The fourth trimester - week 4
Discoveries of the week:
I can’t find a jacket that fits me in my wardrobe. Or in any shop!
If he’s hungry, he will suck onto anything, including daddy’s nose!
If you blow air on the baby’s face, he “tries” to smile
As a new parent, you discover something everyday. And because I had an autumn baby, I never got around to needing maternity winter jackets or coats. Until now! The chill of November end was settling in, and I literally had nothing to wear. I couldn’t find something to fit me in my wardrobe. Or in any shop! I also wondered if and what I should be buying anything at all considering that I might be a different size in the next month. And for sure, in the next year. My professional wardrobe that I spent so much time, energy, money building, wasn’t helping me feel good or confident. Would I ever fit into the ridiculously expensive coat I bought myself last year?
The guilt of having spent the money from last year, and the guilt from not having lost the pounds from next year - engulfed me so completely that I could hardly convince myself that in this moment, this is what my body needed to be. Body shaming is real and I hated my body. It’s not been 4 weeks since birth and I hated my body!! Can you believe the society we live in? The society that expects us to be smiling and perfect like the Duchess of Cambridge right after birth? God bless that woman, she’s so strong that she deserves to be Queen someday!
Between all of these thoughts, and expressing milk 8 times a day because the baby still won’t latch, I discovered that the baby would actually suck anything it can get into its tiny mouth. Including daddy’s nose! How we discovered that - no idea! I guess that’s what sleep deprivation does to you. You try anything and everything to get the baby to stop crying. Yes, including offering him your nose! Honestly, I still am amazed at how we figured that one out and why… but that sums up parenthood - most of the time you’ve no idea what you’re doing, or why!
And my third discovery of this week was that if I blow air on the baby’s face, he reacts. Pulls out his tongue and almost tries to smile. Again, no idea how or why we know this but when you’re spending all your time bundled up with a baby, I suppose you get to the point of trying and testing your creativity! Why? Because being bored with a baby is real. Newborns don’t do much at all to entertain you but you somehow have to find ways to care and nurture while staying sane. So, if blowing air on your baby’s face keeps you sane, do it! And then share some pictures and videos with your mum tribe to share a laugh.
But all isn’t just a good laugh with a newborn. We had just been discharged from the hospital’s maternity care to community care. And that’s when the baby developed a cough. I was worried, so we took him into urgent care. NHS, as amazing as they are, did everything to accommodate us. However, I realised very quickly how naive we are as new parents, and in fact, how taking your newborn child into any urgent care setting or a hospital is actually inviting infections in. So my learning of the week was this - it is normal to worry about your child. It is okay for you to overreact and take them into the hospital even. But know in your heart that everything is okay. If it wasn’t, your baby will tell you. As long as they’re being their normal selves, more likely than not, you don’t have anything to worry about. (Obviously don’t take medical advice from a blog written by a new mum, off the internet. If you’re worried, call your healthcare advisor.)
This article is a part of a series by Sudeshna Sen. Sudeshna heads up a team in her corporate career and runs The Abundance Psyche to help ambitious professionals navigate their career dilemmas. Take the Quiz to get a step closer to your dream career.
All opinions published on this blog are the author’s own.