Day 112: The 4th Trimester

Warning: extremely long post ahead. Today I learned about this thing called “the 4th trimester”. You’d think I’d have heard about it before now, but NOPE! All my friends that are about to become moms – research it! It was extremely reassuring and pretty eye opening. For us, it was spot on! I wish I’d read about it before she was born as a sort of “heads up”. 

I briefly interrupt this post to bring you Kensie laughing at the dogs today…

This went on for about 5 minutes. Something about them cracks her right up! 

Miss thing also found her voice today – just ask anyone that was at the gym at 4 or 5p. Kensie was YELLING over me as I tried to coach and explain the workout to my class. Luckily everyone was thoroughly entertained by it. 

This is her talking face.
This is her “tired from screeching like a pterodactyl” face.

Anyways, back to the 4th trimester discovery. Holy shiz, this stuff is SPOT. ON. I saw it mentioned on a moms group on Facebook and started looking it up. It talks about all of the changes a baby goes through from birth-3 months. 

Lately I’ve commented on how Kensie seems like a new baby. She usually only cries when she’s over tired. She’s started to get into a schedule. She’s much easier to calm down if she does get worked up, and usually she’s pretty happy when dad or other people hold her as well. Apparently all of those things are completely normal and on track with the “4th trimester” coming to an end! 

In the last 16 weeks, we went through some tough phases of crying, an extra clingy “I want my mommy ONLY” phase (which was a pretty tough one for Chris), a “you can’t put me down” phase, the vacuum phase (okay that one still happens when she fights her naps), and an “only sleeps when she’s held” phase…most which have passed now, but in the middle of them I wasn’t sure if I was screwing up. Reading several articles on the 4th trimester was extremely reassuring and made me feel more confident about my choices, even if some people didn’t agree with how I chose to handle it. 

I regularly ask for advice from other mommas but the ONE THING I cannot stand is being told I am “spoiling her” or that I “dont have to pick her up every time she cries.”  

Here’s the thing. First I feel that you can’t spoil a freaking newborn; and if you can, then I guess I’m going to. Second, I’m not a fan of cry it out. Yes I have had to set her down and walk away for a few minutes while she was screaming for the sake of my sanity, but I have no interest in letting her scream her brains out until she falls asleep. The articles mention why they cry and the benefits to responding to them. It teaches them to trust. She moved around with me for 41 weeks. She’s  not used to being completely still. That’s why she wants to be held and walked around or bounced. (And I reallllyyy screwed myself there with all the working out, haha!!)

Another thing I second guessed and used to be hesitant to admit to was cosleeping. There’s so many articles on the dangers of it and so many people with negative opinions on it. Luckily, there’s also articles on the benefits of it and why it actually isn’t dangerous if done correctly. 

Kensie always goes to bed in her crib at the beginning of the night. She sleeps 5-6 hours then wakes up to eat. After that, I keep her in bed with me. She usually falls asleep on me or right next to me. If I try to put her back in her crib it takes 20-30min to get her back to sleep and she wakes herself up in less than an hour. If she stays in bed with me she goes right back to sleep for at least another 3 hours, eats again and goes back to sleep. She’s way more comfortable and relaxed next to me and it means more rest for the both of us. This also makes PERFECT sense. She was IN me for 9 months. It was warm. She was “held”. She was in a ball.  Sleeping by me is the closest she can get to that and sleeping in a large, cold crib flat out on her back which is a position she was never in for 9+ months is about the farthest thing from that! 

I don’t always do things by the book and while people’s comments weren’t going to make me change my ways, they did make me second guess myself many times. I wondered if I was messing up, which I know is just part of being a mom.  

Here’s the thing, it’s all unknown and we all have to do what works for us. Finding these articles on why babies respond the way they do as they adjust to the outside world made me feel a little better about the choices I’ve made with K. So, cheers to making it through the 4th trimester! Just 17.75 more years to go. 😉 

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