For some people, pregnancy is a magical time full of happiness, wonder, and beauty. I am not one of those people. For me, the first trimester was full of uncontrollable nausea and vomiting, the second was marked by pelvic and back pain, and the third was spent on bedrest and frequently wetting my pants. While some pregnant people glow and feel energetic, I get acne and feel exhausted. And while I love my children, I certainly didn't love my pregnancies (at least, not until after delivery). In fact, there are so many reasons why the 4th trimester is the best.
The biggest reason for me, of course, is baby snuggles. I love the newborn period. Snuggling with the adorable tiny human you grew in your body, smelling their tiny soft head, and kissing their little baby toes? Yeah, it's enough to make even the most badass mom, like me, turn into a gooey mess. I am literally smiling so big while writing this and staring adoringly at my newborn. There must be something hormonal going on to make me to feel this good.
I'm not saying that the fourth trimester is without it's challenges. I've had my fair share of sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, breastfeeding difficulties, anxiety, pain, and stupid fights with my partner. However, once I got some help and figured some things out, the first three months with my babies have been pretty freaking amazing. However, when even the most exhausting of moments are chaotic or stressful, at least I can have a glass of freaking wine or a double shot of espresso without feeling guilty.
Because Your Pregnancy Is Over
Pregnancy sucked so much. I was so glad that it was over. Not just because I got to meet the tiny human that I grew in my body, but because I physically felt so much better.
Because You Get Your Body Back
For me, there's something surreal about being pregnant. At times it felt like I was carrying an alien or vampire that was literally sucking the life out of me and kicking me in the ribs. As my pregnancies progressed, I couldn't do many of the things I enjoyed, like running, yoga, and weight training. During the fourth trimester, I got my body back. It may not look the same, but it's just me and with no inhabitant.
Because Baby Snuggles
There is literally nothing I love more than snuggling with my baby. Nothing.
Because You Spend Your Time Watching Shows
The fourth trimester, for me, meant some time off from work and some time awake late at night. As a result, I'm getting caught up on so many shows that I want to watch, while my other kids are at school and while I'm up with baby in the middle of the night. It's the little things.
It's so nice to be able to enjoy a glass of wine again. So. Damn. Nice.
Because No More Vomit
During my last two pregnancies I had hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as extreme nausea and vomiting, for months. This last time, I literally threw up right up until and during labor. It was so nice to be able to eat again after delivery. Every meal seems like the best thing I've ever eaten.
Because There's Time To Relax
I will tell you a secret: you don't have to do everything during your first few months home with baby. In fact, and honestly, you shouldn't even try. You just grew a freaking human in your body. You need to recover.
If necessary, ask for help, force yourself to take it easy, and set boundaries with people who would have you do otherwise. It's important that you be kind to yourself and change your expectations, so you can enjoy this time and stay healthy. Remember to use the word "no" with others (and yourself).
Don't tell anyone, but some days I still wear maternity pants. However, it's nice to have other options again. I got so huge during pregnancy that I outgrew most of my maternity clothes, so to have more clothing options, even if I am just going to spend the day snuggling a newborn, or at least I have something to change into when he spits up or pees on the clothes I am wearing, is pretty damn nice.
Because There's No More Dietary Restrictions
I don't like being told what to do, and now that I am no longer pregnant and can eat again I am enjoying lots of foods you aren't supposed to eat while pregnant, like runny eggs and soft cheese. Mmmmm cheese.
Because You Get Your Identity Back
When you are pregnant, and especially once you start to show, people are concerned with your pregnancy first and seem to forget that you are more than just a vessel growing a tiny human. To be honest, it really messed with my sense of self.
To make matters worse, people feel so entitled to information about your body, pregnancy, and parenting plans, and tend to say the creepiest and most inappropriate things. It's so nice to just be me again. Of course, now I'm also my baby's mom, so I guess I should say, "getting a new identity that's not simply a pregnant person."
Because You Learn How To Be A Family
It's been so amazing to watch our family grow and to learn a new normal. Our kids are so excited (well, at least when they aren't jealous) to have a new sibling. It's also amazing to see my husband parent our new tiny human and to reconfigure our family, home, and lives to make him a new part of our team.