Fourth trimester struggle is real - The Growing Mum
Parenting

The fourth trimester struggle is real – especially with added chicken pox!

It seems so long ago since the third trimester update. You probably don’t want the full birth story (well maybe in a separate post) so in short we walked in, Baby got pulled out then we left the next day. Suddenly the newborn memories we selectively forgot came flooding back! The crying, pooing, feeding, crying, pooing, feeding and sleeping (not just talk about baby here haha). Now that he’s 3 month old boy there’s a bit of playing thrown in there too. So what’s this Fourth Trimester thing?

Fourth trimester - the growing mum

Apparently, it is the period after birth until your baby is 3 months old. It’s usually characterised by plenty of change in the family, massive development in your baby and a lot of emotional turmoil. I mean a lot! Baby blues is too fluffy a term for it. I mean, I cried at the sight of my husband’s shoes in the living room!

Our first month and chickenpox

Fourth trimester struggle is real - Birth - The growing mum

The realisation that we have a little human who was dependent on us for everything (well, mostly me) started sinking in. The incessant wailing took some getting used to. Why can’t he speak yet?

Feeding was going well. I had braced myself for the agony of milk coming in but it never happened. Just a few days of slight discomfort from the engorgement. No constant use of nipple cream and nipple shields this time. Just beautiful breastpads like these! He posseted quite a bit more than I was expecting especially when burping but nothing concerning just yet.

Fourth trimester - bambooty breastpads

Then came the emotions. There were countless moments of quiet tears (I’ve already mentioned the shoes). Heavy lifting was out of the question after the c-section so no more “up” time with the toddler. He did not hide his frustration and my inability to comfort him really got to me! I also struggled to do many things without being in absolute agony – including getting in and out of bed – which I wasn’t expecting! Paracetamol, ibuprofen and oramorph were my new best friends. Especially oramorph! My scar got very painful, swollen then eventually burst – oh the relief! But the GP did spot that I had Diastasis Recti – a gap in my stomach muscles which made me look several months pregnant.

Oh and we all had Chicken pox (except hubby). Started with the toddler on May the Fourth, then Baby J 2 weeks later. Baby got admitted into hospital and I had to stay too to feed him. It was the day of our baby registration appointment so that got cancelled. Luckily(?) I also broke out in spots whilst we were there so at least that’s now out of the way! Adult chickenpox is horrid!

Fourth Trimester - Chickenpox- the growing mum

We started cloth nappies after the first week. He emptied his bowels whenever a fresh nappy was near his bottom but I felt better knowing that it would be washed and reused rather than thrown away after just 5 seconds on the bum! Here he is in a newborn bambooty

Fourth trimester struggle - bambooty cloth nappy - the growing mum

 

Month two – post natal check, jabs and umbilical fun

His umbilical cord fell off around day 5 and I was so pleased to have one less thing to faff with. However, it then started leaking a small amounts of fluid every so often. As it is with these things, the day I took him to the GP, it was perfectly dry and she said it was fine. That same day it started again. Advice was to wipe it with cool boiled water which didn’t make much difference. All his nappies had to be folded below his belly button and sleepsuits not poppered around the tummy just in case friction was contributing to it.

Scar was still quite sore but I started cautiously lifting the toddler whilst sat down. I drove just after 6 weeks for the first time. It was so freeing to be more mobile and stop asking for lifts to the endless hospital and GP appointments. We had our 8-week post natal check where I got referred to the Physio for my tummy :(. Baby got the all-clear. Next day was jab day! I don’t like needles so nana held his legs while I comforted him.

2 month weight check went well – justifying my complaints of how heavy he is! He still continued to threw up after every feed though and even much later when we’ve let the muslin guard down. I’ve definitely worn milk stain clothes other without realising (or being bothered enough to change). I was still fairly down though especially at the frustration of the things I would like to do but still can’t!

Fourth trimester - month 2 - the growing mum

 

Third month – First holiday with 2 under 2

We crazily drove to Germany for a 10-day holiday with both kids! We knew it would be hard but it was probably the last chance we’d have to do it before routine sets in for the baby. When our first started sleeping a bit better at night around the 4-month mark, we went on holiday and that set us back so much that we never recovered until 9 months later. We also wanted to see if we could do it. Both kids were beyond perfect throughout the journey considering that they were couped up in the car for so long. Toddler got tetchy during the final 45 minutes on each leg. Baby would cry for 5/10 minutes then sleep for 3o and repeat!

Fourth trimester - holiday germany - the growing mum

Baby did his first wee on the potty while we were on holiday! I was so proud. I do hope I can find the time to do elimination communication with him too. I sort of did with the toddler without realising and it worked so well (his bowel movements weren’t that frequent and when it did happen, the signs were obvious and it was an avalanche so I placed him on the potty for containment).

He had his 3 month weigh-in and he was still following his curve – just under the 75th centile which is great and stops my mum dropping hints of giving him formula as “he always seems hungry”.

The sleep deprivation is starting to set in. I found out last time that I get eye styes when I very, very, very, very, very, tired and the first one appeared this month. It’s also been busier month so I’ve had less time to dwell on things – though I started worrying about childcare cost, returning to work and finding ways to make extra income!

And finally, we set a date for his church dedication!


OK, this is not your typical fourth trimester update but it goes to show that anything can happen so best to prepare yourself. I am not sure -how I would have coped if this was my first baby – there is a lot to be said for experience (even if it is a bad one).  The next 3 months is going to be a challenging. Mentally, my pregnant look is probably the biggest hurdle I have to overcome. I am hoping to wear a dress for his dedication but after trying on all my breastfeeding friendly dresses, only one covered my bump well. My mum will no longer be here so on non-nursery days, I will have to look after both kids on my one. There will more of this pram-mobile action on the pavements. Watch out pedestrians! Double buggy pram icandy orange - The Growing Mum

 

9 Comments

  • Bryanna skye

    oh no so sorry to hear you all had chicken pox that must have been terrible 🙁 but at least everyone has now had it!

  • Caz / InvisiblyMe

    I’m so sorry about the chickenpox; does your husband have a good immune system to have gotten away without it? I had it as a child so I can only imagine it as an adult, not fun. Driving to Germany is impressive, I struggle doing a three hour trip in the UK so I take my hat off to you all. Hope the rest of this month goes positively despite a lot of things to stress about, it doesn’t do your eyes or immune system any good as it sounds like we both know too well. Take some “me time” whenever you can!!
    Caz 🙂
    xx

    • The Growing Mum

      He had it as a child but I didn’t which is why I got it. Thankfully I didn’t do the driving but it was epic stamina from the husband and kids. Awwww thanks. Getting some me time is definitely on the agenda eventhough I’ve got a long to do list. no point trying to them when I’m exhausted as I get nothing done.

  • Victoria

    It certainly is a tumultuous time! Well done for making it through the other side! I hope you also had some lovely rest and snuggling time 🙂

  • Alison

    The 4th trimester is such a whirlwind! I’m sorry to hear about the chicken pox and the a little trouble with the embilical cord but you are doing a great job adjusting to everything.

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