The 4th Trimester Update

Written by CLAIRE HOLT | Jan 29, 2024

Hi! I’m backkkk! My brain is functioning like a 20-year-old vending machine that you have to whack to make it drop a Snickers bar, but it’s time for me to get my shit together and re-enter the real world. 

Let’s start with the glaringly obvious…. I’M NO LONGER PREGNANT!!! Yaaaa-fuckingggg-hooooooo. I cannot tell you how nice it feels to lay on my stomach, drink margaritas, and have a bladder that holds more than an ounce. Those last few weeks were no bueno. I mentioned in my last post that I was dealing with some blood pressure issues towards the end of my pregnancy and I can’t tell you how glad I am not to be tethered to a cuff, worrying non-stop.

I was induced at 37 weeks exactly and even though I’d been induced twice before, I was SO damn anxious (I gracefully puked in a bush on the way to the hospital). I’d never delivered so early and hadn’t dealt with high BP in my other two pregnancies, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tend to have long labors so I was prepared for that, but what I was not prepared for was a failed epidural. I really don’t want to scare any pregnant women reading this but OH MY GOD. If you plan on getting the epidural, I beg you to allow enough time for them to fix it if something goes wrong. I labored for 19 hours without it because I wanted to be able to move around, but by the time I got it, realized it wasn’t working, and screamed for an anesthesiologist to fix it….it was too late.

Now listen, If I’d done my birth prep and had the tools to get through a drug-free birth, it probably would have been manageable. Alas, I was ill prepared and screamed like a wild animal for the 6 minutes it took to push him out. When I tell you that it felt like someone was breaking my pelvis and lighting my vagina on fire - like WHAT? Men could absolutely never. And while we are at it, how the hell did women do this for thousands of years before modern medicine? Don’t tell me that’s what we were built for. I was built to vacation in Mexico and sip cocktails by the pool. Despite that, I somehow managed to birth the most delicious cherub to ever exist (mainly because I didn’t have a choice), and I’ve mostly forgotten how bloody awful it was. 

I will say, and I have absolutely no scientific evidence to back this up, that the immediate postpartum period was much better for me without the epidural. I truly felt like I could have run a marathon. I somehow got a second wind after being up for almost 48 hours, and I was in absolute heaven. Things continued like that for the most part, aside from a couple of menty b's that I blame on Andy for not reading my mind. And also maybe the hormones. I kept waiting for the blues to set in, but they never did. Can you believe that?! I really didn’t know that you could actually feel good during the 4th trimester. Just goes to show that every experience is different and you should always wait to worry. 

The older kids have been divineee with him. They are desperate to kiss his face all day long, but since they’re mostly covered in snot or coughing up a lung *chef's kiss* we’ve been doing a lot of head patting and toe kissing.

I just finished weaning, and I’m really glad to have my body back. Don’t even think about passing judgment, ok! My goal was to get him to his 2-month vaccines, and I’m proud of myself for doing that. I’ve never loved breastfeeding. I find it super painful, I only make jussssst enough, and it’s a pretty big source of anxiety for me. I spend most of my days worrying about my supply, and whether or not I’ve eaten something that will hurt his little tummy. It’s also so time consuming, which I found difficult to balance with the other two kids. When I told them I didn’t have to pump/feed anymore, they cheered. I took that as confirmation that I was making the right choice for all of us! I will say that I felt pretty sad and anxious during the two week weaning process. I don’t remember the feelings being quite so intense last time, but thankfully things have balanced out. I’ll miss that special nursing connection, but I keep reminding myself that he’s loved, fed and safe. We’re all winning. Also my crazy joint pain went away, which was a nice bonus! 

I’m not really sure what the year ahead looks like. Some days I’m motivated to get back to work and chase my dreams. Other days I want to sit on the couch and eat Shake Shack in a puddle of children. I won’t say I’m finding my way back to myself because I know I’m really discovering a new version of myself. God, I hope this version is cool. And in case you were wondering, I finally got Botox and it was everything I’d dreamed of. 

C x

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  • J
    Jen | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    Thank you!!

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    Nancy | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    You are always a breath of fresh air!I have been looking forward to this update.I just had my son 3 weeks ago and thankfully my epidural worked though like you,it almost didn’t work.Thank goodness the anesthesiologist came back just in time to hook it and fix it.Congratulations on your newest Cherub,he’s adorable!I had a little sonshine as well.

  • G
    Gina dean Dean | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    Wonderful honest truthful story. Just love it and thats coming from an L&D nurse and mother of 5!

  • A
    Alex | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    I just gave birth naturally with no epidural and I actually had no pain during the pushing stage. Maybe I have a large pelvis?? Obviously I felt the ring of fire but it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. Contractions were by far the worst part of labor. But it’s crazy how quickly you forget about it all and tell yourself you could definitely do that again 😅

  • I
    Ingrid | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    You are such a strong mama. Being induced and having the epidural fail sounds horrifying. I gave birth September of last year and I was on pitocin, the contraction is so painful I would never want to experience that ever again. I was begging for the epidural by 3cm 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ hats off to you, however you pulled through, I am not sure how I would have made it without an epidural

  • A
    Alexandria Campbell | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    As a former midwife I fully support you in YOUR decision to do what is best for you and your family. I believe so much pressure and unnecessary guilt is placed on so many women. We need to stop being so short sighted and start looking at things holistically.
    You are so brave and I’m sure your truth gives so many women encouragement and hope.
    I was going to have a big family until I had my first and my second thankfully with a fully functional epidural, then it ended there haha.
    Your little boy is sensational and your little family is pure perfection.
    So much admiration and respect , keep doing you.

  • T
    Tessa Taylor | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    Always so incredibly refreshing to read anything you write Claire!! As someone not loving pregnancy at all right now, coming back to your posts always help me feel so validated, thankyou!!!

  • R
    Rinishia | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    It’s amazing to read your journal… feels I’m talking to a friend who exactly understands the situation I am in🤗

  • J
    Jeslyn Monaghan | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    Epidural didn’t work for me either..well it numbed my right foot with both pregnancies! Great..there was no pain in my foot! Haha! You have got this; I commend you for being so honest…motherhood is so many things, but your outlook ( with grace and humor) is amazing 💕

  • H
    Hannah | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    This was a great, honest read. I’ve just given birth to my first and it was the wildest experience. My waters broke at 5pm, contractions started at 7pm and she was here by 1:38am. I was sent away by the hospital at 2cm dilated only to be writhing in pain an hour later at home at 10cm!
    I really connected with what you said about breastfeeding. I love the connection but I find it painful and also worry about making enough for her as her weight hasn’t picked back up to birth weight. Being a mum is hard! I write this as my husband is asleep next to me while I’m up all night because she refuses to sleep on her back.. keep going mama x

  • M
    Marie | 02.14.2024 | 07:18PM

    Had my first baby a little over 4 weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant with you! So happy you got your Botox, I can’t frickin wait to get mine again. Cheers, xx

  • N
    Nicolle | 02.14.2024 | 07:21PM

    Congratulations sweetheart. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share the good and the bad. Sorry you had such a rough labour. So happy that the 4th trimester was so much better this time. Thanks for making me laugh with your posts too. I always love reading them. Lots of love from a 59yo Aussie fan xxx 🥰😘🤗

  • K
    Krissy | 01.31.2024 | 05:39PM

    Wow what a story!! Hats off to you for birthing without an epidural when mentally you weren’t prepared for it ! I thought mine was bad when the epidural was about to go in and the anaesthetist got called away to an emergency surgery and I had to wait another hour 😂 Mums are superheroes !

  • M
    Maria | 02.14.2024 | 07:21PM

    So happy you are better! Would love to know who does your botox, maybe in a future post. Love that it looks natural.

  • S
    Sonia Gaubert | 01.31.2024 | 05:39PM

    Just wanted to say, I absolutely adore you and all that you share.

  • B
    Bri | 01.31.2024 | 05:39PM

    I’ve been waiting for you to post again! This. Is. So. Helpful. 👏👏 It makes me feel like I’m not the only woman going through this. Your words are so inspiring and make me feel better. I’m glad you’re doing ok. ❤️