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The Fourth Trimester the Second Time Around

Baby in Sling Baby in Sling Guest post by Pinky and Pug Second baby? No problem, we all know what we’re doing now, right?! A lot of advice is thrown at first time mums – and to be honest, a lot of it isn’t helpful. In fact, some of it is downright awful, and it makes many of us feel like we’re failing when we’re just trying our best to stay afloat. Thankfully society seems to think that you must know what you’re doing second time around. But however, you feel going into round two, it probably won’t match what you’re imagining, or even how it was last time.

• As Pinky found: I’m not sure I had even heard about the fourth trimester when my first was born, but I’d spent my life wishing for a baby and all I wanted to do was  to sit and cuddle him now that he’d finally arrived.  I hadn’t carried this baby for 9 months just to plonk him screaming in a cot and put the washing on!  This was my time to embrace all things baby, and man was I going to embrace it! Second time around I had it sussed – or so I thought. I’d get a sling; I’d breastfeed while I snuggled up to my toddler and binge watch Peppa Pig while eating jammy dodgers. But it was just so much harder than I expected. It wasn’t even the tiny baby that caused the issue, it was my strong-willed toddler and the logistics of sorting out a tiny baby while dealing with everything he needed from me. It was enough to bring me to my knees. I found myself staring at myself in the mirror thinking, ‘Something has to change, I can’t do this anymore, it’s too damned hard!’

  • Meanwhile, across town, Pug was having the opposite experience:

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I read about the fourth trimester. I’m a child-psychotherapist, so taking it slowly with my baby snuggled into me made sense .... then he arrived, and I buckled under overwhelming anxiety. I gave into relentless 2am googling and listening to the advice everyone so freely gave. ‘Put him down,’ they said, ‘You’ll make a rod for your own back’. And I believed them. The first twelve weeks of motherhood were hard. When I had my second baby everything changed. He was 8 weeks premature. It was a hard time, but I sat tight and dug deep. I was in awe. Those first-time anxieties didn’t reappear – I knew what I was doing, and I trusted myself! The fourth trimester second time around was an utter joy. I didn’t bother to put my baby down. We cuddled and swayed, and l embraced the sling. It wasn’t peaceful and tranquil like I’d naively assumed. It was loud and chaotic, but we were connected, and I loved it. You can’t plan it, you can’t know how it will go, but just do your best for YOU and YOUR little family. We all struggle, but ultimately, we all succeed in our own way too. If you want our top survival tips, they would be: • Buy a sling - how else do you hold the baby, cook, and run after the toddler who needs his bottom wiped?! Yep, sorry, that’s your life now! • Don’t feel guilty about toddler TV time, or fish fingers for tea again. •  Remember: It’s just a phase, and ‘this too shall pass’.

Pinky & Pug are two best friends. Mummies. Wives. Lovers of chocolate, afternoon tea and stripy jumpers. Blogging the real and the ordinary and believe that mummies should stick together and build each other up.  Check them out at Facebook and Instagram.