During pregnancy, we spend a lot of time talking about the upcoming milestones from trimester to trimester. Some of them are exciting, like the first ultrasound that you can see movement. Other milestones are less exciting, like the glucose test but let you know things are moving along. It’s been nearly a month ago since I’ve given birth, and I am officially in the fourth trimester. Even though I’m not pregnant anymore, I’m still experiencing birth-related milestones. Now, I’m waiting and watching as my body returns to “normal” and getting to know our latest addition.
My body aches all over, but I’m still excited. Here’s why:
1. No more constant peeing
Words can’t express how excited I am to not have to pee around the clock. While pregnant, I had to pee every 5 minutes (that is not an exaggeration). I am more than ready for my bladder to return to its normal size with no living beings using it as a 24-hour bounce house.
2. Sleeping on my stomach
It may seem like a small thing but I deeply missed sleeping on my stomach. While I was pregnant, my sleep options were extremely limited. The first couple of months were easy there was no bump and I could get away with it. But since this was my second kid by five months belly sleeping was completely off the table and bedtime became a thing of dread.
For nearly half a year, I was forced to sleep uncomfortably on either of my sides. Sure, this seems like a minor inconvenience to bring such beautiful life into the world. However, for me, a lifelong stomach sleeper who was exhausted by pregnancy and mothering, this process was hell.
Now that my sweet baby is on the outside I can sleep however I would like. (Even if it is in very short intervals.)
3. Bringing my sexy back
Like most folk, I was less than excited about the weight I gained during pregnancy. At times, returning to business as usual feels ridiculously slow. It’s taken a while to accept that I gained over 60 pounds this go round. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband who reassured me that I was beautiful and I wasn’t going through all of those changes without reason. Still, I can’t wait to start cleaning up my eating and fitness habits so I can get my sexy back.
4. Rediscovering myself
At the same time, it’s worth acknowledging that my sexy could have changed over the last few months. Who knows what will happen over the next six months. It’s possible that my body will never be the same size it was before I had children. It’s important that I learn to live with that possibility.
Chances are that means I’m going to have to establish a new relationship with my body. My saggy belly might become my best friend. My thighs could be thicker from here on out. And I understand that it’s going to be even harder to accomplish my fitness goals with the responsibility of two children. I don’t expect it to be easy and I won’t hold myself to impossible standards.
5. Getting to know my baby
And last, but certainly not least, I am looking forward to getting to know my baby. The last nine months have been about growing her and now it’s time to get to know her. Motherhood has changed me and I like to think those changes are for the better. Now that I’m a mother of two, the real work begins. If I want to continue to grow in my abilities and understanding of motherhood, I have to work to understand my children as a unit and as individuals.
Fourth trimester, bring it! I’m ready.