Tag

Pregnancy

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

Getting My Fix: Stitch Fix Review 12

While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix – As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own. May contain affiliate links.

Hello Friends!

As you may know, I’ve been getting Stitch Fix shipments for a little over a year now. I have had a pretty wonderful experience overall with them and love being surprised every month with cute clothing that they think would look great on me! I found out I was pregnant earlier this year and we are so excited to welcome a baby girl into the world this summer. I am excited to keep getting Stitch Fix shipments while I’m expecting! Did you guys know that Stitch Fix offers Maternity gear? I reviewed my first maternity fix a few weeks ago. I love that they allow me to try on different sizes as my bump grows bigger and bigger without the commitment of purchasing something!  Stitch Fix Maternity  is perfect for getting a few hand selected items to match your style and body type. Take a look at the goods they sent me this month:


1: Just Black- Fleur Maternity Frayed Hem Denim Shorts- ReturnedActually Ashley Blogs: Stitch Fix Maternity Review of the Just Black Fleur Frayed Hem Denim Jean Shorts I asked my stylist to send me some modest short options. My due date is in August so I know I am in for some hot months to come… I really liked the style of these shorts and the length was great. Unfortunately, they were just too snug in the waist area even with the elastic maternity band. It was so tight when I sat down. I know I would end up not wearing them because comfort has become my #1 priority lately!


2: Mismu Maternity- Prisca Maternity Cold Shoulder Knit Top- ReturnedActually Ashley Blogs: Stitch Fix Maternity Review of the Misimu Maternity Cold Shoulder Knit Top with Black and White StripesTo be completely honest with you guys- I hated this top.. I don’t know if it was the material being slightly ribbed and itchy.. the way the stripes accentuated the growing bump (in all the bad ways).. or if it was the fact that I really don’t love cold shoulder tops… either way this one was a firm no from me.


3: Berry Jewelry- Jacoby Fringe Pendant Necklace- ReturnedActually Ashley Blogs: Stitch Fix Maternity Review of the Berry Jewelry Jacoby Fringe Tassel NecklaceI also asked my stylist for some tassel inspired jewelry. I have a few earrings and bracelets with fringe tassels on them, and I have been really loving this trend! I liked the length of this necklace but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pearl center above the fringe. I knew I wouldn’t get that much use out of this one for the price so I sent it back hoping to find something a little more my style next time!


4: Gilli- Gabbiey Knit Maternity Maxi Dress- ReturnedActually Ashley Blogs: Stitch Fix Maternity Review of the Gilli Gabbiey KNit Maternity Maxi DressI love a good maxi dress in the summer, don’t you? They are perfect to combat the summer heat (without having to shave your legs, score!) This dress is a beautiful deep navy color and had a nice detailing on the shoulder and back. I opted to return this baby because the lenght was iffy.. if my bump got any bigger (which it will) it would no longer cover my sandals. Also, it had a cute crochet detail on the back but it did not cover my maternity bras which is a no-go right now.


5: Full Moon- Kassey Pocket Maternity Knit Top- ReturnedI really love most items I get from Full Moon. I feel like you become somewhat attached to certain brands when you use Stitch Fix frequently. Full Moon has been a good brand for me, and I honestly love most items they send from them! I liked this top a lot. It was stretchy and have a ton of give with the elastic sides. It would be great if only it wasn’t summer… I have no need for long sleeves right now. Cooking this baby makes me sweat just thinking about wearing this top in July! 


Are you expecting a little bundle of joy soon? Check out Stitch Fix Maternity to get some tailor made looks for your growing bump! Not expecting? Stitch fix also offers tons of other services including plus sizes and Stitch Fix for men! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see other maternity fashion looks!

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!

Oh Baby! We’re Expecting!

Wow! It has been a while since I’ve been blogging. When I did my last post back in December, I was thinking I’d be signing off for the Holidays.. little did I know what life had in store for us!

After months of trying, countless ovulation tests and a lot of emotions I found out that my body just wasn’t ovulating on a monthly cycle. Finally we made an appointment to see a fertility doctor that can give me medicines to force my body to ovulate every month as it should. At my very first appointment with the fertility doctor to start the treatments, I got some very unexpected news. They told me I was pregnant! We had gotten pregnant on our own and the baby was just a few days old. I called my husband who rushed over to the doctors office. We had a sonogram that day and saw the little bundle of cells that would become our baby.

What a whirl wind experience that day was! A few weeks later we shared our exciting news with our family on Christmas morning and couldn’t be happier. It was so exciting to see my mom and dad’s face as this will be their very first grandbaby! A few sonograms and doctors appointments later we decided to share the news with the rest of our family and friends on Valentine’s Day. My sister-in-law was amazing and came by our house to snap some photos for our announcement while I was 14 weeks along. I am so happy with the results and treasure each and every photo.

I picked up this little chalk board heart in the dollar section of Target. I loved the heart shape as a little ode to our announcement going out on Valentine’s Day! I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the little “Oh Baby!”. If you do not have a Cameo, you can order letters similar to ours from here or here. I used the Cameo again to make the t-shirt transfers of the baby’s due date and the “We can’t wait to meet you!”. It was a simple project but made for some great photos! This Etsy store has a similar pre-made one here.

I made our official announcement with Minted.com. They are so easy to use and I love their designs. I have most of my contacts in their system so they pre-address all of my envelopes for me, which is a life saver! I really am always so happy with the quality using Minted. This is the design for you to create your own!

The first trimester was hard. Harder than I expected.. and I wasn’t even that sick. the thing that got me was how TIRED I was. All of the time, everything just took it out of me. I could barely keep up with work and house chores, let alone have enough stamina to write a few blog posts. There was no creative things happening around my house, and I was in bed by 8:00pm every night.

Now that I am in my second trimester, and feeling more like myself, I am so ready to get back into things! I am so sorry for my long break. Get ready for more house posts, some maternity fashion and baby posts coming your way really soon!

Thank you so much for sticking by me and the blog. We are feeling so blessed and excited for this new journey!

Until Next time,

Ashley

 

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