Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Male Nesting?

Pregnancy!  Can a husband feel anymore helpless than when his wife is pregnant?!  Sometimes I just felt ashamed because Julia was having to go through so much to bring our two sons into this world.  A lot of times I felt tremendously blessed that I am a man and not a woman.  There is NO WAY I could ever endure a pregnancy; hats off to all you Moms in the world.  So, what is a man to do as he watches his wife endure exhaustion, vomiting, nausea, hormone changes, vision changes, emotional ups and downs, body changes, weight gains, pregnancy brain, and all sorts of aches and pains?  Aches and pains such as feet swelling, back pain, hip pain, sciatica nerve pain, leg cramps, lack of sleep, heartburn, and not to forget the pain of actually having the child! 

I have heard of men experiencing sympathy pains and sympathy gains.  Mysterious pains that are an exact replica of their pregnant wife’s ailments.  Non-mysterious weight gains to equal their wife’s added weight.  I assume all of this is an attempt to mitigate that sometimes shameful feeling of complete and total helplessness.  But my question is this, have you ever heard of sympathy nesting?  Yes, sympathy nesting.  Instead of the pregnant wife preparing the home for the new arrival, the man turns into so much of a handy-man machine that he actually allows himself to see the end of the never-ending honey-do list.  I never thought seeing the end of the honey-do list was humanly possible, but when male nesting kicks in anything is possible.  Check out what I was able to knock out in about 10 days, just before Summit was born.

Not even included in this fancy slide show was my handy work in re-caulking the bathtub, extensive backyard fence repair, changing out broken deadbolt locks, and repairing the broken toilet paper holder.  You might be thinking, “Taylor, this really isn’t that much”!  But please remember, I haven’t done this much handy man work in two years.  Thanks to sympathy nesting I did all of this work in 10 days! (Infomercial coming soon)

This whole nesting thing might not be a big deal for a lot of you men out there, but this sudden burst of “get it done” intensity was a big thing for me in two ways.  First of all, home projects are not my favorite thing to do.  The last thing I want to do after a day at work is come home and rebuild the fence or re-caulk the bathtub.  The second reason, I am not the handiest guy in the neighborhood. I am so not handy that I use Handy Manny episodes as instructional videos on how to fix things around the house.  Never heard of Handy Manny?  Shepherd introduced me to him about 6 months ago.  Handy Manny is a cross between Dora the Explorer and Ty Pennington.  Check the Handy Manny trailer.

If I had to choose between sympathy pains, sympathy gains, and sympathy nesting, I would definitely choose the nesting every time.  I wouldn’t have to keep my feet propped up, ice down my lower back, experience a bad case of heart burn, or join Weight Watchers.  I think Julia would force me to make the same choice.  Think about it for a quick second, now she can add so much more to the honey-do list! 

So men of pregnant women get your nesting on, because after the baby arrives you won’t have time for anything else!

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The Advent of Shepherd

 

Surprises?  Totally my thing!  Keeping surprises?  Totally not my thing!  Secrets?  I don’t want to know them, because it’s hard to keep them!  Presents?  They’re made to be found before they’re wrapped!  Presents are meant to be opened before Christmas day!  Sometimes telling people about their present is actually better than waiting to watch them open it!

Dealing with anticipation, by far, is not my greatest attribute.  So, you can imagine my anticipation and frustration in waiting for my son to come into this world.  I felt like a 5-year-old boy tortured by being forced to look at his Christmas present everyday for 9 solid months.   Imagine the agony of watching the present slowly grow and actually move without being able to take a peak.  The worst part, not knowing exactly when Christmas day would actually come!

Our First Glance at Shepherd

This future son consumed my thoughts and prayers.  What would he look like?  What would he act like?  How much sleep would we get?  Would Julia make it through everything okay?  Are we ready to provide for a child?  God, give him a heart for you.  God, help him be healthy and strong.  God, let him get here safely.  For 37 weeks I lived and dreamed to see the day he would take his first breath.  Many things bought, many books read, the house and nursery prepared.  Then Julia, for the first time in the existence of our relationship, randomly and unexpectedly cleaned out the freezer!  This could only mean that the day had come, he would soon be here. 

Shepherd’s arrival prompted me to think about the two advents of Christ.  First, I wondered about God as a Father sending His only Son to redeem the creation that was lost in Eden.  There must have been so much joy and excitement to fulfill his first promise to restore man, earth, and ultimately destroy death. 

God says to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”.  Genesis 3:15

 So much joy and excitement that it  outweighed the knowledge He would be separated from his only begotten son.    The knowledge that knew He was sending His Son into a world that would  betray Him, beat Him, and scandalously murder Him.  This thought helped me catch but a glimpse of how much God truly loves us.  It is unfathomable to think how He makes such a sacrifice with such joy, with such excitement. 

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…”   Luke 2:10-11

Secondly, my anticipation and preparation for Shepherd made me consider how I was anticipating and preparing for a greater “coming” to this world, Christ’s return.  I began to ask several questions.  What was my relationship with Christ?  Was it moving, growing, digressing, or even stagnant?  Was I allowing Him to prepare me for his return?  Was I moving along the path of progressive sanctification?  Was I still being transformed?  Was I surrendering all of my life in exchange for a loving pursuit of His?

At the time, the answers to these questions were eerily humbling.  I realized my need to allow the Holy Spirit to move and transform me as a son, a friend, and a husband.  I needed His guidance to leave footsteps I wanted my son to follow.  Footsteps that humbly headed towards the cross and prepare for a greater advent than Shepherd’s, the advent of Christ.

As I look back over the last two years, it is an amazing wonder how God used Shepherd’s coming to transform my life.  I can truly say that getting ready for my son’s arrival has propelled me to prepare for the greatest “coming” of all.  He has a little child to make me a better follower, leader, son, friend, husband, and now father.  My hope and prayer is that Christ will use something in life to do the same for you.


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