Starting Off

The days we spent in the hospital before bringing our sweet baby home presented a lot of challenges and a lot of new and exciting experiences. Nursing your newborn baby is a challenge you don’t realize will even be a challenge until the first time you try to do it. Trying to read your babies cries…Is that a hunger cry? I’m uncomfortable cry? I want to be held cry? Change my diaper cry? Bonding with your baby in between visitors and doctors and nurses checking in. Looking back on it, it seems like such an excitingblur. It makes me nostalgic to think of the four days we spent in the hospital. Wesley was so new and so sweet (in between bouts of screaming). I remember feeling this emotional high that made the complete lack of sleep seem not so bad. Itcan be hard to get much if any sleep in the hospital. I think I averaged about 2 hours of sleep in 24 hour periods for those four days. But it really doesn’t seem to matter when you have that sweet baby snuggled up in your arms sleeping peacefully.




Once we brought Wesley home, the lack of sleep started to sink in. I remember coming home and staying home with Wesley while Brian ran to the pharmacy for me and Wesley was screaming the whole time. I kept thinking wow this is so different from the hospital. In the hospital if he was screaming for more than 10 minutes a nurse would usually come in to check on us. Here I was all on my own. Ihad to take care of this little person and figure out his needs. It’s so scary and daunting. But the sense of pride you feel once you finally figure out how to satisfy them and the intense love you feel for them makes it so worth it.

There are so many pressures on you as a new mom. One of the big ones is feeding. There are so many opinions out there on how to feed your baby. If I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be to relax. Your baby will eat.He will grow. I was told in the hospital that I had a great milk supply. However, my sweet Wesley was a sleepy eater in those early days. Like many babies, he was more interested in sleeping than eating and ended up losing weight. His weight loss was about 10.5% and it was enough for us to have to take him back to the hospital for a weight check the day after we got home. The hospital pediatrician threatened that if he lost another ounce, I would have to put him on formula. This was so frustrating for me because the problem wasn’t that I couldn’tfeed my baby, it was that he wouldn’t stay awake to eat! So, in my attempts to avoid that, I was feeding him every hour around the clock. That basically meant constantly feeding since it took him about an hour to eat anyway. Luckily, when we brought him back he had maintained his weight. We weren’t out of the woods though. He needed to be back up to his birth weight by his one week appointment. I continued to feed every hour-hour and a half for the next week and luckily, he was only an ounce under his birthweight when we brought him into his one week appointment! I started to finally feel like I could do this! His pediatrician said I could start letting him go 2-3 hours in between feedings. His feedings would still take about an hour so that meant 1-2 hours of sleep for me at the most. But let me tell you 2 hours compared to none felt amazing!!

Despite struggles and challenges, anything that would be negative was very much overshadowed by the excitement and love I felt for my new family. FullSizeRender 6Newborn babies are just so amazing. All they do is eat, sleep, cry, and poop, but I was amazed with my baby. Through all of these things I considered struggles, I thought back to the advice of one of the nurses that had helped me so much in the hospital. She told me it wasn’t going to be easy but to remember that this will pass. Things will get easier. And they did. My sweet little boy is growing every day! Way too fast!! Anyone who has seen him now would be surprised to hear that he ever had a weight gaining issue! And every day I learn a little more about him and how to care for him. That’s not to say that new challenges aren’t constantly presented, but I know we can handle them. I look back on those early days with nothing but affection and appreciation. I am so thankful that God gave us this little soul to take care of and raise in Him.


“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:13-14)


Just doing my best to raise a small human and drinking lots of coffee!

One thought on “Starting Off

  1. You’re a wonderful mother Ashlea. You’ve adapted so naturally to giving your son what needs, rather than just what you can give. This selfless spirit will ensure he becomes the man God wants him to be.

    Liked by 2 people

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