There are thousands of blogs written for parents who are expecting. I love reading these blogs and decided to share my own thoughts on what one can expect when expecting. To make it interesting, I thought it would be fun to share my experiences as a farmer. So, here are five things women who farm can expect when they are expecting! Enjoy!
Giving a hand with the breach birth
Don't be surprised if you compare yourself to livestock
If you raise livestock, it is almost a sure bet that throughout your pregnancy you will compare yourself and your experiences to those of the livestock you raise in the barn. Don't be surprised if you accidentally or jokingly referring to your cycles as heat cycles, peeing on sticks as preg checking, your milk coming in as udder development and towards the end your husband starts looking for signs of labor!
You probably know more than average Joe and Sally about the miracle of life
Even if you have no experience actually giving birth yourself, you probably have a pretty good idea of the biology behind the miracle of life. If you raise livestock, you have probably been elbows (or shoulders) deep in an animal trying to correct a less than ideal birthing position, you may have helped hold the intestines while a vet performs a c-section, if you have dairy animals you know how to inspect, diagnose and treat mastitis and you are probably an expert at cutting umbilical cords! Although there are definitely differences between humans and livestock, farming has given you a good head start in understanding what will happen when your time comes!
Your husband will find going to the hospital a total inconvenience
Chances are if you raise livestock you probably live a decent distance from the closest hospital. If your husband is anything like mine, he will question whether you even need to go to the hospital. His argument will be that the animals do just fine having their babies in the barn, why should he be inconvenienced into driving you all the way to the hospital?
Your "Preparing for Baby" checklist will look very different from your non-farming friends
Your friends will have probably have a pre-baby checklist that will include normal things like baby proof the house, find a pediatrician, decide on a care provider, ect. Your list will likely include all those same items, but will also have a few not so normal items on there. Our "Before Baby Comes" checklist includes slaughtering the steer so we have plenty of ready made dinners, castrating the male goats so they can be sold to reduce our herd numbers, fencing in a new goat yard to make daily chores more manageable and getting a head start on tilling and prepping the garlic fields since we usually do that in October when our little one is due.
You will be very tired!
Yup, farming is hard work and it won’t get any easier when you are pregnant or have a new baby! Now that I am in the third trimester I am exhausted when I get home. And yet, I still have a barn full of garlic that needs to be sorted, graded, cleaned, braided and sold before planting season. Your husband will also be tired since it is likely that he is taking on more of the chores you used to do. You will probably see less of him, but remember that's because he is pulling your weight. My advice is work hard when you feel good and then relax when you don’t. Also, when it gets overwhelming, take a break, leave the farm and go have fun with each other if at all possible. It will make coming back and tackling the projects more enjoyable.