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The Fourth Trimester

If I look happy in this picture, it’s because I am. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to finally be feeling better. The fourth trimester was beautiful, but also brutal—mostly brutal with some beautiful moments I was either too exhausted, anxious, or hormonal to appreciate. I was prepared for it to be hard, but after years of loss and longing, I expected to find joy in it all.

For the record, I did not.

This was a huge disappointment I should’ve seen coming. I’m reminded that we only know what we know, and all I knew before Chloé was the heartache of life without her. Crossing over into this new chapter has been a bumpy transition. It might sound strange, but my struggle to enjoy those early days of motherhood felt like a betrayal of the story that made me a mother. In the midst of navigating all the challenges that come with having a newborn, I entertained a lot of guilt and shame for feeling anything but gratitude. As you might imagine, this was not helpful.

I thought motherhood would somehow liberate me from my infertility story, but it has only served as a reminder of what I went through to get here. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look into Chloé’s eyes and feel the tears well up in mine. The truth is, it’s hard not to define ourselves by the story that has, well, defined us. We wouldn’t be who we are today without it. It makes me wonder, should we even try to let it go? Maybe, and maybe the work is also to embrace it, and in doing so let it show us the way forward. I am the mother I am today because of the mother I wanted to be. It’s time now to look ahead.

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2 Responses to The Fourth Trimester

  1. Hi Chrissy,
    I took a joyous yoga class of yours in NYC a few years ago and have been following you on Instagram ever since. I recently recalled your journey to becoming a mom and this post as I too joined the club five weeks ago and have been somewhat taken aback by how on edge I’ve been since my boy’s arrival. I feel anxious, nervous, and have general feelings of foreboding of an unknown threat to his livelihood. I just can’t seem to relax and savour this sacred time! I wondered if there were any resources that helped you? And also, I am collecting tips for not falling asleep during evening feeds – so feel free to share any you have!

    • Dear Diane,
      Congratulations on the birth of your son! It’s such a beautiful, raw, and excruciating love, isn’t it? In the beginning, I relied HEAVILY on my dearest friends, all of whom are mothers. I had them on speed dial and would call them crying DAILY. They supported me in immeasurable ways. Reach out and ask for help. A new mommy support group or the listening ear of a doctor are also great resources. Know that it gets better. SO. MUCH. BETTER.
      As for not falling asleep during evening feeds, I used to binge-watch episodes of Fixer Upper!
      Thinking of you and sending you a huge hug.

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