Take a Nap

Doesn’t rain make you sleepy? Something about rain makes me want a blanket. Finn did too, so we covered him in the adorable blanket that Nana Becky (Joey’s mom) made him.

Listening to the rain beat against the window in the NICU, I was dozing off during skin time with Finn and Joey had slunk down from his chair to the floor and fell asleep on a pile of blankets. I know…pretty gross to lie on a NICU floor. That’s how tired we are. Our nurse startled us as she stated in her outside voice, “Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong; this is an intensive care unit. You cannot set up camp and sleep bedside.” Now, before you call the NICU or threaten to beat any of our nurses up, know that this nurse was a good one…a little forward, but just doing her job.

I had a lactation consultation about a hour later in which the perky little lady (lactation consultants are the perkiest women I’ve ever met) told me that in order to increase my milk supply, I needed to be sure to take frequent naps. Are you kidding? I’m sure moms at home don’t get naps, and I know first-hand that those in the sterile environment of the NICU aren’t even allowed to. I promise I won’t go into detail about breast feeding, but it went much better today. What a special bonding experience!

Joey and I came home to Norman this afternoon to do a little laundry, get the mail and some “rest.” Opening the door, we found the cushions of our couch propped upright and drying. My sweet mom hired us a once-every-other-week housekeeper during this crazy time in our lives, and yesterday she even had our carpets and couches professionally cleaned. It has changed my life. Our housekeeper does an amazing job…a little too amazing…it’s making me lazy. At first I was too prideful to allow someone else to clean my house. I was taught to be incredibly tidy and organized. My grandma even irons underwear, sheets and socks. My mom irons t-shirts you’d sleep in. I’m not nearly as good as they are, but it felt like cheating to let someone else clean for me. After a couple months of this luxury, I’m over that.


  • Head circumference down another .5cm
  • Weight down a little too…they say due to breast feeding
  • Orthopedic surgeon stopped by yesterday at the request of a friend and to examine Finn’s feet and legs. Turns out he doesn’t have clubbed feet; they are planovalgus, or flat and turned outward. He said this may even be due to “tight packaging” inside me and not necessarily due to spina bifida. It may correct itself on its own, so they won’t cast him unless they have to. Praise God!
  • We want out of here! We think Finn will thrive even more at home, but they are predicting early next week. It’s frustrating, as we feel a little like we’re trapped in the system. Thankful for the good care, however.
  • THANK YOU for your prayers and support. We are so humbled by so many of you who’ve reached out. I’m not sure why you care so much, but thankful that you do.

21 thoughts on “Take a Nap

  1. So glad you are getting to breastfeed even during this time in the NICU–what a special bonding time with you and your boy. Praying for rest.

  2. I so pray you know how very precious Finn is to all of us. He is on my mind 24/7. I have even written down comments others have left. God is going to use your journey in such a profound way. I am very blessed to watch it all unfold. Unending prayers for such a precious family / xoxoxoxo / Jane Barrett

  3. Ashley, your words are thoughtful and beautiful. They minister to me in a way I cannot explain. Thank you for putting them down for me to read. I am blessed to be able to pray for you and your wonderful family.


  4. We are glad for each bit of progress Finn makes….we rejoice with you in that. We care because you have cared for us and many others. We are praying and thinking of you all. Thank you for keeping us informed so we will continue to know how to pray.

  5. Your words are like honey everytime I read a post. Even my husband Vince is tuned into your journey of “our invincible summer”. We are both praying for you 3. Always remember we serve a God of miracles and He is already showing you His almighty power. Wonderful news today! God bless you and praise God for naps and housekeepers (and sweet mamas who give you surprises!).

  6. Thank you so much for the updates! Our prayers continue for all 3 of you. So glad you are having time to bond with Finn. Touch is one of the best healing devices we have. Please do take care of yourselves so you will be better able to care for little Finn when you get him home! What a day of rejoicing that will be. We love you.

  7. Napping with your baby boy, how wonderful! I’m so glad to hear breastfeeding went well. Use those LC’s all you can, even if they are a little too “perky”. I think they have to be in order to do their job well. Thank you for your updates!

  8. We are traveling, but still can’t keep from thinking of you and praying for each of you. What a sweet blessing that your mama hired a house cleaner! You so deserve it mama. I love you all so much and we are continuing to pray for each of these needs. Praise God for all that he has already done!! Yahoo for no casts and head circ!!!

  9. Breastfeeding is the best bond ever! So glad that you and Finn get to share the special bond. We pray daily and will continue to do so. Excited to hear about his feet. YaY!!!

  10. Ashley, Joey, & Finn,
    We can’t wait for your next post! We love hearing how you are doing. Know you want to get home and get things back to “normal”. Finn will do awesome because he has such great parents. We already love you all and pray for you!!

    Ed & Lin Copelin & Grandma Vivian (my mom)…Jennifer Copelin’s family

  11. I’m so glad that nursing is going well! It was one of my favorite bonding experiences too. I’ll be praying that you guys get to go home soon, and that you will be able to get some rest. I’m so glad that Finn’s head circumference went down a little more, and that he won’t have to get casts!

  12. I’m glad you finally got to enjoy that special bond of breastfeeding with Finn!…and you are completely correct about us moms at home…we very rarely get to nap…Caleb still wakes me up every 2-3 hrs to feed & he is almost 9 months old! Can’t wait til you get to take that precious boy home! Continuing to pray!

  13. Joey and Ashley , I really love reading your blog, it’s like a good book I just can’t wait to turn the page to see more cute pics of Finn and to here of his amazing progress. God has him in his hand and has given him amazing parents that I am proud to call my cousins! Did I mention how stinking cute lil Finn is… Just so adorable! Hang in guys you will be home before you know it.

  14. So glad prayers are being answered. I know the hospital is uncomfortable but it IS good to be surrounded by knowledgeable people even if they are abrasive. Once you are home all the decisions are up to you and you may wish you were back with the experts.

  15. Ashley, you are part of our “church” family and when one of our family hurts or needs us, we are there that is what family is for. We love you and your sweet little Finn who is so beautiful. We continue to pray and praise God for each little blessing he sends your way. Love, Jose, Jenny, Isabella and Anna

  16. Ashley & Joey,
    I know the Armstrongs from SHBC and remember Joey as an elementary age kiddo! Anyhow I want you to know I have been checking your blog daily & praying daily for your family. I’m always so reluctant to comment, but today I feel the Lord leading. Today, I read your blog post and one of the last things you said was you weren’t sure why so many (especially strangers) care so much to pray or send encouragement. This is what I read in the word this morning: No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12 NIV)
    I felt the Lord saying that this is His way for you to “see” Him day in and day out, the kindness of friends, family & strangers, encouragement from them and offering to pray along side of you…the body of Christ is showing himself to you. God shows himself through grand ways & subtle ways, but we have to open our eyes & heart to see the subtle ways. The subtle ways are just as wonderful as the grand because we opened our eyes & heart and recognized it as Him! God is working here and I have no doubt He is working all things for His glory. Your are supported though the body of Christ.

  17. Joey sent me the link to this yesterday … Finn was lifted up in prayer at seminary chapel services out here in California last night, and he is now on the prayer list at St. John’s, Norman. Know that the prayers will continue. As I pray for Finn’s needs, and Christ’s abiding presence with you, as his parents, I also offer thanksgiving for this precious life, and what God is already doing in and through Finn, and you.

    I offer you this favorite prayer, from the Episcopal tradition:
    This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

  18. Special note to Finn and his parents. Know I want to give you both actually, all three a hug! Ashley, enjoy the housekeeper. Since I have been sick one of my Senior Adults continues to send her housekeeper to my house. It is a great relief and what a blessing. So enjoy. There are bunches of us waiting to do anything at all for you. But most of all you are in my heart and priority in my prayers. During the difficult moments hold on to each other and Him and during the joyful moments still hold to each other and Him. But you know that. Love you Vickie P.S. That baby Finn has to be the most beautiful baby… He is precious.

  19. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
    Read this and thought of you, God grant you strength and rest. I am happy to hear that Finn is progressing and that you will all be home soon. May the joy of parenthood be yours soon (and less of the worry of parenthood that comes with the job).


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