Okay, wow. Hi. I feel like this post is WAAAAY overdue. I wanted to write a 4th trimester recap post but honestly everything was still so hard and new and I could barely keep up with my normal blog posts I had already scheduled to go out…so here we are.
6 month update. Life with Baby Jack…who doesn’t seem much like a baby anymore. And spoiler alert: it’s only a little over a week until he’s 7 months old. Ha! Mom life, right?
I just want to start off this blog post by saying that I am not by *any* means saying our situation was worst case scenario. Every single person, parent or not, experiences struggles and hardships. I just feel like postpartum is not talked about enough and if by sharing our journey could make one person feel less alone – that is my goal.
Also – please note that by sharing our story, I’m not giving any medical advice – I’m not a doctor. If your baby is experiencing similar things, please reach out to your pediatrician 🙂
What is the 4th Trimester?
First off, if you’re not sure what the 4th trimester is…that is the term for the first 12 weeks after you have your baby. Apparently, babies still want to be in the womb (who knew!) after they’re born and they often mimic life within the womb aka wanting to be near the mom a LOT. Thus, it is called the 4th trimester.
If you haven’t read Jack’s birth story, you should go do that now!
If you have, you know that Jack made his debut incredibly fast and unexpectedly! Like, 4 hour labor unexpected.
And then he was here. And snuggly and perfect and sweet and oh my word my heart!
The first night in the hospital was rough! Remember, I had him at 7:30 AM so we spent all day in the hospital and he slept most of the day. We didn’t sleep a WINK that night! He wouldn’t sleep in his bassinet and the nurses kept coming in and doing so many tests!
I’ll always remember that first sunrise after he was born – our room had huge windows and you can ask Benjamin – he said he breathed a sigh of relief – we did it, God helped us make it through the first night. And what a journey it’s been from there!
Since my labor was so fast and I didn’t have time to get the epidural, my healing went better than I anticipated because I was able to walk pretty soon after labor!
However, I was incredibly sore and there were times in that first week where I thought I would never walk at a normal speed again! Ha!
Thankfully I did and for the most part, my body is back to normal now, praise God!
One of my least favorite parts about postpartum? THE HAIR LOSS. Oh my word! The Lord has always blessed me with super thick hair but there were days when I wasn’t sure how I had any left on my head after I brushed it, ha! Thankfully, almost 7 months later, it has finally calmed down. But whew, that wasn’t fun!
The 4th Trimester – Our Experience:
Now….let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The 1st week of Jack’s life we thought we had the perfect baby – he hardly ever cried, slept like a champ and snuggled into us like nothing we had ever experienced.
Week 2 of Jack’s life, we were thrown a curveball no one had ever warned me about.
Sure, I had heard of the horrors of breastfeeding being so hard, sleepless nights etc….but no one ever warned me about baby gas! Ha!
Yes – baby gas/stomach pain/COLIC. After weeks on end of Jack being fussy pretty much anytime he wasn’t 1) nursing or 2) sleeping, our pediatrician diagnosed it….our baby had colic.
What is Colic?
Colic is described as when a healthy baby cries or is abnormally fussy for long periods of time, usually seemingly from gas or abdominal pain. Apparently around 1 in 4 babies have colic.
Our Journey with Colic:
What’s funny is that I literally have PRAYERS in my prayer journal when I was pregnant, praying that 1) I would have a healthy baby, healthy labor etc., and 2) that my baby wouldn’t be colicky!
If you didn’t know this about me, I get overstimulated very easily so I knew that if Jack had colic, it would be extra difficult for me.
But, as with all things, The Lord had a plan and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The photo below is from Easter 2022 – he was not happy about getting his picture taken, but this photo really represented what we were all going through in our life at that moment.
During those first few months of Jack’s life, the days often felt like an eternity. I felt like I couldn’t even leave the house and go to the store because I was so afraid he would cry the whole time.
Our saving grace during that time was:
- Walking…going on walks helped my mental health tremendously plus Jack would almost always fall asleep or calm down in the stroller
- Breastfeeding! Jack would be SO calmed when I fed him…he would stay on for like, over 30 minutes, ha! That was always 30 minutes of peace and quiet for us all.
- Baby wearing! Jack *loved* being wrapped up in our Solly baby wrap – I think he loved being close to me, it calmed him down most of the time and a lot of times he would have his naps in the wrap. I highly recommend trying one out!
- And of course….the LORD! There were times when I felt so so far away from my faith – I felt like my world was crumbling around me because motherhood/postpartum was SO hard. But looking back now, I can see He was *ALWAYS* there – He never ever left me. He was there during my darkest moments, graciously giving me the strength I needed.
I know this all might sound strange or annoying to someone who isn’t a parent, like…didn’t you sign up for this? Babies cry, get over it. But it was incredibly mentally and physically taxing having a baby who cried almost all the time.
There were times when I would be up in the middle of the night, nursing Jack, and reading Reddit threads of “when did your baby stop being colicky”…I felt helpless. I wanted someone to tell me that it WOULD end and WHEN it would end.
Not to mention, one of the worst parts about it for me was feeling guilt. Was it something I was eating that was making Jack’s belly hurt? That’s why I went dairy free for a while. But then, if you know my personal eating disorder journey story, having to restrict what I ate was super triggering. So add sleep deprivation onto that and it truly just felt like one thing after another.
I felt like I was failing as a mother – I hated that my baby was in pain and that there was nothing I could do about it. Colic truly makes you feel so helpless.
Even my wonderful mother in law, who has like, 15 grandkids, said she had never seen it that bad. Yup. It was SO SO hard.
And believe me when I say, we tried EVERYTHING! Here is a short list of things we tried:
- I went dairy free on and off for a few months
- We hired a lactation consultant
- Doctors visits
- Chiropractic visits
- Probiotic for Jack
- Gas drops/Gripe Water
- Baby bicycles/gas exercises multiple times a day
Literally ALL the things. We were desperate on some days! Our families were so wonderful and supportive. They would come and offer just to hold him and they never seemed to mind the crying. That was so helpful! I am incredibly grateful to them.
All we could do is get through each day. I remember texting one of my friends…her baby (who is a few days older than Jack) also had colic at that time. She joked that we needed to take things hour by hour.
And it was a slow slow slow process. My mother in law as well as our pediatrician kept telling us that it would get better by 3 months…so I kept that 3 month mark as a magical number in my mind.
I won’t lie – it was a tough 3 months. Of course, there were many happy times. For instance, when Jack started smiling…oh my word, what a BALM to our hearts that was. I still remember the first time he smiled. We caught it on video and we replayed that video over and over again. Here is a screenshot from that video:
My faith was really tested in those first 3 months. There were a lot of “woe is me” and “why me” moments. I felt like the joy of the newborn moments were stolen from me.
But now I can look back and see so much joy in those times – I see a young mom being carried by her Good Shepherd through each and every hard moment. I see the Lord providing a STRONG and SECURE husband and father – one who never uttered a peep of complaint during each hard time but instead was a literal shoulder for me to cry on. Benjamin was the real MVP during that time and I’m so thankful.
Lastly, He provided me with this wonderful precious angel baby – yes, it was hard at times, but each smile, each coo, each time he looked up at me while nursed all added to the incredible bond we now have.
The Last 3 Months:
There are no words to describe the difference in these last 3 months vs. the first 3 months of Jack’s life. No, 3 months wasn’t the magical end to our colic journey – I’d say he was fully “healed” (I use that word lightly lol) around 4 months.
The first 3 months felt like an eternity. A never ending, day in and day out cry fest where we just tried to survive.
These last 3 months have gone by in a FLASH. Our precious boy – so smiley now, so happy and giggly. I never would’ve believed it if you had told me that when we were in the throes of colic.
Jack is a sweet, curious little boy. He loves being outside, being “ramacackled” by Dada, reading books, going on walks, and still being with his mama 24/7! 🙂
He can sit up by himself now, he already has his 2 bottom teeth and he is just growing and developing at a monumental rate! He is always kicking his legs and is ready to go go go! Sometimes I’m convinced that he is going to skip crawling and go straight to running!
He still *loves* to nurse but we are starting to feed him some solids here and there. His belly is still quite sensitive to them – so we are going slow. So far we have given him:
- Sweet potato
- Butternut squash
And a few other items…his favorite has been the banana or peaches. Not surprised there, hello sweet fruit!
Of course, there are still hard things that pop up – right now we are working through teething and trying to transfer him to his crib at night. He’s growing SO much – and is a whopping 18.5 pounds! Big boy!
He is truly a gift and blessing from God and I’m thankful everyday for the opportunity to be his mother. I have seen how quickly these last few months have gone and know that it’s going to continue to go fast which is why I haven’t been sharing as much on the blog. I’m fully focused on this little guy!
However…Fall is our favorite season around here so you can bet you will be seeing some DELICIOUS seasonal recipes coming your way soon! 😉
Why I’m Sharing:
I didn’t share any of this really with anyone aside from family and some friends when we were actually going through colic. I was just trying to make it through each day…not to mention, the comparison game was REAL. I had to delete social media for a little while – seeing everyone else’s seemingly “perfect” life while mine felt like it was crumbling was too much for me to handle.
So, I guess that’s why I’m sharing our story….to show you that social media isn’t just a highlight reel. That real life happens to each and every person and it’s messy and hard and beautiful all at the same time.
Motherhood is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. There is no love like like it! It’s so special and I am so thankful that God has bestowed this opportunity upon me!
I’m sharing my story to let you know that if you are going through a similar situation or whatever hardship you might be going through, continue to cling to the Lord and the support system around you. And know that it will get better. <3 And if you *ever* need anyone to talk to, I am here!
Seasons of life come and go, hardships are always present in the world we live in, but The Lord remains the same yesterday, today and forever. Praise God for that!
Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see glimpses of baby Jack throughout our daily life. Thank you for being here! XO – Haylie