Birth of new lambs. 

Those little fluffy clouds with legs you see jumping around and skipping in the spring fields of England. They are a herald for the new season and hopefully the better weather days ahead. 
Until I moved back home I hadn’t really spent any time thinking about how much work goes into this time of year for the sheep farmers. I simply enjoyed watching them and gushed over their little waggy tails as they fed. 

The Browns my friends Farm whom I have written about before, this time of year is one of the busiest, hardest but also most rewarding. A LOT of work goes into getting the spring lambs to the happy points in the fields you see this time of year. I was again privileged to spend some time with them with my husband at the weekend. 

I lambed my first lamb under Ian’s careful guiding hand. It was so amazing!!

It was a big weekend for boxing and we had this weekend arranged for a while. I joked;

“Ahhh don’t worry I will lamb, you can watch the boxing!” 

All joking aside I was certain I wanted to help and although ANY one that knows me will be absolutely shocked to know. I did it. I put my hand into a ewe and helped her birth a perfect little lamb. 

Having a farm is pretty much 24/7 anyway but this time of year that’s never more true. Every couple of hours out  around the ewes to check that no one is in difficulty or needing help. So like new parents feeding a new born. These farmers are up all through the night no matter what. 

For Ian last night that meant while trying to enjoy an evening with friends, he had to work at the same time. I’m pleased we could be on hand to help but we enjoyed a moment of respite from our own office type jobs so you would think the novelty would wear off for the farmers. That’s not true with the Browns. The excitement and joy at every healthy birth is just as exciting, if slightly exhausted. 

My husband has of late been helping on the farm, it’s so far from anywork he has done that he is loving learning how the farm ticks. The opportunity for both of us to help out and learn something new was so awesome! 

I didn’t even hesitate when he asked, flinging my legs over the fencing into the pen and hands in the ewe following Ian’s clear instructions, five minutes later I am watching a little ball of wool taking its first breath and watching mummy clean and stimulate her baby. A while later he fed and was up and about. 

Out again an hour later to top up any lambs not getting enough milk which means hand feeding the little ones until their bellies are full. 

Next check at about 2am it was my husbands turn! A man who does not like to get his hands dirty with mud, delivered twins and a rather more challenging experience as twin number two was being difficult. They stayed calm and within ten mins out came number two. Initially a little lifeless but with some help from Ian and mummy ewe he took his first breath. Phew!! 

My husband was so overwhelmed by the experience I was a little worried he was going to climb in and sleep in the pen with the babies all night. Haha. 

We got to bed me around 3am, my hubby around 4am. We the part timers slept through till 10. Mean while Ian and his dad had been out another two or three times to deliver three sets of triples. One of which was delivered by the Brown’s four year old daughter Florie. She has literally no fear and knows exactly what she is doing!! Arm straight in, lambs out!! 

While we had slept Ian had an hours sleep! When we got up he still had the rest of the farm dutys to see to, feeding and moving around the livestock. 

If he didn’t do this, if he was wasn’t so conscious and caring for the animals. The amount being lost would be so much higher. The twins my husband delivered and also one of the sets this morning, they needed help. No help and certainly the lambs if not mother too would have died. 

I am tired from reduced sleep and excitement. I have no idea how they do this for months solid. It can only be the love and dedication I witness every time we are there. The care that goes into each animal on the farm is so amazing. 

So the next time you are driving the countryside admiring those little hoppy lambs frolicking in those fields. Spare a thought for the farmer and his family and the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into the process. Think about what you buy. 

ITS SO IMPORTANT TO BE SUPPORTING YOUR BRITISH FARMERS!!! 

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The Childless Mother at Christmas

City Gurl Gone Country

I am mother, I am simply a mother without a child. I have all the Mumma bear instincts and skills, I am ready to go, to create a home, to love and protect my family above anything else.

From a very young age I knew I wanted a big family, I loved my dolls, carefully wrapping them in woolen blankets and kissing their little heads goodnight, I imagined what my children would look like. That’s how long I have been preparing to be a mother.

It simply was not meant to be. Sometimes, there are things that no amount of love and hope can cure.

Every year, when the nights draw in and the twinkle lights start to appear in homes like happy little dancing fairies, my thoughts often turn somber and the little ache that has been present over the year, just seems to sting a little more at…

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The Childless Mother at Christmas

I am mother, I am simply a mother without a child. I have all the Mumma bear instincts and skills, I am ready to go, to create a home, to love and protect my family above anything else.

From a very young age I knew I wanted a big family, I loved my dolls, carefully wrapping them in woolen blankets and kissing their little heads goodnight, I imagined what my children would look like. That’s how long I have been preparing to be a mother.

It simply was not meant to be. Sometimes, there are things that no amount of love and hope can cure.

Every year, when the nights draw in and the twinkle lights start to appear in homes like happy little dancing fairies, my thoughts often turn somber and the little ache that has been present over the year, just seems to sting a little more at Christmas Time.

For the 12 years that we have been on this journey I felt so alone at this time of year, while families celebrated with nativity plays and sharing their children’s excited faces, naughty elf’s, Santa visits etc. I watched with envy, but felt completely and utterly alone even when I was surrounded with love.

While this year has been hard for other reasons, I have found a sort of peace on this subject. Having experienced the rawest grief this year for losing my cousin, I now understand that the process of infertility and losing my babies is also a form of grief. Not in the same way as losing an actual person, more that I am grieving for the what could have been, my imagined baby and what he or she would have grown to be. Its allowed me to let go a little, to move on.

I spent a good deal of time online reading success stories and looking for help with our situation, anything that might help us to get pregnant. The longer it took, the losses we experienced I started to look for other stories, for those ones that didn’t get their dream. If we couldn’t do it, how was I ever meant to put myself back together? How had anyone done this and moved on with their lives? There were not many of these stories and that made me feel worse. Why was I the only one taking so long to get pregnant?

For this reason, now I have been through it and pretty much come out of the other end. I wanted to share this blog for a while, because with the big day approaching and all the wonderful family time we have ahead of us, I want anyone in my position to know you are not alone. You will get through it! You are strong enough to do it!

I adore spending time with my nieces and nephew, however there was a time where I found it so hard that I would be exhausted from the show I had delivered, we all have that “I’m fine and happy” face. I felt terrible guilt for this. The desperate ache of wanting a child mixed with guilt would be hard to process and I never spoke of it.

Of cause, it’s not your family and friends fault, but it isn’t yours either. No one would wish infertility on themselves, we didn’t ask for it and you may find yourself making excuses a lot of the time to hide how hard it is on you. No one can truly know how you are feeling so it’s up to you to take care of yourself because it’s hard for some to understand how broken you feel.

Sadly, our story hasn’t ended with a bundle of joy, and while I don’t think I will ever not want a child, I have learned to deal with the devastating ache and feeling so terribly broken. I can see a happy future without children in it, I am so lucky to have my husband who is my rock and soul mate.

For many of you still on the “trying to conceive journey”, hopefully most of you will end up with your miracle. The journey is a tough one but you will get through it. I hope that you get something positive out of it, or like me, that it makes you appreciate what you have. Be as forgiving as you can, many will say the wrong thing. I have found that there is no right thing to say so that’s no one’s fault and that’s OK too.

I might not have ended up where I thought I would be, but I have a good life. Our babies have the most wonderful angel with them now, taken far too soon from us but I know he will be looking out for us and them. Life is far too short, it’s said so often but it is so very true. I wish you all the luck in the world and truly hope there are Christmas Miracles for everyone this year!!

 

 

 

 

Stop the car!!!!! Moments 

I live in such a beautiful part of the world, it’s easy to photograph. I have so many moments where I am screaming “stop the car!!!” And leaping out to take a photo. 

Tonight’s sunset was a truly beautiful one! As I drove from my house to my mothers I had to jump out of the car and take some pictures!!!

The clouds were so low but the sun was still so strong that it wasn’t total coverage fog, it was the same as when you are flying on a plane through the big fluffy cottonwool ball clouds. Like they had just fallen from the sky and landed on the hill sides. I wish I could have taken more photos but I was alone 😦 but here’s what I could get safely. 😁😁

Memories that hurt 

I was always a glass half full sort of person. Since we lost my cousin this year I have been finding it harder and harder to find the good in things. 

I hate cancer like it was a person! A person I want to beat and kick and scream and shout at. I want to know why it took him! I feel like it took a peice of me with it too. I want to know why it wanted to hurt my family so badly. Why us?? 

Yesterday I realised was the first full day I had gone without crying. Today when I thought about this, I sobbed for a half hour. 

Back in January when he was first taken from us the notion that I would go a day with out crying seemed unlikely. I didn’t want to because would that then mean I am forgetting? Logically I know this isn’t true. I think about him and my family’s pain every day. But still the fact I didn’t cry seemed to cause hurt as well. 

It’s true when they, whomever they are, say that it comes in waves. Some days I hold it together ok, tears are usually last or first thing in a day. The middle bit we all slap on our brave faces and try to do normal. The tears are brought on by a memory or picture or just the ache that’s been so present since the moment we found out it was Leukemia. 

Yesterday I was distracted, I was worried about a scan I had to have at the hospital. Recently I have had cysts causing me pain in places you don’t wanna know. So at the moment they are investigating the next steps to take, the problem for me with scans is that it transports me instantly back to loosing some of my pregnancies. 

The whole thing from start to finish, the waiting room with expectant mothers blooming with their healthy pregnancies to the scan it’s self and being in the position again on that bed. 

I haven’t ever suffered with depression or anxiety but I think the truly awful year we have had has nudged me closer to feeling these things. 

Laying there yesterday with yet another nurse looking at my insides and clicking away pointing at the abnormalities on my dysfunctional baby machine. I started to feel sick and shaky and very emotional, I wanted to jump off that bed and run for it. Every bad experience I have had in this situation weighed on me. 

I rarely let the pain out of its little lock box in my brain regarding the failings to get pregnant and keep the baby. I try to continue and not let it consume me. Recently the memories are leaking out more frequently and it’s been hard but frustrating because I am normally so in control. Little triggers around me all the time set off some monumental meltdowns. I don’t know if this is still my grief, like a side effect that all the bad experiences are pouring out of me. I haven’t ever felt like this before, grief so consuming. 

I have overwhelming respect for those people in my life that have lost young loved ones and managed to look like they are carrying on. I realise now how much energy it must take to just be “normal”. uRghhh I hate that word “normal”!

So yesterday I didn’t cry for Gav and I felt guilty for allowing my thoughts to be on me and it felt selfish.  I think perhaps I am now officially a crazy person. I don’t want to move on, I know he wouldn’t want us to be like we are but it’s easier said than done. We are all in such pain. 

I wonder if he watches over us and is annoyed, or if he realises the total mess we are in is testament to how much we loved him. I don’t want to do a day with out crying for him!! I know life goes on, but this version of life is different to before, somethings missing, we aren’t the same. Our hearts are just completely broken.  

⭐️⭐️❤️❤️💔💔

A trip to Edinburgh, crazy few hours. 

My husband works all over the UK. August is one of the busiest months of the year so he is often working over the weekend. When he told me he was headed up to Edinburgh for the day Saturday, I took the opportunity to spend some extra time with him but also take in the sights. I took my 14 year old niece along for company too!!

Our alarm rang out at 4am, I started to regret my decision and wondered how much could I really get done in a day….. Maybe staying in my nice warm bed would be a better choice?!?  The traveller in me screamed NO!! Get up lazy bones!!! 

So up we got and made a half hearted attempt at making myself look presentable, we bundled into our car and off we went on the three hour trek!!

Once I shake the sleep off and start to feel more human less Zombie, I really love this time of day. Watching the sun rise in our beautiful countryside is always worth being awake at stupid o’clock. 


Once we arrive in Edinburgh, I start to feel excited!! I have been before but never in summer. The smell of the yeast and malt that fills the air instantly transports me to Christmas time which was the last time we were here. I am reminded of gingerbread latte and twinkling lights. This time we had the Fringe and Tattoo atmosphere. It gives the city a totally different and exciting feel!


My earlier blogs will tell you that this year we are trying to lose weight and get fit. The lose weight is going ok, the get fit …..hmmm not so well!! I mention this because we park the car near the job, and I say … “It’s ok we will walk into the centre!!” Off we go! We follow the well sign posted tourist attraction signs. Forty minutes later we are standing below the castle and my face is resembling a tomato!! Three miles down already and it’s only 8.40am!!


There is a great mix of high street shops and boutiques here. I love it. We are coming back in October for a week so will be looking forward to spending some more time exploring the shops. For this day however it was about cramming as much into the hours we were there as possible and remembering I am with a forteen year old who may not like the same things as me. 


After giving the fourteen year old an appropriate amount of shop time, where I felt incredibly old as most of the styles were from my teenage years in the 90s so if the fashion has come around again …. I must be old lol!! Moving swiftly on!!!!

We had only a couple of hours left and I had read somewhere that deep in old town was in fact the grave of Tom Riddle the name that inspired one of my favourite authors to name a villain in her book …. Voldemort in Harry Potter. I am such a massive fan so of cause we had to go see!! By this time we had clocked up seven miles and the old hips were singing a bit, did we let that stop us?!? Of cause not!!!!!

After another couple of miles, we arrived at Greyfriars Kirk and its famous gravestones. It wasn’t just the appeal of the famous grave. 


It was also my addiction to graveyards. I don’t know why but I find something so beautiful in the old headstones, some lavish and well crafted almost transport you back to that time. I love the history in those old graveyards and this one had some great examples. Including the caged plots that prevented body snatching and grave robbing. 


There is a folk tale that within Greyfriars that it has a poltogiest oh and a ghost dog called Bobby, the poltogiest can be found in the oldest part of the graveyard. Locked up only accessible if you pay to go on the tour, a fact that has me a little skeptical, and when we reach this section there are plastic skulls with lights for eyes on the entrance and I am not convinced. Either way I had a chance to snap and image through the gates without being attacked!!


We passed the last hour before being picked up here, it was peaceful and interesting. I snapped a couple of great pics and though brief, our time here made my excitement for our return trip in October much higher. Edinburgh has so much more to share with me. Can’t wait!! 

   

Sunsets and sunrises! 

I am not an early riser! So this love of sunrises is conflicting. My alarm goes off and I am instant filled with a dilemma. On the one hand – I want the shot, on the other hand – I want my sleep!! 

Early bird catches the worm and all that!! I have some fab shots from various places, early morning here often means fog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shots more than anything. 

Here are a few 🙂 

What are your favourite shots that you take? 

How exciting is a smiley face?!!!

This morning I peed on a stick and it made me happier than I have been in a long time. 

I share a lot of my life particularly the fertility issues online as I have found such support from others in my position, but in truth this morning I shared my joy because I was excited!! My Facebook post was instantly filled with love and excitement from my friends and family. 

For all these years of trying for a baby, I have peed on a LOT of sticks, Clearblue more than others and the results always upset me. I have had so many negatives that the little empty circle on the ovulation kits or the not pregnant flashing on a pregnancy test, I have become numb to it. I expect the negative. This mornings peak was amazing!!!

To be clear my stick didn’t tell me I was pregnant. It told me I am ovulating. I have PCOS and those digital tests have NEVER in all these years told me I am ovulating!!! I was excited like I was pregnant!!! I did a little happy dance in the bathroom and instantly decided to share. 

I have people in my life I have never met. They read my blogs or follow me on Instagram etc. I get so many messages from people thanking me for sharing my journey. It’s for these people I am glad I did share as well as myself feeling the love. That was awesome. It’s nice to share a positive result even just the ovulation!! For some it may be hard to understand the excitement over ovulation but do as many tests as I have, that have been negative and then come back to me, see how you feel lol. 

Our journey has been a long one and there are so many “trying to conceive” stories out there most of which end in a beautiful bundle of joy. Our story hasn’t ended that way, I feel that’s a story that should be shared too. It’s a lonely road here feeling like the only one who’s body just will not do as it should. If I can make one person feel like they aren’t alone through this then I feel I am doing some good, my babies that didn’t make it aren’t gone for nothing. They live on with me and my blog in some silly way. I know that sounds nuts!! 

I am not getting ahead of myself as the chances of getting pregnant are still not great, but I guess I am trying to say don’t give up and take what ever positives you can!! That little smiley face has given me a little glimmer of hope, something I haven’t felt in a long time. Will it mean I get pregnant? Probably not but it’s still a nice feeling that it’s possible ….. I am not out of the game yet 🙊🙊🙊!!!

Wish us baby dust!!! 👪👨‍👩‍👧💑💑

Farm gurl in training – shearing sheep!! 

This weekend we packed our camping things into my husbands van and we made a trek up to Bonny Scotland to spend the weekend with some friends at their farm. 

Let me start by saying, I am NOT a camper, I’m accused regularly of being a snob. This is not the issue. It’s not like I deem myself “too good” to camp out, just that given the choice between a comfy bed with amenities in a nice hotel or a sleeping bag in what is essentially nylon ball with a door. I choose bed every time. I have to defend this preferance. ALOT.   


However if I was ever to give in and take the plunge it would be to spend time with the wonderful people I did this weekend. I am so glad I did. 

You may have read my blog about lambing with the Brown Family well here we are back again with them, but this time we are on their new farm in Scotland and we are shearing sheep. 


The drive to Scotland was beautiful, we live in an already breath taking area but the beauty of Scotland’s landscape isn’t lost on me. It’s raw beauty is worth the drive alone, the farm is actually in the middle of no where, so like those houses on the hillside that you say,

How cool would it be to live there, no one around for miles!!!

This is exactly what the Browns new farm looks like. Driving up the long road to the farm, the van bounces along like that scene from Ace Ventura. We don’t have a comfy car with great suspension, we have a Vauxhall van with naff suspension that makes me feel like my stomach is about to come out of my mouth!!! Sorry Vinny Vauxhall but it’s true!! 

The comical scene that waits me is worth the trip, Marie Brown one of my oldest and closest friends does not do anything by halfs, she says camp and she has every possible thing you could need to do it. Including twinkle lights, a must for any party in my opinion!! 

There are seven adults standing over a six man tent complete with three bedrooms and a living room with a carpet. There are no instructions for said tent and only a couple of us with any clue about how a tent goes up!! Cue at least an hour of hilarity that can only be equal to that of a Three Stooges movies, up goes our home for the next two nights, with minimal input from me. I imagine many divorces are a result of putting up tents!!!

Now I know what you are thinking, you are at a farm, why don’t you sleep in the house. Well it’s been empty for a while and well …… That’s just how we roll!! Apparently ….

After a fun evening filled with a lot of beer and laughter. We retire to our tents to get some rest for the adventure ahead.  


So after a some what freezing night in the tent we headed out to work, we were all supplied with coffee and bacon butties by Terry before we started!!! He is Marie’s dad and I think we all adopted him total ledgend!!! 

We started my clambering to the top of a hill, jumping a stream. Anyone that knows me will confirm how unlike me this is!!! I broke two nails climbing on my hands and knees to reach the sheep, not going to lie, cried a bit at this I have been growing them for ages!! *sigh* never mind let’s move swiftly on!!

At last we reach the top the hill and Gwen the sheep dog sets off to work.  


It never fails to amaze me how passionate Ian, Maries husband, is about farming. It’s a hard job that is a lifestyle, you live and breathe this life and he still has such a passion for it. It must be amusing to him us townies showing an interest in his lifestyle but we do love it. We love spending time with them. 

This time of year the heat and the bugs can be a danger to the sheep, if their fleece gets too big and they get stuck on their back, they can die. So shearing is an important part of looking after the wellbeing of the sheep. It’s more than just wooly jumpers. 

Ian the professional showing us how it’s done. 


It’s back breaking hard work. It’s a fantastic skill to see, quickly and expertly removing the fleece it’s obvious that Ian has had many years experience. We were on hand to help …. I maybe hindered but Nikki, one of our party, was a dab hand helping to pull the sheep out and pulling them into position which is bloody hard work and some of them were as big as her!! My husband Ben also pitched in and for a city boy he did well. Between them it was a smooth assembly line. 

The wool when it’s removed is rolled up and sold on but not for a great deal. There is something very pleasing about the smooth lines and the sheep shaped wool that’s removed. 

Ian told me some farmers burn the wool rather than sell it in protest to the poor prices paid for the wool. I can understand it. There is a LOT of work that goes into running a farm, do we really appreciate it? Do we do enough to support our British farmers? 

Me having a go. Then Ben and one of the final sheep. 


Ben really got the bug and he and Nikki helped to worm some lambs too, I was amazed watching my husband who has been born and raised in the city take control of these lambs. Nikki on the other hand equally amazing at it she looked very at home in this enviroment and you can’t help admire a girl that can really kept up! No pink or blue jobs here!! Yes I realise I loose some credibility for mentioning my broken nails but it can be gurl power with awesome nails!!! 

They worm the lambs every six weeks or so because of the bugs in the grass the lambs eat it keeps the insides healthy. They also are regularly sprayed with fly spray to stop them living in the wool. 

 This life is so different to the one so many of us live in the corporate world, dealing with targets and money and sales. Farming has its own stresses and it’s unbelievably hard work but I can’t help feeling envious of the time spent outdoors with animals. 

Many hands made light work so we were able to get out and do a little touristy stuff in Ary too. Hopeful Ian was pleased with the help getting his jobs done, I don’t mean my limited efforts more the others lol!! 

Our weekend was a mear glimpse into their life, but I loved it. It was helped along by great company and a lot of laughs. After the unbelievably bad start to 2016 laughs have been rare. I hope we can do it again soon. 

Here are some other shots from the weekend. Xoxo