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Monday, March 9, 2015

From One Farm Mom to A Farm Mom To Be

Two of my best blogger friends are expecting!!  I thought it only fitting that I send them a bit of advice.  I asked several other farm moms to join in the advice, so be sure to check out all of their blogs, too.  My friend Jenny over at The Magic Farmhouse also has some advice for them, be sure to check it out!


Dear Carrie and Taysha,
Congratulations on your exciting news!!  I am so ecstatic that you will be joining us in the exclusive group knows as Farm Moms.  There are some things I feel I should tell you that won’t be in any book.  Some women think pregnancy is the best thing in the world, and others (like me) feel that carrying a baby is something that is trying to kill them from the inside.  I promise you the 9 months is totally worth it in the end.   

1.  Your digestive tract is no longer your friend.  Foods you once loved will try to kill you.  For Jodi, it was BBQ.  Katie of Illinois Farmgirl fame told me, "Joe's Special Pizza became my go-to-food with my 1st; and to this day, that pizza is so good to me.  With my 2nd, I couldn't stomach sweets.  Nothing.  No candy, cookies, cake, pie, anything sugary was off-limits.  Bacon, however, calmed a queasy stomach."  For me, it was white bread and potatoes.  It is always totally random as to what will try to kill you, we hear for Carrie that it is bacon...(Katie look out Carrie may hate you when she read this).  While not eating bacon for 9 months sounds horrible, at least it isn’t cheese.  You both live in the cheese meccas of America! 

2.  Your digestive tract will slow down.  (I know I seem to talk a lot about digestion, but this is serious.)  I assume this is to gather every nutrient possible out of the food you eat for that little miracle you are growing.  Eat LOTS of fiber.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.   Learn to love prune juice (until your bundle arrives and you are nursing which causes bad things to arrive in the diapers, but I digress and that is a post for another day.)  Seriously, follow my advice or you may find yourself in the fetal position on the bathroom floor saying “if childbirth hurts like this we are only having ONE child…IF I live through this.”

3.  Melinda of Farm Living is My Life has this digestive advice for you: "Digestion issue #3 is when your metabolism changes due to 2 pregnancies in 2 years therefore giving you a gall bladder full of stones. And your doctor telling you it's just false labor pains when you're actually passing said stones makes you consider taking the bander to your next appointment and teaching him what it really feels like."

4.  Emotions are no longer something you can control.  I was that girl that could sit stone faced through the saddest movie, even Eight Seconds and not shed a tear.  This is not something that ends when the pregnancy ends, even now I find myself just talking to DebbieLyons-Blythe about her son brings me tears flowing down my face.  While it is embarrassing to become that blubbering woman with mascara running down your face, every single mom in the room understands and will tell you they have been there.  Just stop with the eye makeup now.  Once the kid arrives you will be too tired to put it on anyway.  Katie still cries at Hallmark commercials, and can't watch Law & Order: SVU anymore. 

5.  You are no longer in charge.  Yes, as the parent you may think you are, but from now until the day you die every decision you make will somehow include #dairybaby or #babyspartan.  Your multiple nightly trips to the bathroom are only the beginning of schedule changes for you that you can’t control.  My parents advice to parents to be is always the terrible 2’s and horrible 4’s are bad, but wait until they get to…(whatever age I am at).    I swear they still make decisions based on what we or the grandkids want or need.  
 
6.  You will start thinking more about show cows and breeding a family of cows to produce show heifers.  We all do it.  Don’t be ashamed.  Take my advice and start now or buy a decent heifer now to breed up.  We didn’t start soon enough and buying good show heifers in this market is expensive.  The good thing about social media is that you can find friends with those animals.  Just ask Bastian Show Calves. 

7.  The guys and your mother in law on the farm may decide this pregnancy or birth has made you disabled.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!!  I didn’t.  I weighed and sorted steers when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my oldest son and then I learned what HELLP stands for and met my son at 35 weeks and 2 days instead of 40 weeks.  Like it or not, the guys that work with us can tell when we are getting tired and don’t feel well before we do.  You will HATE being sent to the house to rest, but DO IT!  Melinda on the other hand offers this advice, "And when the doctor suggests bedrest when you're 39 weeks pregnant, walking the pasture checking for fall calves and driving the old 4010 John Deere for harvest probably isn't what they consider "bed rest". It's best not to tell the nurse what you've been up to when she calls to check up on you. Just say you were sleeping and missed the call."

8.  Find a good kids and maternity clothing store.  In our area, it is Heaven’s Angels.  Let’s be honest here, we live on farms.  Every outfit does not have to be brand new and super adorable.  S#@T happens.  Mud puddles happen.   Let the grandmas, aunts and friends buy the cute clothes.  Go straight to the red tag racks for maternity and baby clothes.  I guarantee there will be days when you will hose the kid off before you go to the house and there will be days when you don’t even consider putting the clothes in the washer and they go straight in the trash.

9.  My friend Tracy aka Nebraska Wheatie shared some great pregnancy advice for those few that get severely ill while pregnant.  If you have ever felt like this: "Sleep was the only thing that would provide me with temporary relief. I remember thinking how much I dreaded nighttime because that meant another day of being sick was what I had to look forward to."  You might want to read about Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

10. Melinda had another bit of advice: "If you take childbirth class, be prepared to have your husband ask if the forceps are similar to chains and if they are, how do hook the jack on? Trust me, the instructor will consider kicking you out of the class at this point."  But in all seriousness, do pay attention to the deep breathing exercises, they do come in handy when you get injured on the farm.  I used them when we dropped the squeeze chute on my big toe, the gate got kicked back at my head and required stitches and I am pretty sure The Farmer used them when a cow hit him when trying to tag her calf.  

11. Just in case you were wondering...even though you have see cows do it thousands of times, I did NOT crave eating my afterbirth nor did I have the urge to lick my baby to clean him off.

12.  While some of your friends have thought the birth of their child is reason to have a party...in the delivery room, it is perfectly acceptable to be like a beef cow and go have the baby in privacy with hubs and the doctors and let everyone know later.

13.  I guarantee you will have a new found sympathy for cows with mastitis.  Want your hubs to know what it feels like?  Have him run over by a Mack Truck.  Seriously, the sickest I have ever felt.  Now, cows with mastitis get lots of extra care, special feed and extra bedding along with their antibiotics.

14.  You milk production will be a topic of family discussion.  Don't believe me?  My GrandPA called to see how my milk production was doing before my son was a week old.  He and my grandmother (who died 1 week after my son was born) offered the advice to drink a beer if I needed to "let down" more milk.  Seriously, I wouldn't make this stuff up.  

15. The best advice from Katie, "that I wish first time moms-to-be could hear, but understand why they don't (because I didn't hear it) . . ."

Love you both!  Can't wait to meet your bundles of joy!  I am only a phone call away if you need unsolicited advice. ;)  I am off to work on your designer AgTastic Baby Wear.

A Kansas Farm Mom

Now to my readers other than Carrie and Taysha:
What did I miss?  What other advice do you have for Farm Moms to be?