Second Baby Announcement

I thought I would take a moment to share with you the Facebook announcement Mark and I made for our second child.  Not only did we mention the due date, but we also did a gender reveal.

Second Baby Announcement -

While Mark and I had a lot of fun with our first baby announcement, coming up with a second baby announcement was a little more difficult.  Especially since Andrew doesn’t quite grasp what is going on yet!

So how did we do it?  

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Mark & Ash family news – 21 May 2016

Wow, it has been so long since I did a blog update.  There have been so many ups and downs, so much news and so many hundreds of things going on since I last wrote anything on my blog.  I am so sorry for my long absence.  I’m going to try and give you as decent an update as possible.  This won’t be in any order, just as soon as stuff pops into my head.  So here I go. Continue reading “Mark & Ash family news – 21 May 2016”

My birth experience at a public hospital in South Africa

Andrew Letley |

A lot of people couldn’t believe it when I said I was going to give birth to Andrew naturally. A few more expressed even more shock when I told them I was going to have him at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein, which is a public hospital in South Africa.

The choice to have Andrew using the government system originally stemmed from not being on medical aid. A private hospital charges R50,000 for you to have a baby there without medical aid and a water birth with a private doctor costs R9,200. While we could have taken out a loan and done either of these options, we chose not to.  You see, Mark and I are earning enough to get by with, but paying back a loan is definitely not an option right now. I am so glad we chose to work with our government system, it has made me feel more connected with the country I am living in.

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About me

This morning I realized that I have never written an “About Me” page for this website.  So instead of a blog post this week, I have included an About Ash page.

Take a look at it over here.

Family Update – 33 Weeks Pregnant

I haven’t done a personal post on my blog for a while, at least not one containing general updates about the growing family, so I feel that it is high time for one.

Baby Update

First is the questions about our coming baby… We have not looked at the gender of our child again, but as mentioned before the doctor says he thought it was a boy (70% sure) so we are preparing boyish and gender neutral clothing and toys for our child.  The nurses at the clinic are happy with the progress.  Our baby is still on the lower side of the normal range, but that is to be expected since I am a small person.

I am getting large and I have noticed that shops have a severe lack of maternity clothes, especially ones in my “style”.  I have been looking for baby-doll dresses, but they don’t seem to be in fashion this season. Sleeping through a whole night is near impossible due to bathroom breaks.  There are days when I am so exhausted I just want to stay in bed all day.  The Braxton Hicks contractions have started, thankfully they are not too frequent yet, only once or twice a day, and the baby is very active, especially at night.

I am taking it easy and not forcing myself to work through all the stuff on my checklists (which are extensive) and focusing only on the “Must Do” items.  I am allowing myself plenty of leeway when it comes to household chores, and Mark has been cooking supper most nights as being on my feet for more than 20-30 minutes it tiring for me.  Continue reading “Family Update – 33 Weeks Pregnant”

2014 : The year of Faith

I hereby declare 2014 as my year of prayer and faith. Why? Well, there have been a lot of changes this past year.  If we take the year in review:


1 year wedding anniversary

Mark and Ash, wedding photograph 2013
Mark and Ash, wedding photograph 2013

Mark and I were married for 1 year on the 9th of March 2014.  I couldn’t be happier! God truly blessed me with a wonderful man, he is the perfect match for me, and I for him. To see all our wedding photographs, click here.

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Who is Authentically Ash for?

Katie’s Story

Katie is a new wife and has felt God leading her to become a homemaker (full-time), the problem is that she is a very intelligent woman who has finished law school.  She grew up in a family that encouraged all their children to become professionals.  Her brother is an engineer, and her younger sister is studying medicine.  Katie cannot explain it, but she has always just wanted to be a mom and housewife, although she feels ashamed of wanting it.  Her mother has always preached the benefits of having a job outside the home and encouraged her to be independent.  The aptitude test she did at 18 told her that she had all the skills for a law career, so that is what she studied.  She was an excellent student, acing all her subjects and passing with flying colors.  Teachers, friends and all those around her have told her how talented she is and what a wonderful lawyer she will be.  Starting her career in a law firm was a thrilling moment for her, but as the first year passed, she realized that the demands of a law career would never allow her to be the wife and mother that she dreamed of becoming.

Life got worse after she married her husband, Keith.  He was a very understanding young man, only 2 years older than her.  He loved God and his family above all else, but most of all, he supported her and saw how unhappy she was in the law career.  You know something is wrong when your wife cries every Sunday night.

Katie would cry because every Sunday night she realized that she would have another day where she would get home so exhausted she wouldn’t have the energy to cook supper, do the laundry or anything else that was so important to her.

She thought she could be a wonder woman who had it all, a beautiful home, a successful career and a happy family, but she had been trying to achieve this goal for almost 2 years, and she didn’t feel a step closer to it.  She felt as though she was a failure.

Eventually, Katie makes the decision to leave her successful law career and study something else that is not as time-consuming, something that will allow her to spend more time with her family.  Katie enrolls to become an elementary school teacher.  She is studying, improving her skills, and is now happy.

Who is this blog for?

  • This blog is for people who want to leave their careers, but are too scared to because of social/peer pressure.
  • This blog is for people who have already left their careers and are studying something else, or are running their own business from home, or have decided that they are going to be full-time helpers of their husbands.
  • This blog is for the intelligent women out there who put their homes and family above a high demand career.
  • This blog is for me, as an outlet and a means of sharing the wisdom and knowledge I acquire in my life journey.

Disclaimer: Katie is a fictional character, although her story was inspired by my own.

Baby on board

Dad with an electric guitar, mom with an acoustic guitar. Baby shoes with drumsticks and the words "Our Duo is becoming a Power Trio".
Dad with an electric guitar, mom with an acoustic guitar. Baby shoes with drumsticks and the words "Our Duo is becoming a Power Trio".
Our baby announcement

Last weekend, Mark and I announced that we are expecting a baby to join our family at the end of April 2015.  You can see our baby announcement above.

Some of the most common questions that I have received since the announcement are:

  • Are you having morning sickness?
  • Was the baby planned?
  • Are you excited?
  • Are you planning to find out the gender when you can?
  • Are you taking folic acid?
  • Any gut feelings on whether it will be a boy or girl?
  • Any idea on names yet?

In answer to these questions…

  1. I have had evening sickness, not morning sickness.  If I don’t have a full stomach before 5:30pm, then I become nauseous after 6pm and simply stay horizontal on the bed or sofa for the rest of the evening.  If I have eaten before 5:30pm, then I am normally fine for the evening.
  2. 50-50 : we were not using any birth control (on purpose), but we decided to leave the timing of this child up to God, so we were not actively trying.
  3. Of course I am excited!
  4. I didn’t want anybody (including myself) to know if the child is going to be a boy or a girl before the birth.  Mark wants to find out as soon as possible.  Therefore, I have submitted (this time around) and we will be finding out.
  5. Yes, I started the day after I got a positive pregnancy test.  I am also taking Salmon Oil capsules, a multi-vitamin for pregnant women and a calcium/magnesium tablet.
  6. I had a gut feeling the child will be a boy a few days after the positive pregnancy test.  Mark had a dream about the child, and that it was a boy, a few weeks later.  My mother also says she has a gut feeling it will be a boy.  I know that I will be happy either way though.
  7. Andrew for a boy.  Daviny (pronounced Day-vin-nee) for a girl.

Some of the things that people have not asked, but Mark and I hold strong opinions about, is that if it is a girl we are decorating the room in red.  If the baby is a boy, then we are decorating the room in green.  I’ve never been fond of the “cotton candy” colors that dominate mainstream shops when it comes to the baby section.

The second thing is that as far as toys are concerned, our child is going to have lots of Duplo, Lego and books.  Those are our toys of choice for the child (boy or girl) until the child’s personality becomes apparent and we can cater for their personal interests.  We are definitely going to put value on fewer High Quality toys, over hundreds of “cheap” toys.

Lastly, assuming there are no complications, I am planning to have a natural birth.  I am also planning on breastfeeding as much as possible in the first few months and we are going to only use disposable nappies if we are going “out” with our child.  Around the house and at the grandparents house we are going to use toweling nappies.

More than this, I am speculating and thinking about the major decisions that will come along and weighing up the options, but I know that many of these decisions can only be made when the baby is here.  My number 1 goal is to develop an understanding of the child’s personality and interests, then to encourage the child to become the best that he/she was made to be.