September 26, 2013
Surviving the fourth "trimester"
With Mason turning 15 weeks old yesterday (Well really, 3 months.. Eventually we have to start going by months, don't we? And then never stop.... 'He's 27 months next week..') I thought I'd share my thoughts on how we made it through the first 3 months since they are usually given such a bad rep, and also because I am now an expert.
(That was a joke)
Quick back story: A few weeks ago, my sister in law brought my attention to "The Fourth Trimester" of pregnancy. The idea behind this is that babies are still going through major developments that would ideally be taking place inside a protective womb. However, due to the size constraints, Mother Nature (thankfully) thought it a better idea for us to have these babies for around 40 (ish) weeks in-utero. And hence, babies in their first 3 months want/yearn/need to feel like they would if they were still in the comfort of a womb.
Our fourth trimester has since ended so I thought I'd share how we went.
We've never done routine well in this household. It is safe to say we are a 'fly by the seat of your pants' sort of family. When Mason had jaundice, we had to chart his feeds, poos and wees. That went out the window a few weeks after we got home. I fed on demand from the moment he was born and while at the start it felt like he never left my chest, I don't believe he knows any other way to be. We bathed him about 2 times a week mostly because he enjoyed the water. While I do find he sleeps a lot better after a warm bath and a long feed, at that early stage, we found it to be unnecessary. At the start, he slept a lot due to his jaundice. These days... a couple of 20 minute cat naps through the afternoon some days, a solid 3 hour nap the other days. I try my best to lay down with him for a nap whenever I can.
Babies love to be held.
And hold him, we do! For the most part, I sometimes think I like having Mason close because I miss him being in my womb. He sleeps on our chest and he most definitely gets picked up when he cries. I love holding him close and just breathing him in. Whenever people come around, we are always happy for them to give Mason a cuddle. We were very lucky to have incredible midwives at our hospital who empowered us to make decisions like these. None of the manipulative baby nonsense that we heard so often as soon to be parents. We hold him and he likes it and I like it even more.
Yup. We're co-sleepers. We didn't always co-sleep but somewhere between Luke going away for 5 weeks and me being lonely, I put Mason in our bed. He was about 4 weeks old. This was a hard decision for us as we were those people who always said "Our baby is NEVER sleeping on our bed." Oopsy. But we've loved it ever since. Night feeds consist of me sticking my boob out - that's it! This is a controversial debate, with cases being made for both sides, so I won't go into it. It just works for us, that is all.
Ugly is best.
All Mason wore his first 8 weeks were those slightly hideous terry towel onesies that were approximately $4 each. They are not attractive to say the least but they did their job. And that's all you need. Babies don't go to fancy meetings. They have poo explosions all up their back and when that happens you'll thank heavens you had him in something ugly to start with anyway!
These 3 months have just flown by. I have learnt so much from my boy and everytime I look at him and how wonderfully he's growing, I realise that Luke and I.. We've got this. It is in no way, shape or form the "correct" way to raise a child, but it's our way and it works (for us).