Gratitude and Parenting

11.23.12 Fifty things you'll be grateful for now that you're pregnant

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In the middle of all the nausea, excitement, stress and discomfort of pregnancy, an old feeling bubbles up. You’ve felt it before countless times, but during pregnancy and parenthood, this feeling gets amplified. It’s almost as if a higher power understood that parenting is hard and you’re going to need some extra tools to get through it. That’s why new parents get a big heaping dose of gratitude to go along with the hormones, hassles and hoopla of parenthood.

But gratitude isn’t a one-dimensional emotion. It can be sharp and messy, confusing and overwhelming. Dr. Jessica Zucker, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in maternal health says: “Gratitude can be tricky when it comes to parenthood. Are we supposed to feel grateful for the seemingly irrational toddler meltdowns, the sleepless nights or the mind numbing moments when babies are too young to truly interact? Are we supposed to feel grateful when a stranger asks when we’re due to give birth when we had the baby three months ago? Parenting yields a newfound appreciation for the spectrum of moment-to-moment changes in human development, interpersonal relating and identity shifts. Morsels of sweet happiness pop in at unforeseeable times throughout the day, creating pockets of pause when we as parents realize that the rough patches are worth it. After all, it's the little things that matter most.”

What morsels of gratitude do you have to look forward to? This list of 50 is just the beginning.

First trimester: As you start your journey to parenthood, count on being grateful for:

  1. That positive pregnancy test
  2. Your husband’s happy dance when you told him the news
  3. Your mother’s tears of joy when you told her she’s going to be a grandmother
  4. The tiny tool belt your dad bought after you told him he’s going to be a grandpa
  5. Missing your next period and knowing there won’t be another for months
  6. The day when you knew that little bit of spotting was nothing to worry about
  7. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat the first time
  8. Your first ultrasound where your baby looked like a bean…your bean.
  9. Making it to the toilet before you actually threw up
  10. Naps

The second trimester: You’re feeling better and oh-so-grateful that:

  1. You’re finally looking pregnant, not just chunky
  2. Your morning sickness is mostly over and the smell of toothpaste doesn’t make you puke anymore
  3. Those tiny flutters might be your baby moving
  4. You have more energy
  5. You’re making new friends in your prenatal yoga class
  6. Your sex drive is back
  7. Food looks good again
  8. Everything looks normal on your ultrasound
  9. Your preschooler is excited about becoming a big brother/sister
  10. Maternity clothes don’t look bad at all. In fact, you look great

Keep reading for #21 - 50 >>

Third trimester: The end is in sight. There’s so much to do and you’re totally grateful that:

  1. The crib you love is on sale
  2. Your sister-in-law gave you a huge box of adorable hand-me-downs
  3. You’ve finally agreed on a name
  4. Your backache goes away with a good massage
  5. You can still put your shoes on
  6. That one weird blood pressure reading turned out to be nothing to worry about
  7. That flurry of early contractions went away on their own
  8. You love your HypnoBirthing teacher
  9. Your tour of the birthing unit at your hospital was reassuring
  10. Your husband went to Costco and came home with a huge box of baby wipes

You’re in labor and so grateful for:

  1. Your bathtub
  2. The end of that contraction
  3. That your water didn’t break at the grocery store
  4. Your partner, doula, midwife and nurse
  5. Your mother who went through this to have you
  6. An epidural
  7. Ten centimeters
  8. BIRTH!

Your baby’s here and you’re grateful that:

  1. You’re no longer in labor
  2. Your baby is in your arms
  3. You’re both safe and healthy
  4. Your husband is crying
  5. Your baby latched on
  6. You can’t feel the stitches

Your baby is 1 month old and you’re grateful that:

  1. She finally stopped crying
  2. Your nipples don’t hurt anymore
  3. He slept three hours in a row last night
  4. You had one diaper left
  5. You don’t have to go back to work for two more months
  6. Your baby is the light of your life and your partner is an amazing parent.

Now that you’re a parent, you’re grateful for your gorgeous baby, your beautiful family and the lifetime of memories and holidays you’ll have together. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and you enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Jeanne Faulkner, R.N., lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and five children. Got a question for Jeanne? Email it to labornurse@fitpregnancy.com and it may be answered in a future blog post.

This Fit Pregnancy blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Before initiating any exercise program, diet or treatment provided by Fit Pregnancy, you should seek medical advice from your primary caregiver.

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