I was warned about the first trimester nausea (that didn’t happen); the second trimester anxieties that keep you up all night (didn’t really happen, I got chiller during pregnancy); the third trimester back pain (nope, didn’t have that either). Yes, I know, I was super lucky. I am grateful. Even my delivery was uneventful.
…then the fourth trimester came. And COVID-19 came. And racial injustices raged. And my business tanked.
It was the hardest three months of my life.
I do want to acknowledge that this spring of 2020 has been the hardest on many, many moms’ lives who aren’t also navigating the fourth trimester. But the combination of both simultaneously was nearly too much to mentally and emotionally navigate with any sort of grace or goodwill.
The support I had planned to take advantage of was taken away because of COVOID-19 including:
-new mom groups at the hospital
-in-home lactation consultant visits
-family coming in-home to help
My game plan for navigating the fourth trimester had to be fully scratched.
I was left with only the sisterhood of Instagram, connectedness of Marco Polo and the medical advice doled out via Zoom—Not exactly the best recipe for supporting a first-time mama who just wants a few hours of sleep, a warm meal that isn’t frozen lasagna and a shower where there’s time to leave the conditioner on my hair for the fully recommended length of time.
As many of you can relate, your identity during the fourth trimester shifts as you learn who you are in this new role but given the fearful state of our world during this time, I wasn’t able to pause and reflect on my new identity and grow into it during those first 12 weeks. My mind was preoccupied on the changing data insights into how COVOID-19 was spreading and on the societal changes demanded as part of the #BLM movement—all while trying to heal from birth trauma.
The cherry on top: my business, which I had planned to transition from a side hustle to my main gig this year, tanked, thanks to COVOID-19 (it’s in the travel industry). This was a big blow to my identity and sense of worth during this time, as it will always be my first baby (of sorts).
It was a lot—and even though we’re still muddling through COVOID-19 and #BLM as a country, at least one thing is in the rearview mirror: my fourth trimester and all the confusion, unknowns and awkwardness that comes during that time.
Now that I feel more like myself again, I’m in a better mental, emotional and spiritual place to ride out the rest of the 2020 rollercoaster, whatever that brings. I guess the murder hornets have just been introduced, so we’ll see what they do for the remainder of summer 2020…