My Pregnancy: Week 4 Postpartum

Week Postpartum 4We’re four weeks postpartum and I’m starting to feel human again. Granted, it’s the barely human kind of human. I’m still up every two hours on average in the night. I think the hardest part of the day is after that 4 AM feeding when I start to go back to sleep only to have my preschooler wake at 5. I get him settled back in and the toddler wakes at 6. I’m essentially up at four most days. As hubby goes to work at 4 AM, there are few options for reprieve.

None of my three cesarean births had complications. Healing came with, overall, relative ease. This time at week four I am still slightly sore and a little careful around my rambunctious sons but am otherwise back to my old self, or some squishy, sleep deprived, breast tender, super love-filled version of myself.

It took three months with each of our last two children to feel “normal” again. I remember with our second son my husband and I had a moment where we looked at each other and essentially said “we got this” with a confident smile and sigh of relief. This time we’ve hit that stride at a month in. This could be because I’m used to having the chaos of two children so any illusions of control or high expectations are out the window. I don’t struggle these days as much to accept our fate as a family with young kids. I’ll clean up the mess later.

Also, this time, she just seems to fit more quickly. With our first child I struggled to discover “who I am” in conjunction with a wee little one. And, to be fair, that question of who I am, what was the point of those two master’s degrees, what will become of the career I worked so hard to establish–that’s still there in the back of my mind. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t creep up sometimes in the dark of night. But this time around there wasn’t a distinguished moment or transition of seeing that this was my baby, my whole world. She integrated from the moment she was in this world, before if that’s possible.

All that said, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. We aren’t a yelling type of family. I don’t like to yell nor do I find it the most effective strategy with my children anyway. That said, I’ve yelled more in the last month than in all of the last four years combined. Once hubby went back to work our two-and-a-half-year old really discovered mommy has little ability to execute her authority post-surgery and in the midst of nursing a newborn around the clock. So when I hear him coloring on the wall in the other room I yell. And I use his middle name a lot.

Hubby and I are also a bit on the back burner. We spend time together daily but it’s mostly in the context of kids playing loudly a room away or in between us. I’m also still consumed with nursing challenges. So we abide for now. We’ve figured out a way to pause our relationship a bit. We have nap time and evenings on the weekend. Overall we don’t let the busy-ness and stress of three young kids eat at our relationship or get us frustrated with each other. We try to offer a little more grace, remembering we’re a team confident that in the coming weeks we’ll find a rough schedule and carve out time.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and four, and now a newborn gal. She is taking in every moment of every day because, let’s be honest, she’s not getting much sleep. 

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