Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Farming and pregnant

I searched high and low online for pregnant+farming information. Mostly because I started having a sore stomach (muscles?) and wondered if it was related to handling bales of hay and 5gallon buckets of water and 50lbs of milk can+milk AND holding a uterus in place. I read over and over again that women have been farming since the beginning of farming and have been pregnant all along. On forums women recommended that pregnant women avoid chemicals when pregnant - that was the most common piece of advice. Not a concern here, thankfully. Others just recommended listening to your body and taking things slower. One person said she specifically planned for a winter baby to minimize the disruption in her organic farming (vegetables is what she's farming, it seems) and mused that this might be a choice many farming women make. I read that women shouldn't lift over 25lbs when pregnant (what?!) and was feeling a little nervous. Then realized that was silly because people have older children they have to lift - even if their life doesn't involve farming. I found an NBC article debunking pregnancy myths - and one of them was the heavy lifting thing. Again, listen to your body.

And I also read that being in shape will help with birth (and I'm definitely in better shape than I was for either of the previous pregnancies) - and the squatting while milking can only help. But I don't fill the 5 gallon buckets as full (which is a bummer because I was just getting to the point where I could carry a very full bucket), I roll hay bales instead of hauling them, and I take more stops on the walk from the barn to the house with a full milk can.

And this baby isn't coming in the winter, and I don't know if that would work best for farmers who raise animals. I'm really nervous about next winter when there will be a 6mos old to wrangle while also hauling hay bales and moving cows into a milking stall, never mind the sub zero temperatures -but right now, I'm not nervous. There's a little person growing in a warm cushiony place while I get farm chores done. And timing-wise it works out because by the third trimester the cows will be out in the pasture and the heaviest thing I'll be lifting is a fence step-in-post to give the cows more grass ... and that silly milk can still ;)

PS that big thing the cow is licking in the picture above is a 40lb molasses lick that Ren Man and I shoved uphill through the snow and ice. For real. I was on my knees wondering at our sanity. And I'm pretty sure Ren Man did most of the pushing - I did most of the complaining. But that wasn't anything compared to the upright freezer we hauled down that same snowy hill into the not-garage. He has no sympathy. All those articles talked about partners insisting their pregnant girlfriend/wife not lift too much ... not Ren Man. I put it down to his complete trust in my competency. I can grow babies and move mountains, apparently.

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