The Fourth Trimester: 8 Week Postpartum Update

Four more weeks have gone by and we are still adjusting to being a family of five.  Here’s a look at weeks five through eight:

Week Five

My husband was home with us this week which was bitter sweet.  Sweet because the toddler is very attached to his Daddy and enjoys when he is around.  Bitter because while I of course love the help, I was feeling a bit anxious about having my routine broken up.  I wanted to continue finding my groove with the boys but I also needed a break.  I was still not at my full physical strength so while babywearing was efficient it was a little rough on my body after a few hours.  So I was happy to have my husband home so that I could continue to heal and build strength.  We ventured out of the house a few times for a Target run and Whole Foods lunch date. It was nice to get out for fresh air. The baby was still a really great sleeper but the night feeds were getting tougher to wake up for.

Week Six

This week I was back on full time duty and I was ready!  I felt refreshed and excited to jump back into full-on Mommy mode. I was up before the boys each day and had time to prepare myself for the day ahead.  I was able to resume a good amount of the housework that my husband had taken over while I was pregnant and recovering from the birth.  This really improved my mental state.  It was difficult for me to physically be unable to help out with the chores.  My incapacity coupled with the guilt I felt for my husband doing so much around the house had me feeling down for the first month postpartum.  Now that I was getting around a lot better, I was thrilled to resume contributing to the house and relieving my husband of all the extra weight he had been pulling.  At the end of this week, the toddler decided to switch up his bedtime routine.  This made the following weeks a bit more challenging.

Weeks Seven and Eight

I’m doubling up here because these two weeks were a blur.  Our nighttime routine had gone awry.  We had been tag-teaming the night-time feedings with the newborn.  When the baby starts to stir, my husband changes his diaper and then I nurse him back to sleep.  Well, the toddler started waking up crying in the middle of the night, multiple times some nights and that has thrown off our routine.  When he wakes, my husband heads to his room to soothe him and get him back to sleep.  Which means Mama is handling any diaper changes for the newborn that happen while my husband is with the toddler.  Some nights, it works out so that the baby stays asleep while my husband is out of our room so I get some pretty decent rest.  But there was one night that the toddler just couldn’t get back to sleep and my husband had been up with him most of the night.  I ended up taking over so that he could get some rest for work.  That was around 3am.  By the time I got the toddler back to sleep around 6am, I returned to our bedroom to find the baby waking up.  When the baby fell asleep again around 8a – you guessed it: the toddler woke up for the day.  This restless night was fairly damaging considering that we had been used to getting some decent rest.  This setback led to a lazy few days to recover.  The teenager was home all week on Winter Break.  She volunteered to care for the toddler one day which was such an unexpected but welcomed relief for me.  My husband had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off so we enjoyed some family time and I was able to recharge again.  This extra rest was great because I was ready to take over the nighttime wake-ups with the newborn completely so that my husband could get as much sleep as possible at night.  He wakes up early for work and he is all in with the kids as soon as he walks through the door in the evenings.  So I wanted to make sure he was getting enough sleep.

I am getting more and more comfortable with being alone with the boys.  The anxiety that I initially felt has tremendously decreased since I have been able to establish a good daytime routine.  I have learned to have enough of a routine to make the day manageable but not so rigid a schedule that I drive myself mad when things don’t go as planned.  I am really happy with the balance that I have struck.  Stay tuned for our next and final fourth trimester update to see when our nights improve with the toddler – we can’t wait to find out either.   

Did you find your second month postpartum to be up and down or did it get a little better each day?  Share below.


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