Category

Baby

Monthly Baby Photos- ONE

xBaby Monthly Photos with Stats and InfoAfter sharing our dramatic birth story with you, its hard to believe how quickly our little squirt has grown! The first month flew by… We decided to track Adaline’s first year much like I tracked my pregnancy with monthly photos. My mother-in-law gave us these super cute stickers that are so easy to toss onto a plain white onesie. I then uploaded the photo into PicMonkey and then added some of her likes, dislikes, firsts and stats. I imagine in ten years it will be fun to be able to look back at what each month was like with her. Baby milestones are a great memory. I like having the photos to help me remember them!

Did you do monthly photos with your little one? I love to see the different take on it! Leave me a comment and share how you took on the monthly baby photo trend!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Adaline’s Birth Story

Adaline-Birth-Photo-Actually-Ashley-WhiteElmBrian and I are so happy to announce the birth of our precious little girl, Adaline Elizabeth Sicher. She was born at 10:52am on Saturday July 8th, weighing 7lbs 3oz and 19 1/2″ long. I might be slightly biased but she is simply the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen. While we couldn’t be more in love with this little nugget, I find it hard to share our happy news without reliving the last month that has gotten us here.

After a month of unrelentless itching in my hands and feet, I was diagnosed with Chloestasis of Pregnancy on June 26 at 34 weeks. Chloestasis affects the bile acid levels in my liver, causing them to back up in my blood. This back up causes the most intense itching you could ever imagine all over but mine made its home in my hands, legs and feet. This back up then can be transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord. The elevated bile acid levels cause stress to the babies liver and can result in fetal distress and stillbirth after 37 weeks.

I was admitted to the hospital that day. Countless nights in the hospital, three OBGYNS, two sonograms and one high risk specialty OBGYN later, we were set to plan an early delivery at 36 weeks and 4 days. I hung out in the hospital with constant fetal monitoring that last Friday. Our poor baby didn’t pass her non-stress test and wasn’t moving very well. Our team of doctors decided for me to be immediately induced into labor.

After a whirl wind of 23 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, our little premie was born. We feel so lucky that she only had to spend the mandatory minimum of 6 hours in the NICU before being allowed to be with us. She spent 5 days in the postpartum unit before being transferred to pediatrics for another 3 days. Other than nice case of Jaundice that had to be treated with the photo light therapy, Adaline is a happy and healthy little girl.

The last month of pregnancy has probably been the most stressful, nerve racking experience of my life. We were faced with tons of scary information, lots of decisions and stressful unknowns. I could not be more thankful for the endless love and support from our friends and family.

Knowledge is power and hopefully by sharing our birth story we can help save a baby from a very scary disease. My doctor didn’t address my itching for over a month, and simply put me on a low dose allergy medicine. You must advocate for yourself- no one else will. Do not let your instincts be brushed aside. I did tons of research trying to figure out what was wrong with my body. I demanded my doctor take my symptoms seriously. If you experience intense itching in your hands and feet, especially at night while you’re pregnant please bring it up to your doctor. I can’t imagine what could have happened if I waited any longer to fight for myself and Adaline. We came so close to a very different outcome.

If you would like more information about Chloestasis check out:

http://www.icpcare.org/

Also a giant ‘THANK YOU’ to Natalie from White Elm Photography. Natalie is so talented and captured the days after Adaline arrived perfectly with her Fresh 48 photos! If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area, I couldn’t say enough good things about her! Fresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsFresh 48 newborn birth photos by White Elm Photography by Actually Ashley BlogsA special thank you to the entire labor and delivery team at Genesis Healthcare. I felt like I got to know each and every one of you during my month long stay with you guys. I’m not sure we would have made it through our journey without your love and care. Room 2156 almost felt like home after a while!  Check out more of White Elm’s photography with my Pink Blush Maternity photos and the GE Maternity giveaway!

We feel so lucky to have a wonderful little girl in our lives. Welcome to the world, little Adaline!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Weekly Baby Bump Photos

Weekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley Blogs

Way back in February I shared the happy news that we were expecting! After a long journey to become pregnant, we couldn’t be happier to welcome our little girl into the world. Pregnancy is such an amazing thing. It is crazy to me that my body can create a life, do so much hard work. It truly is amazing to me. I wanted to document my pregnancy and see how my body would change over the weeks. I shared the photos of the first half of my pregnancy a few weeks ago. We started at 10 weeks. I decided to use a chalkboard to keep it simple. I used my Cameo Silhouette for the ‘background’ to avoid it rubbing off and having to start over each week. I also decided to wear the same dress  every week to make it easy to see how my bump grew and my body changed. It was a great $20 steal from TJ Maxx!

Tip- If you’re looking for a dress to document your own pregnancy journey, look for a stretchy material. I also went with a long dress so the length would not become an issue as my belly expended! I changed up my shoes and jewelry each week to keep it interesting! Weekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley BlogsWeekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley BlogsWeekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley BlogsWeekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley Blogs

What a difference! I can not believe how big my belly grew. It is so crazy to see the progression from week to week. Unfortunately, we had some complications at the end of my pregnancy and I was in the hospital for weeks 34 & 35, but that is a whole other blog post. I delivered a healthy baby girl when I would have been taking my week 36 photo! We feel so lucky to have taken this journey and I am so happy to have the belly photos to look back on. If you’re pregnant I really recommend doing bump photos! Don’t worry if you’re farther along- I started at 10 weeks- but anytime is good to start! I also hear the feedback that the bump photos are a lot to manage. I completely admit that the larger I got- the more I dreaded doing them. It felt like a chore to get my hair and makeup done, find the dress at the bottom of my never-ending laundry pile, con my husband to taking the photo again… it started to become a little taxing. If it seems like too much, maybe do a photo every other week or even once a month! Looking back I am so happy we stuck with it and did them! Look at this side-by-side from week 10 to week 33- crazy!

Weekly baby bump photos using chalkboard by Actually Ashley BlogsWant to see more baby bump photos? Check out my collaboration with GE Maternity clothing line, my first Stitch Fix Maternity delivery or these fun outfits sponsored by Shop Pink Blush Maternity. Thanks for reading- happy bumping!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Shop Pink Blush + $75 Gift Card Giveaway

While this post is sponsored by Pink Blush Maternity– As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own. Also a special THANK YOU to White Elm Photography for the wonderful photographs featured in this post!

Good Morning Lovies!

I am so excited to share a wonderful company with you today. Pink Blush offers some of the most adorable maternity clothes. I ordered a beautiful floral print maxi dress to wear for Easter, and when it arrived, I was head-over-heels in love with it! One of my biggest things lately have been maternity clothes that can grow with my bump, then transition into non-maternity later on. Versatility is key in the land of motherhood and Pink Blush has made it easier than ever to create a staple wardrobe with styles that can be worn during pregnancy into motherhood. I love that this dress has a wrapped waist. It allows for easy breast feeding once our little one arrives, but also is great for later down the road too!

After swooning over my new dress in a Monday Morning Coffee Post, Pink Blush reached out to me asking if I’d like to try out another beautiful dress. I really like the products they sell and shopped there on my own first- so I could not say “yes!” fast enough. Pink Blush sent me this cute maternity dress. I love how it is fitted to show off the baby bump in all the right ways. It is such a beautiful shade of saturated pink. I am planning on wearing it to my baby shower coming up next month in May.

White Elm Photography did such a great job with these maternity photos, don’t you agree? If you’re in the Central Ohio area give Natalie a call and tell her I said “Hi!”. She is also helping me with some fresh 48 hospital photos and our newborn shoot once baby arrives. You’ll be seeing some more of her amazing work soon enough!

Now for the GIVEAWAY! Pink Blush was also so nice to offer a $75.00 gift card to one of my readers to try out some amazing clothing for themselves! Here are a few of my favorite items they have in their shop right now as inspiration on how to spend that gift card! Scroll down to enter the contest!

Mint Green Maternity Dress // Navy Blue and Lace Delivery Robe // White Floral Maternity Dress

Blue Distressed Skinny Jeans // Peach Chiffon Kimono // Pink Draped Front Nursing Top

They have a little something for everyone with plenty of styles and colors to pick from. What items would you buy with $75?! Let me know and enter below to win a $75.00 gift card to Shop Pink Blush.

Win a $75 gift card to Pink Blush

Thanks so much for tuning in! I can’t wait to see what items you love too! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Facebook to get more chances to win!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Thanks again to PinkBlush and White Elm Photography for their help bringing you this post! Please be sure to note some of the contest rules:  If you’ve already won a PinkBlush giveaway with 6 months, you will not be eligible to win. Winners must wait 3 months before they are eligible to enter to win another PinkBlush giveaway again. Good Luck!

Soft and Sweet Blush Pink Nursery Plans

This post may contain affiliate links that help to support and run this blog. All opinions and selections were made on my own.

Baby Girl is on her way and we could not be more excited to meet her. I’ve been feeling lots of kicks and flutters. It really makes it feel more real to feel her. I am quickly realizing that I am more than halfway through with my pregnancy. Its crazy to me that she will be here this summer. It is so exciting to look forward to the amazing changes coming our way.

I’ve been designing away at her nursery plans. I want a nursery that is soft and feminine, but also feels like it belongs with the rest of our home. I wanted a color pallet of white, blush and tiny pops of green. I took to Pinterest to help find some inspiration. Source

I really love the soft colors of this beautiful playroom. The room is mostly white with the soft blush colors pulled throughout. I love how they added the tiny little bits of green in the floral. This space represents the colors I want to achieve in the design perfectly!

Source

This nursery is so wonderful in so many ways. I love how she uses layers of white tones in different textures to create interest. I also adore the antique rug she selected for the room. I want to use one in our nursery, something that can hide stains but is soft for crawling and playing.

Source

This is a really sweet space. I really like how they kept the room very kid friendly but also made it feel sophisticated. In the first year, I will be spending a lot of time in the nursery and I’d like it to be a space that I can enjoy and relax in as well. I think this feeling is reflected in this nursery.

With my inspiration in hand, I started to compile my own nursery plans. I am registered with Amazon.com and Babies-R-Us. I looked through their options and registered for a lot of items needed (even the drapery, sheets, and accessories for the bookcase) It would be great to get some of the items from my loved ones. I kept the larger items really neutral and white and added color with some smaller accessories. The only large item that has color is that beautiful area rug. I already ordered it, and I love it. It has a lot of different pink tones and little pops of greens and yellows. It will really grow with our baby into childhood (and here’s to hoping the pattern hides some abuse too!)

Sources:

Beaded Chandelier // Grey Crib // Rose Crib Sheet // Buffalo Plaid Crib Sheet // Crib Skirt // DIY Clothing Art // Pom Pom Sheer Drapery // Cream Glider // Pink Pom Pom Pillow // DIY Tree Stump // Florals  // Pink Area Rug // Wire Hamper // White Dresser // Wood Name Art // Rose Changing Pad // Bookcase // Love Grows Here Art // Wooden Toy // Plush Unicorn // Pom Pom Basket // DIY Bow Holder // DIY Book Holder

So, what do you think? I am so excited to get going with this project! We have already ordered a few items like the crib, rug and chandelier. My mom purchased the cream glider for us from my babies-R-Us registry (thank you!!) Additionally, we will have a few DIY projects to tackle.

  • Add Shiplap to Walls
  • Make DIY Hair Bow Holder
  • Make Tree Stump Side Table
  • Change Out Chandelier
  • Make Book Holder

I am really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out! Be sure to check into Instagram to see progress updates!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Great Expectations Maternity + Giveaway!

While this post is sponsored by Great Expectations Maternity– As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own. Also a special THANK YOU to White Elm Photography for the wonderful photographs featured in this post!

The bigger my baby bump gets, the more I value my more comfortable maternity essentials. While it is nice to get all dolled up and go out for a date night my the hubby- its not how I’m living day-by-day. Working from home my sofa means I can get away with some yoga pants and a t-shirt almost any day of the week. But with my bump getting larger every week, my old staples are not fitting the bill- literally. I needed some super comfortable maternity clothing.

I found this amazing company called Great Expectations Maternity. You might know them for their helpful book series that has helped thousands of expecting moms-to-be from all of the world get information about babies development, nutrition and what to expect while carrying your bundle of joy.

Great Expectations has teamed up with Walmart to help even more expectant mothers. They are offering seriously comfortable maternity wear at seriously affordable prices. I’m talking jeans for under twenty dollars here people!

Chambray Top // White Maternity Pants // Similar White Wedges

Can you believe this cute chambray maternity top is less than $15.00?! Like seriously, its only $15.00. I love how it fits on my body, with a more modest neckline. The tie waist defines my baby bump so I’m not drowning in fabric. This top has been great to toss on with leggings and run to the grocery store. It has become a quick staple in my maternity closet this spring!Black Maternity Yoga Pants // Similar Maternity T-shirt

I have been living in these maternity yoga pants. They are made of sturdy but stretchy fabric that doesn’t become see-through when you bend over. Nobody likes that! I love that they have a large roll down waist band so you can adjust the fit as the baby grows. While they suggest buying your “pre-pregnancy” size; I wish I went up a size. I am wearing a small, but with my long legs and frequent washing (not kidding about living in these pants)- I want them to be a smidge longer. But, for just $14.00 I’m going to scoop up a few more pairs of these. I imagine they will be great in the first few months after the baby is born too!Black Maternity Tank Top Dress // Similar Jean Jacket

This is an amazing deal. This black maternity tank dress has the sweetest keyhole detail on the back and fits like a dream. Did I mention it is $12.79… RIGHT? This dress is so simple that it makes it super easy to style in so many different ways. Toss on a jean jacket and sneakers one day- layer on a printed t-shirt and sandals the next to create a completely different look! I am planning on wearing this dress through most of the summer! Check out some more amazing items from GE Maternity:

Grey T-Shirt Maternity Dress // Salmon Lace Detail Cap Sleeve Blouse // Short Sleeve Graphic T-Shirt

Now, without further adieu… a giveaway! Enter below to win a custom GE Maternity Book package featuring their Great Expectations: Pregnancy & Childbirth guide and Great Expectations: Pregnancy Journal & Planner, Revised Edition! These books have been such a great resource for me while I expect my first baby. They have detailed week-by-week development guides, food safety information, tips for the gear you’ll really need, and even help with getting genetic testing.  The pregnancy journal has a cute week to week note section to write down your crazy pregnancy dreams, track babies activity and also a space to keep up with your medical records while pregnant.

GE Maternity Book Giveaway

I have to give some major love to White Elm Photography. She is so amazing.  If you’re in the Central Ohio area give Natalie a call and tell her I said “Hi!”. She does some amazing newborn photography too, so check her out! Thanks so much for tuning in! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Facebook to get more chances to win!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Thanks again to GE Maternity and White Elm Photography for their help bringing you this post! Please be sure to note some of the contest rules: You must have a valid address within the United States or Canada to enter. Winner will be contacted via email to have the book set sent directly to them. Please enter a valid email address to win. Good luck!

 

Baby Bump- Weekly Maternity Photos

Wow, I feel like time has flown by with this pregnancy. It is so hard to believe that I am more than half way there! I really wanted to be able to look back at my first time becoming a mother, and wanted to find a way to document it. I love seeing how big my bump (and baby!) have grown every week and am so happy I got up the energy to do this! No joke, pregnant people are TIRED. #growingahuman

I picked up a large chalkboard from my local craft store. I used my Cameo cutter to design and but out vinyl stickers for the “base”. I knew there was no way that stuff was staying intact for 40 weeks so the vinyl has been great! Every week I simply erase the week, baby size and cravings and replace them with this weeks information. Keeping it simple is a great way to actually do it every week!

I grabbed this simple non-maternity dress for $10 at TJ-Maxx. It was super stretchy and long to accommodate all the stages of my pregnancy. I think having the same clothing on for each week makes it easier to see the changes in my body week-to-week. I change up my shoes and accessories based on my mood… hair and make up also shows my “feeling great” weeks from my “I need a nap” weeks! Its actually funny to look back now at my nap weeks!

If I could go back to our first week, week 10, I would change a few things. I wish I had a space for new things, or firsts. It would have been even better to see the first time I could feel her kick, or remember what weeks we had a sonogram done. I am happy I wrote out the week we found out the sex, it was very exciting to know! My mom mailed me that tiny tu-tu the second we told her it was a girl. Its so amazing to see the photo and be reminded of how much she is already loved!

Well, I’m only half way there with a lot of weeks to go. I’ll be sure to share the last half of the journey with you in a few months!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

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