As if the 3 trimesters of pregnancy weren’t enough, there’s actually another one. Yes, the fourth trimester is an actual thing. Basically, it’s the idea that the first 3 months of life are very much an extension of life in the womb for baby.

In my opinion, the first 12 weeks with a newborn (see my survival tips here) are the most difficult. Hence why it’s been dubbed ‘the 4th trimester’. Nobody really tells you (warns you) or talks about it and I’m not really sure why. In the hospital they often tell you about the dreaded 2nd night, I’m pretty sure with Baxter we were even given a print out on what to expect. Constant feeding being the main thing and most babes don’t know their day from night in those early days (sometimes weeks).

I did some googling….

“Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment he/she is born and lasts until he/she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as he/she adjusts to his/her new world outside your womb. You may find the term “trimester” odd, since your baby is already born.”

So there. It is a ‘thing’.

I’ve always told people that things get better after the first 12 weeks, they’re not so fresh, they respond (some what), they smile and are a lot less fragile and become more interactive each and every day.

Back to the whole ‘fourth trimester’ thing. Imagine what the life is like for you wee one tucked up inside your womb: tightly cocooned in a warm, dark, comforting place. Constantly hearing the safe sound of mums heartbeat. This is why they’re like koala’s once earthside. They take comfort in the sound of mum’s heartbeat and her smell. Mum’s chest is their safe place. Your baby will want to be held by you, and only you. Babywearing can help during this period to enable you to still go to the bathroom and do things that help you feel sane without being stuck under a newborn 24/7.

I look at the fourth trimester similar to the third trimester for many. You’re tired, your uncomfortable and many of us are anxious. Some of us still look like we’re pregnant, I know I did – just a lot more squishy!

Nobody warned me about the contractions after birth if you’re breastfeeding, your uterus contacts when you feed and it can take up to 12 weeks for it to return to is normal size. I found I bled more during those first few feeds too.

Don’t worry too much about creating bad habits during this time, you can’t spoil a newborn. They’re still too young to form bad habits.

The fourth trimester is an adjustment period for all, mums/dads & babies. I just wish there was more discussions surrounding it so we can align our expectations and not be so overwhelmed.

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To the mum tapping her brakes at the lights, we’ve all been there.

To the mum struggling to carry her newborn while her toddler is having a tantrum, I feel for you.

To the mum rocking her shopping trolley while the person in front faffs about with no regard or awareness that your baby is about to go from 0-100 REAL quick.

To the mum feeding her baby in the cafe while her own meal goes cold, I don’t remember the last time I ate a full meal – uninterrupted. You’re a good mum and your child will one day thank you (maybe).

To the mum who hasn’t washed her hair in over a week, you rock that mum-bun.

To the mum persevering through the pain of breastfeeding in order to prove a point or to keep others happy, do what’s best for you. A happy mum is more useless than a broken one.

To the mum who isn’t sure if that stain on her pants is food or fecal matter, you rock on.

To the mum who’s stuck on the couch under a sleeping baby while your phone is out of reach, I feel you sister.

To the mum stuck in the car with a sleeping baby/toddler not knowing whether to risk the dreaded transition. Stay there, get your phone out and relax.

To the mum swaying side to side in the coffee line, I still do it 18 months on. I don’t think it ever stops.

To the mum reading this while gritting their teeth because there child won’t go to sleep – breeeeeathe.

To the mum hiding in the bathroom crying so she can get one moment’s peace, we’ve been there.

To the mum scared to feed their child formula because of fear of judgement, just do it. Happy mum = happy baby.

We’re in this together mamas! I salute you! Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and realise this parenting gig is a tough one. We’re not alone and that there are SO many mums experiencing the same things as us each and every day but very few will openly admit it.

If you see a mama out in public, struggling, who could do with a helping hand or a hug. Reach out, you could make her day. You could be that one adult conversation she has been craving for all day.

You’re doing an amazing job, don’t question yourself mama. You’re doing just fine x

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I’ve always been a little weary about being too vocal in regards to how shit I’m feeling while I am pregnant. I know there are people out there struggling to conceive or who simply cannot have children so please know this blog is not intended to upset or offend anybody. I’ve seen celebrities and public figures get flamed for expressing how they really feel. Truth is, like me, they’re not out to upset anybody.

This blog was built on MY OWN experiences and HONESTY and that is how it shall remain.

I would never go as far as saying I hate being pregnant, hate is a strong word. I just have a problem with the way it is portrayed in the media and in the movies.

I wish women would be more open and honest when it comes to pregnancy.

For me, pregnancy sucked a bag of dicks.

If you had the perfect pregnancy and enjoyed every moment, I envy you. I turn into a total fucking psycho. Am a bawling mess one minute, completely irrational the next and then in fits of rage within seconds. Hormones, fucking hormones! Sometimes I feel like I need to walk around with an ‘approach with caution’ sign around my neck. I have to bite my tongue while skimming my Facebook feed and seeing the utter bullshit that is often being shared/posted.

Being pregnant IS an exciting time, you’re growing life – you’re going to have a baby! But your body goes ‘fuck you’.

You see, the truth about pregnancy is: every pregnancy is different.  Hence why I wanted to share my experience and thoughts on the topic.

The first trimester took me by surprise, I don’t know if I’m just ignorant, or if no one talks about it openly and honestly. I was tired, so fucking tired – all of the time. In fact, I still am even in the second trimester. Not just tired, exhausted. I am puffing and out of breath from walking up six stairs. I am so light-headed and dizzy ALL of the time, I would often need to just take a moment and sit. I had the worst heartburn with Baxter from probably the 3rd trimester until he was out, nothing helped it and it was so bad to the point I wanted to vomit. My boobs feel like they’ve been injected with quick setting concrete. Don’t even get me started on the excruciating back pain.

Everybody tells you it get better after the first trimester? Mmmm, yeah, I guess – you don’t feel as shit but you still feel pretty shit.

Tired. Exhausted. Sore.

Here’s just a few things I can think of off the top of my head, I know with my current baby brain I will forget a bunch but I will no doubt remember over the coming months:

  • I can’t see my vagina anymore. In fact, I can’t see anything down there and I’m not even sure I want to
  • Your immune system is borderline non-existent, so expect to get sick at least once throughout your pregnancy
  • You will lose all dignity in the delivery room (if not before)
  • Skin tags – I didn’t even know what the fuck these were until I got pregnant
  • Glow? What glow? Yeah, that’s a combination of sweat and my new found oily skin
  • Shaving my legs? Ha, I don’t think so. Everybody down there becomes a scene from Where the Wild Things Are from 30+ weeks
  • Your sense of smell will be through the roof. Reuben just doesn’t get it but I know the rubbish needs to go out as soon as I walk into the house. I can also tell you there is clearly meat in there cos it fucking reeks. Like a fucking blood hound. They should hire pregnant woman at airports
  • You might get itchy skin – by god, under my bra line, at the top of my belly used to get so damn itchy with Baxter it drove me crazy and my doctor thought I was crazy
  • My body temp was all kinds of fucked up, sweaty mess one minute and freezing the next
  • You might get hemorrhoids (I thankfully didn’t)
  • Your feet may swell
  • Your boobs will get huge. I went from a 12C to a 14DD. Even after a small stint of breastfeeding, my tits are still huge in comparison to what they used to be
  • You will crave things – food, sex, weird things
  • You live in the most unflattering clothes for the duration of your pregnancy. Krumping tees and sweatpants are my go-to
  • You will get randoms touching your belly and saying the stupidest shit to you
  • You will gain weight; it’s totally normal so don’t be so hard on yourself
  • You will have gas – by god, ask Reuben, my pregnancy farts are repulsive
  • Discharge – that is all I will say on the matter
  • You will likely want a tonne of sex or none at all
  • The bump doesn’t disappear as soon as baby is out. I wish
  • You will lose friends and gain new ones
  • Bladder control, what bladder control? I have to cross my legs when I sneeze these days after just 1 baby. Kegels smeagals

There you have it. A shitty little pregnancy bible from my point of view. For me, I lost complete control of my body, this little human had completely taken it over and sucked every last little bit of nutrients I had.

Coming into round 2 I am so much better prepared. My body never bounced back after  #1 so how much damage can #2 do?

Would love to hear your additions!

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I’ve just realised I’ve barely made any updates in regards to my second pregnancy aside from the announcement itself. So if you missed it.. yes, I am pregnant (again!). Baby is due in April.

I am currently 17 weeks and this pregnancy has been nothing like the first. I am not sure if that’s just how it is with your second pregnancy or if it’s an indication of gender as some like to say (I wish). I personally am just taking it all as it comes and whatever will be, will be.

People say “oh, do you have a preference?” well, a healthy baby would be great! I would be happy with either, of course, it’d be nice to have a girl so we have one of each as this is it for us. We’ve talked long and hard about this, it is what WE want. We always wanted to have the 2 in close succession while things are still fresh for us and we can re-use things of Baxters. We’re still in that baby mentality and remember (very vividly) what it is like to have a newborn so for us, it’s easier to have #2 now and ‘get it over with’ so to speak. They’ll be about 19m apart and that’s a great gap for us plus it means they’ll hopefully grow up to be the best of friends.

I am finding with this pregnancy, I don’t have that much time on my hands to think about it and dwell on things. I am somewhat mentally prepared from the first. I know the pregnancy is going to be a bit shit and the whole birth part, well, it hurts like fuck but the pain is only temporary and the outcome is SO worth it. Working full time, running the blog and having Baxter to run around after keeps me pretty busy, I often need to refer to a phone app to tell me how many weeks I am. Baxter stays home with Reuben these days so that definitely takes some pressure off but even the most menial of tasks are a bloody mission these days because I am just so damn tired all the time. The bump appeared much earlier than last time, they say this is pretty normal also. I am concerned just how big I am going to get – haha.

I am lucky to not have had a bad run with morning sickness, I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of nausea which was somewhat similar to my pregnancy with Baxter.

I looked into coming off my PND medication but after thorough discussions with my fiancee, midwife and GP, we all decided it was best for my mental health to stay on them. They’re no risk to the baby and why change if it’s working for me right now? The weeks of weaning off them were fucking horrific and I am kicking myself for even attempting it, I wasn’t ready but thought it was best. It wasn’t. Sometimes it’s OK to admit defeat and admit that things aren’t OK.

Does Baxter know mummy has a baby in her tummy? Nope, I think he is still just too young (14m). I have told him and on the odd occasion he will put his hand on my belly but he gets more of a kick off sticking his grubby fingers in my belly button, lol.

I totally watched the clock with Baxter and now I simply don’t have the time and it’s scary to think in just 3 weeks we’ll be at the half way point!

 

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Photo taken at 16 weeks