Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy birthday Blueberry!

Verity's birthday was actually the 27th but in light of my being a bit slack in getting pictures off the camera lately I'm posting it today...

She is such a funny soul, very cheeky, sunny and her mommas girl. Ironically I'd wanted her when I saw their baby pictures but having just had La I couldn't have taken on a puppy at the time. It was just before she turned two that her breeder decided to place her and we went to NSW to meet them and came home with the Veri-very blueberry. It being her birthday and La being rather into all things chef at the moment, I decided we had to make her a birthday cake. So the master chef got to it... making a cake for 'Eirty, with a little help measuring of course!

And as you can see the effort was met with approval. LOL (Although I'm not entirely sure it was in her mouth long enough to be tasted before it hit her stomach... typical Aussie!)

I hate foxes....

The majority of our poultry are in their own colourbond sheds at night, with two smaller cages being used for a single pair and Leopold the Old English Game bantam who is kept for his good looks despite sensibility dictating I don't need a spare rooster and certainly not an OEG when I breed Wyandottes. His cage is on our verandah, only about 5m away from our bed. After having pretty well fox proofed everything as well as possible, yesterday at 5:30am we were woken by the sound of screaming and crashing coming from our front verandah.

This is the damage... the fox had taken ahold of the mesh with it's teeth and pulled until the screws that hold the slide bolt broke, letting it swing upward and the door open. We bolted awake and dashed out knowing exactly what the sound was but too late, the fox was already gone into the night and so was poor Leo. I'd snapped these only a few days before, Laurent was cuddling him and giving him a frontrow view while we had a handyman out.

I am rather seriously considering getting a Maremma to protect the birds and sheep as well. Not just because of this incident... I am sick to death of the number of foxes we have around here and the fact that being on smaller parcels of land (nothing much larger than 50 acres, many being 5-15 acre blocks) means we can't do boo about the foxes really. I've opened the door to find them sitting on the porch, even the doormat and see them all the time trotting across the fields in broad daylight completely unconcerned about human presence. I've got research to do, I'm not jumping in uninformed but other options I've looked at either aren't good matches for our situation or are impractical, so I think a livestock guardian dog may be in our future. With breeding season approaching and an incubator (finally!) on the way, we should have lots of babies this year and I don't intend to loose any to foxy loxy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

3 Months

Can you believe it? I can't! The calender in front of me dares me to say differently though - my Lilypilly is 3 months old. She is such a beautiful little soul and I am just eatting up every minute of her.

Her birth has left me absolutely high on life and with a deep sense of content, bless those lovely labor hormones. There is a sort of more or less permanent rosey glow going on and aside from the chucky factor meaning I go through a fair number of shirts a day she is just pure enjoyment.

If you'll excuse the ProudMomma gush, she is as clever a little critter as you'd hope for. At 3 months she is a chatty little thing, who has a variety of delicious little coos and is happy to flirt with anyone who smiles at her.

She loves her brother - stares at him in wonderment. The feeling is mutual and he is the second most gifted at getting her to beam and burble delightedly and he loves to 'play music', dance or dangle a toy for her. She is a bibi fiend, which probably explains those chubbalucious little rolls of ever-so-soft baby skin that are so much fun to kiss.

She has discovered she has two mitties and they do what she wants them to... most of the time!

Besides her little monkeygrip (ouch, that works especially well on hair) she occupies herself by swiping at interesting things, bringing it to her face to study and taste with a look of concentration as she ponders the wonders of fabric patterns. She has spent the last few weeks kicking about, twisting, attempting to do baby-crunches and otherwise figuring out how to make herself flip over...

and gosh, isn't the world an amazing place from this point of view???

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Just to clarify on my prior post - I am NOT among those who use the description of 'sheep' to describe women choosing hospital based births, inferring that women choosing a location or options different from my personal choices are somehow or something less, that women who choose hospitals or intervention deserve what they get akin to a rape victim who has worn a short skirt asking for it, that they deserve any less than a beautiful and respectful birth, that it's not possible to have a 'good' birth in a hospital or impossible unless you are just lucky.

I feel no one has the right or ability to determine or judge what is right for another person or how they ought to value, view, feel, interpret or experience all the myriad things that are weighed up in such a profoundly personal choice as where, how and who to birth with. That is precisely what I am decrying.

I am also not addressing where women are bullied, are acted upon against their wills or without their permission. I am speaking exclusively to the fact that women have the right to elect for procedures and options in hospital births even though they also carry risks, some of which are potentially severe, without their unborn child's rights being used to over-ride their right to choice. While it can be argued in some cases these can't be real choices because many are not made with full information, as all any of us can do is make the choices based on the information we have at that point in time, I am going with the word choice for lack of a better one.

I support the right to full, accurate and balanced information for women on their range of choices and the risks associated with each absolutely. There is an imbalance of it currently widely available and I would like to see that remedied. Likewise I support the right to be treated with inherent respect and dignity no matter what or where. I believe a shift in the hospital structure and policy to allow for better support for women and staff to have the resources, training and support to do so is desperately necessary.

This sum of my post is this:
If homebirth is not the huge risk that the uninformed often suppose and birthing in a hospital is not a guarantee for a safe birth - in some cases in spite of the hospital and in some cases because of it and besides location other options a woman has the right to choose on behalf of her unborn also carry risks and the nature of some of those the argument that a hospital is the only acceptable place to birth because it is the only safe or safest place to birth does not make sense.

Likewise every time a mother chooses a hospital or birthing center, chooses which pregnancy tests to accept or decline and chooses which management options she wants or does not want, she is also making choices on behalf of the baby which have risks associated with it. If the rights of the baby are not then an issue or suggested to trump the mothers right to choice for hospital based births, WHY are they an issue and argument against the right to choice when the location and choice in homebirth? If the woman choosing hospital has the right to choose for herself and on behalf of her unborn, the right must then logically extend to the other as well.

It also makes me wonder how many have thought through the consequences of what they suggest - that if we are going to argue the baby's rights as determined by some other party dictate the acceptable course of action then that must extend to all births not just homebirths. I'm not sure about anyone else but the idea of an arbitrary third party dictating what are acceptable risks for me, my body and my baby and being able to force procedures on me under the guise of "baby's rights" makes my blood run cold. It should be as it is - up to us as individuals to weigh the potential costs and benefits as relates to ourselves and our situations and determine which we as a mother-baby unit want, need, are comfortable with and feel necessary for us personally. While Nicola Roxton's decision is positive in a number of ways, it is despicable that it brings those benefits at the cost of removing the rights of women to choose independent midwifery (for homebirths or otherwise) and removing the rights of midwives to private practice.