When my husband and I met I was a self-sufficient, badass single mom who ran marathons. Then I got pregnant, and pregnant me didn't feel or look very badass. Saying I had a difficult pregnancy is totally an understatement. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which resulted in me vomiting several times a day every day. I couldn't run, so I was weak, tired, sore, insecure, and afraid my partner would see me as a completely different person. But when I actually realized my partner looked at me differently, I was surprised. The way his glances and stares changed ended up changing me.
While I worried he would fall out of love (or out of lust) with pregnant me, his love and desire only seemed to grow. I mean, I am not a beautiful pregnant person. I'm just not. But, you guys, if you judged me based on how my husband looked at me alone, you would think I was Beyoncé herself. It made me feel like a million bucks and helped me get through some pretty dark days.
In my honest opinion, you can't really judge someone's commitment to you by how they look at you when you look and feel your best. It's easy to love someone when everything is "perfect." Looking at your partner as if they are the most beautiful person in the world after they've thrown up and peed their pants on the side of the highway, however, just might be a sign of true love. There are so many moments when it was obvious that my partner looked at me differently when I was pregnant, and it made a huge difference in how I viewed myself.
When We Found Out I Was Pregnant
When my partner and I started trying to conceive, we had no idea how long it would take to get pregnant. So, when I tested positive after only about a month of trying, we were both pretty shocked. I will never forget the look of surprise and huge smile on my husband's face.
When We Heard A Heartbeat
Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time is amazing and reassuring, especially when you're not far enough along to feel them move. When we heard our son's heartbeat for the very first time, my husband looked so worried, then so relieved, and then he looked right at me and my changed my heartbeat, too.
When I Was Depressed
My prenatal depression was a lying b*tch. I knew that it wasn't my fault and nothing to be ashamed of, but I had this voice in the back of my head telling me that even my husband judged me for it. Those fears were just my depression lying to me. When I told him I was depressed, my partner looked at me with empathy and love, not judgement.
When I Started To Show
While I felt like a fat cow when I first began to show, my husband looked at me like I was a fertility goddess. It made me feel so sexy, which was honestly something I had never felt as a pregnant person before. When I was pregnant with a different partner, twice, I felt anything but desirable.
When I Was In Pre-Term Labor
Preterm labor was terrifying. I felt so helpless and afraid, but I kept things together and didn't lose my sh*t, mainly because my husband put on a brave face and got me to the hospital for help.
When I Was Sick
My husband never once looked at me with disgust, not even when I was puking and peeing in the car, was covered in hives, or described my hemorrhoids and constipation in vivid, terrifying detail. That's love, people. He looked at me like I was a badass for making it through some hard and embarrassing moments of pregnancy.
When He Felt The Baby Move
Feeling my baby move was amazing. When my husband felt him move for the first time, I could see how he looked at me differently, and how that look meant this pregnancy was becoming more and more real for him.
When I Was In Pain
I was in an accident in my last trimester that left me in some serious pain. My husband was so supportive and caring. The way he looked at me, with concern but also a little bit of awe, made me feel loved. That's an incredible feeling to give to someone when they're feeling at their worst.
When My Water Broke
When my water broke it rushed out of my body slowly, like a lazy river. I captured this picture of my partner's amused look, because I wanted to forever remember his silliness in the delivery room. That silliness, while not for everyone, totally helped take my mind off of the fact that I was about to have a baby.
When I Pushed
When I started to feel the urge to push my husband grabbed my hand, then grabbed a barf bag to catch my puke. He looked at me like I was Wonder Woman, a rock star, and a goddess wrapped into one, even though I'm sure I didn't look beautiful. The way he looked at me gave me a little burst of energy and made me believe that I could do anything. In that moment I was Wonder Woman, or at least that was who I saw reflected back in his eyes.