The Fourth Trimester: Liam’s First Three Months

Fourth Trimester

If I am writing this, it means that Liam is now three months old.  How is that possible?  I know I used to do weekly/monthly updates while I was pregnant and since I gave birth, I stopped doing so.  This post may be a tad long because I’m summing up 3 months put together but I thought since you were all so involved in my pregnancy, that I can’t just stop now!  Liam is here now and boy- I have never been so in love.  So here we go….

I liked the concept of the Fourth Trimester as soon as I had first heard about it.  This refers to the first three months after a baby’s birth being an extension of the time he would have had in the womb.  Let’s think about it for a moment.  In the womb, their every need is met instantly.  They are fed on demand so they don’t know hunger, they feel safe in an enclosed, warm space and they are not surrounded by bright lights, fluctuating temperatures, super loud noises… the list goes on as to why the outside world may be a very unnerving place to a newborn.  Therefore, it is no surprise that it is a lot to adjust to and this won’t take just a few hours.  It made me feel more relaxed to think that I can have the first three months of his life to slowly help him adjust to all the new things he is experiencing.  Overall, I let go and ignored certain expectations such as: having him on a sleep schedule, feeding him at certain times and trying to be a Super Woman by attempting to fill up every minute of the day with activities etc.  A lot of that stuff falls into place on its own and your body is still recuperating while your baby is adjusting to A LOT.  Give yourselves a break; have time to settle in.

“You’re simply babying him-  he’ll be stuck to your side constantly.” I’m sorry, but is he not a baby?  If not now, when WILL it be acceptable for me to hold my child this much?  Everyone has their own opinions on how to parent, and that is fine.  For me, my Son and our situation, I will gladly hold him for as long as he wants, if he needs to be comforted.  I want to comfort, nurture and protect my child as much as he needs me to at the time and while he goes through so many changes and adjustments, I will be there for that.  I will not let anyone make me feel bad for days spent cuddling him and holding him.   The first three months for Liam has been full of lazy, sleepy days, BUT we have also been very busy and he is already such a big, beautiful, smart and unique little boy.

So, what have we been up to?

Fourth Trimester

The first few days of being home from the hospital were full of cuddles, feeding on demand, diaper changes and attempts at sleep (I had always said “No Way!” to co-sleeping but alas, things change, read this post for more).  We were adjusting to a new “schedule” with our little one and I was trying to get a hang of breastfeeding.  Our first mini accomplishment of the first week being home, was going outside for a walk.  It was a couple of days after we got home and I wanted all of us to get some fresh air and move my legs.  It felt amazing.  To this day, we try to go for a daily walk, even if it is just around the block.  The air always seems to help all of us relax and it helps Liam sleep.  I already have so many great memories of our walks and whether he was asleep in the stroller, or I wore him in a ring sling carrier, it was so special to have Liam experience the world for a little bit each day.  We would reach a spot along our route and without fail, Liam would be asleep by that point, so now we always use that spot as a marker to see if he stays awake longer as time goes on. There are now walks when he is awake for the entire journey, and only falls asleep as we walk into our building which means it’s NAP TIME!

Fourth Trimester

We spent time with my family and it was very special to see family members interacting with Liam, especially his cousins, who are still young themselves.  They are so important to me and to share Motherhood, and the experiences that come with it, alongside my Sister now is a feeling I can’t properly describe but it means so much to me.  Having my parents experience being Grandparents again is also wonderful.  It has always been wonderful to see them with my nieces and nephew, and to now have it be my own Son receiving such love from them is so heartwarming.  Even now, when I see my Mom holding Liam, I have to remind myself that he is my child and not my Sister’s. Being a Mom is the best thing I have ever experienced and I am still trying to pinch myself awake because I feel so incredibly lucky and it feels too good to be true.  It really does feel like a dream.

Fourth Trimester

Liam had been introduced to his Half Brother (no pictures here- keeping his life private) while we were still in the hospital but life at home is quite different than while stuck in a tiny hospital room.  His brother had adjusted so well and while he thinks anything to do with Liam’s poops or drool is “gross”, you can tell he already cares about his younger brother.  All the hiccups that we may have are completely expected when dealing with a 7 year old becoming a brother for the first time.  Reminders to wash his hands and to be gentle are frequent, but he is also constantly checking to make sure that Liam is being taken care of.  “Is he okay?  Why is he crying?  Can I hold him?  Am I hurting him?”  He’s such a good Brother.

As for the medical aspects such as our checkups and vaccinations, Liam and I had our first postnatal Doctor checkups together and he did so well.  He had gone from a bit over 8 lbs to 11 lbs, and he had grown 4 cm within just a couple of weeks.  He was in the 85th percentile for his height and between the 50th and 85th percentile for his weight at his early 2 month check up.  Overall, we were both very happy and healthy.  The appointments always went by so smoothly… and then it was vaccination time.

His appointment to get his vaccinations was something that was looming over me.  I knew he would be okay and I knew I was more scared than he was (although he had no idea what was coming) but it was still such an emotional day.  I had never heard him scream out in pain before and it was honestly heartbreaking.  I held back my tears until it was all over and I was walking away from the nurse, but then I couldn’t hold them back anymore.  I cried a little bit as I held my sweet, crying, baby boy and I felt so bad that he was so distressed.  Nursing him immediately afterward consoled him enough to have him fall into a deep sleep.  He slept for awhile and then was full of smiles and laughs until I fed him a few hours later.  His legs were against my body while feeding and the soreness must have registered.  He screamed almost as loudly as he had while getting the injections and I cried all over again.  It is my job to console him and it felt like I couldn’t.  However, he calmed down, ate, and I then gave him the prescribed amount of Tempra to help ease his discomfort enough to allow him to sleep.  It was just what he needed so have a restful night any by the next morning, he was laughing away.  I’m so proud of him.

Fourth Trimester

Now that he is three months old, we will be setting up his 4 month vaccinations (here we go again!) and his next check-up.  At the moment, he weighs over 14 pounds and is now in size 2 diapers.  I spent an entire day going through his wardrobe and getting the 3 month sized clothing out and he’s already outgrown it.  There are honestly clothes that we completely missed the chance to dress him in because he’s growing so quickly.  Therefore, tip to parents to be- newborn outfits are super adorable, but don’t spend too much money on them.  They won’t fit your little one for long because before you know it, they aren’t so little anymore.

When it comes to the milestones, by a month and a half, Liam was already smiling, chuckling, and he had already been holding his own head up by himself for long periods of time.  His neck is very strong and by the way he stands on his legs with hardly any help while playing with Daddy, we can see that his legs are quite strong too.  During tummy time at 7 weeks old, he rolled over onto his side by himself and whenever he is laying on my chest and has had enough, he rolls himself off so he can lay on his back alone (I am obviously always ensuring it is a graceful, safe roll). He began to get into a bit of a sleeping routine at around 8 weeks, which was one large 4 hour chunk of sleep, a feed and then would sleep for 1-2 hour intervals at a time before needing to feed, get comfort or need help with his tummy/diaper change.

Fourth Trimester

Now at 3 months, he laughs super hard when Daddy tickles him and it is the cutest thing I have ever heard.  He talks even more now and it really does sound like he says “Hiiiii” sometimes, especially when talking to his cousins.  We have been lucky that while almost everyone we know, including ourselves, have been sick due to Winter colds, Liam has not been sick.  There are times when he gets fussy and I get paranoid so I check his temperature frequently because it amazes me that he doesn’t get sick.  I assume he’s only crying so hard because he’s starting to feel ill but so far, it hasn’t been the case.  Although, the amount of drool this child has is beyond crazy.  He has to wear a bib pretty much all the time so his clothes don’t get wet and cold.  I also want to try my best to ensure that he doesn’t get the “drool rash”.  It has appeared once so far but it only lasted a day.  I think it is due to pre-teething, but who knows….

We have started to get a routine down when it comes to bath time and I absolutely love giving him baths.  Clipping his fingernails still terrifies me so Daddy does it while I feed Liam (thank you Daddy!) and overall, things are settling down although every day is an adventure one way or another.  For example, Liam gets into moods where he simply does not want anything else but to be walked around the apartment.  Forget about sitting- you will have to be walking around unless you want to keep your neighbors up with baby screams.  I have a feeling he will be quite the adventurous crawler.  I really can’t wait to get him into a Jolly Jumper type of contraption- I know he would love it.

Liam constantly surprises me by how much he accomplishes for his age.  We do not force him or continuously push him to stand and it’s not like I expect him to start crawling tomorrow or anything but he really does just seem so eager to start doing so much and I really, just want time to slow down.  I look at pictures of when he was a couple of weeks old and he is already so much different and so much bigger, I can’t handle it.  I cry often, but they are happy tears.

Fourth Trimester

I am incredibly lucky to be able to say that I had not experienced any postpartum depression or anything of the sort.  I am quite an emotional person to begin with, and before giving birth I would cry whenever I thought of Liam not being in my tummy anymore.  I knew to really watch my emotions after he was born but he filled my heart with such joy right away, and we were so busy adjusting, that I had no time to feel anything but happiness (and let’s face it, exhaustion) and I feel so grateful for that.  As for my postpartum recovery physically, I can’t really complain.  It was not all perfect and there is still a bit of discomfort when it comes to certain aspects of the healing process but it really does amaze me how your body bounces back after giving birth.  I was back to nearly my pre-pregnancy weight by just over two weeks postpartum (plus three pounds) and I did not experience any infections etc.  Yes, I still have stretch marks and I don’t care.  When I look down at my tummy, I almost forget what it was like for Liam to be in there which saddens me a bit but then I see the marks of his journey and I smile.  I can’t ask for anything more and I have to thank my body constantly for doing what it did to create and carry this beautiful being.  I do want to start working on improving the tummy area, just because I am not use to having a bulge when I put shirts on, but I think I just want to be healthier in general and I’m not focusing too much on the aesthetic side to things.

I continue to feel grateful every day to watch him grow and learn new things about what he is seeing and what he can do.  I could honestly go on forever about the cute things he does while touching base on the harder parts of parenting but I have already gone on for long enough.

If you have any questions about our routines, feeding/sleeping habits, breastfeeding, or anything at all, please comment or e-mail (joannathemontrealer@gmail.com) and I will gladly respond when I have a chance.  I usually post a ton of photos of him on my personal Instagram account, but he does make appearances on my business one, which may start to happen more frequently.  If you have Instagram, find me and say hello!  I would love to see your stories too!

Much love from myself and our three month old,

Joanna & Liam

 

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3 Comments

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