The Fouth Trimester

As summer comes to an end, so does the fourth trimester for us.

Sawyer happened to be born on the last day of spring, and autumn is almost here. We survived! We survived the cluster feeding. We survived the hormonal changes. We survived the tears, the farts, the screams, the frustrations. We embraced the first times – smiles, coos, giggles. They were all worth the hard times.

My life has slowed down significantly. My summers are normally packed with epic hikes, camping trips with friends, and late nights socializing. This summer was so different. So slow. So deliberate. So emotional.

Sawyer has taught me so much about myself in these last three months.

His birth taught me that I am stronger than I think. And that in times of distress, I can trust myself to make the right decision, even if that means throwing my entire “plan” out the window.

His first few weeks taught me about sleep deprivation. Never have I ever been more tired in my life then in those first few weeks. My body was weak, healing from birth. My emotions were a rollercoaster. With a lot of help from family, we got through it.

His first scream-crying freakout scared me shitless. I’ve never seen a tiny little face go that red, that quickly. It was in that moment that I began to understand the meaning of unconditional love. I wasn’t scared because of the piercing noise of his cry, I was scared because my baby was in distress and I didn’t know what he needed. All I wanted to do was hold him tight, kiss his scrunched up little face, and whisper that everything will be alright in his ear.

His first smile is forever etched into my memory. That gummy little mouth, open wide, turned up at the side, just staring at his auntie. Yes, his first smile was for his aunt. His aunt who was there through the entire delivery. The one he first looked at when he was being birthed. Though I’m slightly jealous that I was not the first one he smiled at, it really does warm my heart that him and my sister have this special bond.

His first coos reassured me that I’m doing everything just fine. I think almost every mother has moments where she thinks she’s royally screwing up her kid. Not everything about motherhood is intuitive. And a lot of it is trial and error. You may think it’ll work for you, but your baby has other plans in store. And that’s okay. Parenting takes on many different shapes and forms. And at the end of the day, it just matters that you love your baby, interact with them, and care for them as best as you know how. When Sawyer started cooing and “talking” to me, I felt reassured that I’m doing something right.

His first giggle was just last week. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. As my eyes welled up and I impulsively bought the toy that made him laugh (which, by the way, he has not laughed at since…) I couldn’t help but feel a little sad that yet another “first” had presented itself. My little baby was growing, and he was growing fast. These mixed emotions once again reminded me of the unconditional love I have for this little being.

I never gave my mother enough credit. I guess that’s just how it is, isn’t it? You don’t realize how strong your own mother is until you’re in her shoes. To all the mothers and soon to be mothers reading this: You can do this. Take it day by day. Every challenge makes you so much stronger, it makes you love so much harder, and shapes your parenting style. Face it head on with grace. You are so loved by your baby. Remember that!

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