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Birth stor

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ASHLEY MARIE

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E d i tor' s N ote

Welcome to the spring edition of Ashley Marie. Spring often represents a fresh new start to me. The Holiday season is long gone, the weather is getting warmer, you start to see more bright colors around and many crave a deep cleaning in all areas of life. It’s energizing! PLUS, my husband and I just experienced a serious life season change, welcoming our first child, Ranger Ward Legg born March 5, 2021 at 12:18 a.m. Weighing 8 lbs, 5 ounces, 21 inches long. Inside, you will get the first look into our birth story, new parent tips, spring cleaning ideas, gardening tricks for beginners, spring fashion trends, skincare refreshers, healthy food and drink recipes, and much much more! The point of this digital magazine is to inspire you throughout the seasons. To live life on purpose through personal expression, creating your safe space, and making a commitment to your health and happiness. If there’s anything I hope you walk away from reading Ashley Marie, it’s to be grateful every day for this life we’re given, to enjoy all moments small and big, and to chase those things in life that make you effortlessly happy. Enjoy loves <3 Ashley Legg Hair & makeup credit: Aisha Kringen, my beautiful & talented sister IG: @aishakmua


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Wo . I m in a e of the strength and end rance needed to birth a bab . I kne it o ld be challenging, b t I ha e a hole ne le el of respect for s arrior omen. O r bodies are tr l fascinating, strong, resilient. Here s o r birth stor . On March 4th, 2021, o r d e date, I ent in for o r 40- eek pregnanc scan. I as 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. O r doctor co ldn t belie e I as alking aro nd ith the bab so lo and dilated at that le el. We ent for ard ith a membrane s eep to help ind ce labor. I started ha ing contractions in the office. She sent me straight to the hospital. As prepared as I e been to go into labor at an moment, I asn t er prepared this da . I hadn t sho ered, as on da 3 greas hair, didn t ha e m bags ith me. M h sband R an as orking so m mom had dri en me to m appointment for s pport. She dro e me straight to the hospital as I called R an to drop e er thing to come to meet me. This as it! We ere abo t to meet o r precio s bab bo . L ckil o r car as packed, he j st had to feed and let o t o r doggies o t for a pott break before he left. We had o r dog sitter on standb to come to take care of o r f r babies hile at the hospital. Ga e s peace of mind kno ing the ere getting lo e and attention hile e foc sed on birthing o r bab bo . D e to the COVID-19 pandemic, I as onl allo ed one person to be ith me d ring labor and deli er . It as aro nd 3:00 p.m. hen e got to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Li ingston, NJ. L ckil m mom as able to come into the hospital ith me here I got all registered and settled in in the PET Unit (Perinatal E al ation and Treatment). The bab and I ere monitored ntil a deli er room opened for me and R an arri ed. N rses asked me a series of q estions, hooked me p to a machine that tracked the bab 's heart rate and m contractions. The administered m IV and started p mping me ith some fl id and checked m blood press re freq entl . I as also tested for COVID-19 hich is standard protocol. I tested negati e. If it o ld ha e been positi e, the ha e separate nit/safet protocols for deli er . R an as not tested and as able to be ith me d ring the birth. R an arri ed ithin the ho r. M mom and I cried, h gged, and said o r goodb es. We remained in the PET UNIT ntil e ere transferred to o r labor and deli er room aro nd 5:30 p.m. Right hen e alked in I sa the table here o r bab bo o ld be all cleaned p and eighed. I immediatel started tearing p. This as it! Ne n rses got s all settled, monitored o r itals and m contractions to see ho e ere progressing. I o ld sa the pain le el of m contractions as aro nd a 5-6 for me, 1 being the least painf l, 10 being the highest. E ent all , e had to make a decision on ho to progress for ard. Either allo ing staff to break m ater or start administering Pitocin, hich is a nat ral hormone that ca ses the ter s to contract and sed to ind ce labor. I also needed to decide if and hen I anted the epid ral.


We decided to recei e an epid ral first, then Pitocin to relie e the ncomfortableness and to progress for ard. The epid ral as rather painf l for me. I as told I o ld feel a bee sting, lots of press re then a charle horse p one or both of m legs. Unfort natel , I as not positioned right for the epid ral and had q ite a bit of pain as the needle ent in. I as sitting at the edge of the bed, legs dangling, h nched o er, and h gging a pillo hile m n rse Linda held onto me for m ch-needed mental s pport. Yo ant o r back to be ro nded o er. I as not able to achie e this in this position so e ent all , e adj sted the position. What helped me as scooting back a tad and sitting cross-legged here I co ld reall ro nd m back hich helped the anesthesiologist s ccessf ll administer m epid ral. It took abo t 15 min tes to kick in. I o ld describe the reaction to feeling light as a feather, legs tingling a bit, losing most sensation b t co ld still direct m legs in ario s positions if I needed to. To pre ent an risk of potentiall falling, m n rse inserted a small t be (Fole catheter) into m bladder to drain rine d ring labor. From there I recei ed Pitocin thro gh m IV. O r n rses then monitored ho m bod and bab responded to the b rst of hormones. M contractions picked p, and the bab as handling them ell too. No signs of distress. At this point, I co ldn t feel an pain ith m contractions, j st a tightening of the abdomen. Soon staff broke m ater and that s hen things reall started to escalate. I ent from 5 to 9 cm and it as time to p sh, this as aro nd 10:30 p.m. D e to the b rst of hormones, I had cra shakes. This scared me at first beca se I didn t e pect it. M bod o ld con lse and I asn t able to reall control it. I had to mentall calm m self do n as o r n rses said this as normal. M ja as jittering so bad I as ner o s I as going to bite m tong e off. R an held m hand and calmed me do n. E ent all , the shakes stopped right before e started to p sh aro nd 11 p.m. R an held m left leg, a n rse held m right leg and another n rse and m doctor monitored cro ning, hich is the time d ring birth hen the bab 's head begins to appear at the opening of the agina and does not retract (go back in) after p shing ith a contraction. M contractions ere abo t t o min tes apart. D ring e er contraction, I o ld p sh three times for a total of hat felt like a er slo 10 seconds. This is here strength and end rance came in. There s er little reco er time in bet een contractions. I felt like I barel got a break before it as time to start p shing again. One thing I str ggled ith as p shing in the right places. With e er p sh, I as told to c p m hands aro nd the back of m thighs, take a big deep breath, t ck m chin to ards m chest and p sh thro gh m b tt, as if I ere tr ing to poop. D e to the epid ral, it as hard to f ll connect ith the c es and I ended p straining m face too m ch, popping blood essels all o er m face and neck.


To combat this, staff red ced the epid ral medication, gi ing me more sensation in m legs hich allo ed me to mentall connect ith them more, impro ing the p shing techniq e. Abo t half a thro gh p shing, I started to get a fe er. This made things to gh. I as b rning p, constantl needed to che on ice to cool do n, desired a cold to el on m for ard and behind m neck, and needed to breath in assisted o gen bet een p shes. I also thre p m ltiple times d ring deli er . There as a bag on m left side here R an o ld m ltitask catching m omit hile holding m leg. L ckil it as j st ater from the ice and bile. Yo re not able to eat d ring labor as the ant the stomach clear and j st in case there are complications and o ha e to ndergo a C-section. Regardless, it as so ncomfortable. I felt so sick hile tr ing to p sh o t a bab . I had a 101 fe er and had to ha e m temperat re checked m ltiple times in bet een p shes, hich affected m ice intake, to pre ent that from temporaril cooling me do n. So I ended p ha ing se ere cottonmo th hich also made p shing er challenging. Monitoring m fe er as er important beca se if m temp hit 104, the bab o ld ha e to go to NICU and me in intensi e reco er . L ckil that didn t happen and I started to feel better after deli er . One memor that I ll al a s hold onto is hen the bab 's head as serio sl cro ning b t I as getting so fatig ed. For moti ation, m n rse said d ring p sh n mber t o she o ld take m hand and g ide me to feel m bab s head. This ga e me the last bit of adrenaline I needed to p sh to the finish. M h sband said I t rned into arrior stat s and p shed like a boss ltimatel leading to o r birth! We p shed for j st nder 1.5 ho rs and o r son as here. Ranger as born March 5th, 2021 at 12:18 a.m. eighing 8 lbs 5 o nces, 21 inches long. O r big bab bo . Seeing him for the first time as the best blind date of o r li es. I did get a little scared beca se he didn t cr right a a . There as so m ch fl id in his l ngs, his bod looked limp and n rses ere racing to se one of the snot s ckers to get rid of e cess ater in his mo th. I as cr ing happ tears and eeping come on bab , o er and o er again ntil I finall heard his cr for the first time. The most relie ing so nd in the orld.


We aited j st a little bit for R an to c t the mbilical cord. This is called dela ed cord clamping. This is s all performed 25 seconds to 5 min tes after gi ing birth, hich allo s more blood to transfer from the placenta to the bab , sometimes increasing the child s blood ol me b p to a third. The iron in the blood increases the ne born s iron storage, hich is ital for health brain de elopment. We also did cord blood banking. This refers to the banking of the mbilical cord fl id hich is loaded ith stem cells. The can treat cancer, blood diseases like anemia, and some imm ne s stem disorders, hich disr pt o r bod 's abilit to defend itself. The fl id is eas to collect and has 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marro . We p rchased this option in ad ance, registered, and bro ght a kit to the hospital ith all the information for o r n rses and doctors to collect. We called the compan e ent ith after birth and the picked p the cord blood ithin t o-fo r ho rs after deli er to be stored. Staff then took the bab to his table here he as cleaned p, eighed, and cared for. He had q ite a bit of dela ed gargling so the kept orking on getting the fl id o t of his l ngs. Then R an as able to do golden ho r also kno n as skin to skin ith the bab hile I deli ered the placenta and got all stitched p. D ring birth, I had a second-degree tear hich req ired q ite a fe stitches. After I as all cleaned p, I as able to do skin to skin ith Ranger and it as the most bea tif l moment feeling him on m chest, looking into his e es, and hearing his little noises. I instantl fell in lo e. After that bonding time, I also practiced latching. L ckil Ranger latched on right a a , it as so nat ral. M n rse ga e me some tips too to g ide him hich as so er helpf l. After bonding time, R an ent ith staff to take Ranger to the n rser to get his itals checked hile I contin ed to reco er. While in reco er , m fe er spiked again and m blood press re dropped. This as concerning to staff so I as ordered to j st rest hile the monitored me. E ent all , I started to gain more sensation in m legs as the epid ral medication ore off and m n rse came in to alk me to the bathroom for the first time post-birth. I as hanging onto her as she helped me sit on the toilet here I started to get s per di , then I co ldn t see. I passed o t. I as a akened b ammonia and there ere like 10 people in the room. We ere in reco er ntil 5:30 a.m. here I as p shed ith more fl id ntil m itals finall le eled o t. Then e ere transferred to o r official reco er room here e spent o r first night together as a famil of three. We ere discharged 48 ho rs later. All in all, despite some challenges here and there, e made it thro gh and o r health , strong, and fighting miracle is home ith s. God is good. We are blessed. O r hearts are f ll <3 Lo e, R an, Ashle & Ranger Legg


RANGER The meaning behind his name. We knew from the beginning we wanted a strong man's name for our fighting miracle. Another focus was finding a name with ties to the outdoors. Ryan and I both grew up camping and exploring and knew we wanted to experience adventures like this with our child. Since Ryan and I have common names, we wanted something different. Something unique, but not too outlandish. We gravitated towards Ranger at some point. Ranger means “guardian of the forest.” We had never seen that name as a first name before. Shortly after we found out Ryan’s “Bapa’s” nickname was “The Old Ranger.” So it stuck. Bapa’s first name was Ward which is Ryan’s middle name and now Ranger’s too. I think it’s so special because Ryan and Ranger have the same initials, RWL.

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PLUS: ID + insurance card and toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, contact solution, contact case, glasses, deodorant and brush. I also packed a heading home outfit, blow dryer and hand sanitizer. I used everything. We surprisingly had some down time at the hospital. We wish we would have brought a book, our tablet to watch a show, a game like Yahtzee. We also wish we would have explored food options in the area before. The hospital food was decent but we craved more fresh food items and were always scrambling and indecisive when it came to figuring out what we wanted to eat.


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BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED I never planned on being a gardener, it just sort of happened and I m thankful it did. Not onl is gardening therapeutic, but it s also so rewarding; planting seeds, nurturing them, making sure the get plent of sunshine, water, and time to grow and thrive until read to harvest! When m husband and I bought our first home in 2017, we took on 15 raised beds and plant/grow ever thing from tomatoes to cucumbers, ucchini, peppers, carrots, herbs, raspberries and more. M husband grew up around a garden; his parents are ver seasoned gardeners. The were a helpful resource when taking on a big project like our back ard. I ve teamed up with m mother-in-law to provide ou our top 5 tips for starting our own garden.

C ec ZONE: There are so man planting calendars available designed to calculate the best time to start seeds and plant a garden. Timing for all planting is based on first and last frost dates. Let s sa ou are planting in hardiness one 5, the last frost date is sometime between April 1st-15th. The first frost date t picall falls between October 16th-31st. Knowing these dates will dictate when the best time to plant is. Dec de a a g : Herbs? Fruit? Vegetables? Stick with what ou like and what ou ll actuall use, cook, and eat. This will motivate ou during the laborious task of weeding.

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Sa eed g: Lots of seed sales start in the spring. Gardening catalogs are often free so ou can subscribe earl and get our hands on these catalogs right when the release! Some e amples: BURPEE: Click here. SEED SAVERS: Click here. Ga e e e e a g de . For e ample, if ou re planting inside some possible items ou ma need: plant tra s, plant stands, plant pots and soil, lights, fertili er, watering can, hand pruners, etc. If ou re planting outside ou ma need items like pruners, gardening knife, shovel, spade, cultivator, hand rake, gloves, etc. La a f ga de whether it s in a greenhouse, garden beds, container garden, or on our deck, etc. Prepare to succeed! Knowing where ou want to plant and what ou want to plant will be our go-to guide so ou can e ecute our garden accordingl .


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Think it s too soon to start thinking about swimsuit season? Think again. This is the time to start committing to those goals and make some positive lifest le changes that will help ou feel our best inside and out when summer hits. You don't have to be e treme to succeed. All ou have to do is create health habits and sta consistent. To help with the process, I'm sharing m top 5 fitness tips that will simplif our wellness journe . It's time for ou to take the courage to put ourself first and gain that confidence ou've been longing for. There's no one si e that fits all, fad diets don't work, diet pills don't work, waist wraps don't work, skinn teas don't work, ou get the picture. What DOES work is a sustainable, health , and fle ible approach to health and fitness catered around our lifest le. 1. C ea e ea ab , e c : When ou focus on ever da positive habits, ou re more likel to stick to them, rather than deprive ourself and eventuall fail or rebel. Ever thing in moderation. If ou love chocolate, great! Have two squares before bed, rather than an entire bar. 2. T g e fe eg a , c f e : If ou want our goals to last, take a look at the bigger picture. An one can starve themselves to lose 5-10 lbs quickl , but not ever one can keep those pounds off for the long haul. Sticking to a lifest le will earn ou the biggest rewards and leave ou feeling great all ear long and be ond. 3. Ma e a , a a ab e c a ge : Take one positive action at a time. When we're driven AF, ou want to do as much as ou can off the get-go, but slow our roll? Accomplish one thing first, then another, and another, and so on. Understand what ou can handle, what s doable, and then take action. As ou progress, ou can continue to make more changes! 4. Be c e :C e c e ace. One da of eating right and e ercise isn t enough. It s ever da after that. Progress can take da s, weeks, months, and ears. It all goes back to creating a lifest le and making health a priorit overall. 5. Be a e : As mentioned in tip #4, progress takes time. You have to work hard and earn that progress. The more action ou take, the sweeter the reward and ou will be appreciative of ever thing ou put into better ourself.


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Ashley Marie Magazine - Spring 2021  

Ashley Marie Magazine - Spring 2021  

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