The 4th trimester — the first three months following the birth of your baby — is somewhat of a mixed bag. Sure, there are a ton of snuggles to be had and, if you're anything like me, you're totally celebrating not being pregnant anymore (my pregnancies were dumpster fires). But there's also an equal or greater number of struggles every mom in the fourth trimester knows all too damn well, my friends. I'm telling you, the struggle is real.
Thanks to the way our culture seems to fetishize new moms, most of us expect the newborn phase to be full of amazing, magical moments. It totally is, don't get me wrong, but it's also full of vomit, drool, blood, urine, pain, confusion, exhaustion, and, well, poop. There's so much poop, you guys. I thought I would have a ridiculous amount of fun with my baby, playing and going to the park, but then I learned the ugly truth about brand new babies: newborn babies are boring. So boring. Yes, you will get your fill of snuggles and smiles, and both are completely amazing, but your baby will likely sleep all of the time, except at night or when you decide to take a nap, that is.
To make matters worse, between pregnancy hormones, recovering from childbirth, and sleep deprivation, you probably won't feel like yourself for a while. You'll make mistakes, too, like randomly falling asleep, flashing your neighbor, or trying on your pre-pregnancy jeans (that was such a bad idea). The good news, though? Once you get past the fourth trimester, it's over. Or maybe that's the bad news? The struggle, or should I say "the snuggle," is real, no matter how you slice it, my friends.
When You Can't Sleep
There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as torture technique. Not getting enough sleep can impact your physical health, ability to function, and mental health. It's a wonder I had more than one child, considering how bad the exhaustion and sleep deprivation was after I had each and every one of them. You have to wonder if forgetting the newborn weeks is an evolutionary way of ensuring the continuation of the human species. The good news is that it will get better... in a few years... and if you are lucky. I don't think I've had a decent night's rest since 2008.
When You Forget Your Phone In The Other Room
There are few things worse than going to the bathroom or settling in with your sleeping baby on you and realizing that you forgot your damn phone in the other room. Or you remembered your phone, but the battery is at 10 percent and your charger is nowhere to be found. Dammit.
When The Baby Falls Asleep On You
There are few forces in nature stronger than baby gravity. It sucks all motivation to do anything else right out of you. It will make you binge watch Grey's Anatomy on repeat for hours, forget about those appointments you were supposed to schedule, and sometimes, if you are lucky, the power of a newborn's tiny baby weight will make you fall asleep yourself.
When You Lose Something
Most new moms experience "mommy brain" moments. I swear, there's something about child birth, postpartum hormones, and sleep deprivation that make your brain, well, kind of not work. Like the times you locked your keys and your baby in the house, lost your car in the parking lot, lost your purse, or forgot to pick up your kid from daycare. Yeah, I've done all of those things. Then I lie awake at night, fretting about it and feeling like the worst damn mom on the planet, because it's not like I need more sleep or anything.
When You Try On Your Pre-Pregnancy Pants
It's understandable to be curious about whether or not your pre-pregnancy jeans will fit after you've delivered another human being. If you really think about it, though, you know the outcome of this experiment before even trying. That doesn't make it easier when you can't get the damn pants past your knees, though. I've had three babies, and I have done this all three times. Why? What was I thinking?
When Your Baby Has A Blow Out & You Don't Have A Diaper
Leaving the house can be a challenge with a newborn. It takes roughly an hour to get ready (two if the baby is sleeping on you when you decide to go), and then, inevitably, the baby will have a poop blowout as soon as you get to your destination. This explosion is generally followed by the discovery that you remembered everything but diapers. Those, my friend, are back at home, right where you left them.
When Netflix Shames You
Yes, Netflix, I am still watching Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I know I have watched six episodes, but what do you want from me? I am exhausted, in pain, and I have a freaking baby sleeping on me. Besides, I left my phone in the other room. How else am I supposed to stave off boredom?
When You Accidentally Flash Someone
I spent much of my maternity leave topless. My breasts were sore and leaky, my babies wanted to eat all of the time, and it seemed like whenever I put on a clean shirt the baby would spit up, pee, or poop on it. So, I flashed everyone including my neighbors, the UPS guy, and pretty much every member of my immediate and extended family.
When You Experience "Mommy Brain"
Mommy brain is a real thing. It's not just a joke or an excuse, and it definitely made me feel like an idiot. It can make you lose confidence in yourself and your abilities, which really sucks since you're trying to adjust to being someone else's parent. The good news is, if you forget what you thought you were supposed to be doing, you can always snuggle on the couch with your baby and do what you actually should be doing during the fourth trimester: recover.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.