» vancouver beloved wedding photography // love life dog blog

Masthead header

Atlas Darling’s Birth Story

Birth Story 001 - 2

Birth Story 003

Birth Story 004

Birth Story 015

Birth Story 006

Birth Story 007

Birth Story 008

Birth Story 009

Birth Story 011

Birth Story 012

Birth Story 013

Birth Story 014 - 2

Birth Story 016

Birth Story 017

Birth Story 018

Birth Story 021

Birth Story 023

Birth Story 025 - 2

Birth Story 027

So, let’s just address the fact that I haven’t blogged in forever.

But we just had a baby!!! And that is totally reason enough to get my ass in gear and share a story. Prepare yourself: this’ll be a long one.

If you haven’t been hit yourself, you probably know someone that has this terrible flu that’s been going around. Well, I got it on the night of Christmas Eve, full term pregnant. It overtook me with chest pain, a horrendous cough and a spiked fever. After much stubborn arguing, I finally agreed to go to the ER early Christmas morning. After a bunch of tests, I was quickly hooked up to a fetal monitor and a uterus monitor. We learned that due to my fever, I was severely dehydrated which was causing baby’s heart rate to sky rocket to over 180 (should be around 140-160). I was hooked up to an IV drip and given medication to reduce my fever. I slept most of Christmas day with Trav by my side and was eventually released.

Thennn came Boxing Day. Again, I felt consumed by my fever. This time I was scared, knowing that last time baby’s heart rate was too high. So we went back to the ER and did the whole thing over again – with baby’s heart rate now over 190. Thankfully, the IV and medication brought it down and after a day in the hospital, I was released again.

The following day, December 27th, around 10 at night, I started to feel cramps. I went pee and noticed a little somethin’ somethin’ and thought, “Oh, I got my period!” A couple seconds ticked by as my baby brain started to comprehend, “Wait.. That can’t be..” I called for Trav and we both started to mildly freak out and all knowledge of what to do next left us both. We looked through my midwifery book and as per the instructions, we started timing my contractions. Realizing that they were far a part, I tried to sleep (note to all first time pregnant moms: ha, good luck sleeping knowing your baby is coming).

During the night I was texting my best friend, Meghan who was also my doula and she came over around 5 in the morning on December 28th – which just so happened to be my 28th birthday. My contractions started to become more intense so we moved to the living room so I could try positioning myself on the birthing ball. I spent the next few hours counting and breathing while Meghan encouraged me and relieved the pains in my back and Travis, on my other side, timed my contractions.   My contractions became so repetitious that Trav would say, “Okay, in 3, 2, 1..” and on cue, an intense wave would hit.

We arrived at Peace Arch Hospital at 9 in the morning where my mom, my midwife Lisa and nurse Cherie joined my support team. I discovered that I was 4.5 cm dilated; now in active labour! I was moved into my delivery room and quickly learned that walking / moving into different labouring positions was hella painful. I opted to try the bathtub and OH.MY.GOSH. That changed everything. The warm water relieved so much pain and the dim lighting, my birthing playlist on repeat, Meghan encouraging me and the presence of my husband and mom all helped to calm me. Oh, and the laughing gas was pretty damn awesome, too. I spent what I think was hours in the tub. It was the only place I found some solace. Eventually though, the pain took me again. I remember crying out in fear of birth – thinking that if the contractions hurt this bad, how could I survive more? These types of thoughts took over and my desire for a positive attitude in birth disappeared as I cried out, “I can’t, I can’t. I’m done; I’m going home. Travis, you’re getting snipped.”

Eventually, I felt the need to push and knew I had to get out of the tub. Everyone helped me back into the bed and I was now 8.5 cm dilated. I was moved into different positions to try and help increase the labour process but the pain consumed me every time I moved even an inch. Everything hurt; on all fours, on my sides, stirrups, standing, all of it. I begged to lie on my back (although I knew it was not the best birthing position). I lay there and listened to Meghan’s positive affirmations and tuned every other noise / voice out and occasionally asked people to shut up so I could listen to Meghan. When the pain was too intense, my breathing naturally turned to hyperventilating and it took everything in me to listen to my nurse and Meg, and follow their slow breaths.

Then, it was time to actually push. My nurse made it clear that being on my back was going to make the birthing experience longer and more painful and asked me to turn onto my left side. I refused – in fear of the pain of that turning would cause. Eventually, I lost the argument and wound up on my side and I may have cursed.. A lot.

Pushing with the wave of each strong contraction was physically and mentally exhausting, especially while still being so sick and so weak. TMI, but whatevs, it’s my blog.. I was warned by several of my mommy friends that pushing feels like taking the biggest shit of your life. TRUTH. I remember thinking I was going to be on the news re: death by ass. Then she started crowning. And HOLY HELL, that must be what the Johnny Cash song, Ring of Fire is about. My mom and Trav saw it first. It was all so quick that my midwife didn’t even have time to grab gloves as her head came out.

At this point, I felt so spent, so weak. I had had enough. I cried out for an epidural but was obviously told that it was way too late. So I quit and I let everyone know it. I told my [amazing] team around me, “Nuh-uh, this ain’t gonna happen, you can all go home, I’m done.” And I meant it. Now at this stage, remember that only baby’s head is out so it was crucial that her neck come out and soon. That’s when I started hearing a chorus of everyone’s voices at once, “NO ASHLEY, YOU MUST PUSH. PUSH ASHLEY. DO IT. DON’T YOU DARE QUIT.” I was (irrationally) pissed off at everyone for this. So, after swearing at them, I thought to myself, “This is going to kill me. If that’s what you all want, fine.” And I pushed so damn hard, that she literally went ‘blerppp’ and fell out at 6:45pm.

She was immediately brought to me and I was so overcome with emotions (and shock) that I couldn’t talk, cry or even smile. It was so crazy to fathom that she’s real. That she’s here. And she’s ours. I was so incredibly weak and shaky, I could barely hold her. But it was beautiful to watch Trav with her. The big smile on his face as he kissed her and repeatedly whispered, “Daddy loves you.”

But then came.. the stitching. I won’t go into detail with that other than MOTHERBLEEPING, OW. (Oh, and if any pregnant mamas need advice on recovery care of your lady bits, holla at me cos I’m basically an expert now.)

So here we are, Atlas is 2 weeks old today!!! She is happy and healthy and now back at her birth weight of 7lbs 8oz. She is curled up on my new mama jelly belly right now in her little pink receiving blanket. And I just love her so much. I am so ridiculously thankful – for my incredible husband, my best friend / best doula, my supportive mama, my superhero midwife, my kick ass nurse and for my amazing birthday present; the love of my life, my little girl, Atlas Darling Schulz.

P.S. To all parents, parents-to-be, I cannot recommend this song enough.  xo



Pin It

Phoebe [Adopt a Lovey Thursday] adopt phoebe at LAPS

She came in to the shelter as a stray and by her appearance, it was obvious that she’s had many litters.  Although the rest of Phoebe’s story is unknown, this girl certainly deserves to have a beautiful future.  adopt phoebe at LAPS

Phoebe is social and friendly with all kinds of people.  She was incredibly affectionate with Trav (but who can blame her?).  She travels well, is crate trained and good with other dogs.  adopt phoebe at LAPS

Phoebe is a female pointer, approx. 3-4 years old.  She has a bit of an anxious energy at the shelter and would really love her forever human to find her a-sap.  adopt phoebe at LAPS

If you think you could provide a loving home for Phoebe, please call her awesome trainer, Gwen at LAPS at: 604-857-5055.  Otherwise, please consider sharing this girl on your social media feeds.. Phoebe is ready to live a full life. :)  adopt phoebe at LAPS

Pin It

Toffee [Adopt a Lovey Thursday]

This week’s lovey is brought to you by THURSDAY!  In fact, we are officially switching our Adopt a Lovey feature from Wednesdays to Thursdays.  Wednesdays have just been a difficult day scheduling wise for us so Thursdays are the new rage!  Now back to your regular programming..:)  adopt toffee

She arrived at the LANGLEY ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY, badly matted and terribly smelly from a combination of yeast, ear and skin infections. But with medical attention and a good grooming (kindly donated by VICKI’S PAW SPA), Toffee is now as cuuuute as ever!  adopt toffee

Toffee is a 2 year old, female Shih Tzu mix.  She is incredibly affectionate.  In fact, she was completely enamored with Trav and didn’t want to leave his arms the entire time we were in the play yard.  She also happens to be a ball of fun.  Toffee has lots of energy and loves to play!  She would be a great member of an active household and will happily join you for a  adopt toffee

Toffee is best suited for a home with no smaller children just because she can get a bit mouthy when she’s excited.  However, Toffee would be a great sibling to a cat or another  adopt toffee

Toffee is looking for a responsible mom/dad; someone that will be dedicated to her care.  Although Toffee is in great shape now, she does continue to have a skin allergy – although it is not serious, she will require extra attention and  adopt toffee

If Toffee tugs at your heart strings, please call LAPS at 604-857-5055 for more information. If adopting Toffee is something you just can’t do, please consider sharing this blog post.. You never know, you just might be the one to get this girl home.

Pin It

Michonne [Adopt a Lovey Wednesday]  Adopt Michonne from LAPS

She was brought in as a stray, seriously underweight.  It was discovered that darling Michonne has hyperthyroidism, which when left untreated, causes cats to become extremely thin.  Michonne is now in tip top shape thanks to the wonderful care of the LANGLEY ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY.  Although Michonne will require medication for the remainder of her life, she does not hold a grudge towards anyone that gives it to her.  She is just a darling, affectionate little princess that would like nothing more than to cuddle you all day long.  Adopt Michonne from LAPS

Michonne is a petite, female, short-haired 10 year old cat.  Please don’t let her age deter you; Michonne is full of spunky character and has many years left to live.  Michonne is a confident kitty and could even live with a dog – although she does not enjoy the company of other cats.  Adopt Michonne from LAPS

If Michonne tugs at your heart strings, please give LAPS a call for more info at: 604-857-5055.  If adopting this sweetie is something you just can’t do right now, please consider sharing this blog post to help her find her forever home. :)

Pin It

Mrs. Hudson [Adopt a Lovey Wednesday]  adopt mrs.hudson

She came in to the Langley Animal Protection Society, covered head to toe in mats and fecal matter.  Living most of her life as an outdoor cat, Mrs. Hudson is so ready to curl up on on a warm bed and know what it’s like to have a human care for and love on her.  adopt mrs.hudson

Mrs. Hudson may not be a spring chicken at 14 years old but she has so much life and love in her.  Please consider adopting a senior; Mrs. Hudson will prove that she is wise, chill and still very playful (especially when given a little cat nip!).  She could even live with a well-behaved cat or dog.  adopt mrs.hudson

If you are interested in this cutie, please call LAPS for more information at: 604-857-5055.  If adopting Mrs. Hudson is something you just can’t do right now, please be a dear and help get her a home by sharing this post with your friends and family.  :)

Pin It
f a c e b o o k
p i n t e r e s t
i n s t a g r a m