I’m writing my four weeks postpartum update from the airport while babywearing Finn. I’ve watched many YouTube videos in the last few days on everything from placing the infant insert in the Ergo to collapsing the BOB Stroller to installing the carseat in the car using the seatbelt for our ride to the airport.
Before I had Finn I wondered how I would learn all of this stuff…and I now know that you just figure it out! It’s not always pretty…like yesterday when Finn was wailing and wouldn’t let me put him down long enough to actually figure out the Ergo…but you get it done. Mom-level determination and empowerment is something else. My current life motto is, “we will figure it out.”
edited to add…I wrote the intro of this post at the airport and then Finn woke up and it was GAME ON to make it to Florida. That took all of my focus. I’m resuming the writing of this post in bed at 11 p.m. and he is finally sleeping after fighting it all evening.
FOURTH TRIMESTER: FOUR WEEKS POSTPARTUM
WE MADE IT FOUR WEEKS! It seems like our first major milestone. It hasn’t always been pretty but we did it.
Body changes: I’m about 2 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight but the distribution of it is so different and many of my pre-pregnancy clothes (mostly jeans/shorts/fitted things) still don’t fit. I’ve packed away most of my bras because those are definitely not fitting these days. Overall, feeling good in my body.
Maternity clothes: on the topic of body changes, I packed up almost all of my maternity clothes and it was a bittersweet moment. I really loved being pregnant and I miss the bump sometimes! I just thought it was the coolest thing to grow Finn inside of me and I loved those final months when I could feel him move so much.
Breastfeeding: this is another area where I feel proud of us for making it four weeks! I’m still feeding on demand and sometimes he goes 2-4 hour stretches and sometimes I feel like all he wants to do is nurse. He’s spitting up a good bit but the pediatrician assured me that since he’s gaining weight and doesn’t seem to be in distress about it, that I need not worry.
Sleep: is finally improving. I hate to talk about it because I fear I will jinx it but for the last week he has given me at least one 4+ hour stretch at night. It’s usually from 11-3 or 4. Several times it’s been the later stretch from 4 to 8 a.m. or so. A couple stretches have even gone close to five. Again, the pediatrician said that since he’s gaining weight, let him sleep! I am really trying not to get to attached to the idea that he’s going to keep sleeping like this but it’s been really nice.
- Night sweats. I think I’ve made it through the worst of them! I’m not longer soaking the sheets or having to change my clothes.
- Bleeding. It’s continuing to improve but I still have days with spotting. I am REALLY ready to say sayonara to pads.
- Pain relief. I was able to stop taking Ibuprofen again during week four.
- C-section recovery: To continue on the pain relief bullet…while week three postpartum brought back some pretty intense pain, week four brought relief about midway through. The pain lasted about a week mid week three through mid week four and left as quickly as it started. There was one night during week four that I had to hold a heating pad on my belly as I sat on the couch at the end of the day. I’m SO grateful to finally be feeling better and to have that intense soreness gone. My incision is looking good but the area above it is really puffy and numb. I’m going to start looking into PT and scar massage soon.
- Appetite: Eh. It comes and it goes. I can’t say I’m eating the healthiest right now but I’m just eating what I’m able to get down. More on that in my recent eats recap later this week.
- Upper back/neck pain: Killing me. I went back to the chiropractor and that was so helpful. I wish I could go every day! I’ve started foam rolling my upper back and that helps. I’m also going to start some gentle yoga/stretch this week.
Emotional well-being: every day I feel more and more confident about my ability to care for Finn and to do this mom thing. I still find it overwhelming to negotiate ALL the feeds/burping/changing/soothing/rocking/bathing/holding/etc with things like personal care, getting computer work done, food prep and general household chores. This is why I was beyond grateful that my mom came to visit again this week. She’s such an incredible helper and able to jump in and do things without me ever even having to ask. She knows just when to sit with me and when to give me space, she’s a magic dish fairy, great with the dogs and so on top of laundry.
There are much deeper emotional challenges behind the scenes but I’m just not ready to talk about them yet. Please don’t mistake this for vague blogging but I also don’t want to ignore the elephant in the room. I’m having a tough time.
So while I am feeling overwhelmed at times and also emotional and sad, Finn brings a tremendous amount of joy and love to my life. I’m truly enjoying motherhood more and more with every day that passes and watching him change and grow daily is the best thing ever.
One month well child visit: Finn had his one month well child visit on the day he turned four weeks old. He weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce. His birthweight was 7, 5 so the doctor was pleased with the gain. He’s also grown nearly an inch and a half in length. The craziest thing was that his head circumference was in the 96th percentile. My mom and I were scratching our heads over that as he doesn’t seem to have an abnormally large head??? Who knows! Maybe he’s just growing a big brain. 😉
I mentioned to the pediatrician that I thought he might be intentionally smiling at times. He told me that usually comes at 6-8 weeks but after he held him and examined him for a while, he said he was definitely socially smiling here and there. Sweet boy! I can’t wait until we get those really big smiles but I’ll take what we’re getting now!
Car seat check: my mom and I went to a local police station for a car seat check and it was amazing. They do weekly car seat check events and the police officer who helped us was incredible. He spent so much time showing us everything from installing the base to adjusting the seat in the base to adjusting Finn in the seat.
I learned so much about car seat safety and feel about 100x more confident in my car seat skills now. I can’t recommend attending one of these events enough if you are in the Charlotte area or if you have them in your own town.
The officer gave us a great hack of putting a pool noodle under the seat to help it stay in place. He said it helps on leather seats when the base is still too wiggly after being installed. I later practiced my installation skills by installing our second base in my moms car and I did it and I think my install rivals the police officers! 🙂 FYI – this is the car seat I have and I love it!
Speaking of cars…I still haven’t bought a new one. I only add that because I’ve had some people ask. Definitely needing something a little higher for the sake of my back and bigger for all the gear but we are making it work for now.
Workouts/activity: this was the first week where I could actually picture working out again. Prior to this week the idea of being ready for any type of activity at six weeks was laughable to me. Even though I’m starting to feel better, I still plan to take it all very slowly. This week will be some gentle yoga/stretching, next week some bodyweight and light strength mostly for my upper back pain and then we’ll add from there. I plan to do zero cardio other than walking until my bleeding completely stops. Speaking of walking, I’m doing that every day.
What was the first type of activity you introduced when you started back into workouts?
Did you find the end of pregnancy to be a bit bittersweet or were you like “see you later!” to your maternity clothes? Did you ever miss your bump?
Favorite stroller/car seat accessory? I ordered a stroller fan. Seems pretty necessary for summer in the south. Tell me what else is helpful!