Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lost lambs and finding our groove

On our hobby farm, we have chickens, turkeys, and sheep. Last week, one of our ewes went into labor. This was our first lambing experience. Unfortunately she wasn't progressing as quickly as I'd read she should (I know, I know, sometimes we have to trust our instincts more!) so after a couple of hours we called the vet in. I know I'm pregnant and shouldn't even be involved in the lambing process, but my husband was at work and honestly I'm curious. The vet was able to manually get the babies out within about 15 minutes or so. Turns out she was carrying twins, rams, like my husband suspected. The babies were set aside while the vet worked to get the mothers uterus back in place, after she completely prolapsed, and then he stitched her up. The mom, didn't really get to smell or see her babies until after the vet was finished. A part of me felt like I should've made sure that they'd had a better bonding experience to start with. I had hope, since the lambs were moving and making noises and the mom had been licking them some, after the vet was done, that everything would be ok. The vet told us to check on them every hour and within 2 they should be up and walking about, within 4 they should be nursing. We did our first check and they were still moving and making noises, but weren't up and walking about. They seemed fine, to my girls and I, so we let them be. Sadly by the 2nd check they had passed away. I cried and cried and couldn't help but feel like I had failed them. My daughters reminded me that as a shepherdess, death is part of the territory. It would've been one thing if they were old and died because of that, or if they were at least older and intended for nourishment for our family, but they weren't. They were brand new. It could've been my fault, it could've been the trauma of the labor and their delivery, it could've been how cold it was. It could've been that, though their mom had licked them a little, she really didn't seem interested in them. Maybe it was a combination of everything. I don't know. I know there is a lot to be learned being so new at this venture, but it didn't make it any easier. I just hope the rest of the lambing season goes more smoothly.

We are also getting back into the swing of homeschooling, which never really ends, but the structure aspect gets set aside sometimes. I'm having to really learn to let go of everything and everyone else that create kinks in our lifestyle in a negative way and just trust more. I'm trying to have better lesson lay outs for the girls and I so that we might do a better job of staying on task. It seems to be helping the girls to get stuff done, knowing what I expect from them each day. Doesn't mean they always get it all done, but with the new arrangement it puts more of it in their hands to control and less in mine, which at their ages they should have. We are currently using "English for the Thoughtful Child", Math U See, Exploring Creation Zoology 1, the  Taking Godly Care Of series, some character building books, Print to Cursive Proverbs, and other random stuff, as well as the bible. Remembering why I want to homeschool and making it a bigger focus in our life is certainly helping. It isn't always easy. In fact, I face resistance every day from my kids on certain things. However, to really look at where we started at the beginning of the school year and where we are now, I feel like we might be on the verge of finding our groove. I don't work with my sons as much as I would like, though I do try to encourage my husband to do so since he is home at least in the morning on our school days. In spite of the lack of "busy work", both boys are surprising me with how far they have come this school year as well. I'm very thankful when I look at my family and see the growth, especially since somedays I get so caught up in the chaos that I forget the most important stuff.

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