The wonderful Ashley Woolsey with her daughter Peyton (5) and son Holden (1).
Ashley and her husband conceived her daughter while she was in her junior year of university. She says that everyone told her to take some time off but she knew if she did she would never finish. So, she spent her junior year pregnant, delivered over the summer, and finished her final year before Peyton's first birthday. She had a very healthy pregnancy but shortly before she was due, she started having a low platelet count and had to have weekly blood draws. The levels got so low she wouldn't have been able to have any pain intervention during delivery so when it shot back up they decided to induce. She was induced two days before her due date and had a 21 hour labor. She chose to get an epidural about 4 hours in and it was a very smooth delivery. Peyton had some breathing difficulty due to fluid aspiration and had to be taken to NICU for three days but has been perfectly healthy since. Ashley says she had a great birth experience but that breastfeeding was horrible. They both cried and it just wasn't working, the second she switched to bottles they both felt so much better.
Four years later she got pregnant again and says she knew it was a boy immediately. She was sick her first trimester but the rest was smooth and she very much enjoyed being pregnant. She said she was a lot more educated this time and wanted to attempt a natural delivery without drugs if possible. She was induced at 41 weeks and 4cms but after 8 hours on Pitocin, she hadn't progressed at all. They tried Cytotec and after 5 more hours she was still at 4cms. At hour 35, her water broke on it's own and things took off quickly. She had asked for an epidural at 8cms but realized she needed to push as the anesthesiologist came in. Holden was born just one hour of her water breaking with 2 minutes of pushing. She says all the pain was immediately gone, her recovery was so much easier and he latched on right away. Holden has nursed like a champ and is still going strong.
It took Ashley several years after her daughters birth to feel comfortable in her skin again but after her son, she has felt great much more quickly. She says that things are different then they were before but she's happy to accept it. She wants to celebrate and embrace her body and her journey and hopes that she can continue to inspire women just as she was inspired by hose who bravely stood before her.