Thursday, 19 March 2015

32 Weeks' Pregnant - The Gratitude Journal

I once heard about something called a 'Gratitude Journal'. The concept of a 'Gratitude Journal' is this:
  • Every day you write down five things you are grateful for. 
  • You must pick five new things each day.
  • For example, you can not say " I have a nice house, I have a nice car" every day. It must be five things you are grateful for that particular day. 
  • So on a typical day it might be 1/ The sun is shining 2/I do not have any spots 3/My boyfriend put the rubbish out 4/My favourite television program is on and 5/I got a seat on the bus. 
  • The result will soon be that you realise just how many reasons you have to be thankful and optimistic and you will live your life in a more positive way. 

Disclaimer : That list of 5 hypothetical reasons to be grateful was incredibly vexing to come up with and they were only hypothetical. And reading over them, they have quite a depressing air. But I digress...

I am now 32 weeks pregnant. That means, if my due date is accurate, I have 8 weeks left of this. This being spending each day not doing a lot. 

Think about the best things about being 'off work'. Having free time to see friends? No, they are at work. 

Being able to dine out and eat lovely things? No, I do not have any money to sit in restaurants, I can not eat anything spicier than a baked bean. And is there a more pathetic sight than a very heavily pregnant woman sitting alone in a restaurant supping water and gnawing on a chicken leg? 

Maybe you want some time off to have a good drink - maybe start in the morning? Nope, I can't do that either. To cut a long story short - I can't do much.

To quash any views that maternity leave might be relaxing, fun, easy or any other positive adjectives - let me paint a picture for you. Below I will detail my daily reasons to be grateful for the last week. I have limited my 'reasons to be grateful' to one per day. Who are we kidding?

Monday: I attended the doctors for a Whooping cough jab. 
Tuesday: The food shopping was successfully delivered. 
Wednesday: I filled in a form for working tax credits. 
Thursday: I completed a level on 'Angry Birds'.
Friday: I attended a midwife appointment. 
Saturday: I struggled here. My breasts felt less sore than usual.  
Sunday: I did not have crippling heartburn after eating my dinner of peanut butter on toast. 

You know your life has taken a disturbingly bleak downward turn when the highlight, and I will say it again - the 'highlight' of your week is that you had a Whooping cough jab.

Don't knock it. It meant I had to leave the house, which in turn meant I had to get dressed, which all started with me having to have a wash. So all in all, the whooping cough jab achieved a lot. My doctor's Surgery is literally a stone's throw away - and although the other patients were coughing and spluttering next to me - it felt nice to have some company for my half an hour wait. I may have contracted the Winter Vomiting Bug - but hey ho! I saw the outside, I breathed in some air and I felt the benefit of the central heating when I got back through the door. My arm swelled up and I couldn't lie on that side for four days - but I am grateful that I won't get Whooping cough now. See, I am already living in a more positive frame of mind. 

I recently went on a chat forum for mothers and asked them what 'perks' there were to being pregnant. After getting stern replies of "It is not a Gold card" or "The perk is just being pregnant" (bore off) I then got some right minded mothers saying they found people were willing to upgrade them to first class travel, help them with their bags and one delightful story of how a man helped to "scare away a Seagull" from their car.

There have been some small occurrences during my pregnancy that I have been overwhelmingly grateful for:

A woman let me into a pay toilet for free saving me 30p
My midwife said I was probably going to have a small baby.
Another pregnant woman at the hospital let me read her gossip magazine during a two hour wait for a diabetes test.
I found out I do not have Syphilis, Hepatitis, Diabetes and I am not having twins!
I am overly grateful every time my partner makes me a cup of tea, fills my hot water bottle (not a euphemism) or doesn't leave me.  

I assume my gratitude journal post February will be littered with "The baby slept for a whole hour", "I was able to sit down properly since the horrendous birth", "The baby smiled a bit when he had wind" and "My partner hasn't left yet".

But perhaps things are looking up - it is Christmas in five days. And who doesn't love Christmas? I know I love Christmas. It is without doubt the best time of year! With the mulled wine and champagne and bucks fizz and hot Amaretto cocktails and oh.... balls. 

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