The fourth trimester: what I’d forgotten (& what I’d erased from my memory…)

The newest addition to our squad, Reuben Marcello, is past the two week mark. Two weeks of little sleep, cold coffee and managing two under two. Our eldest who appears to have grown up over the course of a night and has the temperament of a teenager, isn’t quite sure what to make of his little brother. His attempts of affectionate hugging and touching have been a little on the rough side and I’ve had to restrain him from gouging out eyes! Absolute chaos and not even the ordered variety of chaos.

In an attempt to remember what those early hazy days were like with Otto I’ve had to really dig deep to unravel my earliest memories of the fourth trimester. Some I had temporarily forgotten about and others I think I had permanately tried to erase from my memory forever. I have however recalled my fondness of gin…

1. The emotional rollercoaster…Within the space of half an hour you’ll be on a high, embracing the joys of parenthood and then suddenly you’ll feel drained, tired and want to burst into tears.

2. The milk monster…Breastfeeding is messy and frustrating at the beginning and if you’re fortunate they take to breastfeeding they’ll be constantly guzzling, draining every ounce of energy from you.

3. The night owl… Your new prodigy will appear to be content and easy going during the day, enjoying long naps, waking only to be fed. But the night time chapter can be a completely different story, as they scream, demand to be fed and would rather stay awake, fuelling your exhaustion.

4. The elusive 2.30am feed…While your partner enjoys a deep peaceful sleep beside you, you’ll probably be doing  the graveyard feeding shift. This is when online shopping becomes very dangerous! You’re working very hard so you definitely deserve those new shoes. Or alternatively you’ll make long lists that you’ll never complete (or you’ll write this blog post).

5. Health visitors are a unique breed…They come to your door and are immediately on the defensive, scanning for danger in every corner. They evidently missed the seminar on communication skills as they work through their tick box crib sheet in a robotic fashion. There is little warmth. Just suspicion.

6. Horay for gin…You realise just how much you missed your favourite tipple. It may be called Mother’s Ruin but in my humble opinion it’s a saving  grace after a long day. And while we’re on the subject if you haven’t yet discovered Hortus gin, developed by the Michelin Star chef Kevin Love for Lidl, you really are missing out. It really does trump all other gins of choice and is half the price. Bonus.

7. It’s the little things….Warm coffees, a shower longer than two minutes on your own,an opportunity to wash your hair and flick through a newspaper are all distant memories. In fact they’ve been a thing of the past for the last 19 months.

8. Domestic bliss…Washing piles stacked higher than the Shard, constant nappy changing, irregular meal times, failed attempts to create any sort of routine, and conversation at the dinner table relating to poo and vomit. 

9. Mummy tummy…Embrace those maternity jeans post pregnancy. Rome wasn’t built in a day so there is no rush to regain your pre baby body in the first 6 weeks.

10. Time flies…as cliche as it sounds they are only tiny little bundles for a small length of time. Enjoy it. They’ll soon be rampaging toddlers on a mission to dictate, terrorise and generally cause mischief and mayhem.

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