What Makes you Happy While Pregnant?

by Dr. Punita Rice Life

Pregnant - Sources of Joy

If you have been pregnant (or are now), what kinds of things made you happy while pregnant? Here were some major sources of joy from my second trimester…

(1) Feeling more connected than ever before to our lil’ guy

During the second trimester, we began to feel super connected to this being growing inside me — much more than during the first trimester, for two reasons. First, starting from the beginning of the second trimester, I started to feel kicks!!!! This was by far one of the most exciting things ever. And second, because we found out the gender.

We actually found out the gender way earlier than we were “supposed to,” because our doctor just happened to have time and an ultrasound machine handy at our 16 Week Appointment, so she offered to see if she could tell… and she could! Baby boy!

After we found out we’re having a son, we picked a name (but for now, on the blog, I’ll just call our son Baby N). Having a name decided on made everything feel so much more real (and exciting).

(2) Moving to a new home

We also moved during this time! In honor of that, and because I can’t resist, here’s a tender song full of feels about building a home:

OK, so yes, moving to a new home was also a massive source of stress for me, because it meant that we had to pack up our whole place and move to a new one during my sixth month of pregnancy. But it was also such an exciting and joyful experience to move to this new home where we’ll make new memories as a family. What a nice way to start this adventure.

(3) Feeling accomplished

This semester, I also accomplished something that I’d been super stressed out about. Back story: Last year, I conducted a needs assessment study for my doctoral research, to basically determine whether there was a need for my research. The study went well, but the findings were seemingly leading me down a path I didn’t think I wanted to pursue. So with the help of my adviser, I decided to change directions halfway through the summer, which I felt great about — except it meant I couldn’t use any of my study’s findings in my work. Insert cry face.

So I had to conduct a whole new exploratory study based on my new research questions, which felt beyond overwhelming, but about halfway through this semester, I finally got it all done. Ohhhhh the relief I felt to no longer feel so behind in that area. This was one massive thing I got to cross off my list, and that relief has been such a source of joy this semester.

Also – now more than ever, I am thankful for the flexibility of working on an online doctorate. Because this semester has been so incredibly hectic (work, moving, paperwork, and the actual coursework), I’ve really enjoyed the ability to set my own schedule. There were many nights I picked up my work at midnight, got some done, and went to bed.

(4) Good food (but also… Ramen Noodles!)

Healthy eating in San Francisco - What Makes you Happy While Pregnant?

Healthy eating in San Francisco (a fruit-filled oatmeal bowl and avocado toast) made me happy!

Methodology & Proats - What Makes You Happy While Pregnant?

Eating a delicious bowl of proats (protein oats) while studying methodology brought me joy.

Eating my way through San Francisco made me happy while pregnant - What Makes You Happy While Pregnant?

Actually, everything we ate in San Francisco, especially burritos in the Mission District, made me happy.

While I didn’t really have any cravings my first trimester, I definitely did during the second. I let these cravings function as a little motivator for me. Like okay, if I can get through this reading/post/paragraph, I get to eat an entire packet of Ramen. Because my ultimate pregnancy craving has been Ramen noodles (like the cheap “brick” noodles with the chicken flavoring packet), a cup of mixed vegetables, and American cheese. Seriously as far as cravings go, it could be worse. Even now, I feel like nothing is better than this combination… nothing. Except for Chipotle.

(5) My husband

What makes you happy while pregnant? For me -- it's my husband. - Happy While Pregnant :)

My husband makes me happy (thank goodness)

I really don’t do this kind of thing online, but for informational purposes, it must be shared that this semester worked because of my support system. I would reiterate now, as I did before, that the support and love of my partner and my family are a massive part of what has enabled me to handle everything. My husband has legit made it possible for me to manage my time and energy and I’m really grateful for him.

Just to get mushy, here’s a thought: In addition to all of the other things I hope for when I think about what I want for my son one day, I hope he someday is able to give to his partner the kind of support I have been so, so fortunate and grateful to have. (Especially if his partner is someday pursuing a doctorate while pregnant!)

P.S. – You have to follow Rupi Kaur (here’s her instagram

If you’re a momma who has been pregnant — what kinds of things made you happy while pregnant?

About the Author

Dr. Punita Rice

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Dr. Punita Rice is a wife and mama, an education researcher, a writer, the founder and director of ISAASE, and an advisor with Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Doctor of Education program. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here. Punita also writes about life, culture, education, and motherhood here on her blog. She works from home in Maryland, and drinks a great deal of coffee.