Being pregnant is a full-time job. You are growing a tiny human inside of you, after all. With all that growth comes a whole ton of challenges - physically, emotionally and mentally. Here are 11 things every pregnant woman wants her husband to know about these nine months:
1. A foot massage means more than you know
I'm gaining weight, my ankles are swelling and my feet are sore at the end of the day. With my hormones running wild, it means the world to me when you have me sit back, relax and enjoy a little massage. It tells me you love me and you're concerned about me.
2. When I say I'm craving something, I really need it
Look, I don't know why it's like this, but if it's midnight and I'm suddenly craving a street taco, I won't be able to sleep until I get that street taco. If we ask you to get something for us, please get it. Otherwise the three of us (mom, baby and dad) won't be getting much sleep.
3. I don't want you to point out how big I'm getting
I know everyone thinks it's an exciting thing to be getting bigger the longer I'm pregnant, but I just see myself getting big. The bigger the bump, the bigger the reminder of how much weight I'm putting on (and how much work it's going to be to lose that weight once the baby is here). I know you're happy to see your baby become a little more visible in my tummy - I am too - but please understand that it's also hard for me.
4. I'm embarrassed about my forgetfulness
Pregnancy brain is very real. No, seriously. Research has found that pregnancy can actually resculpt a woman's brain during and after pregnancy (for up to two years after giving birth). While studying the brains of pregnant women, researchers have found that gray matter in the subject's brain (the part of the brain involved in processing and responding to social signals) actually shrinks.
So when I forget to lock the doors or accidentally leave you at the gas station, please be patient with me.
5. I'm really tired, not just lazy
If you could see everything my body is doing to build up this baby inside of me, you would understand. I'd much rather be out doing things, not just laying in bed watching Netflix, but I just don't have the energy. I know it's frustrating - I'm frustrated, too. I hope you don't think I'm lazy when I say I just don't have the energy to go out tonight.
Every pregnancy is different and every day is different. I don't know what I'll be craving tomorrow, if I'll have morning sickness or what's going to make me cry. I wish I could prepare you and show you how you can tread carefully, but I honestly don't know.
7. My emotions are very real
I know the things that set me off are ridiculous. I know I used to not cry over those Sarah McLaughlin commercials, but that doesn't mean my pregnancy emotions are something to laugh about. Even if I can acknowledge how silly I'm being, these tears are still very real to me and I need you to comfort me, not mock me.
8. Being pregnant is scary
There is so much to be afraid of. I'm scared of losing the baby, I'm scared of the pains and complications of labor, but more than anything, I'm scared of being a mom. Our lives are about to change forever. I need you to hold me and comfort me sometimes, even if my fears seem irrational.
I know that my pregnancy means some extra work for you. I'm not the easiest to deal with and I'm doing less and less around the house. I don't always show it, but I really am grateful for all you've been doing. Once I can touch (or even see) my toes again, I'll return the favor.
10. I love you
I'm not super good at showing it right now. I'm a little self-involved and I've been giving all my energy and attention to this growing baby inside me. And I know I haven't been giving you all the physical affection you've been craving. I love you for your patience, your hard work, your affection and your sympathy.
11. I can't wait for our baby to meet you
You're going to be such a wonderful dad. I wouldn't have had a baby with you if I didn't think you would be. Every time you practice changing a diaper on the teddy bear, every time you make a cheesy joke and every time you smile at me, I see it. I see how much you're going to love our child and how much they're going to love their daddy.
A woman goes through a lot during pregnancy. It's a testament of love when she agrees to put her body through all that to start a family with her husband. As a husband, nothing reciprocates that love more than some patience and sympathy.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.