Kathryn is a mum of three, her youngest, Bence is 4 weeks old. She kindly shared her experience with us in the hopes it will make other womxn feel less alone.
"Forgive me if I ramble. I'm so tired.
Even though this is my third bubba, similar emotions happen during the fourth trimester each time.
I've given birth recently, and the adrenaline and endorphins are still running through my veins, but they're wearing out. The endurance of holding that baby inside me has paid off and my baby boy has arrived. He's here, he's healthy, he's safe. I did it. Nothing else matters in the world and I'm overwhelmed with a love I never knew could exist, a love that has hit me three times over.
But like other new mums you soon realise that the hard yards have now begun. Frequent feeding, crying, baby blues, sleep deprivation, the pain of your body recovering. It all hits you like a tonne of bricks.
The FOURTH trimester sure is the hardest.
Alongside the healing your body needs to do, sore nipples that still need to do their job, the lack of sleep and the semi-daze with which you often go about your day, sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in groundhog day, like I'm having an out of body experience. I'm feeding all night, dealing with reflux and sometimes my baby just cries for no reason. It's stressful and I hurt and sometimes I worry whether I'll have the energy to do it all on repeat day in and day out.
I'm feeling guilt. For not being able to connect with my partner because I'm in that newborn haze. Guilty for not being able to spend one on one time with my daughters, I mean they are also going through a huge adjustment and my second is only 16 months old. Guilty for not having the energy to do all of the household stuff and having anxiety about tasks that need to be done that I can't get to right now. It's a daily struggle.
I'm also feeling guilty for feeling guilty. Like I shouldn't be feeling this way and should be loving life. I do love my life don't get me wrong, but it's still there niggling in the back of my brain.
I have gone through this fourth trimester three times now and to be honest, it never gets easier. But I get through it. I push through every day and do the best I can and little by little, I forgive myself for not being able to be everything to everyone and putting myself last. I'm getting better at that. Sometimes it's just about taking a looong shower. Sometimes it's standing in the sunshine that little while longer when I'm dropping a dirty nappy into the bin.
I know soon I will hit my rhythm. Things will get easier and I'll be able to take my foot off the pedal. So I'm focusing on the things I am thankful for right now. I'm thankful for my son who is growing and strong and happy. Thankful for my two daughters who are being the best big sisters they can be. Thankful for my husband who is doing his part and more. Thankful for my mum who comes over every day just to give me a little rest.
It's pretty much impossible to get a picture with my 3 monkeys. My naughtiest monkey is at the back, doing something naughty.
If I could give any advice to a new mum I guess I would say don't be afraid to ask for help and know that your postpartum is full on, but like all the other trimesters it ends and you will get through it. Just know that a day will come where you start to feel normal and adjust to your new life with your bubba. OH and I hope I haven't freaked anyone out, all of it is totally worth it and there are many magic and happy moments in my day.
Lean on your networks, lean on your partner. They are there for you and admitting you need some help or just some time to yourself is not failing. There's a reason they say it takes a village to raise a child. It's probably more for the mum than the baby.
And lastly I want to say, if you're pregnant or you've just had a baby, you got this mama and you are f*cking super woman. I am f*cking super woman."
Bad-ass mum of three and a f*cking super woman