My Fourth Trimester Project - by Pia
Emotionally there were a lot of ups and downs in that fourth trimester, and there were some stand out things I recall as helpful. Having supportive family and partner was the biggest. The simple act of being offered a drink while feeding a baby who is always feeding made me feel considered, even if I didn't want one. Encapsulating the placenta from my second child was also helpful and I felt helped to keep me 'level' and have more to give to my older child. Having wholesome food in the freezer, never resorting to 'junk' food I felt helped my body recuperation quicker. Having a positive line of communication with my partner to be able to discuss and debrief about the process of birth was also very nurturing. Baby wearing was key, particularly with my second when there was less time to just be and hold each other.
When it was quiet, I remember looking down, awestruck at these tiny little faces, and the sensation of melting into them. Bonding with them, and learning who they are. I know that sounds idealistic, but it really was joyful, transcendental. I am so grateful I had the foresight to trust the process of learning to become a Mother.
I think what makes the fourth trimester so unique is that it can be the best and worst of things all at once, a rite of passage in contrast. In retrospect I recall the long and unending process of falling in love with my children and my husband and myself in a new way. Feeling vulnerable, but also nurtured. Feeling tired, but satisfied, guilty and absolved. The sweet smell of milk and fresh baby and full arms and heart and emerging stronger than I knew I had the capacity to be."
I found the physical and emotional healing of the fourth trimester, nothing short of transformational. I really do consider this as the time I stopped being a girl and became a woman.
I had births that couldn't have been more different, my first baby was early and sick, she was born via emergency cesarian and our stay in hospital spanned weeks. My second child was born via VBAC, it was all, normal – text book. Whilst I wouldn't describe either scenario as 'traumatic', it would be remiss to suggest the first experience didn't impact my feelings of the second. And the first little while with my children in my life, was challenging. Most notably, when my second was born, I felt the sense that I needed permission to hold, touch and feed him. My own Mother said I would get to where I wanted to be as a Mum, that there was no right or wrong way to feel and no time line I needed to feel it.
My name's Pia, I'm 26 and have two gorgeous children, Aila & Soren and I live with my husband Ben in the Adelaide Hills, I have a natural parenting / vegan family blog on facebook called Kindred Freedom