You should also know that I am an extremely disciplined person, and I'm incredibly hard on myself. That level of weight gain was traumatizing for me mentally (and, of course, physically). I’m sharing this context as you can imagine it really affected my 4th trimester and road to feeling like myself again.
What is the 4th trimester, you might ask?
It’s the 12-week period following childbirth that every mom and newborn experience; it represents a time of serious change. Your body is adjusting from having carried a baby for nine months, your baby is acclimating to a whole new world, your hormones are surging, and you as a mom are tasked with keeping a tiny human alive.
I honestly hadn’t put much thought into what the 4th trimester would be like, both physically and emotionally. I pictured leaving the hospital 40 pounds lighter and even packed a size small dress to wear home, thinking I’d be 75% closer to my old self. This now makes me laugh.
Everyone’s experience is different, but for me, those six weeks after my daughter Colette arrived were extremely difficult mentally and emotionally. That was not due to lack of sleep nor infant fussiness. In fact, I found the general act of taking care of a baby to be much more instinctual and satisfying compared to what I’d read about or heard friends describe. I’d heard “your life will never be the same," but my life actually felt pretty similar, just with a precious addition making it sweeter.