By Brie Gowen
I woke up in bed early this morning. It was still dark outside, and the house was completely quiet. As I lay there staring at the ceiling, the insomnia of my last month of pregnancy causing my tired brain to spin, I thought about my husband who lay asleep in the other room. I thought about the text I had received from him prior to going to bed that night before. Despite us only being separated by a single wall or two, he had sent me a message on my phone.
Sometimes, I just cannot believe my husband!
Here I am 52 weeks pregnant, or at least what feels that way, and he hasn’t changed a bit. I am in a state of mind where I feel like an absolute whale. I feel puffy, tired, and like my nose is spreading out at an insane rate across my face. I feel itchy, achy, and sometimes even ugly. I feel swollen, stretched, and unattractive. That’s just the way it is.
Yet somehow in the middle of my feelings of inadequacy and loss of self esteem, I glance up to see my husband staring at me, and I just cannot believe him. He’s smiling.
He’s smiling at me. He finds me beautiful still. Despite the weight gain and swollen ankles, he finds me adorable and desirable. I just cannot believe him.
When I read the text message he had sent earlier in the night, my heart had soared. I felt it skip a beat just like it had done when we were nineteen, and he whispered the words into my ear.
I want you to know I love you more than anything in this world, the message had read.
And though we had just seen each other minutes before, and he was indeed just another room away, he had felt compelled to tell me that I was loved, that I was cherished, that I was adored.
I knew he had been unable to walk into the room and tell me so because his lap was full with a fitful toddler he had put to sleep for the night. She had a cold, it seemed, but he had taken care of things while I soaked in the tub.
I cannot believe my husband.
He works. He works so hard to provide for us financially. Then he comes home bone tired, and he works some more. He works to help me with the children. He works to lighten my load, cultivate our relationship, and make me feel beautiful and appreciated.
I cannot believe my husband.
I cannot believe that such a selfless man exists, yet there he is. He sleeps on the couch with a snotty toddler while allowing his very pregnant wife to try and get some rest.
I cannot believe such a wonderful father can mold the lives of his children while simultaneously making his wife feel loved by sending her random messages of affection, but he does. Every day he does.
I cannot believe my husband. I cannot believe a man thinks so much of others above himself, yet I see the proof every day. I hold his hand, and I linger in his embrace as he hugs me before bed, placing a soft kiss on my puffy lips, and a warm hand on my swelling belly.
I cannot believe my husband. I cannot believe God blessed me with such a wonderful partner with which to raise a family and enjoy life, yet He did. He gave me the gift of my husband, and though I cannot believe I deserve such a thing, I refuse to not take notice.
I refuse to not be enamored, amazed, and in appreciative awe of the partner I do life with. I cannot believe my husband, but I cherish him nonetheless. I cannot believe he loves me like he does, but then again, I love him pretty hard too.