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*^*^*^ Spotlight on Cali2SC!!! ^*^*^*

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Cali2SC: If you would like, please take the time to give an introduction about yourself. There are no limits on how long or short.

 

Members: Please ask any questions that come to mind! Please keep in mind that the spotlighted member has the right to not answer anything she isn't comfortable with.

 

There are no time limits or end dates to these so ask away for as long as you have questions!

 

Have fun!

 

post #2 of 10

Hi all!  wave.gif

 

My name is Amanda and I am 36 years old.  I am originally from California, but I moved to South Carolina with my dh in 2007 to restore his family's farm house and bring life back to the farm.  After trying our hand a several things we decided that we do best with livestock.  We specialize in pasture-raised heritage meat.  (Heritage animals are breeds that were typically developed before the 1920's.  They take about twice as long as industrial breeds to reach market wait.  This is because the first half of their lives is spent developing the skeletal structure, and healthy organs that they will need for a long, productive outdoor life.  Heritage animals can run, fly, forage and mate on their own.)  We sell directly to our customers through our CSA and on-farm sales days.  We also sell to a couple of local chefs.  We raise chickens (Buckeyes are our main breed), Narragansett turkeys, Saxony ducks, St. Croix Sheep, and Guinea Hogs.  We also raise pygmy goats and pygmy goat crosses for home dairy and pet stock and we have 3 great pyrenees livestock guardian dogs that watch over our herds and flocks and keeps everyone safe.  We never really have a down season on the farm, and we are currently gearing up for spring hatching.  I did postpone our goat "date nights" so that the goats would not be kidding at the same time as I was in labor.  This really frustrated the goats!  lol.gif  Oh we also have a couch hound and a cat.

 

My DH works full time off the farm as faculty at USC and I am the "full-time" farmer.  We are both science geeks of sorts.  I have a degree in Marine Science and worked as a field biologist and environmental educator before moving to SC to farm.  DH has a couple more degrees than I do.  We have a 3yo dd who takes up the majority of my time and are really looking forward to meeting our new lo at the end of April!

 

With DD we did all of our prenatal care with a mw and planed to have her at a local birth center.  Labor started when my water broke, but progress was slow.  We eventually (after stalling as long as possible) transfered to a hospital and vaginally delivered an adorable girl 44 hours after my water broke.

 

This time we actually started with an ob.  We did this because our insurance covered it and we were a little on edge after friends of ours had just delivered a still birth baby in their third trimester.  We agreed to a 20wk ultrasound to reassure ourselves that everything was ok.  Our next prenatal visit we made with a mw that was highly recommended by our doula as a good choice for a home birth.  After a long first meeting with the mw and really talking through our plans for a home birth we were feeling great!  The last thing we did before leaving was to listen to baby's heartbeat.  It was waaaay to fast and skipping.  2 fetoscopes and 3 doplers later we went to the hospital to have it checked out farther.  I was kept for 2 days for observation and to get me on medication to help regulate baby's heart beat.  We have risked out of the mw practice and even our original ob's practice.  We are now seeing a wonderful pediatric cardiologist that is monitoring baby's heart and will be responsible for baby's medical care after birth.  Every other week (on the weeks we do not see the ped. cardiologist) we see the maternal fetal medicine group.  Long term outlook for baby is good.  We will now be giving birth at the hospital (actually same one where dd was born) and baby will need to spend at least 3 days in NICU for observation and to get on his/her own dose of medication for regulating the heart.  We are told that 90% of cases clear up on their own between 6 months and 1 year after birth.  We are so thankful for our awesome doula, who is really stepping up to help us re-plan our birth (as much as possible) and helps to reassure us and bring everything back into perspective when I start to get anxious/overwhelmed.  She is also married to my dh's cousin and stayed with me my first night in the hospital so I wouldn't be alone. stillheart.gif  (DH had to take our DD home.)  At this point I am just trying to remember to breathe and do what I can to prepare for birth and the days, weeks, months after.  Also to get out of the house when I can.  The medication I have to take makes me nauseous, but at least now I'm only puking in the mornings!

 

DH as been super awesome through all this.  Taking care of dd when I couldn't be home, doing all of the farm chores so I can rest, working full-time, cooking, taking off of work early to unexpectedly show up at dr. appts.  and just generally super supportive.  I know that it is starting to wear on him and I'm trying to come up with some great ways to show my thanks and get him some time to himself. 

 

Couple of random thoughts:

 

I find it more than a little ironic that the more specialized care I need, the less personalized care I get.  Now that I have to see the MFM group I will rotate through 3-4 obs, but none of them actually deliver babies.  When we go into labor we will be attended to by the chief resident and one of eight ob's- whoever is on call.  We will not meet any of these people before we show up at the hospital.  Go figure!

 

 MFM group has labeled me as Advanced Maternal Age because I'm over 35.  So tomorrow they are more or less insisting that I take the glucose intolerance test.  I'm pretty sure I will puke.  orngtongue.gif  I also intend to point out that I was carded on Friday.  Take that Advanced Maternal Age!  lol.gif

 

Ok that was long.  If you have any questions ask away!

 

Thanks!

post #3 of 10

Hi Amanda! I am so interested in your farming! DH and I talk about it all the time, but neither of us has ever lived on a farm, so think we are probably just dreaming! I am just starting to be involved in the weston a. price foundation and am very interested in starting to shift our diet to pasture-fed meats. Had you had any experience on farms before moving there? Do you miss city life? We are in a small town right now, and I already miss some of the activities that we could be doing if we lived in a bigger city. I am sending positive vibes for your little one. Not that this is your situation, but I have just watched my day home provider's son be born with a diagnosed heart condition, and have surgery at 6 mos old. He is so resiliant! Was home and happy and bouncy just 8 days after surgery, and always has a smile on. Cheers!

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Your DH sounds like a rockstar to be taking on so much but that's awesome that he is. And yay for running a farm! Can you share any pictures from around the farm? And LOL at making the goats wait. ;)

post #5 of 10

Hello Ayn!

This is my DH's family farm, so he grew up here though and spent most of his summers helping his grandfather (the last to farm this place before we came back).  I think at that point is was pretty bare bones with a garden, goats and chickens.  A generation or two before that it was a completely self sufficient homestead with hogs, mules, a dairy cow, growing food for the family and feed for the livestock.  They even had their own blacksmith capabilities!  I've been told that back in the farm's hay day they only bought a couple of things in town like sugar and coffee!  So we had a lot of family history and DH's experiences as a kid.  I was considering going back to school to study organic farming (my application was in hand but when we found out that DH's family would deed us the farm, I opted to learn on the job.)  I was previously a field biologist and I feel that my lab and field work has served me well, esp. when things go wrong.  smile.gif  We were getting more and more involved in local sustainable food, but would have had a hard time affording to even rent land in Cali and the market was very saturated!  This seemed like the next logical step and it has been a great adventure!

 

Yes!  I do miss living down town.  There used to be a great hole in the wall that we could walk to with our dog (at that time she was more of a fur-child that went everywhere with us, not the couch hound she has grown into).  They had the BEST veggie burritos with lots of avocado!  Also we could walk to parade routes and festivals and not have the hassel of parking. Oh and we had a farmers' market in walking distance and another mexican restaurant (drink a couple of margaritas and not have to worry about driving home.  thumb.gif  And we lived right across from a Longs Drug store, which would have been convient once we had kids.  

 

But that was a smaller town.  And there is plenty that I love about the country.  I can take a walk in the woods without leaving my property (or paying day use fees at the state park),  Neighbors are not right on top of us, there is far less noise (or at least the noise is different: dogs, roosters, goats, not sirens, traffic, yelling neighbors, school kids taunting my dog), don't have the drama of living next to gang members (though a few of our neighbors are running a militia and think we should split from the union eyesroll.gif).  And we don't have a HOA!  joy.gif  I get to work outside, without being in the field, often far from home for months at a time, stress is generally lower, and we love it here!  It is also very exciting to be on the forefront of the local sustainable movement here in SC.  We really get to help shape what that will look like here and have become well known locally.  I doubt we would have lasted so long in Cali.

 

Thank you for reminding me that babies are resilient!  Ours is just a wiring issue and if we do need to get surgery it won't be he/she is more like 4 yrs old.  Still, everyone wants healthy children and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary.  I think I will have to do some serious fear release work before I go into labor.  redface.gif

post #6 of 10

Hi Tiffany!  Here is a picture of DD with one of our goats.  Bambi (the goat) has had her date night, but she is a midsize goat and the buck that we tried to mate with her is on the small size so he was having some trouble getting up there!  lol.gif  I guess we will know if it worked in a few weeks.  If she comes back into heat I'll try a taller buck.

 

.

 

Would it be ok to include our farm's website and fb info?  There are a ton more pictures located there for anyone who would like to see them.  I just wasn't sure of the rules.  I don't feel like this would be advertising our business since I don't think anyone is in our area and we only sell locally. winky.gif  Heck maybe this isn't even a rule.

 

DH is a super trooper, but I know that he is getting burnt out.  I'm trying to come up with some ways to help him not get so worn out, because it will only get harder with a new lo in the house. I'm thinking of mandating that he get some friends together a go out a few times in the next couple of months, and maybe get gift cert. for a massage.......  I appreciate all that he does and want him to know it, but I also need him to not burn out, or we are screwed.  orngtongue.gif  I'm also training more farm volunteers to help out while we are camped out at the hospital post birth and when we get home.  Our latest recruit is also a doula and said that she can be our farm doula!  Love it!  

 

Ok time to make valentine's cards with dd!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I don't mind you including your farms website. =)

post #8 of 10

OK then.  I just don't want to get in trouble.  (I'm trying not to dump my fears on my family, or friends, so it helps to have a place to vent/unload when it get to be too much!  Plus no one else really cares about nesting, birthing supplies, and the like, the way that other pregnant mama's do!  Sheepish.gif

 

More about our farm and some pics of animals at www.dokofarm.org.  I did most of the website design while nursing dd1, when she was itty bitty.  (She still nurses about once a day, but now I do updates whenever, I can squeeze them in.)  I'm sure there will be new photos added and some redesign once our new lo gets here.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!  

 

Also the family pic is way old.  I keep meaning to update it, but then I think that I might as well wait for the new lo to get here!  So I've already included a pic of dd who is now 3yrs old.  DH looks about the same.  So here is a more recent pic of me preggo, wearing my glasses and with shorter hair.  DD is reconsidering meeting Minnie Mouse- I swear it was her idea and I don't usually torture my kids with giant mice!  lol.gif

 

 

post #9 of 10

Your farm sounds amazing! How fun to be able to have such interesting breeds! And I agree, your hubs sounds like a rock star!

 

So, what's your favorite color? Are you doing a theme for baby's space? Do you have a name picked out for him or her?

post #10 of 10

Hi Firespiritmelody!

 

My favorite colors are blues and greens, though my dd has informed me that it is in fact pink. orngtongue.gif  Probably one of my least fav. colors and I'm trying not to impose my color preferences on her.  She gets to wear as much pink as she likes, though I don't think she had much that was pink as a baby.  

 

The original part of our farm house was built in the mid-1800's and added onto a few times since then.  This makes for an unique layout.  There is a kids' bedroom off of ours.  No separate door, but I did hang a curtain between the two.  You have to go through our room to get to the kids' bedroom.  Right now that room's theme is messy toddler.  redface.gif  There is a double bed in this room.  DD is still sharing sleep with us and usually that is our king-sized bed, which is already feeling full.  Baby will also share sleep with us. I imagine we will be in one bed or another depending on how any one night goes.  shrug.gif  DD is getting use to falling asleep with DH, instead of nursing with me every night.  Hopefully this will make it a little easier on me once the baby gets here.  Though I do suspect that DH may opt to sleep on the smaller bed and leave me with the kiddos some nights once he has to go back to work.  Hmmmmmm.  I guess this is a long way of saying that poor baby doesn't get a traditional themed nursery.  Though we will clean out some drawers for him/her and generally make room. winky.gif

 

OOOO names!  This is our current project!  

 

DH recommended Buck Rogers Jones for a boy.  I am told that this is a scifi character.  eyesroll.gif  Our current top boy pick is Ezra Zachariah.  Extremely biblical sounding for us, as we would not describe ourselves as religious.  We have agreed that middle names can be a family name, but first names have to be their own.  DH's grandfather was an amazing and quirky man.  He gave each person in his life a name that he thought fit him/her, always different from their actually name.  He called DH Zachariah.  So this is kind of a nod to both DH and his grandfather, though maybe not an official family name.  Ezra was picked by my good friend (and doula) and me on my first night in the hospital, trying to figure out what was going on with baby's heart.  We googled sibling names for DD's name, Phoebe, and this one kindof stuck.  Everyone is kind of in love with the idea that baby could be EZ Jones, which sounds like he would grow up to be a famous jazz musician who could support his parents in his old age.  orngbiggrin.gif  DH also likes the Hebrew origins, since it is a nod to his recently discovered Jewish heritage.  We will need to come up with a second option incase Ezra Zachariah doesn't fit baby at birth.  (Phoebe was actually our back up, but it was a perfect fit and our first choice didn't feel right at all once we saw her.)  I am not at all sold on Buck Rogers.

 

For a girl the middle name is Pearl.  DD's middle name is Ellen after my mom who passed away.  Pearl comes from DH's family.  There were many Margarets and his great grandmother who was the matriarch of the family, an amazing woman who took in several children (in addition to her own large family) during the depression, was named Maggie.  There was also one Pearl that we found in the family tree.  Since Margaret/Maggie means pearl, we thought we would just go back to the original.  For a first name, that is still up in the air.  I like Matilda, but we do have a long list that we are working on.  This might take a while as I have checked out just about every baby name book from the library! lol.gif

 

Last time we had two girl names we really loved and no great boy name options that we could agree on, and we had a girl.  This time we have a boy name that we love and haven't found the right girl names, so maybe this means that we are having a little boy???  Really I just can't wait to hold our new little munchkin and see that he/she is alright despite all of the things that we keep finding during the u/s's.  

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