushing muscles completely spent, but for some reason your body decides to hold it in for a few days. So when you do go #2, ouch! Also, if you got stitches down there, going #1 isn’t fun either. And wiping isn’t a thing that happens for a while so hurray for spray bottles and iodine. And let’s not mention the month-long period from Hell!
  3. If you thought 3rd-trimester insomnia was bad, try having to feed the baby every 2-3 hours (and that clock starts from the beginning of the feeding – which can take over an hour). What is sleep?
  4. Your own recovery is slow. So when you’re sick you’re told to get lots of rest, right? Well, with a new baby there is no such thing, so (if you’re like me) you tend to take a long time to recover.
  5. Ow my boobs! Breastfeeding is super painful at first – not just with latching issues but with general sensitivity, engorgement, blocked ducts, etc pain – OMG don’t lie on your tummy or have the shower spray your font.
  6. Learning curve. Being a new mom is hard work. You have to learn so much in a short amount of time about feeding, changing, playing, nurturing, etc. The more you read, the more confusing it gets since there are so many theories on this baby stuff. So it takes time while to figure out your own rhythm. But at least you can stock up on freebies, right?
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Just when you think you’ve got this baby thing figured out and get the hang of things – it is time to return to work!

How did you handle the fourth trimester? Let’s commiserate mamas!

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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
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20 responses to “The Fourth Trimester is the Hardest

  1. Oh boy! The fourth trimester sure is hard! Especially with a baby that doesn’t sleep on the same schedule as everyone else and who cries so much! But it’s also so worth it and definitely gets easier.

  2. (And just to add: as soon as you have it figured out, they go through a huge developmental shift!)

    I remember learning about the “4th trimester” toward the end of my pregnancy as well. I don’t think anyone fully preps you for how hard it will be! I mean, I knew I would be sleep-deprived, but WOW! And the physical pain afterwards, oh my. Great post, stopping by from STIS!

    • Thanks 🙂 You’re right, a developmental shift changes everything that you already thought you had mastered. Phew this new mom thing is not for the weak.

  3. It really is the hardest, but the most rewarding too. I’m so looking forward to going through it all again when little one arrives in May . Could be interesting with a toddler though.
    I found sharing baths with baby and baby wearing were really helpfully to keeping my sanity in the fourth trimester. That and biscuits.

  4. Congratulations on your recent birth. You are so right about everything! But like you said all is a learning curve too. I know you will continue to blossom and all will be well.

  5. I totally agreed with you just reading your post title! Getting to grips a new baby, the culture shock, lack of sleep and healing are all massive mountains to climb when all you want is a hot cuppa. Great post! #thelist

  6. It certainly was for me, I was on crutches with SPD for the last 3 months of my pregnancy. Not the best time (apart from the fact that I was pregnant aside! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  7. It’s true that we give birth and then think, that’s it. But actually, you’re right, after giving birth can be harder as you have a baby to look after as well. More should be said about this period so mums can be prepared

    • Exactly – being prepared for labor is easier since there is so much information out there. But the recovery plus newborn phase isn’t talked about as much.

  8. I had two children and I never heard of this 4th trimester term before but I totally identify and get it!

    All your points are bang on. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the fact that I depended on my peri-bottle so much while going to the bathroom.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

  9. This exactly described my first few months with our son as well. I would say it really took me about 6-8 months to feel like I got my groove with him. I remember reading somewhere afterwards a joke about how pregnant women read tons of books about birth and pregnancy, but really they should be reading about newborns! It made me laugh 🙂 Enjoy your little one!

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