Ashley McAtee Wirkus recently spent some time in the hospital after coming down with a case of the shingles while pregnant with her first child.
The Summer House alum shared that she was hospitalized last week after experiencing stomach pain and a rash. "Even being pregnant, with the exception of my first 14 weeks and having all day sickness, I consider myself healthy. I am active, I work out, eat healthy, but clearly I took on more than my body could handle," Ashley shared in a post on Instagram that featured a photo of her lying down in bed in the hospital. "What started out as a pain in my stomach, which I thought was just normal growing pains with pregnancy, then turned into a small rash and progressed into a severe case of shingles (yes I said shingles!) that had me hospitalized this past week."
Ashley went on to say that this health scare was a wakeup call. "This was a shock especially being 28 weeks pregnant, but I have come to realize sometimes our bodies are telling us something much bigger, and clearly that was the case for me. I have an amazing life that I am so grateful for, but like most people we all have stress, and I clearly have not been managing it the way I should be. Stress comes in all forms, different for everyone and can lead to way more than even I could imagine," she said. "The stress of my still very new business, the daily changes and emotions of being pregnant, the never ending thoughts racing through my head at all times about how I am going to do it all coupled with having a lingering cold for weeks was the perfect storm for the Shingles Virus."
Since leaving the hospital, Ashley has remained at home, only to leave the house to visit the OBGYN, as she is "still not recovered" from the shingles. However, she noted, "This has forced me to completely LET GO. I am not in control and right now my sole focus is my health and the baby."
Ashley said she wanted to share this scary time with her followers to show that life isn't "picture perfect" as it may seem on Instagram. "Since sharing my pregnancy this online community has been such a wonderful place for me to learn and connect with so many people. This is my reminder to YOU to remember that in life you can only control so much. Let go of all the mental nonsense that doesn’t serve you and find outlets that help release stress in your life," she ended the post. "It’s a lesson I am going to work hard on everyday for the next 12 weeks because I know once the baby comes I will definitely not be in control and nothing else will matter!"
Ashley's mom, her husband Brad McAtee, and her twin sister Lauren Wirkus rallied around her during her hospitalization. Lauren continued to show her support for her sister in a lovely Instagram post. "Can’t wait until you’re smiling and laughing again like this soon @ashleynmcatee. Although your pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest you’re STRONGER than you know and the prize at the end will make all of this worth it," Lauren gushed. "I’m so thankful that of all times I have been home and here with you - everything does happen for a reason. I LOVE YOU!"
Ashley showed her gratitude to fans for their kind words during this difficult time in her Instagram Story on Monday, March 4. "Thank you guys so, so much for all the love and support I received on my last Instagram post. You have no idea how much this means to me," she shared. "I had no idea [that] people have been also affected by this, and it means the world when people reached out and gave me so much love and support. I'm sorry that I've not been able to respond, but just know it's truly brightened my day."
Ashley and her husband, Brad, announced that they are expecting their first child, a boy, in November 2018. Their son is due to arrive in May.
Lauren recently announced that she will be splitting her time between New York City and San Diego partially in order to be close to her sister and the rest of their family on the West Coast as they await the arrival of Ashley and Brad's son.
Summer House returns for Season 3 on Monday, March 4 at 10/9c. Check out a sneak peek of the new season, below.