Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Fourth trimester update and 3 months with Otto

Lots of big changes happening here on the baby front. Otto is now 3 months old, which means I am officially out of the "fourth trimester" of pregnancy, as they call it, plus I went back to work yesterday. (!!)

Otto at 3 months old

First, Otto. He is just amazing! He has been doing lots of "smile talking" and cooing when we interact with him, and he really responds well to faces and talking and playing with us. He did a little laugh a couple weeks ago when my mom was bouncing him up and down from standing on her lap, and then earlier this week while talking to Jason he went off in several minutes of often on for on laughter! Adorable, happy, Real belly laughs, and of course we got some of it on film and watched it again later that day! He did it again yesterday, and finally figured out how to suck his thumb (rather than just the side of his hand).

He has done some 8+ hours stretches of sleep at night, but recently has been back down to 5 or 6. But, at least he is better at going back to sleep after nursing, and he is actually making strides towards that mythical "putting himself to sleep" thing I have read about in the books but was so confused by when he was a brand new newborn and was harder to get to sleep. We haven’t tried any form of sleep training yet, but several times we have been able to leave him in a very sleepy state in his bassinet and then 5 or 10 minutes later he is asleep. And a couple times in the night he has started making fussing noises and then I’ve waited it out, and he hasn’t full-on woken up. I count that as some serious progress toward better sleep!

He is still doing super well at breastfeeding and I am, too; no more pain like I felt the first few weeks, and my milk supply has been totally adequate.

Postpartum recovery

As for the rest of me… I am feeling generally recovered from his delivery, but my body definitely still feels different. The biggest thing is I feel so weak compared to before I got pregnant, when I was strength training regularly, and unfortunately I am now having some pretty bad low back pain. I’m still seeing my prenatal chiropractor but both she and my midwife recommended I find a pelvic floor physical therapist for some postpartum physical therapy. Thankfully I don’t have serious trauma from the delivery, or major scar tissue, and but I am really glad I am seeing a PT now as she's also helping me with the low back pain, which is all related.

It seems like chiropractic and acupuncture are common therapies that pregnant and postpartum women get, but pelvic floor physical therapy is not currently as common and yet probably almost every mom could benefit! I don’t know much yet as I’ve only seen my therapist twice, but even for someone like me who was healthy before and delivered vaginally, it seems like a really good idea. My PT hasn’t needed to do an internal exam, which they will do If you are having a lot of pain in your pelvic floor locally, but instead we are working on re-training my deep stabilizer muscles in my back and hips. Pregnancy completely changes your posture, especially for the last 4 or 6 months or so, and so now I need to relearn the positions that I used to be in that protect in my low back. I have a series of therapeutic exercises to do 3 or more times a week, and have also been cleared for doing some strength building exercises. (I am super happy about that, but it is definitely hard to find time to fit in working out!!)

One really good thing postpartum as I have not had separation of my ab muscles like many women get after pregnancy--diastasis recti. Midwife, chiropractor, and physical therapist have tested my abs and they have all been very impressed! It’s just my low back, so frustrating. Hurts every time I pick Otto up.

Weight-wise... my tummy is still a little squishy but honestly it was always pretty much that way. I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks but last I checked I was within like 4 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. (However, I'm pretty sure some of that used to be muscle and no longer is. Can't wait to start training again!)

Emotionally, I really don’t know where I am, even as I think about going back to work. Lots of feelings, but nothing really solidified. I did listen to one of my favorite real food and mom leaders, Liz Wolfe, on a podcast the other day (episode 52 of the Modern Mamas podcast) and she said something that I really liked about the postpartum period. Something like, there is this whole movement toward the "fourth trimester" and all the self care that moms deserve at that time, but for most of us it just adds another thing to our list of obligations and things we feel guilty if we don’t do. No need for more mom guilt!

My first day back at work was good, everyone was excited to see me and made me feel welcome. And I feel good being able to do more projects and work that I know I'm good at. But it is very weird to be so independent, able to eat or work or talk or do anything without a baby crying at any time! We'll see how this next chapter goes!

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