My Fourth 4th Trimester

posted by Andrea | 01/5/2018

As of Christmas Day, I officially made it through my FOURTH “4th trimester”!!

Yahoo!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, the 4th trimester is commonly considered the first 3 months of a babies life OUTSIDE the womb (read this post I wrote 2 years ago for a more thorough explanation).

I have learned the hard way, made lots of little mistakes, sort of thought I knew what to expect, and then realized I had no idea what to expect 4 times over… and boy does it feel great to be past that stage!

Based on the first 12 to 13 weeks of my baby’s lives, I’d have to say:

  • Nora was my loudest 🙂
  • Simon was my most relaxed
  • James was my happiest
  • Clara is my best sleeper

As I mentioned 2 years ago, I always feel an improvement in my physical, mental, and emotional health after I make it through the 4th trimester — and this time with Clara was no exception.

I shared a little about her labor, delivery, and homecoming (and how they were the best of any of my babies) but I honestly feel even better now.

That’s not to say it’s “easy” or that I “enjoy every moment”, but it’s definitely getting better. We’re learning each other’s needs, we’re developing a new routine, and we’re finding our groove as a family of 6.

It is so fun to watch the older kids interact with Clara and enjoy all of them being little at the same time — one perk of having kids close in age.

I think the holiday season is extra fun with little kids, and Dave and I definitely enjoyed “spoiling” them with special treats, lots of gifts, and fun surprises.

So… I suppose this is potentially the first of many lasts our family will experience over the next several years.

If we don’t have any more babies, this is the last time I’ll realize the amazing sensation of finally pushing that baby out, it’s the last time we’ll bring a tiny new baby home from the hospital, it’s the last time I’ll purge those ridiculously cute newborn clothes, it’s the last time I’ll buy size 1 diapers, and the last time I’ll fumble my way through a 4th trimester.

It sounds a little bit sad, but I really am excited to move on.

I have enjoyed (and will continue to enjoy) Clara as a tiny baby, but I also know how much fun the kids are when they are a little older — and I’m excited for Clara to get there too!

If you are struggling to find your “new normal” with a new baby, (or a new job, a new goal, or anything else that’s new to you) give yourself a 12-13 week grace period.

You might be surprised how much better and easier life is after a “4th trimester” — or you might have a baby like Nora who takes a couple years to finally come around! 🙂

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8 comments

  1. Mandy

    01/06/2018

    I think the 4th trimester is God’s way of telling us to rely on Him. Labor can be crazy, no routine, sleepless nights – basically no control! “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This verse really helped me. The 4th trimester is real and it’s hard! Thanks for this honest post.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, you’re probably right!

    [Reply]

  2. Alicia

    01/05/2018

    How timely, today marks the end of the 4th trimester for me, too! I do hope things get a little easier from here on out. While we are making progress finding a new routine, and #4 has been my most laid back baby so far, he’s an inconsistent sleeper which makes everything more challenging. Add attempting to potty train an almost 3 year old on top of that, trying to work from home, sickness going through our family pretty much non stop since September, and recovering from the holidays…whew! We are exhausted!

    I do realize how blessed we are. This time is short and we are trying to soak up every moment.

    THANK you for this reminder today, from ome exhausted mom! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I was actually thinking about you as I wrote this post 🙂
    We purposely put off potty training James (even though I think he’s ready) because I just can’t deal with it right now. We’ll wait until Spring Break or maybe even summer!
    Boo for sickness. Hope it passes soon!

    [Reply]

  3. Michelle

    01/05/2018

    Hey, so nice to have you back this week! Love following your blog and posts about your family are always so fun. Clara has already changed so much and so cute!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Michelle 🙂 And yes, Clara is changing every day!

    [Reply]

  4. shanlao21@gmail.com

    01/05/2018

    Dear Andrea, So happy for you to have made it this far. The best is yet to come 🙂 Not that I know anything about it, haha, because my two children were adopted 🙂 Thanks for your joyful and generous spirit in sharing your experiences of being a mother! Your family is adorable but real! Love following your progress. Love and blessings for the New Year! Shan

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Shan — and honestly, I feel like there would definitely be a time of adjustment after adoption too (no matter the age of the child). In some ways, it might have even been more challenging for you!

    [Reply]