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On the end of the fourth trimester


This week my little boy turned 13 weeks old and with that miniature milestone we reached the end of our ‘fourth trimester’, the point at which the crazy insanely fast growing, changing adapting that Pip has been rattling through in the last few weeks is supposed to calm down to merely super-speedy.

And I think that’s largely true; he’s not growing out of babygros on an hourly basis anymore and week on week the changes become more subtle.

I had all of these plans of sorts before Pip arrived; I was going to really wallow in the first three months, drinking in every moment of my tiny baby, and just focussing on settling into family life and I think that’s what we’ve done, give or take.  The spiders building a multiplex along the hall ceiling would certainly agree that my focus hasn’t been predominantly housework anyway.

I’m incredibly lucky that with the girls still spending a couple of days a week in nursery I’ve had that one on one time with Pip and we’ve loved our days together even if they do mostly involve sitting on the sofa nursing, and then lots of singing silly songs and cuddling, and then a little of Mummy taking photos of Pip.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And when we’re all together we are starting to find a rhythm to our days and weeks, there are nursery days, baking day, go to the butchers day, ballet class day, church day and playing at home days.  Days when we go to the park in gorgeous sunshine, and a lot of days when we go to the park in full waterproofs under a cloud of driving rain.

There are days when it feels easy and effortless; when I get to be fun Mummy, playing and singing; Pip and Elma nap at appropriate moments; I get to spend some one on one time with each of them; and I know that there’s nowhere in the world I would rather be.

And there are days where I feel like I must be the worst mother on the planet; where everyone’s tired and grouchy and there’s too much shouting all around and nothing useful’s been done and all the lovely activities I planned have had to be shelved, culminating in an epic meltdown by one of my children because their new toothbrush is their favourite colours of pink and purple and the very strong sense that if I don’t just get five minutes without anyone touching me so that I can go to the bathroom in peace I might actually scream. But there’s still nowhere in the world I would rather be.

That’s not specific to becoming a family of five though; that’s just life with pre-schoolers!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And in this way thirteen weeks has passed incredibly quickly. I remember saying that I wasn’t even going to think about ‘real clothes’ until the Little Bump was at least three months old. At the time it seemed like a great age, now that we’re here Pip’s just so tall and tiny he doesn’t seem ready for real clothes; I think we might just keep rocking the babygro look a little longer.  After all, you can’t baby a baby can you?

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

In fact, just as my pregnancies have never lasted a mere 40 weeks I think I should get to apply the same sort of counting here and extend my fourth trimester to well, however long I want it to be. Babygros are awesome, especially the sort with polar bears on; leggings and nursing tops will cover a multitude of sins; the children are all happy and cuddled; we have food; we have clean laundry even if occasionally you have to go and hunt for it; and one of these days I’m going to miss that little chorus of “what doing Mummy?”.

For now let the fourth trimester continue. Or as we call it; real life – the good, the bad, the always wonderful.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life