The amazing Ashley Chytil, Wilder (2) and Odessa (7 months).
Ashley had always had irregular periods but was told it was because she was thin. She and her husband knew they were ready to start trying and she asked her doctor the best way to know she was ovulating. Her provider decided to go ahead and do a transvaginal ultrasound which revealed cysts on her ovaries. With her history she was able to diagnose her with PCOS on the spot. Armed with that information, Ashley and her husband were able to get a referral for a fertility specialist right away and started treatments a few months later. After just one trigger shot injection she was able to conceive Wilder.
Ashley had a wonderful pregnancy with Wilder, and went into birth knowing that she wanted to deliver in hospital without interventions. Her midwife ended up breaking her waters to jumpstart labor and things progressed well until she decided to get an epidural. Ashley says that she may have misjudged her ability to handle to the pain and was upset at herself for needing help. She was worried that she had jumpstarted a cascade of interventions that would impede her ability to birth the way she'd hoped. Hours later Wilder just wasn't coming and she needed to deliver via cesarean. Her surgeon told her that Wilder's head had been tilted in the birth canal and was conical in that area, there was just no way he was going to come out safely that way. Even with that information she struggled.
Knowing that conception could take awhile and that they had hoped to avoid having a baby at the time of year that is difficult for her husband as a CPA, they reached back out to their fertility specialist and began medication to help ovulation with the plan to also go back in to begin injections. She realized she was ovulating so they gave it a try and were able to conceive Odessa a bit sooner than they'd hoped. Pregnancy went well again this time and she knew she'd hoped to VBAC. She chose the same doula for this labor and again was progressing well until she had her epidural. This time, however, Odessa was born vaginally shortly thereafter.
Ashley says that as a planner she had put so much stock in her part of the birthing process that she hadn't considered the fact that every baby is different before the birth of her second. Having a different birthing experience with her daughter allowed her to take a lot of the weight off of herself and realize that sometimes, there are other factors outside of our control and desire at play. Breastfeeding has gone well with each of her children, Wilder weaned on his own while pregnant with Odessa and Odessa is still nursing today.
Growing up, Ashley always thought that she wanted be a CEO and make money because that was what she knew was valued by our society. She found herself pulled towards social work, something that she absolutely wasn't in for the money and found that when she became a mother, she felt the brunt of the lack of value our society holds for mothers and parents in general. She wishes our society would value the role of the parent more as it's so worthy of celebration.