I have three children. They were born within 32 months. I’ve spent the greater part of my marriage (and farming career with Hubby) either pregnant or nursing.
Here are some tips on farm pregnancy and babies:
1. Physical Exertion – My rule of thumb (and endorsed by my doctor) is “If you did it before you got pregnant, you can do it while you are pregnant.” Pregnancy is not a handicap, so go ahead and pull out those fence posts and plant those potatoes when you’re 8.5 months pregnant! It’s all cardio….right? I did draw the line at shingling the roof. Thankfully Hubby had a buddy of his help and they finished the day before our second child was born.
2. Morning Sickness (and afternoon and evening) – As someone who was sick during all three of my pregnancies, all through my pregnancies, it’s helpful to have crackers stashed everywhere and to know the exact location of all bathrooms and garbage cans in public spaces. When the baby hits the eject button, it’s all systems GO!
3. Birth Plans – Just as calving or lambing season will never go as planned, neither will your “birth plan”. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. It just means that you may be using that birth plan to wipe up your vomit before it’s all said and done.
4. Babies are tough – And just like calves and lambs, babies are amazingly resilient. Some people were shocked that I gardened with my babies or pushed the stroller out to the pasture. What?? Because fresh air and sunshine is not recommended for living organisms?? I referred to my two summer babies as true “Cabbage Patch Kids”, they would sleep even when I was running the tiller.
5. Nursing – I’ve done it everywhere man. And I do mean everywhere. I’ve also pumped everywhere. You can do it moms! Breastfeeding is not always easy, but it is always worth it!
6. Poop – As a farmer, if you aren’t used to poop and other bodily fluids before you have a baby, you will be soon. You will discuss the color, consistency, frequency and odor of poop.
7. Diaper bags – Function over form on this one. Will it show dirt, mystery stains? Will Daddy be willing to carry it? Can it hold your wallet and the parts you have to pick up in town?
8. Pregnancy Brain – Your body only has enough blood to either think or grow a baby. It can’t do both. So don’t be surprised when you completely forget what parts you were supposed to pick up.
9. Schedules – We are firm believers in getting babies on schedules in our house. And having three in less than three years that all shared the same room? Scheduled nap and bed times saved my sanity. Morning nap: 9am, Afternoon nap: 1pm, Bed: 7:30.
10. And our absolute, baby must-have is………………………..The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. This saved us, literally. Kiddo1 was a sucker, Kiddo2 was a swinger and Kiddo3 was a swaddler. All five S’s helped soothe our babies and encourage them in scheduling, but each child loved one particular one that was our “go-to” move.
Day 10 Homework: If you have kids in your life (children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, friends) what baby/pregnancy advice do you have?