I found out we were pregnant one Sunday. Andy was over at the farmyard setting up the barn for us to run some sheep through that we had to go sort before walking them back to their respective fields. I thought I’d take a test before going over to the yard to help. It was positive. A faint line, but a lines a line right?!
I excitedly ran into the yard with the test and showed him. He wasn’t so sure that it was a line, so was a bit hesitant to get excited, but after much googling and convincing – everything seemed to point to the same conclusion, that I was infact 100% pregnant. We went ahead with our day sorting sheep – it was just the two of us so we could talk freely between ourselves, so we, whilst trying not to get too excited, talked about how I was to be especially careful over the next 8 weeks especially (when I took the test I was 4 week pregnant at the time). We also were very sensible about the whole thing, and talked about how we mustn’t be too excited until the 12 week scan confirmed everything was okay.
I’m a natural born worrier. I get it from my mum. So of course, whilst my first reaction to finding out I was pregnant was pure excitement and happiness, worry closely followed. Not only was I worried about all the things that could go wrong in the first trimester (just from statistics alone), but I was also very conscious of all of the risks that are associated with farming and pregnancy – especially in sheep farms.
If you google ‘are pregnant people allowed to be near sheep’ you will be met with an onslaught of pages that advise to keep away from farm animals whilst pregnant, especially pregnant ewes. This is due to the fact that infections can be passed on from pregnant ewes (specifically through a ewe’s lambing fluids). As quickly as I found out I was pregnant, I did the calculations to see how far along I would be come lambing in April, I would be 7 months at that point, and in the months leading up, most of our activities are ones where we will be prepping for lambing, ie. being in close contact with pregnant ewes. Bugger. My mind started racing through how to we were going to cope with me not being able to help and how we were going to stop germs getting into the house, being that we all come in for breakfast and lunch straight from the farm most days!
Andy was great at calming me down, he is very chilled and practical about stuff like this, the plan would be to sort some cover for me during lambing, to buy another washing machine for his washing that would be in one of our outhouses and for the house to be a ‘no coat, no overalls, no shoe zone’ and everyone would wash their hands before even entering the house. It was pretty simple really. In the run up to lambing I would minimize my involvement with the pregnant ewes, basically any jobs that involve me touching them. Once we had a sensible plan that we’d okayed with the midwife and our vet I felt a lot happier.
Since finding out I was pregnant, I have had to make some changes in how I approach day-to-day farming. I’m still very much a part of it on a daily basis, but I’ve had to listen to my body a lot more and slow down if I’ve needed to. It was hard when only Andy and I knew about it because, for example, Will would hand me a really heavy gate and I would wince and pop it down and make some weird excuse about a ‘bad shoulder’ or ‘bad back’ and say to wait until Andy was around to lift it! It felt a little bit similar to how I felt when we first took on the farm, just not really being able to help much, but harder, because it was like taking a step back. Electric fencing has been my best friend since pregnancy, its something that’s kept me fit and active and still made me feel very much part of the farming team!
The first trimester was a really hard one if I’m honest, keeping the pregnancy a secret from everyone was tricky to say the least…and we had a close friends wedding when I was 8 weeks in – which basically mean’t poor Andy having to drink all of my champagne as we kept swapping glasses! We thought we were being super stealthly – but it turns out pretty much all of my friends at the wedding had worked out i was pregnant in the first 10 mins of arriving! Whilst it was hard keeping it a secret – it was pretty nerve racking telling the world about our secret – like, if something goes wrong – the whole world will know. But now I’m well into my second trimester, I really want to try to enjoy the rest of the time and just relax a bit more!
I think I’ll find lambing time this year really hard, I already feel a bit useless on the farm and not being able to practically help in the lambing shed will be tough…but that being said, it will give me time to properly nest and there are SO many house jobs I want to try to get done before the baby arrives – that I’m sure I won’t be short of things to do!
How I got through my first trimester
- Yorkshire Decaf Tea – OMG this was a revelation. It basically tastes like normal tea. Heaven. One of the things I was worried about was how I’d get my tea fix whilst giving up caffeine and this is THE ONE.
- Marigold gloves…I wear them on the farm. I have 5 different pairs! They keep my hands safe from germs and they’re great as I can reuse them unlike latex gloves. I look pretty stylish aswell…..!
- Soreen bars – I’ve lived on these since finding out I have a dodgy gallbladder…I’ve been having to eat low fat, so these little bars are perfect for keeping my energy levels up and they are relatively healthy too!
- My Pregnancy apps – I have Ovia, and Pregnancy + and I love checking them each day and seeing what is happening with the baby!
- My Fitbit, my lovely friends bought me a Fitbit for my 30th and I have loved having it – especially throughout my pregnancy. It’s nice to reassure myself that I’m getting enough steps in each day…in fact my minimum is usually 11k, and on busy days it will be upwards of 30k steps! I truly believe keeping active has helped keep morning sickness at bay!
- Setting myself a book reading goal – I’m currently trying to read one book a month at the moment and i’ve also downloaded the Audible app – so I can listen to audio books when I’m on the move!
- Giving myself permission to bail out on social occasions and get an early night…I’ve been known to go to bed at 7pm – but if I’ve got an excuse – why not!
- My Hydratem8 water bottle – I honestly can’t recommend this water bottle enough – it really does help me get the right amount of water drunk each day!
- Weetabix, as soon as I wake up – everyday WITHOUT fail. Sets me up for the day and I’m obcessed – its been my only craving!
- Netflix, Oh My Goodness, we have hammered our Netflix account this winter. Best recommendations include ‘Russian Dolls’, ‘Sex Education’, ‘This is Us’ and ‘The Fyre Festival’ Documentary.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I haven’t rambled on too much – let me know if you have any questions or if there are any other pregnancy related blog posts you would like to read 🙂