This is a real thing. Just like the first three trimesters of pregnancy, my body is in a state of change. Baby Skywalker is growing daily. As much as I hate to admit it, I still need extra rest, just like in pregnancy.This fourth trimester has been much different than I expected. I thought I’d have a baby, get my body back, and continue on with my mom and farm life. Easier said than done. I forgot how much time babies require. I just forgot. Between nursing, diaper changes, nap times, fussy times, extra laundry, doctor’s appointments, making more coffee, and everything else that a new baby brings, he really just hasn’t left much time for other things. Add in two other little people, the supervision they require around a new baby, ensuring they’re getting enough mom time, and tending to all their other needs, it’s easy to see how any progress on the homestead has fallen to the wayside. I’m just trying to maintain. I’m choosing the easy way in so many ways this time around.
Diapering: With Little Monster and Little Miss, it was easy for me to start cloth diapering from the beginning. Sure, we used the occasional disposable diaper, but it was very occasional. With Baby Skywalker, I have a diaper order on my Amazon Subscribe & Save account. I used disposables exclusively for the first six weeks. I tried cloth diapers a couple times in there, but he kept getting rashes. Probably from pooping ten times a day. He needed the heavy duty diaper cream and I couldn’t use that in cloth. Now, at 2 1/2 months, he’s in cloth during the day, disposables at night. And I’m using pockets this go round, which I’ve never done before. I still prefer prefolds and covers over any other diaper, and I use those in the house, but if I’m on the run, I grab pockets. Or disposables. I don’t have diaper rules with this baby. I’m no longer a purist. I’m just a mom who is trying to do whatever I need to do to get the job done.
Breastfeeding: Oy. You’d think after breastfeeding my first for 14 and 13 months, respectively, I’d have the hang of this thing. But I was having a lot of pain. I have an oversupply, a fast let down, and he has had congestion since his first cold at a week old. He also suffers from reflux. I always questioned tongue ties with my girls, but never pursued it. At three months with each, I was back at work, and so pumping throughout the day and only nursing at night. That gave my nipples the relief they needed to get by. This time, I chose not to mess around. I went to a reputable dentist who did the laser revision on his tongue and lip ties. This was much more traumatic than I expected! I liken it to disbudding goats. He screamed the entire time. I was holding his hips so he didn’t scoot down the table and could smell the burning flesh. BUT, it has made such a difference!! I never knew how pain free nursing could be!! I thought some amount of tugging was just normal. But there are times when he gets a really good latch and I don’t feel a thing. It’s amazing! I’ve already noticed a slight drop in my supply. I’m hoping that once we get past all this congestion from his cold we’ll see a change in his reflux.
Food allergies: I thought we had escaped the allergy issue this time, but it seems he is allergic to soy after all. I cut both dairy and soy for a month based on poops – green, mucousy – and his reflux. His poops improved. I added dairy back in, he did fine. I added soy back in, he got a rash on his face. So just like his sisters, he does in fact have an allergy. I’m still waiting for his face to completely clear up before I can say for certain that it is just soy. If that’s the case I’ll be thrilled. It will just mean no processed foods for me. I’ll be happy to keep dairy in my diet. It’s such a good protein.
Sleep: Oh my goodness. People ask me all the time how he’s sleeping. There is no rhyme or reason. Just this past week he has started to wake up consistently twice in the night, usually around the same times. But now that I say that we’ll have a night of 6 wakings. 😉 His daytime sleep is at random. I feel I should try to encourage regular nap times, but our schedule is such that I don’t really know how to make it consistent every day at the same time. He sometimes naps while I wear him, he sometimes naps in his little lamb vibrating chair, sometimes it’s in the car, and sometimes, just occasionally, it’s in his crib! He is a tummy sleeper, and once I figured that out he has started to sleep for longer periods. He is a pretty restless sleeper too. I hear him moving around in bed and have to stop the autopilot from reaching for him immediately. He’s often times just moving around, dreaming, and he’ll go back to sleep.
Illness: Guys. He has had three colds already. THREE! He’s not even three months. Poor guy. This last one has been a doozy. Hubby and Little Miss both had it as well. They were miserable. Baby Skywalker has only been able to sleep on my chest while I’m sitting up in bed the last couple nights. Yes, I’m tired. But he has stuck to only two wakings each night, so that’s good, right?
Babywearing: I wore Little Miss every.single.day. She was 19months before she had a day without wearing. I haven’t been as enthusiastic this time. My body hurt more postpartum. I found myself chasing two little people so often that it took too much time to wrap him. Now that I can do back carries I’m wearing him more frequently. It makes it so much easier to work around the house and farm, and to take care of the girls.
Me: I’m getting there. I feel like I’ll never have a flat stomach again, but I know it’s still early. I’ve had a lot more residual pain this time too. Ligaments and cartilige and stuff are having a hard time reverting to their non-pregnant state. I guess 14 months of pregnancy were hard on my body. I should do pelvic floor therapy, but that’s just one more expense, one more thing to drive to town for, so I’m trying to take care of things with exercises at home. Little Monster loves to do yoga with me. I’m getting back to work, doing more heavy lifting, getting the tiniest of projects done here and there, trying to find purpose in this crazy life. I feel like I’m going at 10 different directions at once and can’t seem to focus on any one thing. Occasionally I feel the baby blues, so I’m being mindful of the risk of postpartum depression. I know that I’m at risk. Some days are just harder than others, for any number of reasons. When I journal it out and make plans I feel empowered again.
This is my fourth trimester. What struggles have you faced in the fourth trimester? What surprised you? What did you do differently from one kid to the next?
(I’ll come back and edit pics later. Apparently my better, more recent pics aren’t on the laptop yet. Just another symptom of the fourth trimester.)