8 Things to Be Thankful for During Pregnancy
While it may be hard to be thankful for things like constipation, morning sickness, and the inability to see one's own feet, there are plenty of things about pregnancy to be thankful for—up to and including the arrival of your baby. Here are eight!
1. A Supportive Partner
You will need to help him out a bit here, but you will be thankful you did. He’s excited, nervous, and a little unsure of how he fits into this whole pregnancy thing. It’s all a bit mysterious, so don’t make him guess about how to help. Let him know what you need, from running for ice cream at 2 AM to helping you breathe through the contractions in the
delivery room. Along the way, it might be flowers, a foot rub, or help with the dishes. It will certainly be the painting and the heavy lifting. Helping you will help him, so everybody wins.
Being pregnant is hard work, and getting a
good night’s sleep can be a challenge. So what’s a woman to do? Nap, of course. Long naps at home, short naps at the office—there’s no such thing as a bad nap. Too many people feel lazy or guilty for taking a little snooze during the day, but sleep is crucial to our health and a pregnant woman needs to be healthy enough for two. Sarah Mitchell from Illinois is expecting her first child. Still in her
first trimester, she has already discovered the joys of napping. “I am thankful for that afternoon nap because it revitalizes me enough to get through the rest of the day,” she says.
3. Your Body Pillow
Just get one already, especially if you are the “spooner” as opposed to the “spoonee,” or if you have always slept on your right side and now need to switch to your left. As your days get increasingly uncomfortable, do everything you can to keep your nights as comfortable as possible. By the end of your pregnancy, you will have given your body pillow a name and it will rank as one of your best friends. Seriously.
4. The Second Trimester
All the good things you’ve heard about the second trimester are true. You’ve earned them, so enjoy them while you can because all the things you’ve heard about
the third trimester are also true. And not nearly as much fun.
5. A Whole New Outlook
Nothing changes your own life like bringing a new life into the world. “Pregnancy taught me to be thankful for my own body,” says Lisa Grabowski, a mom from Manteca, California. “The opportunity to experience human growth and development inside of me has made me more understanding and compassionate of people in general,” she says. “I ‘get it’ now. I
get sacrifice. I
get heartbreak. I
get unadulterated happiness. I get unconditional love. Without the opportunity to be pregnant and give birth, I am sure I would have gone through my life with my eyes only partially open.”
6. The First Ultrasound
Before any of the physical signs of pregnancy show up, it can be difficult to fathom what is going on inside your body. The first ultrasound is a knee-weakening dose of reality, and subsequent ones are the chance for you to spy on your kid’s development, from height to heartbeat. In living, breathing black-and-white, you will likely have no idea what you are looking at, but you know he is actually in there and definitely yours. Make sure the father comes to this one, and make sure there’s a chair for him. He’ll need to sit down—those weak knees will be his.
7. The Beauty of a Big Belly
Janelle Laughlin, from Chicago, is currently pregnant with her second child, and she loves being pregnant—and especially loves her belly. “I love being able to stand tall and proud with my stomach sticking out,” she says. “No more sucking in abs! I truly believe that the pregnant woman is the most beautiful woman of all, and I feel more attractive when I am pregnant.” And for all of the inconvenience a big belly can cause, Laughlin prefers to focus on the advantages of having one. “I always have a place to rest my hands.”
8. Be Thankful—but a Little Bit Sad—That It Doesn't Last Forever
Once your beautiful, healthy, wonderful baby is born, she belongs to the world. Everyone will want to hold, hug, kiss and just plain stare at her. But for 40 weeks, she is all yours, known only to you. You alone will feed her and feel her every move. She will wake you up in the middle of the night with her kicking and you will wake her up when you get nervous because you haven’t felt her kick. You will sing to her in the strongest voice she has ever heard, and in return, she will dance for you. You will never be this close to her again, so close your eyes and give that dancing belly a hug. And always make time for one more song.
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