Being a parent is a humbling experience that requires constant learning. It’s a journey that’ll bring lots of smiles but also plenty of tears. Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, recently shared how much they’ve learned during their short time on this journey during a recent episode of TLC’s Counting On.
Joy-Anna and Austin welcomed their first child, Gideon Martyn Forsyth, on February 23, 2018. They came to parenting with different levels of experience. While Austin fessed up to never having changed a diaper before his baby boy was born, Joy-Anna had an abundance of experience with kids as the ninth oldest of the 19 Duggar children. She thought that helping raise her own brothers and sisters had her well-prepared for motherhood, but she quickly found that not to be the case.
Now that the couple has had their little guy at home with them for over six months, they’re coming clean about what parenting has taught them.
Joy-Anna and Austin got engaged after a four-month courtship, but the two have known each other since meeting at a homeschooling conference when they were younger.
Like many of the couples in the Duggar family, they made their social media debut upon announcing their engagement.
Joy-Anna and Austin got married on May 26, 2017, after being engaged for two months.
The two enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon in Switzerland. They had three months together to enjoy married life before finding out they were expecting.
Joy-Anna announced her pregnancy on Instagram with this sugary sweet picture. She wrote, “Austin and I are SO thankful to announce that we are parents!! Even before we were married we prayed that God would give us children and we are so blessed that he has given us this baby!”
The couple decided on a home birth for their baby, but their plans changed at the last minute. After 20 hours of labor, it was determined that Joy-Anna would need a C-section.
Gideon Martyn Forsyth made his entrance into the world on February 23, 2018, weighing 10 lbs., 3 oz.
Joy-Anna’s C-section forced Austin to take a crash course in newborn care as she recovered. “Austin really stepped up, especially since I had a C-section, I couldn’t really hardly get up at all by myself, he had to help me up and, I mean, do all the dirty work for me and for the baby,” Joy-Anna recalled on a recent episode of Counting On.
People reports that the early days of parenting came as a bit of a shock to the young couple. “I have to wake Gideon up at least twice a night to feed him to make sure that he’s gaining weight because he’ll just sleep and won’t eat,” Joy-Anna revealed in one clip.
Austin’s biggest shock was similar to that of other new dads. He had to learn how to change diapers, and fast. “With Joy’s C-section and her being kind of bedridden, just not really being able to get out of bed much, she probably changed maybe five diapers the first two weeks,” he explained. “So like diaper boot camp. I got broke in.”
The experience was definitely a whirlwind for Austin and Joy-Anna, but their ability to get through it together was a beautiful test of their love.
Joy-Anna learned a lot and gained an appreciation for the mothers in her life. “Being a mom is in a lot of ways easier than I thought and then in a lot of ways, harder than I thought,” she said. “I knew that my mom had gone through a lot with all of us kids, but I didn’t think it was that hard just because I had always taken care of kids myself. But it’s given me a whole new appreciation for moms out there that have kids.”
Fatherhood has been a wonderful surprise for Austin, as he discussed: “The first week it was, ‘Is the baby breathing?’ I would just lay there and see if I could hear it and multiple times I got out of bed, you know, making sure [he] was breathing.”
We can’t wait to see what other parenting adventures little Gideon takes Joy-Anna and Austin on next!