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! 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. (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. I also intend to point out that I was carded on Friday. Take that Advanced Maternal Age!
Ok that was long. If you have any questions ask away!