by christine victoria alexander

Friday, July 31, 2020

ARE YOU FED UP YET?


I'm fed up!

Earlier this week I posted this video of America's Frontline Doctors doing a press conference sharing their medical findings and encouraging Americans not to continue living in a web of fear. They shared about how we should not be afraid of Covid-19, they talked about a cure with an incredibly high success rate (hydroychloroquine), and how children aren't the ones spreading this disease so school restarting should be absolutely fine!. The core of their message was so positive: American lives matter, we have a cure for Covid-19, let's use it and start LIVING again!

That video was completely scrubbed from the web within 24 hours. Friends, we can't get rid of child pornography but we can scrub a video of notable doctors sharing an unpopular opinion in a matter of hours. Riddle me that. Facebook censored it, Instagram censored it, YouTube censored it, Twitter censored it and blocked accounts promoting it. If you even "liked" or "shared" that video on Instagram you got a message back from Instagram saying they noticed you "liked" or "shared" a video that contained harmful false information and it has since been removed.

If you're wondering why, let me tell you. That video goes against their agenda. It's not acceptable for you to believe that hydroxychloroquine can save lives, it's important that you continue living in fear, keep wearing that (useless) mask, and keep waiting until the vaccine is released.
This is disgraceful.


This quote has been circulating on Instagram and Twitter since then and I couldn't agree more:

"There are always opposing views in medicine. Treatment options for Covid-19 should be debated, and spoken about among our colleagues in the medical field. They should never, however be censored and silenced." 






I hope this post wasn't just thought provoking but action provoking. Are you fed up? Let's start thinking for ourselves, standing up for our freedoms, and stop living in fear! Happy Friday, friends!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

PREGNANCY Q&A


Hi friends! Today I'm answering your questions about pregnancy, home birth, water birth and anything else you sent me! I got such an enthusiastic response on my Instagram stories when I asked you all to send in questions so if you enjoy this I'll do another one in a couple more months and answer some more! P.S. I didn't type these out in any specific order, just how they came in on my phone so sorry if they are a little all over the place!

Let's jump in!

Q: Will you be finding out the gender? 

A: Yes! We found out with the first three and I definitely want to find out with this one! I like to make myself wait until about 20 weeks. It makes the second half of the pregnancy so fun because I get to start shopping for cute little clothes and special things for the nursery. 

Q: When are you due?

A: End of January ๐Ÿ’›

Q: How did you decide to do a home birth? Did your mom have home births with all of you?

A: My mom actually had all her babies in the hospital! I would have done the same if my sister hadn't decided to do a home birth first. She researched everything, found a great midwife (the same one I use now!) and encouraged me to do the same! If you're interested at all in going that route or exploring your options I recommend reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - it's eye opening! 

Q: I want to do a home birth but hubs is worried it's too risky. How do I get him on board?

A: Talk to a midwife with your husband and let him bring up any concerns he has. Read Ina May's book together. Watch The Business of Being Born. Meet up with other couples that have done a home birth and talk about it together. A good midwife will be able to reassure your husband, talk through different scenarios and get you both to a place where you are comfortable. 

A lot of people have the misconception that home births are risky. I think it's because in a hospital 101 things can/do go wrong. We've all heard them, "The baby is in distress..." "The cord is wrapped around the baby's neck..." "You aren't dilating fast enough we need to get you into surgery..." "Your pelvis is too small / shaped incorrectly to be able to birth the baby..." "Baby is breech..." and the list goes on and on. The reality is this: our bodies know what to do! Giving birth should make us feel empowered, not afraid! In every one of these scenarios a good midwife would know exactly what to do. You can have a breech baby at home. You can have twins at home. You can have a small pelvis and still birth your baby at home. Your baby's heart rate can drop just before it is born and usually does. You are on your own timeline at home and can birth however quickly or slowly you want. In my opinion, there are SO many positives to birthing at home. Do your research, read books, educate yourself, be openminded, and in the end birth where you feel safe, supported, and nurtured.  

This is a fantastic article about the safety of home births! 

"Birth is a natural event that sometimes needs medical help. Not a medical event that sometimes happens naturally."

Q: I have the worst morning sickness right now - TIPS PLEASE! 

A: Ugh I am so sorry! Morning sickness is no fun. I'm sure you've already googled this and read the 80 million suggestions to keep crackers on hand and eat every couple hours. I wish that worked for everyone! With this pregnancy I started getting IV drips at around 8 or 9 weeks, twice a week. It has helped immensely! It keeps me hydrated when I can hardly keep liquids down and has made the nausea so much better! So that's my #1 tip. Another tip a nurse gave me was to have a bit of healthy fat when I felt nauseous (like avocado on a rice cake or a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter), wait 20 minutes and then eat a meal/snack. I think it helps! Hope you start feeling better soon! 

Q: What's the name of the birth course you do while you're pregnant?

A: Hypnobabies! I've used it with each pregnancy and plan on using it again! It's a 6 week self-hypnosis course you do in your last trimester to prepare yourself for an easy, comfortable birth. I love and recommend it to anyone open minded enough to try it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q: How did you find your midwife? 

A: As mentioned above I was put in touch with her by my sister! Not all midwives are the same and it is worth interviewing a few if you don't really click with the first one you meet. Try interviewing a few and find someone that you trust and connect with. This is a great list of questions to ask a midwife! 

Q: Do you have a name picked out? 

A: Nope! Isaac and I haven't been able to agree on names and it's a little stressful to me because I like to have that all sorted out in the beginning and be able to talk to the baby by name throughout my pregnancy! I keep googling more lists of names and bouncing them off of him. (And I keep bringing up the names I like every week to see if maybe he forgot and now he likes them.) ๐Ÿ˜‚

Q: How do you combat PPD (postpartum depression)? 

A: While I haven't experienced PPD personally I know it is a very real concern for many mothers. I reached out to my midwife to get her perspective on this and will update the post with her response as soon as I have it!

In the meantime, I have read skin to skin contact with baby can play a huge role in decreasing PPD!
This article has more information! 

Q: I really want to do a water birth! Can I use my bathtub?

A: Unless your tub is pretty deep I would get a birthing pool (or borrow one from a friend)! Water births are amazing but you need to be able to birth the baby completely underwater so if you're moving through your contractions or up on all fours and all of a sudden you're halfway out of the water that's a problem. The birthing pool gives you more room to move around and choose whatever position is comfortable for you without worrying about the water level. 
This is the one I have and I love it - I just buy a new liner ($30) for each birth! 

You could still use your tub for labor though! The water relaxes your muscles and melts the contractions. 

Q: Due with my 2nd in 3 weeks and I'm having a home birth! What's something I might have forgotten to have on hand? 

A: Yay! Congratulations! I am so excited for you! Hmm... pineapple juice and a cozy robe! (I wrote this post about preparing for a home birth that has more ideas!)

Q: Where do you shop for maternity clothes? 

A: I love Asos for cute dresses to wear with a bump! If I don't find anything in their maternity section I search for non-maternity maxi dresses and try anything that has a higher waist or fuller skirt that could fit over a bump. Also love Blanqi for tanks and tights! My sister has been telling me great things about Bao Bei so I might try their support bands this time!

Q: Favorite / least favorite part of pregnancy?

A: Haha this is a fun question! I would say my favorite part is either the ultrasound when you see that wiggly little peanut for the first time OR shopping for all the teeny tiny clothes! Least favorite part is definitely the morning sickness!

This was so fun! Thank you for sending in questions! I'll try to do another in a couple months to answer some more! xx

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

IN MY MIND'S EYE


I am constantly looking at homes for sale in the area just waiting for our "dream home" to pop up now that we have a better idea of what we want 10, 20, 30 years from now. I'll frequently see one and send it to Isaac, and let me tell you, when we first got married he would send back a puzzled, "Is that your style??" and it wasn't until years later he learned that I see everything through a "IT HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL" lens. Isaac was not born with the ability to see a room or a house and change the color or the size or move the walls around in his head. But that is literally ALL I see when I search home listings: the possibilities! (Oh and he gets it now. He's actually started sending me homes saying, "I bet you could do something amazing with this!!" ๐Ÿ’›)

So anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you a little bit of how my brain works! I view every home for sale as a blank canvas just waiting for me or you or someone else to come along and make it their own. There are plenty of very dated homes in the Charlotte area being sold for less because they need work to bring them up to date. Honestly, that's my favorite kind of home to find! I would rather buy a dated home and make it exactly what I want than buy a home completely updated in someone else's style that I have to live with!

Here is a listing for a home on 2.5 acres in Waxhaw (just a little ways outside of Charlotte for those of you who aren't local) that caught my eye. I'm a sucker for white brick so I immediately want to paint the brick a soft creamy white for less 90's and more french countryside.
*images via Zillow & Pinterest



Anytime I see a home like this I always look to see if the kitchen has any potential. This kitchen is full of very nice appliances and new cabinets but it's smooshed into the corner of the room and it looks a little awkward! 



I would tear out the old kitchen and dining area, (save the appliances) and turn the whole thing sideways to face the family room like these spaces designed by Chango & Co. and Studio Ezra.




There may not be room for the kitchen table to run lengthwise through the room but it could run horizontally or the kitchen island could be used as the kitchen table like The Fox Group did here:


The window next to the dining area could be turned into the window over the sink. 




Moving on to the master bedroom. I love that it's on the main floor and has a walk-out to the covered deck. The windows on either side of the bed are pretty - try to see past the curved walls and the drapes... 




The master bath is another awkward design with the tub smooshed into the corner. There is a walk in shower, double vanity and a water closet. Just needs a little updating. Because of the awkwardness with the tub I would consider extending the shower to the windows where the tub is (I love the idea of natural light in a shower!) and putting the tub inside the shower. 






Skipping past the other bedrooms and the workout room - the last thing I check is the outdoor area. This home has room for entertaining, a big pool, and beautifully landscaped grounds. The only area that I think needs a little love is the covered deck "with retractable awning." ๐Ÿ˜‚ Nothing a coat of paint can't fix! 



And there you have it! I hope this was fun! Tell me, do you do the same thing when you see dated listings or is hard for you to picture? Isaac and I talk a lot about custom building a home in the future but when it comes down to it I'll bet we end up buying something old with good bones and renovating it! I love a good before and after!
Hope you are having a great week! xx

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Friday, July 24, 2020

WE'RE HAVING A BABY!


Sunday morning, May 31st, I woke up and took a pregnancy test.
I was 99% sure I was pregnant. I didn't sleep a wink the whole night waiting to take that test first thing in the morning.

You see, while some women struggle with heart wrenching infertility or miscarriage, other women simply look at a baby and get pregnant, whether or not they were planning on it! I fall into the latter category. Isaac and I were actually using a natural contraception method and I thought it was working really well until I started to notice it was painful to nurse Madeline - a feeling I know only too well as a sign of early pregnancy. 
When I saw that positive pregnancy test on Sunday morning I could have been disappointed, but I am religious and believe that God's timing, while sometimes different than mine, is always perfect. His story for my life is more beautiful than anything I could ever write. So when I saw that test I decided to be excited and grateful! I felt butterflies!


I wanted to tell Isaac right away but his birthday and Father's Day were just a couple of weeks away and I thought it would be so much more fun to surprise him with the news! (Especially since I knew there was no way he was expecting it!) Fast forward two of the longest weeks of my life - on our trip to Savannah I gave Isaac his birthday gifts and one of them was a box filled with baby clothes and a note saying "Hi Daddy, I can't wait to meet you this winter! Love, Baby #4" 

Isaac was ecstatic! I knew he would be. 



I have made some very dear friendships with women who I know have struggled or are currently struggling with infertility or loss. It breaks my heart. I would hate to come across as thoughtless or flippant in sharing this story. I cannot imagine what it is like to be in your shoes, friends. Carrying a baby is an enormous blessing and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do it again. 

Olive and Rosie are so excited. We let them call up some of our relatives and tell the news themselves. I wish I had recorded them - it was so cute! We had our first ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and brought home personalized ultrasound photos for each of the girls which they hung over their beds. ๐Ÿงก

Looking forward to sharing more of this pregnancy with you! I want to do an FAQ post on pregnancy / home birth - if you have any questions send them to me and I'll include them! xx


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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

PHOTO DIARY FROM KIAWAH ISLAND

We spontaneously decided to visit Kiawah Island on our way home from Savannah and found an airbnb available just a 4 minute walk from the beach. Kiawah is beautiful! It was a our first time here and the beach was so pretty. Very clean, not too crowded, family friendly, lots of people riding bikes to and from the beach. We are huge Hilton Head fans and I think Kiawah has a similar feel, but I was disappointed there was not a single health food grocer anywhere nearby. I searched for a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, even a Publix and couldn't find anything. So I love Hilton Head just a teeny bit more because it caters to health nuts like me that drink smoothies and buy organic!

We had mostly cloudy weather which was actually pleasant because we spent all day on the beach but didn't feel fried at the end of the day thanks to all the cloud cover. 
Olive played from the moment we touched the sand to the moment we walked up to the house. She doesn't stop - it can be freezing water or cold and windy and she will have fun! She has become incredibly independent over the last year and will march ahead of us leading the way or leave the tidal pools to go dig near the "big waves" with her bucket and shovel. 
Rosie enjoys the water but if she's cold or tired she curls up in a towel in her beach chair and snacks on pretzels or people-watches. She likes to be close to us and cuddle. She would love nothing more than to spend the whole day wrapped in a warm towel snuggled up with Isaac and I. She really really loves physical touch and closeness. 
Madeline was such a joy to watch this year - the beach is still so new to her and she loves it! Tidal pool queen! She sat and splashed and played with the little ice cream sand toys we brought. She rolled on her belly and pretended to swim and kick her feet. She ate the sand. She tried to pick up the hermit crabs. She waved and smiled to everyone. She walked up and down the beach with me picking up shells. I loved watching her take everything in and explore. 

Here is my short photo diary from the trip... 







After a particularly sandy day on the beach the girls all hopped in the shower with me to rinse off. Afterward, we sat on the deck eating cherries while Isaac cooked dinner. It just felt like one of those moments that I'll hold onto for a long time. The girls all licking their stained fingers and spitting their pits out laughing at who got theirs the farthest. Madeline discovering cherries for the first time. The salty air. The best memories really are made in the simple little moments between all the big ones. 











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