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Ashley Darby: Losing a Child Took a Toll on Our Relationship

"...Michael and I both felt weary about trying to conceive again out of fear of experiencing that pain and heartbreak."

Ashley Darby Is Trying a More Holistic Approach to Getting Pregnant We see you say that you’re taking a more holistic approach to getting pregnant this time around and reveal techniques you’re doing like rubbing castor oil belly on your belly and wearing wool socks to bed. Can you explain the idea behind some of these techniques?

Ashley Darby: After experiencing two miscarriages, I decided to carefully examine what is going on inside of my body. While I understand there are many reasons for infertility, before taking the Western medicine route and pumping myself with hormones, I turned to the Eastern medicine practice of naturally tuning the baby making machine. Since starting my journey as a yoga instructor and motivator, there has been a renewed sense of faith in my body and her capabilities. The sad truth is modern food production and environmental factors have drastically affected human beings functioning optimally. By turning to Traditional Chinese Medicine and the practices of holistic care, I am hoping to reset my productive system and put that little pea right in this pod. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) centers on uterine health for baby making. Castor oil packs and uterine massages help with blood flow and detoxification of the reproductive system. While it may seem a little wonky, “warm feet equal a warm uterus,” TCM believes that the body is a whole machine, so an issue in one part can appear in a different part of the body. If the feet are cold, the uterus will also be cold and life won’t be able to thrive there. And to be honest, I love having a reason to wear socks to bed. Michael doesn’t find them too sexy, but that gives me more incentive to keep his attention above the ankles and below the waist, if ya know what I mean. How does it feel reconnecting with Michael and getting closer to him this season?

AD: The topsy-turvy hills of San Francisco have nothing on the ups and downs of our relationship. We have endured a great deal together, especially as each of us continues to evolve through life. Because there is an age gap, we are always in different cycles of life with different perspectives. The challenge for us is focusing on what we share in common versus what makes us different. That is a difficult task for two head strong people, both of whom commit fully to making life their bitch and have the ultimate goal of being the best version of themselves. Taking the time to consider another person whose feelings and outlook are different from your own is quite a task. 

Thankfully, Michael and I have fully committed to living this life together.  Spending time apart and enduring the pain of separation has brought us closer together than ever before. It was a wake up call that neither of us wants to eat any other porridge, these two bowls are juuuuust right. Now we are returning to the those sappy feelings we had in the beginning of our relationship, and appreciating each other again. The old adage that "you don’t know what you have till it’s gone" is so true. I’m just thankful I got it back, and plan to never let it go again. How big of a role did blindfolding, strawberries and whipped cream play this time around in the baby making process?

AD: As much as we love and perv on each other when we can, the reality is losing a child took a toll on our relationship. Michael and I both felt weary about trying to conceive again out of fear of experiencing that pain and heartbreak. So while sex is still fun and feels good, there are times when those fears pop up and can really dampen the mood. It’s like a haunted doll baby staring at you from the corner of the room while you’re trying to get it on. Therefore, the challenge is thinking of new and exciting ways to keep those thoughts at bay and remember the nitty gritty — our strong attraction for each other. Strawberries and whipped cream is one of the many tactics we can use to stimulate other senses and keep the fire burning. Whenever possible, I seek to tantalize Michael and take him to that special zone. Surprising him with a blindfold heightens his other five senses and keeps the mind guessing. Then the strawberries and whipped cream give him the first sweet taste, and then the cherry comes on top. Let’s be real — Baby Darby isn’t going to make itself, and mama and papa need to enjoy the process too! What are some other ways that you’re trying to cut down stress in your life?

AD: There are many ways I am trying to stop overthinking and inundating my body with stress. While it’s unavoidable and natural to a certain degree, I had to realize that I’m tasking my body with the huge mission to make a baby, so I have to treat it with kindness. A few ways I made some adjustments to my stress level were adjusting my role and involvement in the daily operations of Oz, investing time into my physical health and spiritual well-being, and really being thankful for what I have been blessed to have in this life. Sure there are areas that need some work, but I lead such an incredible life. Feeling gratitude for the small things like my husband’s cute smiling face, the way my mom expresses her love for me, and the fresh food in my refrigerator really helped my cortisol levels drop while the dopamine soared! Without spoiling anything, what are you looking forward to seeing the most this season on Potomac?

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AD: Honestly, this is one of the most transformative seasons of my life. Many people have told me that turning 30 changes you for the better, but I didn’t quite know what they meant until June 8, 2018 hit and the switch was flipped! I felt confident before, but this is one a whole other level. The personal transformation in me definitely impacted my friendships with the ladies, and the conversations we had. We tackled issues and experienced life together in ways that I didn’t know we could. There is duality in any relationship, so while there were many (!) struggles I am excited to also see the triumphs we experienced. We are a wheel of women that keeps on turning!

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