It’s hard to recall the first time I heard about the fourth trimester. It’s very possible I blocked it out, or even forgot, because sometimes the mind does tricky things to help protect us. Seriously though, as rewarding and wonderful and joyful as it can be to bring home a new baby, it’s still a very physical, very tiring, very stressful time. You know, kinda like the rest of pregnancy. Plus, your baby is still developing too (shout out to the soft spot among about a zillion other things). Arguably, the fourth trimester is the worst trimester you’ll experience because it combines some intense physical challenges with the stress and anxiety of adjusting to parenthood and caring for another human being.
Of course, I'll admit I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that it’s a lot more wonderful to hold your baby in your arms, and see them in tiny pajamas and lay next to them during a nap nap and smell their head and just actually see them, in real life, than it is to waiting to do those things. Still, the positives don't outweigh the challenges and, well, the challenges aren't small. They’re not even medium-sized. They are extra-extra large and they often feel like insurmountable.
My son is a toddler so I’m no longer in the fourth trimester, which means the fog has lifted and I understand that yes, it’s all manageable and "this too shall pass" and while it can be difficult, it's also worth it. However, at the time it didn’t exactly feel that way. Here are a few examples: