Growing up with 18 siblings of her own, Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth had lots of firsthand experience caring for children. But when she welcomed her baby boy earlier this year, the new mom realized that some things can only be learned through parenting.
“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, 20, says in a PEOPLE exclusive sneak peek at Monday’s Counting On episode.
“Being a mom is in a lot of ways easier than I thought and then in a lot of ways, harder than I thought. 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,” she shares. “But it’s given me a whole new appreciation for moms out there that have kids.”
On Feb. 23, Joy-Anna gave birth to her baby boy, Gideon, who measured 22 inches long and weighed 10 lbs., 3 oz.
After bringing little Gideon home, new dad Austin Forsyth also learned about the hardships, fears and realities of raising a newborn.
“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,” says Austin, 24. “I think I’m finally coming to the realization that there’s always going to be something for the rest of my life and the rest of his life. I think that’s just part of my job as a dad.”
As the couple approached the birth, Joy-Anna and Austin anticipated that she would be having a home birth. But after being in labor for over 20 hours at home, Joy-Anna’s midwife determined that the baby was breech, and she was rushed to the hospital, where she learned that she needed an emergency C-section.
“I hadn’t really ever changed a diaper before we had Gideon,” Austin admits.
WATCH: Exhausted’ Joy-Anna Duggar ‘Was Just Ready to Get the Baby Here’ During Difficult Labor
“And then with Joy’s C-section and her being kind of bed-ridden, just not really being able to get out of bed much, she probably changed maybe five diapers the first two weeks. So like diaper bootcamp. I got broke in,” he says with a smile.
As Austin tirelessly cared for his wife and newborn son, it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Joy-Anna.
“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. He’s amazing,” she says about Austin. “I haven’t ever seen a guy give so much of himself for his wife.”
Counting On airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on TLC.