Perinatal depression is similar to postpartum depression, but it happens during pregnancy. I didn’t know what depression was until I was about ten weeks into my first pregnancy.

Finding Gratitude by the Handful

It was hard to get through each day. At the time my mom would tell me to find five things to be grateful for every day, and count them on each finger again and again when I felt my worst. Some days the things I picked weren’t the things I would normally appreciate, but it was those small bright spots that helped me navigate the darkness of perinatal depression.

Gratitude. Its a feeling, yes, but its also a discipline.

Thank you God that Nathan and I made breakfast burritos for dinner in our pajamas.
Thanks God for Gilmore Girls.
Thank you God for my warm bed.
Thanks Lord for family that has to love me no matter what.
Thanks God for loving me no matter what.

I was so lost in my grey cloud that I couldn’t even think about the life that was growing inside me. It seems unimaginable now. But when I look back I see how those small glimmers of gratitude kept me going during a time that I just wanted to curl up and hide.

Now I’m in a busy season of motherhood, and life. I look back on that sad and lonely mom-to-be and I want to hug her, and tell her, “Sister, you need to go binge watch shows on Netflix and take long naps, and be GRATEFUL for every minute of freedom.”

But thats the thing with gratitude, its the most beautiful when we find it in the moment.

[easy-tweet tweet=”But thats the thing with gratitude, its the most beautiful when we find it in the moment.” hashtags=”#gratitude”]

So instead of shaking my head at my past self, I can take the discipline that I learned in the hard season of depression, taught to me by my mom, who had to learn it the hard way herself. I can put out my hand and start counting the things I can thank God for right now, in this moment.

Thank you God for the sleeping baby snoring in my lap.
Thanks God for a daddy that lets our 3 year old sit in the garage and help him brew beer.
Thank you Lord that you never leave me exactly as I am.
Thanks God for grilled cheese sandwiches and soup on a rainy day.

Thank you God for continuing to bless me, even when I don’t have the eyes to see it.

Do you think you may be suffering with perinatal depression? Talk to your doctor about how you can find treatment and support.

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