We know pregnancy lasts for 9 months and has 3 trimesters. But let’s get talking about the postpartum period, which is generally referred to as the 4th trimester. Even though you have welcomed your baby from the womb to this world, somehow it still feels like the baby is attached to the mother all the time. The 4th trimester can actually be one of the toughest phases to get through on the parenthood journey. But the good part is that new moms can share the load with their husbands and other close family members. This is the time when the baby bonds with the family too. It’s beautiful!
So what is 4th trimester in a nutshell? Sleep deprivation, exhaustion, breastfeeding, sore nipples, painful stitches, regaining your lost strength, worrying about baby’s weight gain, routine doctor checkups, unforgettable bonding sessions and being paranoid about anyone touching your baby without washing their hands. This is just a broad outline of what happens in the 4th trimester. When we go through it and actually experience it, there are a bazillion other things. Most importantly it makes you realize that your life is so much more important than you think because the little human being you brought into this world is an extension of your existence.
In my case, it was 2! Coping up with twins was hard and honestly, without family and hired help it would have been extremely difficult. No matter how much an expecting mother prepares, unexpected twist and turns can happen which makes it challenging and sometimes impossible to cope. But we must improvise! How did I get through it? We had a schedule, everyone at home was allotted a specific time to monitor the babies and cater to their needs including two nannies, one for a day and other for the night while I tried to catch a nap here and there and regain my strength from the C- section. I found my self-hovering over them even when I was supposed to get some fresh air or take a shower! It lasted for one month since they were born premature and needed special care all the time. I remember my parents being more paranoids then me! We experienced everything, the ups and down, infections, panic attacks, the 4’ o clock cooing sessions, colic episodes with my younger one and an unexpected trip to Neonatal intensive care unit. Everything was squeezed into the first 40 days.
This is what we experience as parents, now when I think of how a newborn baby has to accommodate to the world outside the womb it really gives me goosebumps. It was more difficult for my girls. The warmth of the womb, the sound of the mother’s heartbeat and occasional rhythm of the mother’s moments are so comforting to the baby who is still in the womb. To ease the transformation from womb to our world one must try to replicate everything. Wearing you baby in a sling, swaddling them, skin to skin touch are the most underrated but very important aspects of the 4th trimester period. We spend tons of money to furnish the nursery with baby crib, cots, swings and rocking chairs but the one thing that would soothe any newborn crying baby is the warmth of another human. It works all the time. The 4th trimester is the time when you understand your baby and the baby understands you.
No one said it’s going to be easy even the ones who say it, they do not really mean it! New parents drive strength from the tiny hands gripping their finger, the look in the eyes of their child and unconditional love surrounding their nest. We all give it more than what we can but never really realize it.