I’m well into my 8th month of farming pregnant, and pretty much so far so good. Sometimes it feels fairly easy, and sometimes it is wicked hard, it just depends on the day. I am still working daily and I haven’t once cried in front of the crew, which (I joke) was one of my main goals for this season.
Right around 26 weeks – just before hitting the third trimester – I noticed a big shift in my energy and ability. My main clue about this transition was that every Saturday afternoon I would collapse into a tired, blubbering mess of pregnant exhaustion. (Gabe has definitely seen me cry this summer…) The 55-60 hour work week had to go, for the sake of our household’s sanity. I started taking some longer naps, and I dropped my evening farm shift entirely. I also got an additional helper on board for the CSA distribution (thank you Darlene!), which cut back a lot on how much lifting, carrying and on-my-feet time I have to do on Wednesdays. So I’m now down to about 45 hours a week of farm/CSA work, plus a few hours of office work each week. Which is still plenty! But it feels manageable, especially since I get an awesome nap time nearly every day.
The work I am doing at the farm has shifted too. I move slower, and for the most part I’m just working in the washing and packing shed, where I can stay upright. I do a bit of harvesting still, but squatting and bending is difficult (and involves more grunting than is dignified), so I’m pretty limited with big harvesting jobs as well as weeding, transplanting and other low-down or heavy tasks. I hired some more crew to make up for this change (go Teagen and Brad!), so I spend a lot of time directing all of them, bless their hearts.
I’m due Oct 14th and we have 2 milestones right around the first of October – our last full summer CSA distribution for High Altitude Harvest was Sept 28th, and our big Pumpkin Patch event on the farm is October 1st. After those we’ll be in the home stretch, both for the pregnancy and the farm.
The bittersweet thing about the end of this season is that our production really tanked out on the farm… a few failed crops, some bad aphid problems and a period this summer when I got behind on planting made for very limited harvests in late August and September. I had to cut off some of our accounts really early this year, which is a bummer financially. The silver lining is that I had already lined up extra help for the end of the season to make up for my limitations, so we’re getting a jump on projects like mulching out new perennial zones, organizing stuff and building deer fence to prep for farm expansion. Those will be good tasks to have knocked off the list when I have the baby in tow next year. And I can't say that I'm sad to possibily be wraping up a little early this year, with the kiddo coming soon.
It hasn’t been easy, but running a farm while pregnant is doable. It would be nice to have more mental space to prepare for the baby’s arrival, but it’s also good to not have too much time to obsess over the craziness of impending motherhood. And a huge benefit to farming pregnant is that I do feel very strong and healthy, MUCH more so than if I’d had a desk job. Being so active while growing a baby is hard work, but farmers aren’t strangers to labors of love, eh?