For first time parents there are so many decisions you have to make – both big and small – prior to even bringing your baby home. Breastfeeding or formula? Cloth diapers or disposable? Pacifier or no? Crib or cosleep?
Before actually having my own little one, I just assumed babies slept in cribs and that was that. I’d never really considered another option. It wasn’t until I started learning about breastfeeding and subsequently attatchment parenting, that I really considered the prospect of bringing a baby into our bed. It seemed to make sense for ease of night time feeding and I liked the idea and benefits of having him so close at first. I did my best to research safe practices and we made the decision to attempt cosleeping. We got a fancy little nest for our bed and a rock n play for the bedside, should things go awry. We were ready for anything.
Then we brought him home. Barely seven hours old and the tiniest thing I’d seen, I couldn’t fathom even putting him down for a second. The nest didn’t seem so snuggly anymore and the rock n play felt miles away. In my post partum haze, I ended up dozing in and out with Owen curled up on my chest for the entire first night. From that moment on, I was hooked.
It just felt natural for us to sleep together. I always felt aware of him and he seemed safest next to me. Not to mention it did wonders for our quality of life. Owen slept, I slept, Ben slept. Sure, we woke for night time feedings, but not having to get out of bed or turn on any lights really kept things dozy and let us drift back to sleep easily. Cosleeping single handedly got us through those early newborn days, I never once felt sleep deprived or zombie like. It was easily the best decision we made for our family.
Here we are now, at almost seven months in, and what started as a practical choice has easily become one of my favorite things. I love snuggling in beside Owen for the night, we fit together like puzzle pieces. My arm creates a nook around him, his little feet tuck into my belly and his head rests just below my chin. His tiny grunts and snores in the dark just melt my heart. I know these days are fleeting, so I try to soak them in as best I can. I love knowing that I’ve spent every night of his life so far sleeping next to him.
We are already beyond what I thought would be my cosleeping end date, but it still doesn’t feel like the right time to move him out. I’m sure it’ll happen before I know it. It will be bittersweet, for sure, but I will always remember this sweet time in our lives so fondly.
Growing up in Ohio, the change in seasons from winter to spring was always such a very welcome shift. Spring seemed to bring an entirely new and beautiful world with it, full of color and possibilities, exploding with sunshine and magic. Here in Florida, the shift is slightly less dramatic, but the season itself doesn’t feel any less magical. The weather has been gorgeous for the past few weeks and it seems like there are new flowers and blooms popping up everyday. I have done my best to get outside as much as possible – taking Owen for strolls with friends, playing in our garden and just enjoying the fantastic outdoor space that came along with our new house. Something about being outside is so invigorating and inspiring to me, every time I step into the yard I’m practically bursting at the seams with projects and ideas for our home. Poor Ben must be so nervous any time I start a sentence with “So, I’ve got this idea…” It usually means some hard labor is coming on his end, and despite giving me a grief about it, he indulges my wacky whims – he’s a good man!
I got a dose of inspiration last weekend when I stumbled upon an article about this gorgeous flower farm in Washington called Floret and fell instantly in love. It’s run by a really creative woman and her sweet family, they grow beautiful flowers and use them to make stunning arrangements. Reading about how she built her farm and business has sparked something in me – suddenly, my empty front garden beds have a purpose – they are meant to grow a cutting garden! Lucky for me, I’ve got just a bit of time left to get some seeds in the ground before the sweltering heat sets in. So I’m going to try my hand at flower growing… and if things go well, flower arranging. It’ll be a fun little hobby for Ben and I this summer, and who knows… maybe we’ll love it and find ourselves starting our own flower farm!
Do you have any exciting projects happening this spring?
I can hardly believe that six months have passed since this little angel baby came into the world. It seems as if it happened in the blink of an eye. Everyone tells you it goes by quickly, but you don’t realize just how true that is until you’re in it.
Watching this tiny human grow and develop each week has been the greatest joy of my life. He is the biggest blessing and most awesome buddy. I can’t believe how much personality he already has, he has his own little quirks and a sense of humor. He chats it up all day long and it getting so strong. It won’t be long till he is mobile, which will be crazy and amazing and tiring.
Owen has been such a good sport and really fits right in on all of our adventures. I think we both worried a bit that having a wee one would be limiting, but it’s like he was meant just for us. He’s happier when worn and really loves being outside. He has driven to North Carolina and back, flown to Ohio twice, gone camping, done Animal Kingdom, been to the beach a handful of times and traipsed all around Orlando for happy hours and baby dates. I can’t wait to continue to share our love for the outdoors with him and hope he enjoys the big fun stuff and the simple every day stuff as much as we do.
We really are so lucky and just love him so very much. Cheers to six months of Owen Ashe, can’t wait to see who you are in six more!
It’s hard to believe our little man is almost a month old – it seems like it has gone so fast and that he has been here forever all at the same time!
Owen was born on September 2nd at 2:31pm. He weighed 7lbs 13oz and was 21″ long – and the question on everyone’s mind – he had some strawberry blonde peach fuzz on his little head. I suppose I might be biased, but I think he arrived perfect in every way.
My labor seems like such a blur now – it lasted somewhere around 18 hours, and was an awesomely intense experience. We were surrounded by an amazing group of supportive women – our doula and midwives were nothing short of angels. They took such great care of all three of us, we couldn’t have imagined anything better. I still can’t quite belive I made it through the whole thing naturally, but I’m so glad and proud that I did.
The best part of delivering in a birth center is that we were home and in our bed that evening. It was kind of surreal to leave the house as just us two, and come home not even 24 hours later as a family of three. Not to mention, I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling of tiny Owen sleeping on my chest the entire first night.
We spent our first few weeks together snuggled in bed, staring at this little human and binge watching Netflix. Our friends and family took such good care of us, making sure our fridge was stocked and our bellies were full. It was pretty fantastic.
Now Ben is back to work and we are settling more into life and our day to day routine. We’ve got a great group of mommy & baby friends to hang with during the week and Owen has been such a trooper during the weekend run around! We’ve managed to get in some errands, a few adventures and even spent yesterday morning gardening! We really are having so much fun!
I am willing time to go as slowly as possible so I can really savor every minute of this newborn time… Even the days when he is a little gremlin, because I know it is so fleeting. I really couldn’t be happier to be this little guys momma.
Have a good week, friends!
It’s hard to believe that today is the start of a whole new DECADE in my life!
I think we all have these arbitrary timelines in our heads of where we think we will be at certain points in time. Married by a one age, kids by another, etc. etc. I used to really stress myself out over silly deadlines, feeling like I was behind the curve if things didn’t play out when I thought they should. During the last few years I’ve realized how ridiculous it is to put so much weight on those “deadlines” and I’ve been doing my best to let go and life play out just the way it is meant to – it’s way more fun that way, after all.
However, turning thirty is one of those big milestones that you can’t help but stop for a second and take stock of where you are, where you’ve been and where you are headed.
Certainly there have been some challenges along the way, losses that I wish I hadn’t experienced, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t be happier with where I am in this very moment.
I am lucky to be married to my very best friend, someone who makes me laugh every day and who goes above and beyond to take care of me and our little family. I am so incredibly thankful for this babe that has been growing in my belly for the last nine months and can hardly wait to meet him. We will be closing on a beautiful home tomorrow, a place that we will bring our baby and watch him grow. Though we live far from my family, we are so fortunate to have access to technology that keeps us all in contact and even more fortunate to have the ability to visit fairly often. We have a wonderful support system in Florida, full of family and friends that I couldn’t imagine life without. And last, but not least, I have a career in an amazing salon that challenges me, supports me and will allow me to balance work and family in the days ahead. Simply put, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
As cliche as it all may sound, I am so very thankful for these first thirty years… I certainly don’t want to rush time, but I can’t wait to see what the next thirty bring. I have a feeling it’s gonna be good.