Thursday, November 1, 2012

Backyard Chickens

Being that we're new parents and have so much free time on our hands (listen for the sarcasm in my words) we decided we needed a new hobby! After lots of research we decided urban chickens were the hobby for us.
We searched craigslist and found a great deal on a coop that came with a four month old hand reared hen, a feeder, waterer, and bag of chicken feed. After a long drive out to Queen Creek, we made the purchase and brought home everything we needed to get started including "Penny", our first hen.
We quickly changed Penny's name to Clucky since my good friend is going to deliver a little girl named Penny next month and didn't want to compete ; ) You know how protective mom's are with their baby's names!

Knowing that hens get lonely, the day after we settled Clucky in, Josh set out to get her some friends. He came home with 3 hens about the same age as Clucky.
It took a few days for the gals to figure out their pecking order but now we have a happy flock! It's been almost 3 weeks and we're finally reaping some of the rewards. We've found 4 eggs in the last 5 days. So one of our four hens is laying and the others are likely to start laying soon.
The top egg is from our flock, the middle a store bought egg, the bottom a farm fresh egg from Bliss FarmsWe're loving our new hobby. Fresh eggs taste amazing! The yolks have a brighter orange color
and much more flavor (our egg is the one on top). Myles and I enjoy spending time outside watching "Chicken Television". The hens are funny to watch and really have a ton of personality. Even Fluffy enjoys watching them although I'm sure she'd much rather be playing with them!
The other day while watching Chicken TV, Myles and I caught our egg layer in action and we learned that Dolly is responsible for our yummy fresh eggs! Thanks Dolly!
Hopefully the other gals will be laying soon. Generally chickens lay 1 egg every 24-28 hours so we should be eating lots of omelets soon!

Epic Labor and Birth Story, part 3

96 hours after the start of labor and it was finally time to rest. Josh crashed out in the hospital chair and I tried to rest. After everything that had happened I should have just passed out but I couldn't. I lay in bed with my mind racing, channel surfing and trying to doze.
Around 11 the specialist came in to say that Myles was doing great and it was ok for me to go and start breast feeding him. He also said they would release him from the NICU in a few hours. Josh was sleeping soundly, I didn't want to wake him but I couldn't wait. As soon as the staff brought in a wheelchair, I was on my way!
I was able to hold Myles and he latched on my breast immediately! What a great feeling! Again, I couldn't believe how big and strong he was!
They released Myles a few hours later and he was able to stay in our room. Only once Myles was safely and comfortably tucked in nearby was i finally able to close my eyes and rest! We had a steady stream of visitors during our hospital stay and really appreciated the hospital staff.

Myles was jaundiced in the hospital but other than that showed no signs of trouble from our lengthy labor. He needed phototherapy and earned his first nickname "Glowbug".
Despite Myles being jaundiced, the hospital discharged us home Saturday afternoon. We had to continue phototherapy at home but it was easy enough and felt great to finally be home!
I'm so thankful for all of the support we received throughout the entire process. Our family was amazing. Our friends were fantastic. The midwives and the medical staff at the hospital were truly awesome.
During the pregnancy many people questioned our intention for home birth and my response often included the statement that although I did not want to need the services of the hospital I had faith that I would know if the time came that we did need the hospital. I am thankful that Josh and I knew when to make the tough decision to transport.
Although our birth did not go as planned, both Josh and I have chosen to look at our birth as an overall positive experience. We had many of the joys of laboring at home including being surrounded by family and friends. At the hospital we were treated with respect by a competent capable staff. I learned how deeply my husband's faith and support in me really go. Sure he's cheered me on through a half ironman but 4 days of labor! I learned a great deal about myself and although I was wrong about guessing Myles gender (sorry son, I was sure you were a girl!), I learned that I can trust what my body is telling me, and I'll know when I've had enough.
Today we happily celebrate 6 weeks of life with Myles.
Thank you for reading our story and thank you for participating in our journey. The outpouring of prayers, delivered meals, gifts for Myles, love, hugs, and support, has been overwhelming!