My Fertility Struggle

My Fertility Struggle

I’ve talked about this a time or two before but never in this depth. I have major fertility struggles. 

Everyone who knows me, knows I love kids. I have volunteered my entire life to help kids in whatever capacity I can. My whole life I just knew I was going to be a mom. It’s just who I am. 

Throughout my college years, I had a few miscarriages but thought nothing of it really. I wasn’t ready to be a mom then and just assumed that because of my party girl lifestyle I was causing it. Never once did I consider that I had fertility problems. 

After I got married the first time in my early 20’s, we reached a point about a year in where we thought we’d like to have a baby. Knowing I had miscarried before, I became obsessive over ovulation. 

Well, I was 25 and so naturally I got pregnant right away. The positive test came on a Friday and by Tuesday I was miscarrying again. I was devastated. That’s when I decided I needed help. 

I took two very different approaches to solve the mystery. 

 

 

The Science Route

First, I called a doctor. I went to see a top Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist Dr. Barnhart was amazing. He got me in right away and spent hours with me. He ran blood tests, genetic tests, the freaking works. We waited until my next cycle came to town to do a Sonohysterogram. I won’t lie, it’s awful. When a male doctor says it’s going to feel like your worst menstrual cramps, know he has no clue and it’s worse. 

 

So what did Br. Barnhart find? Nothing. Minus a few 1 in a billion chance of my child having a genetic abnormality, there is nothing wrong with me. My uterus, and forgive the TMI, is textbook. His words, not mine. 

The Faith Route

At the time, I was a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As an LDS member, we had a few things coming up that I knew would offer some guidance. 

First, I could go get my patriarchal blessing. This is a once in a lifetime blessing you get and it offers some major life advice for you. They are deeply personal and private. Well each region has one patriarch so the wait time can be long. I called ours and he said “for some reason I need to see you this week,” and the appointment was set. 

Well my Patriarch said a lot of things that brought me comfort. Even now, as a non-member, I still find truth in that blessing. There was a lot in there. 

 

The Faith Route Continued

During that week, we also had our semi-annual General Conference where Church leaders share wisdom. I swear, if you go with a question, it will be answered. 

Well, my questions were naturally around fertility. 

That whole conference there were countless talks about being a parent and more specifically a mother. 

Women spoke about how much they struggled with fertility, how they had to adopt, resort to  medical professionals, 

 

I can honestly say I thank God for the miscarriages during that marriage. 

With this knowledge that there was nothing medically wrong with me and hearing from inspired leaders that fertility issues are okay and that God is still on your side, I pressed forward. 

Flash forward and it did not work out with my now ex-husband and I am forever thankful that we did not have a child in that marriage. I can honestly say I thank God for the miscarriages during that marriage.

Well, here we are in 2019 and I’m now married to a man I know is capable of fathering children. He, of course, knew about my fertility struggles before we tied the knot. When we had two faint positive tests this past month, I was elated. Maybe this time we would be okay. Maybe this time it would hold. 

For the first time in my life,  my partner was excited. He was grinning ear to ear. He was talking to our baby and telling them to be strong. We picked names. 

I thought, “maybe I can get excited this time. Maybe this is the time I don’t struggle.”

But a part of me knew to keep my guard up. Not get too excited. Wait another 5 ish weeks to get excited. Keep it from the kids. Keep it from the people in our lives. Just five more weeks and we can tell the world. 

This past Sunday, we were at Church together and a series was wrapping up. Sam, our Pastor, was speaking about Joseph from Genesis and how he lived his life knowing God was on his side. Through all of the struggles, he lived knowing God has his six. I thought to myself, “what a beautiful message. Am I living like God is on my side?” 

We left Church and I was feeling good about that sermon. We stopped by the store because the hubs wanted some soup and I needed a few more ingredients to make the soup he wanted. While there, I got this pain. A pain I knew too well. I looked at him and said, “I’m bleeding.” 

We got home and my worst fears were confirmed. Just four weeks away from being able to share with the world. Four weeks from peace. 

Crushed is an understatement. 

When you’ve miscarried as many times as I have,  it’s hard to have faith. But my ever faithful husband reminded me that God is on our side. 

Sometimes I get resentful. I won’t lie. Sometimes it’s hard to be excited when your friend is having a baby shower. Even harder when a friend tells you about their abortion. I want to be supportive but it’s hard. 

But we still have two beautiful little boys who call us Mama and Daddy. 

While miscarrying again is heartbreaking, I have to live knowing God is on my side through it all and that’s what keeps me sane. That’s what keeps me going. 

If you’re struggling with fertility, know you aren’t alone. Know that God has your back. It’s all part of a bigger plan we can’t see. While it may not make sense now, it may make sense later. Maybe we’ll never know why but He does. He knows why and that’s good enough for me. 

Hubby’s Soft Pretzels

Hubby’s Soft Pretzels

I don’t like to brag but seriously my hubs is pretty perfect. I’m from South Jersey and currently living in South Georgia. South Jersey is just outside of Philly meaning I’m slightly obsessed with soft pretzels. 

Every time we go to Florida or head north, I ensure we stop at a Wawa and grab some soft pretzels with cheese on the side of course. We also grab Wawa Iced Tea too but that’s another story. Growing up near Philadelphia, it’s really the home of the soft pretzel. There’s a Philly Pretzel Factory in every town. Have you tried dipping a fresh soft pretzel in buttercream yet? Here’s a little Philly Culinary History for ya if you’re curious about why we love soft pretzels so much. Who knew the soft pretzel had religious origins? Maybe that’s another reason I love them so much. 

Or it’s just the fact that are delish, and I can make pair them with something savory or sweet and they’re just as fabulous. 

So I’ve been missing my ability to get a pretzel on every corner lately and that’s when hubs stepped in. Having a husband who loves to share the kitchen is one of my greatest blessings. Ladies, get you a man who can whip up soft pretzels from scratch. You won’t be mad about it. I promise. 

Ashley Price with Wawa Tea
Ashley Price is slightly obsessed with soft pretzels, especially the ones from Wawa

And because I’m so obsessed with soft pretzels my hubs decided he’d make me some. 

Y’all these are to die for so I had to drop the recipe for you.  

Without further ado, here is my hub’s soft pretzel recipe

Hubby’s Soft Pretzels

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Hubby’s Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  • In a big bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 and 1/3 cup of water. Let it hang out until it gets some bubbles. About 15 minutes. Stir in the regular salt (not the coarse salt) and then slowly add the reamining fliur until you canpick that dough up and knead it. Add more flour when kneading if knead be. See what I did there?. But seriously, don't overwork the dough or you'll have tough pretzels.
  • Divide the dough into a few pieces (5 or 6) and let them take a little nap. They need their rest. Roll out a piece at a time until it's a little longer than a foot and make that sassy pretzel shape. *Personally, I don't roll them thing long and I make more dough piles so I can get a bunch of smaller pretzels.
  • Preheat the over to 450 degrees. Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Remove from the heat and dip your pretzels in for 45 seconds, flipping them halfway through. Also, do one at a time.
  • Put those pretzels on a baking sheet and paint with some melted butter and salt to taste.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until a pretty golden brown and BAM you're done.
http://pricelesslyimperfect.com/hubbys-soft-pretzels/

So anyway, here they are. Super simple. Amazing. Hubs dips his in horseradish mustard but I prefer yum yum sauce. Don’t knock it until you try it. So comment below if you’ve made pretzels or plan to make them. I want to hear how they turn out! 

 

P.S. I think my hubs looks like Chase Rice. AmIRight? 

 

Unplugging at The Barn at Bhakti Manor

Unplugging at The Barn at Bhakti Manor

If I made a list of all the things I do as a business owner, band manager and mama, your head would spin. Heck, mine does most of the time.

 

I thought I had a pretty solid handle on how I was balancing it all until iPhone shared that handy little screen time thing. Well, let’s say I felt sick.

 

Just freaking yikes! 61 hours a week on just my phone. This doesn’t include time at my desk!

screen time for Ashley Price

Well, I knew I had to do something ASAP. That amount of screen time would eventually lead me to my least favorite spot, burnout. When my hubby had a show in North Carolina, I knew I needed to tag along and spend some time in the mountains. 

 

Y’all….let me just tell you, I will be going back. I did something crazy when packing. I left my laptop at home. Yes, on my desk. It stayed here a whole weekend. Two states away. On our way to North Carolina, I was having some slight heart palpitations. I kept that to myself. But I felt like an addict jonesing for their next fix. I felt naked. Vulnerable. Nervous.  Afraid my business would magically go up in flames during those whole 48 hours away. 

& that’s exactly why I needed the time away. That’s why I needed a vacation from my tech and hide away in the mountains.

*Fact* It wouldn’t have mattered if I brought the laptop because my service was terrible out there. Major blessing.  T-mobile problems. Hubs had no cell problems up there. 

Y’all, the cabin we stayed in was everything I needed. Gorgeous piano. Comfy beds. Coffee at the ready. Cute porch swings. No tech. Just a wall full of books. Flowers. Comfort. Exactly what I needed.

 

The barn at Bhakti Manor - so many books
Sipping coffee at the barn at Bhakti manor
gorgeous flowers at the barn at Bhakti manor

So much of our lives is spent working. We have this hard time putting the technology down. More on how we’re working on being less techy as a family later. While my screen time is down a few percent, I’m still spending close to 50 hours a week on my phone alone working, answering emails, checking social media to see the latest thing I’ve been tagged in, etc. 

Recently, an article made an appearance on BuzzFeed about burnout which prompted my own burnout story. I knew all time spent working would put me back in the emergency room. I’ve done it too many times. 

Which is why I felt so strongly about needing a break. Let me tell you what happened when I unplugged for a few days. 

 

snuggling with my husband at the barn at Bhakti manor
  • Business stayed afloat 
  • I had this incredible weekend with my new hubby 
  • A sense of renewal 
  • New appreciation for my business and the freedom it can and does bring me 
  • Intense happiness 
  • Clarity in my business 
  • Clarity about my personal life 
  • Relaxation 
  • Laughter 
  • Deeper connections with the person I love 
  • Made new lifelong friends in the cabin owners, Debra and Richard 
  • Puppy snuggles 
Ashley Price snuggling the dog, Bhakti
Debra, the owner of The Barn at Bhakti Manor, and I

Above: Debra, the amazing cabin owner. She is a rockstar and when you stay at The Barn at Bhakti Manor, be sure to give her a call. She has the best brunch suggestions and is just generally the warmest, friendliest woman I’ve met.

Left: Snuggling Bhakti. I have to get in puppy snuggles everywhere I go. I was really missing my pooches. Good thing the Barn at Bhakti Manor is dog-friendly. Leo & Lola will be joining next time! 

The need to unplug was exactly what I needed because I came back from my trip refreshed and excited to tackle projects. I promise if you step away from your business, your business will still be there. The leads will still be coming in. The world won’t stop turning. Things will be okay. If anything, they’ll be drastically better. I promise. 

Stepping away can make all the difference. Going away for a weekend gave me a chance to miss the kids. Get clear on my business. Connect with the hubs as a couple and not just a couple of parents. Disconnecting did wonders for all of my personal relationships. 

I stopped burnout in its tracks and that’s something we can all use. With so many millennials reporting the feeling of burnout, we need to step away. Being constantly connected has left us exhausted, stressed and overworked. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others because of how connected we all are. 

Unplugging gave me space to exist in my world without the jealousy lens on. I could free think about all the things without pressure to see what everyone else was doing and working on. Way too often we’re looking at the digital space and living life through images, videos and what others and saying/doing when life is happening right in front of you if you pause and unplug. 

Take some time and unplug this weekend. I promise it’ll do a world of good for you. 

 

French toast at the cafe, yonder cafe
waterfall at the barn at Bhakti manor
Glenn and Ashley at the barn at Bhakti manor

We had this incredible breakfast at a local farm to table restaurant, Yonder Cafe. P.S. I have a super cute sticker from them on my laptop now.

This super cute waterfall at The Barn at Bhakti Manor. It was so peaceful and beautiful in the morning before we left. 

Snuggling with the hubs, Glenn Price, on the porch at The Barn at Bhakti Manor. So thankful for a life that allows us to get away sometimes. 

If you’re headed to the Mountains of North Carolina, I cannot recommend the Barn at Bhakti Manor enough! You can check them out here.  Be sure to tell them Ashley sent you 🙂 Also, I dropped their social media below! 

Mrs. Price

Mrs. Price

If you haven’t noticed, we changed it up a bit here & for good reason. I’m now Mrs. Price! 

So let’s talk about all the new changes that came with the new name. 

The Price family after tying the knot.

If you look to your left, you’ll see three kiddos. These three kiddos are now my babies, even if the one is taller than I am. 

In all honesty, I’m so thankful for the business that I started building years ago. If this is your thousandth article with me, you’ll know I suffered from multiple miscarriages when I was married previously and so I thought I’d never have kids but I built a business with building a family someday in mind. I didn’t know how I’d be a mom, I just knew I was meant to be one. 

Along comes my now husband with his three beautiful sons and BAM I’m a mama. It could not have been more perfect. With the youngest in half-day preschool, I’m able to run my business, contribute to the household financially and still do drop-offs and pick-ups. I can make cupcakes for birthday parties. I can pop in during the Christmas celebrations. I’m here to make dinners. I’m around to make sure the laundry is done. I can visit Mr. Price at work and have lunch dates with him or grab something for the band if need be, 

Oliver and I at a school function
The Price squad at a school Christmas party.
Mama, Daddy and Oliver Price at school

So much of what I’ve wanted has actualized and I’m ready to kick some booty in 2019. Now that I have everything I want personally, I’m excited to share. For once, I have a plan because it impacts not just me anymore. But really it never just impacted me, if we’re being honest. 

 That means you’ll see more mom things. You’ll see a different and more intentional side to the business. You’ll see more of my societal articles here too. It was funny, I was on a call with a new client the other day and she asked me why I wasn’t writing as often anymore. Side note, people are always watching even if you think they aren’t, but that’s a story for another time. So that’s it. You’re getting more of me and the real me. 

No Pinterest perfect photos here. We’re never Instagram worthy at my house. My hair is almost always a hot mess. 

 

We’re Pricelessly Imperfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.