I realized that I wrote about each trimester of pregnancy, but not about the one that most people do not talk about, or have even heard of. The 4th trimester is the twelve-week period after you have your baby. It is a time when a lot of things change emotionally and physically for mom and baby. Your baby is adjusting to life outside of the womb, and you’re adjusting to motherhood.
I would say the 4th trimester was a challenge. Emotionally, things were all over the place at first. I was told that for the first two weeks, your hormones are going haywire trying to adjust, and that it’s normal to be a little emotional. I found myself crying over all types of stuff…a commercial on TV, my son crying and not knowing what he needed, a show on TV, etc. After two weeks though, things started to regulate and I was less emotional. Also, at the two-week mark, I met with my OB/GYN for a virtual appointment. From everything I explained to her and after her asking a series of questions, what I was experiencing was a bit of baby blues, which is normal.
Physically, the first two to three weeks brought about some concerns. After giving birth, my feet were still super swollen. I was expecting the swelling to go down sooner. What was really alarming was that my issues with blood pressure became more of a problem. As I mentioned in a previous post, I lost 20 pounds and immediately found out I was pregnant. During the time of getting healthy and fit, my blood pressure improved greatly. My BP was in a good enough range for me to not have to take BP meds while I was pregnant. However, my OB/GYN did mentioned that as the 3rd trimester and delivery day approaches, my blood pressure could tend to creep up due to stress on the body, among other things. That did happen. My blood pressure was elevated after giving birth, with no signs of lowering on its own. Since it was high for a certain length of time, it was decided that I would start back on BP meds to get it regulated. Swelling and high blood pressure are two main symptoms of Pre-eclampsia, which we wanted to avoid at all cost. At the time, I was unaware that Pre-eclampsia could occur during the postpartum period, in addition to during pregnancy. Fortunately, my doctor had me come in for an appointment and took the proper precautions to avoid any medical mishaps.
A big portion of the 4th trimester was spent learning how to breastfeed and use the breasts pump. To read more about my breastfeeding experience, click here. The rest of the twelve-week period was filled with day/night feedings and exhaustion. While in the thick of it, it seemed like those long days would never end, but around month 4 is when we started to see things improve in terms of getting decent sleep.
What I enjoyed the most about the 4th trimester was bonding with my son. He seemed to adjust well to life outside of my body. Seeing his features change as he grew was and still is a joy! Also, learning his personality, likes and dislikes was wonderful.
Are you a mom? Share your 4th trimester experience in the comments below!