Our 2017 Focuses- Yeah Buddy!

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2016 came and went, wow. It was one of our family’s most successful years yet in terms of side hustles, income and paying down debt. With my baby no longer a newborn, I was able to get into a groove of things and feel like my normal self again, just juggling the care and schedule of an infant/toddler. No big deal! ūüėČ

One of my main focuses in 2016 was personal finance. I started to realize that this needed to be a top priority in our Hussey Home if we were ever going to get where we wanted to be and to live the life that Jonathan and I want to be able to live. We couldn’t just make goals without also making financial goals. Ones that we worked towards on a monthly basis.

And to be honest, having these financial goals is one reason why I think we were so successful with our freelance income last year. Because we had a reason to hustle.

I remember in 2015, sitting in the Bi-Lo parking lot with my husband. Needing to go inside and buy groceries. Looking at our bank account on our phone and realizing that we had yet again over-drafted. Not once, but three transactions. Which resulted in three $35 fees. Which was a deficit of at least $105. Jonathan called and tried to get them to at least drop the fees; I think they were willing to drop one. We were getting paid in a few days. But there was no money for groceries now. I just sat in the car and cried while Jon scrounged up some cash from inside the car and got a few items from the store. I don’t think there is much lower of a feeling. Or much more of an important one. ¬†

We realized we couldn’t do this anymore. We had a baby on the way and something had to change.

I started searching out podcasts about money and finally landed on someone I felt like I could trust who wasn’t trying to sell me something. Dave Ramsey. The cursed name in some households. A name I recognized from¬†my childhood. And I started devouring hours and hours and hours of Dave podcasts. This changed everything. I was stubborn at first and would only get on board with a little bit at a time. But over a year later, I am hooked and our lives have changed forever. Not to mention, my stress levels have gone from about a 9.5 to like a 1.5. That’s pretty drastic.

So I want to break down our focuses and accomplishments from 2016 and then our current ones.

2016-

  1. Save a small emergency fund ($1000)
  2. Get out of debt!  (No car loans, credit cards, medical bills, business loans, SCHOOL loans, nothing! It all must go.)
  3. Get on a working budget
  4. Cut our expenses down to the essentials with a little wriggle room
  5. Get term life insurance

We got our small emergency fund which has helped us not ever be in the over-draft situation again. We started off with $23,000 worth of debt (small school loan, credit card, car loan and¬†big school loan) and we have worked it down to $11,000. How were were we ever over-drafting, you might ask? It’s all in the math, or in the non-math. And don’t forget the extra side-hustles we took on to help accomplish this. Honestly, I feel like we could’ve tackled our debt a¬†little more but we lived a little life here and there and didn’t sacrifice as deep as we probably could have.

Has it been easy? No. We’ve just been working our butts off because we have a goal. Without a goal, there’s no way to accomplish anything.¬†

Even though “get on a working budget” is number 4 on the list, it has absolutely been the most vital to the success of our goals. Since we both work a lot of freelance work, we create a new budget each month depending on our income that month and we track every single expense.

So back to 2017. We’re excited. Here are our new focuses:

  1. Have a baby debt-free (Due August 23rd!)
  2. Finish our debt snowball (bye bye car payments and final school loan balance)
  3. Stay out of debt – forever and ever, amen
  4. Christina go totally freelance (yay!)
  5. Both of us get our incomes up (there’s always an up)

So this year looks a bit more refined. We’re working our budget monthly, we’re making progress on our debt, we are focused on staying debt free (including cash-flowing a hospital birth) and we’ll be making some business plunges.

Life is good!

I’m excited to share this part of my life. If you’re interested in this kind of stuff (as well as other stuff we have going on in our home), I invite you to stick around and join the conversation! Money doesn’t have to be scary, it just has to make sense. I’m certainly no expert, just somebody who has lived a very normal life and is looking to live a bit more abnormal moving forward.

xoxo

Christina

 

Elodie Rose Birth Story

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I’ve been so incredibly anxious to write Elodie’s¬†birth story out. I never realized it would mean anything to me or that I would be interested in sharing such an intimate experience. But honestly, after going through it, I realize that it was such a pivotal experience for me in my life and leading up to the birth of Elodie I found¬†so much comfort in reading all sorts of different birth stories. I also never realized how important a support system is during this time and having people around that have gone through similar experiences is so key in preparing for such an experience and being able to be confident to go through it yourself.

Here are the three main things I learned through the birth of Elodie (pronounced like Melody, without the M):

1) My body was made to not only build this baby, but to successfully deliver this baby. I had to let go of fears early on and cling to the fact that my body was made to do this, that I had an incredible medical team supporting me if anything went wrong and that the Lord knew how everything would play out and that I could trust in Him.

2) My husband is amazing. He was there for me leading up to the birth, he supported me in the type of birth I had hoped to have and he was by my side throughout the whole process and made me feel like the most amazing woman on Earth. Our relationship was strengthened immensely through the whole experience.

3) Pregnancy, labor & delivery and even newborns are all wildly inconvenient. But nothing in this life that is worth having comes easy. And the reward far outweighs any inconvenience. The lasting impacts (like stretch marks, etc…) I really don’t mind at all!

So now that I’ve got those thoughts out of my head…here is the story of how Elodie Rose came into this world.

I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since 28 weeks. They were basically all day, every day and usually around 7-10 minutes apart whenever they were happening. I was well aware of them, but they were very mild. I had to keep myself from timing them because I became super obsessive about them and¬†would worry myself that¬†I was going to go into pre-term labor. On Friday, a few days before I was 38 weeks I had my weekly checkup and was at 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. Honestly, I was not surprised and was hoping something was going on because it seemed like my BH contractions had picked up a little bit that week. I left the appointment feeling encouraged.¬†On Sunday, Jon and I went to a baby shower for another couple and during the shower I decided I needed to start timing my contractions because they seemed pretty close together and some of them were a little more intense than I had felt before. I started timing and sure enough, they started about 7-10 mins apart but were slowly getting closer to 5-7 mins consistently. Some even 3-5 mins consistently. I was getting uneasy and uncomfortable, thankfully the baby shower was wrapping up so Jon and I decided to head out. My mind was reeling…was this going to turn into the real thing? Once we were home I decided to lay down (per my mom’s suggestion) to see if they would peter out, but they stayed consistent. Jon and I went to bed that night and just decided to wait and see what was going on. The next morning I woke up and they had petered out a good bit. I decided to go ahead into work and wait it out. By the time I was driving to work they picked back up again. And by lunch time they were coming every 3-5 minutes. Don’t they tell you if you are having contractions every 3-5 minutes for an hour you need to call your doctor? So I called the office and they scheduled me an appointment that afternoon to come by and just get checked to see what was going on. I went in and got checked and was at 2cm dilated, 90% effaced. I told the midwife how confused I was…were these real contractions or not?? She reassured me that yes, they were real contractions and they were doing their job. Unfortunately, sometimes these early labor contractions can go on for days, maybe even weeks. That’s not really what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to have to deal with contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart for the next 2-3 weeks. She said if that was the case, nature would be playing a cruel joke on me and told me to stop timing them and to just wait until I couldn’t walk or talk through them.

I went home, a little encouraged that I was making progress, and a little concerned that this might be my new normal for a little while longer. Tuesday morning I decided to stay home from work just to see how the day went. It went by the same as the day before, contractions all day but nothing I couldn’t handle. Wednesday morning I had Jon drive me to work (because I couldn’t drive through the contractions at this point) and he stayed nearby while I worked a few hours and got everything wrapped up for my maternity leave. By lunchtime I was done. The contractions were stronger and I was getting exhausted. He came and got me, we got lunch, did a few things around town and then headed home. That evening the contractions were still going strong and were now 2-4 minutes apart consistently and had been for about 4 hours. I decided to call the on call nurse just in case…even though I could still walk and talk through the contractions. From what I was saying, she said I needed to come in to the hospital and they would check me out at triage. I was so nervous, everything at this point was such a mind game. We got checked into triage and the midwife came in to check me. I was only about 3cm dilated and still 90% effaced (I think, not sure if she told me or not). Gosh, I felt so disheartened. They decided to have my walk the halls (as fast as a mall walker) for the next hour and then they would check me again. If no progress, they would send me home. So Jon and I set out and walked quickly the same little halls over the next hour as fast as I could manage, taking breaks for certain strong contractions.

After an hour we made it back to our room and we got checked again, and sure enough…no progress. At our hospital, they don’t admit until you are 4-5cm dilated because that’s when active labor starts (unless your water has broken). They encourage laboring at home as long as possible for the best possible outcome. Which I totally agree with, but is also hard when you are going through all this for the first time and have no real idea what to expect.

Thursday and Friday came and went. They were discouraging days. Jon and I went on long walks in the park, I ate eggplant parmesan, more walks, bounced on the birthing ball, nothing new.

Saturday morning (39 weeks along) I woke up in tears. I was done. I couldn’t handle this anymore. I should be going in to work¬†if nothing is going to happen. I should be able to drive myself around. I felt like this was going to go on forever! I sent a facebook message in desperation to a friend of mine who has had four kids just looking for some support or advice on how to handle this. I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. She called me and was so encouraging. She told me the best thing to do today would be to just rest. Get some spicy lunch with Jon and take a nap. She also texted her midwife telling her my situation and her midwife felt like I was a good candidate to take a half dose of castor oil if I wanted to, since I was already progressing.

So that’s what we did. We went and got some amazing Indian food, I took some castor oil and then I came home and took a beautiful 2 hour nap. Yes, I had some additional bowel movements, but nothing much worse than what I was already experiencing during pregnancy.

That evening, it was about 7:30pm and I was getting antsy from all the resting. Jon and I decided to go take a “stroll” through our neighborhood park. Nothing too big of a deal like our other walks. I was trying to reach my shoes off the ground and they were stuck under the coffee table a little bit so I basically had to get on all fours to get them (you pregnant women should be able to understand this). All of a sudden I felt my water break. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy Jonathan was at home and not at work so that he could reassure me that yes, my water definitely did break. Haha. It was now around 7:45pm and I called the hospital and after answering some questions with the nurse, she sent us in.

THIS WAS IT. Finally! No waiting on the contractions to get “stronger” or deciding when it was the time to call. There was no being sent home after this. Oh man, we could finally feel excited.

Our car was basically packed already so we headed out. On our way to the hospital, the light outside was so strangely golden, unlike anything I had seen in a long time. It just resonated in our hearts that the timing was just perfect. Then as we got on to the interstate we noticed this huge rainbow and sure enough it was right over the hospital. We just felt like the Lord was watching over us and was confirming things in our hearts even on the way to the hospital. I felt His peace and was excited to move into this phase of labor.

We got checked into triage and our midwife came in and checked me. There was no need to even check if my water broke because it was pretty apparent that yes it had, haha. I was 3-4cm dilated at this point (of course…) and she warned me that if I didn’t progress within 12 hours they would have to induce labor to avoid any risk of infection.¬†I really really really did not want to have to be induced.

Before I got pregnant I just figured I would do the whole epidural thing and just go with whatever I was told. But then when I was pregnant and started to research about birth myself, I watched “The Business of Being Born” and then began to read books by Ina May Gaskin (I would highly recommend her books or even her youtube videos!). My whole mindset about birth changed. I realized that it wasn’t something to be afraid of, yet it was something that our bodies were created to do. And that by interfering with chemicals (unless it’s an emergency) we are hindering our bodies from fully performing their jobs and often times it makes labor worse or creates issues that result in further medical interventions. Not to mention, I’m terrible with needles and the very idea of someone injecting immobilizing drugs into my spinal fluid REALLY freaked me out more than being in pain from birth… I will pretty much choose anything over that. Anyways, there are many other reasons I decided I wanted to try for an unmedicated birth, and if you want, feel free to ask me. I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

The keyword here is TRY. I knew I had no real idea of what I was getting myself into and if labor went on too long and I couldn’t handle it, I would not feel like a failure if I decided to get an epidural.

So after we got checked into the hospital, I put my clothes back on and we decided to walk the halls. By this point the contractions were definitely picking up in intensity very quickly. I was texting family and friends while walking the halls and keeping people updated during the breaks of my contractions. It was exciting. Then suddenly they jumped to a new level and we decided to head to our room where I labored by leaning over the bed during contractions and sitting on the birthing ball. My nurse started to fill up the jacuzzi tub, knowing I wanted to be able to labor in there also. It took forever for that thing to fill up but when it did I was already feeling so ready to get in it, hoping it would take some pressure off during the contractions. It was nice at first, but the water was insanely hot to me for some reason so Jon was constantly bringing me cold wash cloths for my forehead and neck every few minutes. I was probably in the tub for about an hour before I wanted my nurse to check me. She didn’t want to check me too much because she didn’t want to introduce infection but she obliged. I got out and got on the bed and at this point I was only at 5cm. The contractions had escalated in intensity again and I got back into the tub. I started to get pretty nervous. Each contraction was extremely painful and I was only at 5cm…was I going to be able to handle transition?! We labored I guess for a few more hours in the tub…I really have no concept of time but know time passed and I spent most of my time in the tub. Finally I couldn’t find any relief from each contraction and was just so ready to give up. I kept telling Jon that I couldn’t do it and that maybe I should just get the epidural. He was so encouraging and reassuring me that I was doing great and to keep breathing. The nurse came into the bathroom to check my blood pressure (I think?) and I told her I couldn’t do it anymore. She also was so encouraging and told me that yes I could. And then she told me she wanted to check me again. I was a little relieved to get out of the tub because I was getting so frustrated in the tub at this point but didn’t know how I would find relief on the bed. She checked me but I don’t recall her telling me if I had progressed. Contractions were on top of each other at this point and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was also so hot that they turned the AC down to 55 degrees and covered me in ice packs. It didn’t help fully so I said I needed something, anything! I had an IV hookup on my arm that wasn’t connected to anything, but was there in case of an emergency. She asked me if I wanted a shot of pain killer through the IV that would last about an hour and would give me some rest in between contractions. I didn’t think I could manage much longer so I said yes. It started working immediately. The contractions were still very intense¬†but I was able to go into a mild sleep in between each contraction. At this point I could also feel the baby’s head crowning. I communicated that to the nurse but she didn’t seem phased. She just told me to work through the contractions. For the next hour I was in and out of sleep, opening my eyes to Jon who was always at eye level reminding me to breathe. At one point I remember saying to Jon “I’m tired of breathing!” After that hour,¬†the medicine wore off and I was fully awake again. I told her again that I could feel the baby crowning. She told me to flip over from my right side to my left side. Pretty soon after I did that, my body went into high gear. When a contraction would come, my body would start pushing on its own, I couldn’t stop it. The nurse was super calm and then all of a sudden there was another nurse and they had gloves on and were prepping things and I realized they were getting ready for me to push this baby out.

My body continued to push during contractions and I thought the baby might come before any of us were ready for her. I couldn’t stop or slow down the pushing even if I wanted to. At this point I wasn’t really worried about pain anymore, I was just trying to keep up with the nurses. Next thing I knew they were telling me to push! I pushed through a few contractions with them and then suddenly the midwife was in the room, all suited up for delivery. It seemed like everything happened so fast. I kept asking “are you sure?!” every time they would tell me to push. I didn’t want to start pushing if she wasn’t on her way out and really wanted to control the pushing to keep from tearing as much as possible. The midwife was super reassuring and did a great job at directing me as to when to push and when to rest.¬†She was comforting and told me I had more control over my body than she sees in most deliveries.¬†That gave me the confidence boost I needed and I pushed through about 5-7 contractions over the course of about 20 minutes and finally through one final push the baby was here!

She came out at 3:04 am and the midwife asked if we wanted to let the cord finish pulsating, which yes, we did want. She had a short cord so baby girl laid on my belly for a few minutes until it finished and then Jon cut the cord. It was such an amazing feeling. They did all the afterbirth things but I was hardly aware of any of it because I was just so immersed in taking in this new little person who was all ours. Who I had just worked so hard for. It was incredible.

CMC Pineville has such an amazing maternity center. They encourage skin to skin immediately and to begin breastfeeding immediately. They also encourage a full hour of just mom, dad and baby before any visitors come in so that you have a chance to really bond with the baby for a little bit before she gets passed around. It was also a few hours before they ever took her off my chest to weigh her and a day or so before she got her first bath. A healthy 8 pounds, 4 ounces, 19 inches long! And honestly, pushing out an 8 pound baby really wasn’t that¬†big of a deal ūüėČ

Finally after about an hour, family came pouring in to meet little Elodie Rose. I felt amazing. I had gotten cleaned up and couldn’t believe that I was already feeling good enough to walk around. I almost immediately felt back to normal (I wasn’t – but I felt like it!) That was one thing I really appreciated about not having an epi, was the ability to feel like myself right after birth and not be hooked up to anything or wait for medication to wear off. Also, Elodie was extremely alert and active as soon as she came out which was so awesome and made it worth it to me to have gone as natural as possible.

Even though early labor felt like it lasted forever, it really was all such a mind game. There were times during active labor that I definitely wanted to give up and I think no matter how women choose to deliver their babies, we are all champions. It’s probably one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things to go through in life no matter how the baby comes and I’m so thankful that I was blessed to be able to experience it and hopefully will again in the future one day.

Elodie is now three weeks old and we are doing great. The first few days were full of pure bliss, sleep deprivation and a whole new learning curve of what to do with this tiny human. The next two weeks were a huge adjustment and I was so happy to have my mom here to stay with us and help us out in sooo many ways. Now I feel like we are finally getting used to this new normal. She’s getting on a great feeding and starting to get on a great sleeping schedule. Who knew these tiny beings could be so complicated? It’s been a fun ride!

And lastly,¬†the story of her name: Elodie is just a name that we came across and put on our list the day we found out she was a girl. We didn’t totally decide on it until we were on our way to the hospital. It means “foreign riches” and in our hearts that translates as treasure from Heaven. She’s a gift to us from above and we are blessed that she was given to our little family. She’s our treasure. Rose comes from my maiden name which is “DeRosa.” It was really hard to drop my maiden name when I got married because I am so sentimental. I always wanted to give my daughter a name that had tremendous meaning and what better way than to give her a version of my family’s surname. I’m proud of where she came from and I always want her to feel connected to her roots.

Thanks for checking in and reading my story. Love you all!

Christina

35 Weeks | 4 Days

Wow, so much has happened since my last post – as usual right? It’s been a whirlwind¬†of a month in the best way possible. Since my last update, I styled AND shot a wedding (that was exhausting), I’ve gone down to Georgia for a super sweet baby shower, celebrated my dad’s 50th birthday also while in GA, been working usual hours and just had Mom & Dad up for our Charlotte shower! We have yet to complete any classes at the hospital or have our hospital tour (coming in the next few weeks) but other than that, we are gearing up for baby. We got so many wonderful essentials from both of our baby showers and feel so blessed by all the love and support everyone has been showing us.

We had a check up Monday¬†and my blood pressure was great, gained a couple more pounds, baby’s heartbeat was good and as far as my midwife could tell the baby’s head was down and is getting into the correct position. We are now going to be going in for a checkup once a week! How crazy that we are already at this point!

I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold this week which is absolutely the worst when pregnant because you can’t take basic cold medicine for relief! Two days of staying home in the bed to try and ward it away and I’m back to work today, just drinking lots of fluids and trying to let my body recover on it’s own. I did however get a neti-pot. Oh man, I must have been desperate. Those things are so crazy and weird.

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This photo was actually taken last week but with being sick, I’m not up for any new photos. I’ll post photos in my next post of the nursery – promise!

Weight Gained:¬†I’ve gained about 29 pounds so far!

Baby Size:¬†She’s about 5.5 pounds and about 18 inches long or so. My app compares her to the size of a honey dew melon this week.

Labor Signs:¬†Lots of BH contractions and she’s definitely getting into position more.

Symptoms:¬†Baby girl has definitely hit a growth spurt. So a main symptom is getting used to her moving around now that she’s taking up almost all of the space. Also, it’s been so warm and I’m finding it hard to stay cooled down. So I just keep my face in the AC pretty much as often as possible and take cold baths¬†to cool down. And warm baths with epsom¬†salt (thanks mom!) to keep the swelling down.

Movement:¬†She’s very active this one. And sometimes I can feel her little feet just kicking right next to each other under my right rib cage. It’s pretty cute until she wedges one up under my rib. Haha.

Food Cravings:¬†I’ve been loving spicy food pretty much this whole time. And that remains true.¬†¬†

Food Aversions: Nothing really.

Sleep:¬†I’ve been sleeping pretty bad this week, mostly just cause of being sick. I hope once this cold passes over I’ll be able to get more rest.

Miss Anything? Nope.

Looking forward to:¬†Besides baby girl coming? I guess…going swimming at some point this summer! This weather is calling for a swim.

Belly Button in or out?¬†Technically it looks like an innie still, it’s just a protruding innie ha.

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy?

New Baby Items: Well since we have had two baby showers, we have gotten TONS of new essentials! Everything from adorable baby clothes to a changing pad for the dresser. We are getting our stroller and carseat at the end of the week.

Exercise:¬†Going for walks every now and then. Just went on a nice long walk with my parents, Jonathan and our pup this past weekend when they were here. I’ve noticed though when I go on long walks my BH contractions really pick up for the rest of the day and I’m pretty much wiped out.

Love you all and thanks for checking in!

Christina

31 Weeks | 4 Days

Hey from here! Today we are midweek of being 31 weeks! We just had a checkup with our midwife this past Monday and all went great. I’m measuring right on target, baby is moving non-stop these days, her heart rate was about 140 and her head is down – hoping it stays that way! Also, she confirmed the positioning that I had been thinking baby was in – her little bum on the right side of my tummy and her feet kicking my left side. She moves around but usually ends up in that position. I really love going to get a check up. The midwives are so awesome and encouraging and it’s nice to continue to get to know the team, since one of them will¬†be delivering baby girl.

I spent yesterday working on getting baby’s room ready as much as I can. Mostly organized for when we get all her baby things and figuring out what kind of decor we’re going to do. We are leaving the guest bed in there for now so that guests have a nice place to sleep when they stay with us. It’s proven to be a challenge to figure out how to decorate the space, but I decided that I’m going to make the whole room feel like it’s her room, so it all flows together. Instead of just sticking her stuff in “the guest room.” I changed the bedding up to be a bit brighter and am excited to get things going!

Once we get the baby room a little further along, I’ll post some pics. Anyways, here’s a photo from today:

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Not much else is going on other than that! Here’s our little survey…

Weight Gained:¬†I’ve gained about 24 pounds so far!

Baby Size:¬†I think she’s a little over 3 pounds and about 17 inches long! The last time I looked at my app they compared her to a coconut.

Symptoms:¬†I’ve been having a lot of BH¬†contractions which is a new thing to get used to. Also, my tummy is sore on top pretty much always these days.

Movement:¬†Oh man, she’s always moving. It’s funny to look down and see my tummy moving back and forth as she wiggles around. Very strange experience.

Food Cravings: Nothing really.

Food Aversions: Nothing at all.

Sleep:¬†I’ve been sleeping so hard and going to sleep so much earlier. Also, starting this week I’m really wanting more afternoon naps. Maybe it’s all this rainy weather.

Miss Anything?¬†Not really, what’s there to miss? ūüėČ I guess if I were to choose something it would just be being able to go go go without my feet swelling. But it’s no big deal.

Looking forward to: Going to GA next week!

Belly Button in or out?¬†Technically it’s in but it’s making more of an outie appearance.

Happy or moody most of the time? Pretty happy. Sometimes emotional, but happy. Ha

New Baby Items: Some sheets for the crib! Yay!

Exercise: Ha just constantly on the go. No specific exercise. Resting when I can.

Love you all and thanks for checking in!

Christina

29 Weeks

We are at 29 weeks already (well..technically tomorrow we will be but I may as well update this as 29 weeks)! I can’t even believe how quickly the time is going by. I think I end up saying that every time I write one of these posts. We’ve only got about 11 weeks left! Whoa. Well, since our last post as lot has happened…

27&28weeks
27 & 28 Weeks

We went to California for a little getaway/pre-baby vacation.¬† Jon’s sister and her family moved out to a town right outside of Los Angeles this past August.¬†It was so nice to leave the winter weather and be in sunshine and 70 degree weather every day! The first day out there we hiked 3.6 miles! And yes, I was 26 weeks at the time. Ha. I didn’t know how I would do but I just said “let’s take it slow” and I relied on Jon for balance when we were having to climb or go down steep hills. We took it super slow and it was soo much fun getting outside and exploring. I feel like I’ve been hibernating all winter. We did lots of other touristy things like shopping, going to the Getty Museum, etc… that required a lot of walking but it really was so worth it and reminded me that I am capable of doing things still, haha… More pics over on Goldmine.

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Hiking at Palos Verdes
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Torrance, California with Jon

I had my sugar/gestational diabetes test.¬†Got the results back and I tested normal, which is great. Also, found out that I’m not anemic so that’s great too.

Jon played SXSW.¬†Yep, he was in Austin, TX for a week for South By Southwest which is a huge music festival held every year. His band played two showcases and they had loads of interviews that are always helpful for exposure. He made a good connection with a guy who owns a studio in Charlotte and who is going to get some work for him in the studio, so that’s very exciting.

I’ve been back to work & taking on freelance projects.¬†I am still working and taking on side projects and will soon be helping out with weddings this springtime. I’m planning on working up until the baby comes, so we will see how that goes!

Other than that, here is the little survey!

Weight Gained: 20 pounds at least total. I haven’t weighed myself since my last doctor’s appointment so it could be even more than that. It’s averaging about a pound a week now!

Baby Size: Is the size of a head of cauilfower! She weighs almost 3 pounds and is around 17 inches long. Cute!

Symptoms: Well when we flew to California and we did loads of walking I was really struggling with swollen feet and even hands at times. My feet were unrecognizable when I woke up from the red eye on the way home! I’ve found the more walking I do and propping my feet up when I get a chance really helps them a lot. Since being back in my regular routine I haven’t noticed the swelling too much. My back pain has gotten so much better, I don’t even really deal with back pain anymore. I swapped chairs at my work and try not to sit too long on the couch or I start to feel it again. It’s been such a motivator to keep me active!

Movement: Her movement has definitely changed over the past few weeks. It went from just kicks here and there to full on swirling around in there. I can sometimes feel like I can make out her foot or her bum. It’s really cute to think about her little personality already developing in there.

Food Cravings: Nothing really. We grilled out some steaks last night since the weather was nice and it really hit the spot!

Food Aversions: Nope. Haven’t had any trouble with that. Ha

Sleep:¬†I’m still sleeping really hard at night which has been amazing. Last night was the first night I woke up with a terrible charlie horse. Hopefully that doesn’t happen much more!

Miss Anything?¬†I was missing a lot of stuff, but now I think I’m just getting used to it. I am REALLY loving “nesting” ha, and I don’t ever want to lose this motivation to take on new projects and get things done around the house to where I can just enjoy them.

Looking forward to: We have our next doctor’s appointment today at 1:45pm, which I always look forward to. We are now going to have our appointments every two weeks until we go down to once a week. Also, really looking forward to going down to GA at the end of April to visit family and have our first baby shower! So exciting! And then we have our Charlotte baby shower on May 9th. I can’t wait to organize all the things we get for baby!

Belly Button in or out?¬†It’s hanging in there… ūüėČ

Happy or moody most of the time?¬†I‚Äôm happy, but definitely more emotional. I tend to get stressed out pretty easily these days. Since the weather is nice, I’ve been finishing the day by laying in our hammock and reading a book. It’s been the most relaxing thing ever for me.

New Baby Items: Cara sent us an awesome diaper pail liner! Who knew something like that could be so exciting? It is! Also we got a Moses basket and stand off of Craigslist. It was one of the first things I decided that I wanted and I’m excited we got it for such a good deal! It came with blue bedding that I didn’t care for and so I kept the little bedding pad and put my own blanket over that. I plan on using this basket during the day for nap time around the house.

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Exercise: Walking? And doing yard work, which I consider exercise I suppose. Anything that keeps me on my feet and moving is good enough for me!

Prayers: Just for peace in all the new transitions that we are going through!

Love you all,
Christina

23 Weeks, 3 Days

We are 23 weeks this week and at this point almost halfway through the week! It’s amazing how quickly these weeks go by, each one is a little milestone.

I can definitely tell that baby girl is growing much more rapidly these days. I feel her moving in the mornings when I wake up, throughout the day periodically and a lot at nighttime after a long day. It’s so weird whenever you’re so used to being able to do anything that you want and suddenly now taking on a somewhat small project can be so exhausting. Pregnancy is cool and all but I’m definitely going to be happy to trade these growing pains for a tiny babe. It’ll be worth it! (Hey Mom! Thanks for going through this three times for us kids – we love you!) ūüėČ

We had a checkup this past Friday and met one of the other midwives in the office – who we loved! Her name is Sage and she’s a sweet older lady who looks like she has so much wisdom and experience with babies. My goal is to have as natural of a delivery as possible. In a dream world, I am hoping to avoid¬†a cesarean, stay as healthy as possible and have as little medication as possible. Obviously it’s all up to how the circumstances play out, but that’s the goal that we are aiming at. The midwives in our office deliver at CMC Pineville, which is a fantastic hospital and they whole-heartedly support my goals in going as natural as possible. All that to say, my iron is a little low right now and the midwife gave me a list of foods to start eating to get my iron up to where it needs to be. She believes getting iron from food is way more effective than supplements unless I’m totally anemic and encourages me to take charge of my own health in that way, which I really love.

I don’t have much more of an update than that, and not too many fun photos to share – but here is me at 23 weeks!

23 weeks

And here is my little survey:

Weight Gained:¬†I’ve gained another 5 pounds since my last doctor’s appointment (which was about a month ago) – yikes! I asked the midwife¬†if I was gaining too much too quickly and she just laughed at me. She said because of my starting weight, that I am perfectly fine with gaining more weight and that I should expect to gain about a pound a week. That’s a little scary for me seeing the numbers creep up on the scale wayyy more than I’ve ever experienced, but it’s all part of the process I suppose!

Baby Size:¬†I believe she’s about the size of a mango, about a 12 inches long and about 1.2lbs. Cute! I can tell she’s getting longer because at times I feel her on both sides of my stomach. So strange.

Symptoms:¬†Back pain is definitely the biggest symptom right now. For the past few weeks it was only at the end of the day when I finally sat on the couch that my back would start hurting. But now it’s pretty much throughout the day. As long as I have good back support when I sit down I tend to be able to find relief.

Movement:¬†She moves a lot! It’s fun when Jon can catch her moving and really feel it.

Food Cravings:¬†I’ve had really funny cravings I guess you could say. Taquitos, fruit popsicles, pickles, candy, chili dogs! (which I haven’t gotten yet…)

Food Aversions:¬†Nothing really anymore, not like the first trimester. I can pretty much eat anything. But I am trying to avoid junk food or anything that isn’t going to give me nutrition.

Sleep:¬†I’ve been sleeping sooo hard the past few weeks. I pretty much am tired earlier in the evening and ready to go to bed much earlier than I used to be. And I wake up a little earlier in the mornings but really get great rest at night time.

Miss Anything?¬†Feeling like myself! I used to be able to do anything and everything I wanted to do but it’s already starting to get hard picking things up from the floor or carrying large items. When we go shopping I pretty much have to sit down everytime we stop to look at something.

Looking forward to:¬†We are taking a trip out to California for a pre-baby vacation! That’s only about 3 weeks out – so excited.

Belly Button in or out?¬†It’s in still.

Happy or moody most of the time?¬†Mostly happy and sometimes a little more emotional. I feel like mentally I am changing so much throughout this process. I don’t take little things for granted as much as I used¬†to and am less of a perfectionist in the way things have to be. It’s been nice.

New Baby Items: We got our baby crib and got it set up in the newly organized baby room/guest room. We bought some shelves to go above the changing table so I am excited to get those installed and start decorating the room a little more.

Exercise:¬†I’m a little confused about how I’m supposed to be “exercising” while pregnant. I had to stop my usual workouts when I got pregnant because I had no energy and was so nauseas for a while. Now that I’m bigger, I technically have more energy but I get exhausted from any activity way faster. Jonathan and I go on walks as often as possible…so I guess that’s exercise? We have been going to a nearby walking trail by the Catawba river that has some hiking trails that I’m able to walk on and that’s probably the best exercise I’ve been getting. We did walk through Ikea for four hours on Sunday. Now THAT was exercise.

Prayers:¬†We are just figuring out maternity leave, music dates for Jonathan, insurance transitions, baby classes, finishing projects before the baby comes…so many things! It feels like a lot to think about and plan out in the next 4 months but I think we will make it all work. You can certainly pray for us in those regards as we make decisions on how we are going to do things.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my update! Love you all!

Christina

21 Weeks | 2 Days

So apparently I’m not that great at updating this as often as I had planned! Since week 18, a lot has happened! We are past the “halfway” mark and I’m excited for time to move as quickly as it would like.¬†We had our ultrasound on January 14th and I didn’t realize how anxious I would be on that day. I wasn’t so much anxious about the conclusion of the gender, but I was super anxious about all the other stuff they look at during ultrasounds. Growth and development, what if it¬†isn’t the right size? What if it’s heart isn’t totally formed? What if they find defects or think maybe it has some sort of developmental issues. We hadn’t had an ultrasound at all yet, so I really had no idea what to expect.

We walked into the room, and they must know that new moms get anxious because the room was dimly lit, they had really peaceful music playing and the tech was so nice and excited for us. After about two to three minutes of looking around at the baby the tech asked if wanted to know the gender – which of course we did! – and she revealed it was a little girl! I was so surprised. I never imagined having a girl first, probably because in my family the birth order starts with a boy. Jon held my hand and we we just looked at each other with excited eyes. Over the next 20 minutes the tech looked at different parts of the baby and explained to us all the things that she saw. She showed us her little feet propped up under her bum, her hands wiggling around and opening and closing, her little profile which was sooo precious, and concluded that her development was perfect. The two notes that she did make was that the baby’s head was in the 97th percentile (hello!) and asked if Jonathan was a big baby haha. Then said “well small girls have big babies all the time…” Oh boy. And then said I was measuring at 19 weeks and six days (which I was supposedly at 18 weeks 4 days, so about a week ahead of schedule). We are keeping the same due date (June 13th), but they will continue to measure me along the way.

We walked away from the ultrasound with some pictures and a little dvd from the tech. That was really exciting. And while we were waiting to talk to our midwife we ditched any boy names we had thought of and began to add to our list of girl names. We’ve narrowed it down to 5-10 potential names but may not really know what we are going to call her until we have her.

It’s really been a whirlwind since we found out her gender. We called family and got some cupcakes with some little pink flags to surprise family here in Charlotte with. It was so fun seeing everyone’s reactions.

I’ve been in full blown nesting mode also. Under my constant suggestion, we are pretty much reorganizing every single square inch of our house. I feel the need to get rid of anything that serves as any type of clutter and minimize every room as much as possible. It’s been soo nice and we are slowing making our way to the baby’s room.

Other than that, I’ve been working normal hours, taking on some freelance projects, continuing to create for Goldmine and even have a wedding show this Thursday with my photo booth. Business as usual.

And here are the ultrasound photos that we got to keep…

Elbow:
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Heel!
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She’s a girl ūüėČ
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Sweet little profileChristina-Hussey-1

And I just woke up from a nap, haven’t brushed my hair, but thought I should take a photo to document this week soo here you go… ūüėČ
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And of course, it’s fun to fill out and remember these specifics as time progresses….

Weight Gained:¬†Honestly, I don’t own a scale and won’t know how much I’ve gained until I go back to the doctor (on February 13th) or I buy a scale. Haha.

Baby Size: Baby girl is about the length of a carrot and weighs about 3/4 pound!

Symptoms:¬†Lately I’ve been having back pain when sitting at a desk for too long or sitting on the couch for too long. Also, I’ve been having weird muscle spasms in my back that I’ve been constantly having to stretch out. Luckily, Jon is really good at reminding me to stretch and giving me some suggestions on how to get my back stretched out really good.

Movement:¬†She’s been moving a good bit. I kind of expect to feel her move anytime that I am sitting still, especially with my feet propped up. Feels like little kicks here and there and Jon can even feel them sometimes whenever I show him where she’s kicking. It really makes this whole thing feel more real with being able to feel her move around.

Food Cravings:¬†For a couple of weeks I was just wanting sweets. I gave in some here and there but that craving has kind of stopped for the most part. Honestly, I haven’t had too many¬†crazy¬†cravings.

Food Aversions:¬†Nothing really since I’ve gotten out of my first trimester. I’m kind of tired of chicken so we’ve been changing it up by making our meals with some other meat options lately.

Sleep: I sleep really great at night but every now and then will wake up and not be able to fall asleep for like an hour. Which is very unlike me. Also, I pretty much take a decent nap every day.

Miss Anything?¬†I miss just being able to take one of my dogs out for a run. Also, I miss half my shirts that I can’t wear currently. Ha

Looking forward to:¬†Our next doctor’s appointment for sure. I’ve got¬†lots of questions I’m excited to ask my midwife about. Also, looking forward to hearing baby girl’s heartbeat since it’s been a little while since our last appointment.¬†¬†

Belly Button in or out?¬†It’s in.

Happy or moody most of the time?¬†Oh happy, definitely. Except when I’ve got back pain, then I just want to lay down.

New Baby Items:¬†We got our baby crib this week (thanks Mom & Dad!) We got¬†it suddenly when there was a really great deal on a floor model so we haven’t even created a space for it yet in the baby’s room. We will tackle that room at some point soon and get the crib all set up.

Exercise:¬†Just stretching and going on walks. I really enjoy going on long walks especially on days where it’s like 60 degrees out. So happy I live in a place where it’s not freezing the entire¬†winter!
Thanks for stopping by. Love you all!
Christina

Hey from Here

Starting this blog is opening myself up in a different way over the internet. It’s a place where I won’t be working. AKA – no pressure of putting up new photography work or coming up with new posts for other people. This little spot is for the sole purpose of, not unlike back in the Live Journal days, blogging about life. It’s for my family and friends to be able to see what I’m up to here at home and keep up with things that I forget to bring up over the phone/facebook, along with photos of things Jonathan and I are doing around the house and in life. This blog is also for me. For remembering these days and not filtering my life.

As of this past weekend, I am officially 18 weeks pregnant. Being in my second trimester, I’m¬†feeling super normal and gaining momentum towards gathering my thoughts on my 2015 work & personal goals. I’m also just kind of getting used to this growing belly and the impending changes that will occur come June. It’s exciting.

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These photos are actually from when I was 16 weeks pregnant ha.¬†I’m really bad about having Jonathan take decent pictures of me while my belly is growing. I¬†will make more of an effort in the following weeks, especially now that I have a place to post the images.

I’ve decided to do a baby update once a week that includes a little questionnaire that my friend Cara did while she was pregnant. I think it helps answer some questions that I forget to talk about (love you Mom!)

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I’m up to.

xo,
Christina


How Far Along
: 18 weeks and 2 days
Size of baby:  He/She is about the size of a sweet potato! 5.5 inches, 5 ounces. (I think comparing to a vegetable is pretty cute for some reason).
Total Weight Gain/Loss: About 13 pounds so far. Right when I got pregnant I pretty much gained 10 pounds really quickly. It freaked me out since I was suddenly heavier than I’ve ever been. But since the first trimester ended, I’ve slowly gained another 3 pounds. I’m happier with the steadier growth…haha.
What I miss: Wine and sushi! It’s funny how much you miss something when you can’t have it. I pretty much am hoping to have a little fun party after the baby comes where I can have as much sushi as I want!
Sleep: Absolutely no problems there. Besides really crazy dreams sometimes, I sleep great. I’ve been making an effort to go to bed earlier than I used to, just to get the extra hours so I don’t feel *as* tempted to nap much during the afternoon when I get home from work.
Symptoms: Hmm…well I’m definitely past the morning sickness phase (wow, that was a rough few weeks…). Other than that, not too many other symptoms at this point.
Cravings: Foods with spice. Like Thai and Indian food. I have yet to satisfy my Indian food craving, but hopefully will soon!
Best Moments this week: Being able to rest over the weekend is always the highlight of my week.
What we are looking forward to:¬†We finally have our ultra sound coming up on Wednesday! It will be our first, so I’m feeling pretty anxious about it. We will check in to see how the baby is doing, that it’s developing okay and what the gender is!¬†We’ve been so anxious to learn the gender and can’t believe it’s finally happening this week.