I don’t want to make an entire post complaining, but being pregnant while starting a homestead has brought some interesting challenges. My pregnancy is only supposed to last another month (yay!) so we’re really feeling rushed on our timeline to get certain things done. Like our 12 x 12 extension to our studio shed. We really need that extra space to live comfortably out here with another person, no matter how tiny. We will be staying in a friends cabin directly after birth for while though. It’s closer to town and has some amenities like running water that will make adjusting to having a newborn a little easier for Kyle and I. Staying there will also give him more time to work on our extension and making it winter ready before bringing our daughter home. I’m really glad that we’ve met so many amazing people in this area, and extremely grateful to our friends for offering us their place for as long as we need it.
So far my pregnancy has been pretty easy compared to a lot of the horror stories I’ve been told, but its really effected how useful I am out here. For one, having my center of gravity changed so much makes me that much more prone to falling down. I’ve become a regular pro at turning tripping forward into falling on my butt. It also makes for some interesting contortions when I attempt to get up from these falls. Or just getting up in general. Kyle thinks its funny to lay his arm across me when I’m trying to get out of bed, just that small amount of pressure and I’m stuck! He told me I look like a turtle rocking from side to side to get enough momentum to get up. Of course he didn’t think it was so funny anymore when he pulled a muscle in his back and had to make the same moves to get up himself! Unfortunately my new center of gravity isn’t something I can do much about. It’s just something I have to work around in my daily tasks on the homestead.
I knew being pregnant when we started building our homestead would mean not being able to help with things like lifting logs. Something I hadn’t considered being pregnant would affect is my ability to do laundry. There is a lot of bending, even when sitting down, to scrub clothes on a wash board. No big deal right? Except for the extra inches my stomach now sticks out! And it doesn’t help that I have short arms either! The best I’ve been able to get around this is to sit back in a chair with my legs on either side of the wash bin. At least then I’m not bumping my baby bump into anything.
Another thing I hadn’t really considered before making this move pregnant was transportation. Riding in a vehicle can be awkward enough, but riding pregnant on a 4 wheeler is a whole nother thing. Kyle is stronger than I am so he does nearly all of the driving when we ride together since the sand and gravel on the beach here will sometimes grab your tires and try to pull you. Riding behind him was fine until I hit the “growing” stage of my pregnancy, and now it’s downright uncomfortable. I’ve had to scoot far enough back to avoid bumping into Kyle that I end up sitting on the bars on the back of the 4 wheeler when we go anywhere. I was just recently given a boat cushion to put on the 4 wheeler, so that has helped a lot. No more going over bumps while sitting on metal cross bars for me! Of course the cushion doesn’t help the fact that sitting on a 4 wheeler is like straddling a barrel. Hello hip pain. Getting on and off is it’s own brand of fun as well. But the 4 wheeler is a necessary tool for our survival out here, and no matter how awkward riding it gets, I still appreciate it because at least I’m not walking those 15 miles.
There is also a whole list of things that need done on the homestead that I can’t help with until after our daughters arrival, and not even right after either. Things like fetching water, hunting, even foraging. When we went blueberry picking I was leaving bushes half picked for Kyle to finish off because I had to move. I just couldn’t stay bent over or sitting in one position to pick for too long. All the pulling of joints and ligaments loosening up thanks to great pregnancy hormones (you can just feel the sarcasm here right?).
There are the things everyone expects during pregnancy that have a different spin living remotely as well. Not being able to put on my own shoes (or fit in them anymore), means I wear flip flops a lot. Yup, flip flops in the woods, no wonder I’m always tripping right? At least wearing shoes that I can slip on and off means I don’t have to ask Kyle to help with socks and shoes every time I go in or out of the house. I do have to ask him to fill my wash bins every time I need to do dishes or laundry though. I can’t carry the 5 gallon water jugs we have, let alone get them up a step to my wash stations. I can’t help tie up the dogs or herd chickens anymore either. Bending + new center of gravity + flip flops + chasing chickens = a recipe for disaster.
I love living out here, and all the challenges that come with starting a homestead from scratch. Even with my pregnancy slowing me down, I know I’m able to contribute a lot in the day to day. I do keep up with laundry, dishes and all the cooking. And even if I don’t and am having a bad day, my wonderful husband picks up the slack so I can rest. I also get to sit down and put my feet up anytime Kyle needs something researched for whatever he is working on. And any projects that I can handle on my own I do take on, like building our water filter and canning food for winter. So even though I’m disappointed with how much I can’t help Kyle with, I do know I am as helpful as I can be. I know there will be a whole new slew of challenges building up our homestead with a newborn, but I think starting it pregnant has given me a trial run in baby influenced set backs. I will definitely be more mentally prepared to put projects on hold to spend time keeping Kyle, myself and my daughter happy and healthy!