Spring on the Farm

The weather has been incredible around here for the last several weeks and life is springing forth on the farm.

ImageThe chickens have been going crazy with the laying and we have more eggs than we know what to do with. Pickled eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, eggs over easy, omelets, casseroles, fritatas, eggs florentine, eggs for baking with… after eating eggs every day, there are still six dozen in the fridge!

 

ImageJeremy and Platypus are pretty thrilled with the sunshine and warm weather, and have been happily quacking about. Platypus has generously donated a few dozen duck eggs for our breakfasts over the last several weeks.

 

ImageDay Lily and Sunflower are pretty darned shaggy. Next month I will try my hand at shearing them (aside from my one attempt at shearing with fabric scissors, I am totally inexperienced in this department). Perhaps soon I will get to washing, carding and spinning the several bags of fleece that are hiding out in my mudroom. I need to find a good project for Sunflower’s lovely fleece.

 

ImageDaisy and Dinosaur are becoming quite large in the middle. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their kids, and the return of goat’s milk! (Since several of you have asked, Daisy – on the left – is an Alpine doe. Dinosaur – on the right – is a Toggenburg/Saanen cross.)

 

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Oddler is growing whiter with age, losing his hearing, and developing cataracts, but he is still filled with youthful energy and can outrun our sprightly Beagle puppy, Echo. Last week, Oddler taught Echo how to tree a raccoon and chased a coyote out of the yard in the dark of the night. Not bad for an old boy!

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Lynden has caught all manner of small creatures: frogs, toads, snakes. Last Spring and Summer, we had a hard time with Lynden wanting to keep all the creatures he had captured. He just didn’t understand that we have to leave Mother Nature’s children in peace where they belong. Now, he’s come a long way – he keeps each captured creature for one night only, and the next morning releases them where he found them. Progress!

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There’s been lots and lots of bike riding around here lately. Our very long driveway is perfect for this beloved activity, and the kids have been out there every chance they get.

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ImageGaia is wonderful and beautiful, and charming us all. Her older siblings grow deeper in love with her with every passing day. I am amazed by her – so calm, so peaceful, so content. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard her cry since her birth. Gaia is the brightest blessing and I am filled with gratitude at being her mother. How did I get so lucky FOUR TIMES!?

Yessir, Spring has definitely arrived. It’s my favourite time of year, when everything is bursting with the freshness and newness of life, renewed.

The Days After

ImageGaia is now 9 days old, and every bit as perfect as the day she was born. I wish I could say that I’ve been enjoying a blissful babymoon, but the truth is that things haven’t been all rosy for me.

I mentioned in Gaia’s birth story that I gushed quite a bit of blood just after baby emerged. In the days following Gaia’s birth, the blood continued to flow too heavily and I began passing a lot of large clots. I was not feeling well, and on my midwife’s recommendation I went in to the hospital. My blood work showed a very low hemoglobin count, and an ultrasound revealed a great deal of clotting in my uterus. A D&C was performed and I was sent home feeling quite a bit better.

Now, four days after the D&C, I find myself with a uterine infection that has led to another day at the hospital, some pretty nasty cramping, and more blood loss.

If you know me, you know that I do not have a fondness for modern medicine, hospitals, and doctors. However, sometimes, in some situations, modern medicine can be a blessing. For surgical procedures, broken bones, and other emergencies, hospitals can and do save lives. The problem is that we don’t have a health care system, we have a disease treatment system that revolves around pharmaceuticals with horrible side affects. Our disease treatment system applies band-aids instead of promoting healing at the root cause of the problem.

I was pretty frustrated to find myself back at the hospital, but now that I know exactly what my problem is, I can formulate a plan for healing. To start, I’m taking my trusty Echinacea extract to boost my immune system. I’m drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea several times a day to help my uterus out a bit, and Nettle tea for extra iron, vitamin K and other hemoglobin-building goodness. Our Nettle patch is full of new leaves right now, so I’ll be substituting half fresh Nettles in recipes that call for spinach (such as our family favourite, eggs florentine).

I’m also considering a purchase of Black Cohosh, though this particular herb has never been tested for safety while breastfeeding. So far, my research has led me to believe that Black Cohosh hasn’t ever been proven harmful while breastfeeding, but I don’t want to take any chances. A trip to my local herbalist, who can answer my questions more in-depth, will help me make up my mind on this one.

Because I was given IV antibiotics before my D&C procedure, I’m consuming plenty of kefir and kombucha, two awesome fermented drinks that are loaded with pro-biotics (I consume kefir and kombucha regularly anyway), to help restore healthy gut flora and boost immune system function.

You may have noticed that the prescription for antibiotics that was given at the hospital hasn’t been mentioned in my game plan. Antibiotics upset the balance of beneficial gut flora and increase the likelihood that Gaia and I will develop thrush – a fungal nasty that we do NOT want to deal with! Prescription drugs also tend to interfere with the body’s natural methods of healing, and can actually delay the body’s return to true wellness. I won’t throw out that script just yet, but I won’t fill it unless I *really* need it – when all else has failed, and my body tells me a little more assistance is required. For now, I prefer to help my body do what it does best – restore and heal – using Nature’s gifts.

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Now that it looks like I’m done with the hospital for a good while, I’m going to settle into bed with my sweet baby girl and get started on that babymoon. It’s been 9 days coming!