first time pregnancy and a new Dairy cow
No bovine experience, here. BUT, personally speaking, I would NOT step into this kind of commitment when you are pregnant, especially for the first time.
You have no idea how you will progress in your pregnancy or how you will feel as a new mother. A baby needs your 100% focus. A cow MUST be milked daily, they can't be told, "Hey, can we skip today?" This is especially true if your so isn't wanting to be a part of your dairy plan.
Enjoy your time with the pregnancy and the baby. Wait a year and see how things go before going the new farmer route.
Just my 2 cents.
I BARELY got a coop built for our chickens, and lost more than half of them because I didn't have the time/energy/money for proper fencing. I planted two tomato plants we got from a neighbor and some old winter squash seeds. Pigs became a laughable dream.
It is all kind of funny now, but it's actually also really discouraging. I had such dreams of being able to 'do it all' and be this awesome farmer mama, and it's just HARD.
I like to say that my son was our harvest this year
I don't mean to be discouraging at all- I think we can do it! But I do think we need realistic expectations for ourselves also, and I also wish I had given myself more... permission I guess to appreciate and embrace growing and birthing a baby, and mothering a newborn as a full time job. To farm as well I think we really need sisterhood and community, to share in the responsibilities and support each other. My husband doesn't farm either, but he ended up doing SO much of the work I had taken on in late pregnancy and early baby months. I would not have been able to do it alone with a baby, seriously. I want to believe we can, but I don't think alone.
it's hard mama!
Keep us posted on your journey
Isis- I think you made a wise decision on holding back. With pregnancy you just never know what is going to happen. We have a few milk cows and they are so well trained and easy but it still requires way more than what I have been able to do. Now granted I am pregnant with #6 and every other pregnancy hasn't kicked my butt until now- but the idea of me milking right now is laughable. I milked by hand through my other pregnancies and it was fine. This time though I was laid up with a sprained foot for a good month, during which time our garden plan fell completely apart and DH had to take over milking, then I was on bed rest for a couple weeks which has apparently will make a person weaker than they ever thought possible. And for the last month or more I have been barely able to move- so since July I have been about worthless on the cows.... When you are not pregnant and have your baby at the age where you can handle spending an hour doing chores twice a day and have a great set up for milking already in place is the time to start :)
I couldn't even handle our chickens this year- my poor DH had to do all my projects- but he did a great job because he was willing. I can't imagine doing it with no support on a good year :(