Poop. That’s what my life has revolved around for the past three weeks.

That, and late-night feedings, wet diapers, napping, and lots and lots of rocking and snuggling.

I became a mom on February 23. It is by far the most fantastic and rewarding thing that has ever happened to me. Before I gave birth, I thought I would be a wreck around a newborn. I was surprised how my maternal instinct and love immediately took over, and things I thought I would be terrible at came to me fairly easily. Yet I had no idea how this tiny little person’s digestive system could rule our whole day. If everything is going accordingly, the day is awesome. There are lots of snuggles and naps, and I feel like I’m a rock star new mom. However, if things aren’t moving along the way they should be, our day is full of crying (sometimes I feel the urge to join in), fighting sleep, spitting up all over his clothes and his parents’, and Brett and I Googling ways to help our little man feel better.

And when he has been awake for over three hours and I can’t seem to find a way to make him feel better, I can’t help but think about how life was easier before we were parents. We were able to sleep in on the weekends, stay up past 9 p.m., watch movies uninterrupted and be able to go to the grocery store without worrying about making sure we have everything packed in the diaper bag and the germs that could be floating around that could infect our precious baby. And the moment I think these thoughts, I feel guilty.

I asked my husband if he ever felt that way, and he nodded his head in agreement. Yet not a moment later, we were discussing our first official outing with our babe and cooing over the latest adorable photo we had taken of him.

Maybe there are parents out there who never feel these moments of weakness or guilt, wondering if they are cut out for this difficult part of life. I’m not one of them. And I’m glad I have these moments, because it makes me look for the instances that make it all worthwhile. Like when he grips my finger so tight and I never want him to let it go. When he snuggles up on my chest and falls asleep, and I cuddle him until he wakes up. When he stares at me so intensely and I can’t help but wonder what his little mind is thinking. The little noises he makes when he eats and sleeps, and the little coo he makes after he sneezes. Even the loud, stinky farts that have me giggling at this tiny boy. Those are the moments that get me through the difficult hours and make me not only fall more in love with this little person, but make me so grateful I get to be his mom.

Ashley Bebensee

Hi! I’m Ashley, a Nebraska girl living in Wyoming. I grew up on a farm in western Nebraska, graduated with a class of 28 and ventured to the middle of the state to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney. It was there I met the love of my life and husband, Brett. He is the most romantic, kind and intelligent person I know. And he makes me belly-laugh (truly the best kind). We have two cats and two dogs that are spoiled rotten. I am a content manager at a weekly newspaper, where I get to spend my days reading, writing, editing and designing a newspaper. British television shows, wine and caramel apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are my guilty pleasure. Shopping with my mom, going to the movies with my husband, long phone conversations with my dad and spoiling my nieces and nephews are just a few of my favorite activities. While I try to plan out all the details of life like the good control freak that I am, God is always throwing in curveballs. And so far, each of those curveballs have given me a bountiful amount of stress and love, adventure and joy, and more blessings than I could have ever imagined.