0 Virginia Claire Woolsey


Monday, November 2, 2015

The amount of time it took for me to remember my log in information for this puppy is slightly embarrassing. Crazy that two short posts ago I was logged in and writing about the birth of my second child and now I'm back less than two years later to write about the birth of our third little Woolsey baby. THREE BABIES.... thats INSANE.

Lets start with a brief history

We didn't find out about this pregnancy until I was around 13 weeks ... I know, crazy. I was still nursing Holden and had yet to get back on my regular cycle so I had no way of knowing. It wasn't until I had one random day where I didnt feel good that I decided to take a test just in case. And what would you know, it was a big fat positive. After confirming it with my Dr. with an ultrasound and finding out that I was not only pregnant but three months pregnant reality started to set in that in 7 short months(ish) we would be adding yet another baby to this crazy family.

My pregnancy FLEW by. Maybe because I missed an entire trimester. Maybe because it took place during the summer and the summer always goes by quick but either way before I knew it it was October and we were counting down to the big day.

At my last two appointments I was 4cm dilated with about 80% effacement. My Drs kept assuring me that I wouldn't need an induction this time around which was a major goal of mine. At my last visit my Dr. told me to call when my contractions were timing around 8-10 min apart because of how quickly my labor progressed with Holden after my water broke. We weren't really trying to have a car baby. Tuesday night I was having pretty regular contractions and they were definitely strong enough to make sure that I wouldn't be getting any sleep. But I still didn't feel like this was 'it' so I took a bath and waited to see what happened. I texted my birth photographer just to keep her posted but I didnt bother letting anyone else know yet. I had never gone into labor on my own and I didn't really know what I was looking for but I really didn't want to tell everyone that this might be it and then have nothing happen so I waited. And then around 3 Am they all but went away and I was left exhausted and babyless.

Then all of Wednesday I was cramping up on and off and having my bloody show (I KNOW I KNOW IM SORRY) its like .... could you maybe think of something slightly less repulsive to describe what's going on down there? anything? Sorry. Moving on. Come Wednesday night the contractions returned and because it was the second night in a row mixed with the occurrences of earlier in the day, I called my Dr. While I waited for her to call back I went downstairs and packed Peytons lunch for the morning and made sure that in case it was 'it' I had everything ready for the wonderful people that would be taking care of our older babies. My Dr. called back and she said to go ahead and come in to be checked because better safe then car baby. Thats what I always say. So I got Mikey up and called my amazing second mom and we packed our things and headed to the hospital.

We checked in triage and I was still at a 4 (sigh) but because of the contractions they had me walk around for a while and said that after a few hours if I had any progression they would check me in. After a loop around the Labor and Delivery unit I laid back down and waited a few hours to be checked again. I progressed half a centimeter. Not a whole lot but enough for them to admit me. And that was that. This baby was coming.

We checked into the labor and delivery room and got settled and my Dr. came to talk about options. She suggested that we break my water to get things rolling and I agreed.

So waters were broken and just like that there was no turning back now!

I called my birth photographer and she made her way over. Not only was she there to capture this life changing time, but she made great company. She helped me get through those early contractions and kept me laughing and distracted.

But then those early contractions turned a little more intense. I moved myself to the labor ball and Mikey found his spot on the edge of the bed to hold my hand. I may or may not have come very close to breaking his fingers a few times, but he was sweet enough to not complain.

Up until a certain point this labor, while not quite as fast, was so similar to Holden's. I pushed through the contractions (this time with a little less cursing) until I reached a point where my body was telling me 'it's almost time.' And then I tried relaying that message to whoever would listen. The tears began to flow and I said 'I need my Dr!' a lot like how when your sick and you need your mom. Unlike Holden's labor where my amazing nurse was there for me the entire time, this nurse was very absent though the thick of it. I know she was out doing her job and probably tending to other patients and it wasn't her fault, but I felt a little neglected. And when I was at a point where I was in so much pain and I knew things would be happening soon I made Mikey go out and try to find someone. It was almost 2 oclock and I hadn't been checked since 7:45. They said they would page my nurse who would call my Dr. Eventually my nurse came in and I told her I needed my Dr and that this baby neeeded to come out and she said that she was in the OR and would be there as soon as she could. My nurse went ahead and checked my progress and I was an 8 and that I couldnt push yet and then she had another nurse come in a give a second opinion. She also said 8. With Holden I was at and 8 too when I had this 'THIS IS IT GET THIS BABY OUT' feeling and my nurse called my Dr and my dr said that I could start with some small pushes if I wanted to and I did and those small pushed turned into big ones and Holden was born two min. later. but this time it was like no one would listen to me. I wasnt allowed to push and that's all that I wanted to do. So I went back to the birthing ball and my nurse basically said I wasn't allowed to be there because the baby was too low and she couldn't pick up her heart rate.

That effing heart rate monitor. It was literally the only time she came in to check on me when that damn thing would lose the beat. I get it, its your job. you're concerned about the baby and that's obviously important, but all I wanted to do was rip that thing off and throw it far away. That and all of those freaking wires. All of them!

So yeah. I was no longer allowed on the ball and if I wasn't allowed to have the baby all I wanted to do was be on that ball. I begged and pleaded but it got me no where. I asked for an epidural then. If they weren't going to let me do what I knew my body needed to do then I was going to need drugs. But I also think I knew in my heart that it wasn't going to be there in time. And it turns out that my platelet counts were low when they drew my blood earlier and they were having issues ordering one. Mikey said they were going to have him sign a consent form that he said he wasn't going to sign. I would have killed him I think. But it didn't matter. They moved me to the bed and instantly my contractions become SO MUCH WORSE and then I was told I couldn't even sit up that I had to lay down and literally nothing seemed worse. She claimed the baby's heart beat was dropping and that I needed oxygen and they were almost holding me down because my god the pain!! But even through the screams and begging and my insistence that I knew this baby not only wanted to be born but NEEDED to be born no one would listen. I felt so defeated. I told Mikey at one point that I was dying. Not that it felt like I was dying, but that I was actually dying. I just wanted to give up.

And then the need to push was so strong that I was like 'IM SORRY I CANT NOT PUSH' like I just couldn't and they had one more nurse come check me. She said I was still and 8 and then while she was still checking my cervix she felt it disappear and with in literally seconds I was fully dilated. I had never wanted to kiss someone more in my life. My Dr. was still in the operating room and so all of a sudden about 10 nurses swarmed in and got the bed ready and I started to push. And it was the best worst feeling ever. And then through all of the pain it was gone and my baby was on my chest and I could breathe. There is no way to describe the relief you feel after the pain is gone. Nothing. It's so amazing.

Now I had my baby and even though they were still poking and prodding and I was delivering the placenta it was OK. everything was OK. I didn't die. I didn't. And I had my baby.

You guys it was so hard. So much harder than Holden's birth. And it really took a toll on my body and mind. But it was so worth it. Natural child birth is unexplainable. It really is. You hate yourself for taking that route while its happening and then when it's over you feel empowered and relieved and strong and basically like you can do anything.

I was able to bond with her for a while before they took her aside to weigh and clean up. And then they handed her back to me and we nursed and bonded some more and then my two big tiny people came in with my parents and they met their new sister. And I had all three of my babies together and it was perfect.

And now its over. I can't believe it's all over! And we have this third little perfect life inhabiting our home and our hearts. Thank you for all the support and love and well wishes. We couldn't be happier

Welcome to the world Virginia Claire 9lbs 2oz and 20 3/4 in of perfect baby goodness.

0 Why So Offended? hashtag normalizeit


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

So here's the thing. We, as a society, market to the people using sex. Tell me we don't. Isn't there a saying 'sex sells' ? (That's a rhetorical question because I'm sure we are all very aware of that phrase) from shampoo, to cars, to freaking yogurt. (Hey John Stamos I'm talking to you)  We use sex, sex appeal, the promise of getting sex, to sell these products. And it's not offensive. It's just life. We are so used to seeing tan, skinny, oiled up, models walking across the tv screen in nothing but dental floss and pasties that we hardly notice it any more. Every HBO series is basically a really in depth porno. With dragons. And that's cool. It's a human body. Iv seen them with out clothes. I have one. Iv seen it naked a few times in the past 25 years. It's not that insane. 

But WOAH! Whatttt?!? Excuse me ma'am! Are you FEEDING your child with your BREAST.... In PUBLIC?!? What the actual inappropriate fuck?! 

Why is this a thing? Why are countless social media accounts being deleted for posting pictures of breast feeding? Why are pictures being reported for showing the beauty of a fourth trimester body? Why is my 'popular' page constantly covered in half naked women posing sexy for the camera, but strong, beautiful, confidant, women (whom I CHOSE to follow) are being punished left and right for embracing motherhood? Why?? 

I'm not going to sit here and list all of the reasons why asking a breastfeeding mom to cover up is dumb, there are several great posts out there already covering the subject. 

Im just here to ask why. To those of you who are so offended by something as natural as a woman feeding her child with her body, why? 
This is quite literally what our bodies were made for. To carry and birth babies, and nourish them. 

Why are you offended? Im offended that #normalizeit is a hashtag. Are you honestly telling me something that has been done LITERALLY actually since the beginning of time still isnt considered normal???? How long does it take for something to become normal?

If you have faith in a higher power, then God (or god, or gods, or your god) created you, and every other mammal out there, in a way so that you could feed and care for your child with nothing but your body from the moment they were conceived. (Or something like that, I didn't read the bible) 

Do you think Mary went to CVS and bought formula for baby Jesus? Again, I didn't read the bible, but Im pretty sure she didn't.

If you are more of a science based person then  mammals  evolved to produce milk from their bodies in order to nourish their young until they were old enough to sustain themselves. To keep the world turning. To continue on with life. (Or something like that. I'm not a scientist)

It's the most natural thing a mother can do for her child. 

But why is it necessary to post pictures of it all over the web? one might ask.

Just as some people found Rihanna's see through crystal fashion statement beautiful, some people find nursing beautiful. The eye contact your sweet baby makes with you while he's happily filling his belly is priceless.  And it's a look and a moment you want to remember, as children grow so fast and these precious times will soon be behind you. And believe it or not, other people out there may also find it beautiful. 

But you aren't one of those people you say? That's ok! The best part of social media is that you have full reign over who you chose to follow. I suggest steering clear of the mommy scene if breast feeding offends you. Instead of flagging a picture for being offensive maybe click the Unfollow button instead? 

When these accounts get deleted these people are losing years worth of memories, comments, relationships they have worked so hard to  build. These pictures are just as much for them as they are for their community. Being a mom is hard. So freaking hard. And when you find women brave, and strong, and confidant enough to post about their struggles and triumphs with nursing, and their postpartum bodies,  It's heartbreaking to see them being called offensive or inappropriate. 
So maybe try to remember that the next time you feel like flagging a photo. Just unfollow them and lets all just move on with our day. 

Im trying my best not to attack the other side here, because that doesn't really get you anywhere. But in my closing statement I will say that if you are sexualizing nursing and children in their skivvies, and you find women embracing their bodies after creating tiny human lives inappropriate, then breastfeeding really isn't the issue here. And maybe you need to reevaluate your way of thinking. 

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Ashley Out. 

*mic drop*

0 Holden James: a baby story


Friday, March 7, 2014

I obviously threw in the towel on blogging a while ago. I tried to deny it and come back time and time again but life kept getting in the way. I hope that maybe one day I can have a blog again, and I can stick to it, and it can be my happy place like it once was before, but for now like Khloe and Lam Lam, its just not working out.

I did however come back for a brief moment to write down the birth story of the newest little Woolsey member. Mostly for myself. So I wouldn't forget the details somewhere down the line. And if you chose to read it, thats cool too.

If you follow me on instagram, or are my friend on facebook, or we know eachother in the real world, then you're probably well aware that my little man was late to the party. He thought my uterus was the bees knees. He wasnt ever coming out. I can't say I really blame him. I mean it has been snowing a crap ton lately. Also things like war and Justin Bieber exist out here. It's intense.

So 40 weeks came and went and I had been stuck at a solid 1 1/2 cm for the past 3 weeks. After a few sweeps of my membranes I was finally at 4 cm and his head was low, like real low. PROGRESS. It was so nice to hear. That was on a Friday. I kept saying to myself 'its going to happen this weekend. this is it!' but then the weekend came and went and I was still very much pregnant. At this point my dad said he wasn't convinced and I must have just eaten too many burgers in the past 9 months or something. I was starting to think he had a point.

I had an induction scheduled for Monday the 24 at 9pm. I was really hoping to avoid induction this time around, wanting to do this thing as natural as possible. But my Dr was adamant about me being induced at some point during this week and my parents were heading to Delaware for a few days and offered to bring Peyton with them. I figured I may as well stick with the Monday night induction so that I wasnt putting too many people out by having to help out with our baby girl. At my appointment that afternoon I was still at 4 but that was a good start. My Dr said she hoped that meant this labor would move fast. It being my second and all. uh Chayeah.

I went home, double checked my bags, packed Peyton up, and bounced my heart out on a birthing ball still hoping that maybe this kid would come on his own. Mikey came home and we spent a few more hours together as a family of three before dropping P off at my sisters and heading to the hospital to have this baby. I was actually going to have this baby. It was crazy. One way or another this little man would be here soon.

We parked the car and headed in. Passing a large group of pregnant woman and their men on a hospital tour. They stopped talking and parted the way for Mikey and I to walk through and got really quiet and wished us luck. All I could think was 'kill me now.' I mean who has a hospital tour on Monday at 9pm? After stopping at about 12 different desks to ask if this is where we check in and thinking we probably should have taken the hospital tour, we finally reached our destination. We checked in and got situated in our room. My dr decided that because I was already at 4cm we would wait until the morning to start the pitocin. Why I had to come in that night is beyond me. Mikey was good with it though he kept saying he was on vacation. Riggghhttt.

vacation ^^^

After a very restful night of being hooked up to monitors and Ivs and having to constantly get up to pee it was finally morning and I was ready to get this show on the road. Because come on it had been like 15 months and I was so ready to meet this little guy. I was able to eat breakfast and then we started the pitocin drip. After 8 hours of being on that and having regular, but very manageable, contractions I was checked and alas, 4 cm. FAACCCKKK. We turned the pictocin off and decided to take a different route. I took a shower and ate some dinner and we moved to phase two.

At around 9 that night (if you are counting I have now been in the hospital for 24 hours and made all of zero progress) my Dr inserted cytotec into my whooha. (For those of you unfamiliar with the birthing process, there are no boundaries and no shame and the whole of the labor and delivery floor will have seen you naked at one point or another during your stay) I was told that it would take a few hours to kick in but this should soften my cervix and help to dilate me. A few hours later I was contracting again but still nothing unbearable. We did another half dose of the cytotec. It was a long night of 'eshh these contractions are uncomfortable enough to keep me awake all night but not strong enough for me to think that I will actually be birthing a child any time soon.'

Its now around 7:45 the morning of the 26th (34hr 45 min) Mikey and I were having a conversation, probably something along the lines of 'no I feel totally fine and in fact my contractions have all but stopped and I should probably just go home...' when all of a sudden the baby made a sudden jerk and I felt and heard a loud 'pop!' Not totally sure but I think my water just broke.... but where was the water? Was that my water? I dont know but it kind of hurt. Just then my Dr came in to check me... almost... drum roll please... 5!!!!!! Are you actually kidding me? I have been here for 35 hours, poked and prodded and drugged and I have only progressed almost 1 cm?!?!@)(#**@(!*#!@*(@&#!!@(@)!!!!

"would you like me to break your water?"

"does a bear sh#t in the woods?!?"

ok I didnt say those exact words but you know...

She went ahead and was going to break my water come to find it was already broken, well would you look at that. Gushhhhhh there it went.

And just like that my labor took off. (Down a dark a fiery road to hell)

My nurse, who I absolutely loved in every way, was told that I was *attempting* an epidural free birth. I went in there saying I would try it but I would also not be hard on myself if things didnt go my way. After all I was being induced and that almost certainly means a longer labor. But she was so supportive and let me know no matter what she was there and I could do this. Mikey thought I was insane but he kept his words to himself and supported my decisions no matter how crazy they seemed. crrraazzzyyy.

After my water broke things escalated rather quickly. My contractions went from a barely there to good God I have never felt this much pain in my life before what was I thinking?!? In a matter of minutes. My nurse got me a birthing ball which helped SO much and Mikey rubbed my back through every contraction. I just sat there and screamed things like "FUCK ME" and "THIS FUCKING HURTS" and "SHHHIITTTT" Im pretty sure I scared the entire labor and delivery floor into having epidurals immediately administered to them. I was loud. Like really really loud. And I think the door was open.

Then there was this moment where I had two INTENSE contractions in a row and I remember saying as the second one started to take off 'oh no no no no im not ready for another one!!' and bursting into tears and then I screamed 'HE NEEDS TO COME OUT NOW!!!!!' My nurse reminded me that it hadnt been very long and I was only at 5cm and it probably wasn't time to push but I assured her that "HE NEEDS TO COME OUT HE HAS TO COME OUT!' so she called the Dr in and while we waited she checked me and I was at an 8... only an 8. I couldnt push. But thats all I wanted to do. No I literally needed to. It felt like my body was ripping me apart from the inside out. She asked me if I wanted an epidural and assured me that it's ok If I got one. I had come so far and done so well and it was ok. And I said 'YES GET ME THE DRUGS!' Not exactly that but like YES YES I WANT IT! anything to take the pain away. You know that scene from knocked up? That was me.

But because I was only at an 8 she called in the anaesthesiologist and he arrived at the same time my Dr did. She checked me again and I was at 9. 9...not 10. Would I ever be at 10?! At this point I was running any and every scenario through my head as to avoid having to feel any more pain. They could just cut him out right? RIGHT?! Because seriously 'HE NEEDS TO COME OUT NOW!!!' But she told me I could start to do some little pushes if I wanted to. And I wanted to. So I did. So the anaesthesiologist slid out and said 'ill jut be out here...' (you crazy crazy really loud lady) But my little pushes turned into big pushes and I wasnt stopping until he was out. They were all telling me how great I was doing and to look because he was almost there and I wanted to kill them all because my eyes were glued shut while I screamed at the top of my lungs and pushed that baby out with all that I had.

Two minutes later at 9:08 am (36 hours and 8 minutes) on February 26th Holden James Woolsey was born. I think Mikey and I were both a little shaken up. It all went so fast. My body couldnt stop shaking. But I had him. All 8.9 lbs of him. And the pain stopped. And I could breathe again. And everything was ok.

I have people saying why in the world would you chose to not have an epidural?! And honestly I just simply wanted to see if I could do it. Its literally what our bodies were made to do and I wanted to experience real, true, raw, child birth. I in no way want to be patted on the back for it, or told Im some kind of super woman, because Im not, although you kind of do feel a little bit super after surviving that. It was 100% for me. And I did it. But in the end all that matters is that I have this sweet little boy in my arms and that he is healthy and perfect.

I wanted to write out my birth with Holden so that I could be sure to remind my future self exactly how it felt. They say a woman forgets the pain after a while and that is why she goes back to have more babies. And even after a week Iv already found myself being like 'it wasn't all that bad' and then immediately im all 'shut up Ashley dont be dumb. You thought you were literally going to die.' As I was being wheeled to my post delivery room I told Mikey and my nurse I wanted to do it, and I did it, but I think one time is enough for me. But never say never right? Right......


So far Holden has been nothing short of amazing. He sleeps a lot and eats a lot so he fits right in with this family. We literally could not love him more. His big sister is smitten and she has been such a huge help this past week. We are so grateful and lucky and happy that he finally decided to join us out here in the real world. Welcome home Holden we love you! 

0 Nursery Inspiration


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

I started this board before I knew what we were having. I did know that for at least a short time this baby would be sharing a room with his big sister and her room is very gender neutral. Blues yellows and grays. I continued with that theme and I really love these colors together. I feel like even if and when we move into a three bedroom I will still want to keep these colors no matter how similar they are to Peyton's room. Who knows, maybe she will even get that pink princess room we all know shes dying to have. Riiggghhhttt.

If you want to keep following along on my pins for this little guy here's a link to my pinterest board

0 Baby Talk (and lots and lots of other not baby talk)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blogging is so over rated amiright? Im not. I like blogging. I miss blogging. But thats life I suppose.

On another note we are having another baby (as revealed in my last post 100 years ago) And we are pumped. We are especially thankful for all of the insane amount of love and support everyone has given us, so thanks guys you rock.

Im officially half way to baby tomorrow. I know right? When you are chasing a 4 year old around time seems to sprout wings and fly away. I thought this little man (MAN?!??!) deserved at least a little blog update. Iv been keeping up via instagram with weekly bump posts and gender reveals (MAN?!?!?!) But its nice to have it here on the ol blog as well.

That time we found out our baby had boy parts!!!! (BOY?!?!?)

We are super excited to be having a little guy (GUY!?!?!?) Mikey and I were worried about Peyton's reaction because we know that she really wanted a sister, but she was great! We called her right after we found out and we asked is it ok that you are having a baby brother?? and she said 'Yeah' haha. She told her little friends who live below us that her baby brother was coming in February. Heart already melted. 

We went to Target the day after finding out and bought him a little onesie and P insisted on getting him that rattle. She is already the most thoughtful big sister.

Besides the obvious baby news other things that have been going on around these parts

Peyton started dance class again. This time its tap and ballet and she loves it! She also really insanely good at tap dancing.

We celebrated our one year anniversary on the 15th (ONE YEAR?!?!?) I really truly can not believe it's been a year. We took Peyton down to southern VA and did some apple picking. It was so much fun and an awesome way to celebrate as a family.

We also went down (up?) (over?) Im not very good at geography, to Delaware the other weekend to celebrate our friends getting married. It was a sweet wedding and a good time with friends we don't get to see as much as we would like. 

my date was pretty studly

and speaking of babies our really good friends had their little boy two weeks ago. Logan Patrick Squishy Lovey Baby Pants (thats his full name) I went to mushy baby heaven meeting him. Hes perfect!!!

swoon right?? RIGHT?!?!?!

ANDDDDD speaking of even MORE babies. My little squishy newest baby nephew is due ANYDAYNOW ANYDAY!

We are ready for you (well at least I am) so feel free to, you know, come tonight. Or whatever. But tonight would be good.

Thus ends the longest most random shamdom catching up blog post ever.