“Erm, there are only three trimesters…” I hear you cry.
Turns out, there really aren’t! According to BabyCentre UK:
Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment she’s born and lasts until she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as she adjusts to her new world outside your womb.Baby Centre UK – Your Baby and the Fourth Trimester
Today marks three months since Rufus was born; the time has come my friends, to say goodbye to the fourth trimester.
For me, the fourth trimester has been a time of massive change for Rufus. He’s been through three developmental leaps – The Wonder Weeks app has changed my existence – where he has learned to make sense of the world around him. From noticing patterns in speech and smiling at silly faces, to holding his head up and moving his arms and legs purposefully, he has changed so much in such a short space of time.
Everyone has commented, week by week, on how alert, responsive and curious he has become. And I see that changing every day too; the way he studies my face before recognising who I am, the eyes focusing on a patterned dress in the distance, the smiles he gives total strangers as they lean across to say hello. He truly is a marvel, and even now, I could sit and watch him for hours, just being.
But the fourth trimester isn’t just about the change in your baby. It’s also about the change in yourself. I have learned so much about myself in the last three months, and done things I had no idea I could do.
I am much stronger than I have ever given myself credit for. I managed to cope with an operation, a newborn and day to day life, the universe and everything. It was something I, and every mother-to-be I’d wager, worried about during my pregnancy. Will I be able to cope? Without factoring in the pain of C-section, I was already worried, but I did it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t without multiple pairs of assisting hands… they say it takes a village, and they ain’t wrong. But I did it.
I can love more than I ever knew possible. I will be honest and say I didn’t get that all consuming rush of love as soon as they put my baby on my chest. You’re not meant to say that, though, are you? Everyone gets it, don’t they? Whether it was the trauma of my labour, or the fact I was laying flat on my back while desperately trying to balance a baby on my boobs like some sort of circus act, I didn’t feel that immediate bond. My baby was there, but he didn’t feel like mine. He felt like someone I was watching from a distance. I took him home, and every day I loved him a little bit more. Every day, he changed and took a little bit more of my heart. Until one day, he just had it all. I can’t pinpoint when I decided I would gladly dive in front of a bus for you, Rufus, but I would. It might not have been that moment from a film, but I know I would give anything for you. I love you more than I ever knew I could love.
I have seriously mad skills. Baby spat his dummy out? Caught it. Vom explosion? Muzzy at the ready. Need to eat a pain au chocolat while rocking a baby to sleep? Aside from a few forehead pastry flakes (sorry kid), mission accomplished. I have made seamless transitions from arms to crib, changed a nappy and outfit and taken thousands upon thousands of photographs, all while never waking a sleeping child. Just call me superwoman.
While Rufus has been navigating this strange, unfamiliar world, so have I. The fourth trimester has been a rollercoaster of emotion, learning, and experiences. And while I’m sad to say goodbye to such a magical time, I’m excited to see what comes next. I’m excited to succeed, to fail, to explore, to learn, to teach, to explore and to develop.
So happy three months Rufus.
Likes: Milk, cuddles, Baby Sensory, kicking legs, sneezing, bath time, being naked, farting.
Dislikes: Lying down, being put in the car seat, being hungry, nap time, vaccinations.
Here’s to the next three. I might not quite be a brand new mum now, but you sure as hell make me feel shiny new every day.