Bad Uteri

My uteri are playing silly buggers. They have spent the last 3 days fighting like cat and dog, and I’m fed up. It feels like some fool has given them a Wii, and now they’re boxing seven shades of myometrium out of one another. I am also, perhaps unsurprisingly, spotting, and there is absolutely no good reason why this should be happening. None at all. I have lost track of my precise dates, but I had an absolute humdinger of a period in early-mid February time. I am not pregnant. I am not obviously ovulating. (Although I shall scurry off happily to pee on something at bedtime. Probably a peestick, unless I get very over-excited.) I am not breastfeeding any more, or any less, than I was last month… so I am feeling quite cross about it.

And now I am going to bed early, courtesy of a pounding headache, grinding uteri, and a a big old tired-sicky feeling. I have spent most of today an hour and a half’s drive down the M5, visiting a isolated, baby-blues stricken, worried family member and her exceedingly nomnomnom-able 4 month old baby; he has decided that Milk Is For Wimps and is currently trying to sustain himself on fresh air instead. I had a good nuzzle on his beautifully warm baby-fuzzed head, and decided that I’d better try for another one after all.

Umm. Yes, I do appear to be changing my mind on a daily basis about this.

Bare Bear with me.

Hairy Hubby Hardships II

This… is supposed to be my on-line diary of sorts, for me to look back at when I’m 90 (ha haaaaa! Inherited heart disease will see Hubby burying me long before that. If he’s still compos mentis enough to work a microwave, he’d cope better than I would, so that’s fine. Except I’ve now thought about Harry being all sad and having no Mum and I’ve gone weepy. Shit! Train of thought gone badly off-course. It’s only my first sentence and I’m drifting already. Back! Back to the wagons!) and smile reminiscently at my youthful shenanigans. Of which I seem to have none.

What have I done lately? Umm.

Well, I’ve bullied Hubby into making a start on the garden. I was bitterly disappointed about Harry’s birthday party not being a garden party due to absence of lawn, and he also needs some dogshit-free ground to play on this summer, so we are tackling our patch of hillside scrub. Phase one was initiated on Sunday, and Doris the Digger arrived from the farm to pull out a fence and level out the soil.


Then Hubby got down to the serious business of earthmoving, whilst Harry tottered off

walking-6 walking-5 walking-4 walking-3 walking-2 

to explore the drive – with only one or two tumbles!

fallen-down1   getting-up walking-1

When I turned around from taking photos of Harry’s expedition in search of his beloved trike, I began to wave my arms and shout over the digger engine.

Wifey: “You’re getting stuck!”

Hubby (cupping ear) : “What…?”

Wifey: “Sinking! Axles! Deep! Stuck!”

Hubby: “Nah!”

Shortly afterwards, we were obliged to pack up and head back to the farm in order to select a tractor grunty enough to tow Doris out from where she was immovably sunk in our wet clay. She shouldn’t have been stuck, apparently. He couldn’t understand how she was stuck. I did video the moment when he eventually killed the engine and climbed dejectedly out of the cab, but I just haven’t the heart to post it.

Because he’s not having a brilliant week.

The sheep are starting to lamb, and so far we are running at about 50% lamb mortality, which is appalling. To give you a context, 10% is just about acceptable. The lambs are big enough to survive, and look perfect, but they just don’t start to breathe when they are born. It’s early days yet – only about 20 out of several hundred – but still worrying. I was all keen to do more lambing this year, but not if I’m just going to be pulling out small dead bodies. I can’t cope with that. I filmed John and his Dad calving a cow a few years ago – the calf was born unexpectedly dead, and it’s a dreadfully sad little piece of film.  

I could, incidentally, do with rolling around in some sheep placenta the same way my revolting spaniel does. Everyone talks about the dangers of cat litter, but sheep are absolutely rife with toxoplasmosis – which is a big worry when you’re a mysteriously non-immune pregnant farmer’s wife and your unborn small-for-dates child is being worked up for possible infections. John put his own clothes into the washing machine and set it going (I knew he knew how to…) when I was pregnant, which we thought would be ok – until the Delightful Doctors Next Door looked alarmed and told John to just leave his lambing clothes at the farm. Toxo was eliminated as Harry’s culprit, but I would feel happier if I could actually catch it this year.

Hubby’s Granny B ceased to ‘do’ over the weekend. This was a lady who was vaguely concerned that Harry would not ‘do’. I feel the customary New Great-Grandchild cheque may even have been delayed some weeks after we got Harry home because of these fears regarding his morbidity. Really, after about day 6, there was never much doubt about Harry’s likelihood of ‘doing’, but it’s fair to say that a 3lb-er wouldn’t have ‘done’ awfully well at the time when she was having her children. Hubby thought a good deal of his Grandfather, some years deceased, but was not particularly close to Granny B. This could easily be discerned by the way he actually forgot to tell me Granny B had died until nearly lunchtime on Sunday, despite having seen his Mother at breakfast-time.

The funeral plans have sent me into a tizzy of haircut appointment making (I am Farrah ‘Dulux’ Fawcett again) and worry about the fact that, despite owning myriad black items of clothing, none of them are smart enough for a funeral. Having put on 10lbs since Christmas – and also avoided the gym for 3 weeks –  I am currently TWO POUNDS lighter than I was when I wrote this post, which is very very sad, and means I will have to buy a size FUCKING HUGE black skirt from somewhere this week. It also means that Hubby’s twin brother may  – although family troubles will probably dictate against – fly back in from the States for a few days, in which case I need to find a spare room. I know there are a couple available, in theory, but there’s a shitload of junk wedged precariously between the doorways of Theory and Practice.

Creatures with Tiny Tiny Brains

I am probably going to hell.

Any mother that has a 100% guilty record for consuming the birthday cake out of every single party bag her child has ever received must surely be going straight downstairs, sans appeal? I can’t even pretend to myself that I’m doing him a favour: the kid loves cake with a passion. Put a slice of sponge cake within range and he out-snatches a striking snake.

I am thinking vaguely rationalising thoughts about my emotional need for sugar being greater than his today, and that I bought myself an In The Night Garden birthday cake, just so he could chew on an icing-sugar Iggle Piggle. I have now delved further into the party bag and started on the chocolate bar. I can feel the flames licking around my legs, and still I munch on

If he had seen me quietly abstract his very own party bag, then I’m not so sure I could get away with it. Harry is a classic case of compensating for small stature with fiery determination: I swear he levitates through sheer force of will some days. But I wasn’t brave enough to go toe to toe with him about the bag-ownership issue, and I am scoffing my illicit (immoral, Ann, immoral) treat after his bedtime… and out of his sight, just for good measure. 

Having established my character credentials, let me assure you I am also available for babysitting and Godmothering.

Those of you who have had a particularly featureless evening and consequently delved into my archives, may remember I experienced some ickiness regarding the incestous nature of my tiny gaggle last year. Spring is perceptibly just around the corner and I am having the same problem again, although with slightly different protagonists. Alpha male now rules supreme (we were obliged to despatch his male progeny, to save him being slowly pecked to death. Family assassination. Nice.) over his (unrelated) mate… and daughter. Yeeeeees. That’s right. Daughter.

I am told by those who are in the know of all things geesey, that Father-Daughter pairings are Not A Problem, and that It Happens. Well, yes, I can see it happening, right enough. I have windows. I have eyes. My son has eyes, Godammit. We can see the whole Greek thing unfolding in front of us. 

Given the hassle that these last two caused, added to the fact that the offspring would be The Things That Should Not Be, I am fairly reluctant to countenance any more goslings this year despite the fact that Harry (and his mother) would doubtless find the fluffy uber-cute stage highly appealing.  Therefore, Harry will soon be enjoying some extra-large portions of scrambled egg for breakfast.

The goose situation is imbued with some mirth, however. The Gander has his dander up… and is currently going reasonably beserk, attacking cars and people indiscriminately. Hubby and I have both been reminded of that fabulous snippet of Father Ted in which Bishop Brennan, belatedly cottoning on to having been indubitably kicked up the arse, returns to Craggy Island in a monumental paddy. 

Those of you who are already converted to the Father Ted doctrine will not need the link, but will enjoy it anyway. Wait a tick for it to load, and then move the slider to 19.45 minutes.

Actually, no, in fact: watch the whole thing, and then go and buy the box set. Enjoy!

Falling (on) Floors

‘Egghead… has a glowing bruise to show to the Paediatrician tomorrow… [who] will doubtless tell us that Harry will talk any day now, and not to worry about the fact that his walking, 5 months in, is not very good.’

I tell you what: I can read the future, me! As Harry is now registering on Speech & Language’s radar, the Paed was all keen to discharge Harry from his list – but has agreed to see him again in 4 months “despite the fact I can’t see a damn thing wrong with him because of your concerns about his mobility.” Sigh.

I didn’t bother to mention to him the fact that IUGR Harry, for his corrected age of 17 months, is on the 0.4th centile on the height chart. I live with two chaps, so I already know a waste of my time and breath when I see it. 

The Health Visitor (community-based nurses that specialise in paediatrics) came today. After 30 minutes of  “But he’s still so young! It’s normal! He’ll improve! He’s not falling over very much! Surely a few falls can’t present a problem!” I sent Harry after her for an outside toddle. Our drive isn’t the smoothest of surfaces, which detracted from my intended demonstration a little, but Harry was obviously treading as carefully as he could. Yet he obligingly fell face-down in the mud 4 times in the first 12 ft. I ignored the maternal pangs, and left him to laboriously untangle his own feet and stoicly pick himself up – before watching him sail splattingly into the next muddy puddle. By the time we had rounded the corner towards the hen run, he was plastered head to toe in mud, and the HV was hovering behind him and asking if I didn’t have a baby-walker he could use?

It felt like a rotten way to make a point, but it was a fair reflection of how we have to get about, 5 months into this walking business. We live on a steep, wet, muddy hill, yet Harry vastly prefers outdoors exploring to indoor tedium. Baby reins are a royal pain in the arse to put on his unco-operative little frame, (ever wrapped a mildy injured cat?) and you swiftly end up dangling a retracted-legged marionette in any case. Walking behind him with hovering outstretched arms makes him so cross that he stops, turns right around and pushes you indignantly out of his space – plus, you’re bent over like some sort of crowd-attracting hunch-groin because he’s really not that far off the floor. Holding his hand is also unpopular (he snatches them behind his back and accelerates away when he sees us reach down), makes little difference to his tumble ratio, and means his held arm gets yanked hard as he falls. (For holding both hands: see baby reins, above). I do bung him on his trike and push him about if I need to keep him even faintly presentable, but after a little while he clamours wildly to get off.  

The only thing HV said with which I whole-heartedly agreed was, after observing 30 minutes of him bustling busily about and climbing everywhere with eye-popping determination: “My word. He’s a proper little goer, isn’t he?”

As I’m having a good whinge, I may as well mention a theory of mine regarding Health Visitors as a species in general. Whenever they are confronted by a mother whom they feel is worrying unnecessarily about growth, they are absolutely not to be trusted with a biro and a centile chart, coz they just massage the bloody data a bit. It was continually happening with Harry’s weight chart during his first twelve months, no matter which one wielded the pen, and the last two occasions I have had his height measured have been mildly comical


because the little pink crosses are what he actually measured.  The 72cm that mysteriously became 73cm I crossed out and re-drew, but when I saw today’s effort – 73.5cm extended hopefully towards 75cm (and therefore reaching out of the below-2nd-centile blue ‘it’s ok to start worrying now’ zone) I simply had to chortle.

In other news… I turned 34 yesterday. The day started out reasonably mediocre, but got generally better as it went on. High points included getting a lovely birthday card from the wholly delightful May and H, and consuming two illicit chip butties. Low points included Harry’s morning nap screamathon, afternoon public rageathon, finally finding the mobile phone I had already had to buy a replacement for, and coming to the belated conclusion that I may need to see a gynaecologist again, coz I think my pelvic floor is… well, broken. Harry The Destroyer, previous gynae surgery and yet another period from hell have patently done it no favours. Hubby has not noticed and is not complaining – except about me not doing post-partum pelvic floor exercises whenever I complain about the perils of laughing with a full bladder – but I do know something hasn’t gone back right. I’m not looking forward to a round of extended speculum prodding, but neither do I want to end up with my cervixes at knee-level.

I did, however, ovulate this month. Go me! I used some less sensitive pee-sticks, and surprisingly, they showed a clear LH surge. I only caught the back end of it, and it was a bit late to prod John away with a sharp stick by that point (I am at least 2 stone too heavy to even consider conception currently) but we thankfully managed to evade conceiving by dint of sheer sub-fertility instead. In the 2 week wait, which I meant to tell you about but never did, I peed repeatedly in my special Bertolli Pasta Sauce mug, dipped numerous pregnancy tests, squinted closely at the lily-white results, and essentially had enormous fun self-scientificating before the arrival of the tsunami rendered the peestick action unnecessary. I was insanely pleased when I managed to correctly predict the imminent arrival of my period, after 3 unrelated and trivial-topic sobbing outbursts during the space of 5 hours.

Hubby thinks I have, and I quote, “neurotic obsessive-compulsive pee-sticking disorder”, and I’m not sure he’s wrong, because (coughs, looks furtively both ways, leans inwards, whispers) I do so like peeing on chemical tests of all descriptions. I told a piss-taking Hubby (Umm. Look, he assiduously avoids the Bertolli Mug like the plague these days. Shall we say jibing Hubby instead?) last week that ‘using peesticks is so interesting! They tell you something about yourself!”

There was a long pause, and a contemplative stare before he replied.

“Yes. In your case, I think they certainly do…”

Protected: Always going forward, ‘coz we can’t find reverse.

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Little Kardasian** Dude


As you can see from yesterday’s photo, Harry is happily sporting a streak of yellow war-paint, a sparse sprinkling of pasta sauce  – and a lovely bruise peeping through his fringe. The little chap is so sadly prone to disaster that I now wince whenever I see slapstick or pratfalls on TV. We live pratfalls.

And, because he is cursed, Godammit, cursed things don’t always work out the way his Mummy wants, the part of him that made seismic-registering contact with a lurking outcrop of skirting board earlier this afternoon was…


exactly the same spot of forehead. Yes, that shadow is caused by the humungous protruding swelling of an almighty great bump on top of a bloody bruise.

AND a nice little cheek graze for good measure.


I could cry for him. In fact, I frequently do.

The speech therapist came today, and she was absolutely lovely. Yes, Harry does seem to be struggling with his speech, but his comprehension appears rather better than his vocalisation; she said she wasn’t unduly concerned yet, and encouraged us by saying that his range of vowel sounds and babble was good. She told us about some different ways of incentivising Harry to work a bit harder vocally to obtain what he wants from us, and she is coming back in 6 weeks to see if that has helped him progress.

He has certainly been a chattier boy since we came back from Wales*, and burbled happily away with her as he wrenched her biro away and tried his level best to decimate her paperwork. Which was a bit of a pisser in a way, as I had spent some hours over the weekend compiling a film of all his babble that I had deliberately set out to record in the last fortnight, in the full expectation that he would huddle on our laps and stare suspiciously  – and mutely – at her.

*which was very nice indeed, thanks for asking. I drank a lot of wine. We had one lovely night out in an excellent restaurant that, added to the ruinous price of a babysitter, actually cost more than the entire holiday. Ouch. I finished with a seriously, seriously good chocolate pudding, and John had a cheese platter that included a local cheese called Golden Cenarth. John – not usually a man to back away from a pungent cheese – recoiled from his first bite with what I fear was an entirely audible-in-kitchen oath. The woman on the next table along essentially echoed his opinion when she suspected aloud that ‘stinking cow’s feet’ had been somehow involved in its making. I had a – small – nibble, and thought that despite the truly appalling smell, it tasted spicily piquant.  I mention it so that, should you ever find yourself in South Wales, feeling brave, you can try a bite. I dare you.

Harry loved this place


so much he sounded like a pressure cooker gone critical when he first paddled into the shallows. You’d have thought the excitement would have conked him out, but he yelled like a little bugger 3 nights out of the 4. Never mind, you can’t have everything.

The snow turned our journey home into a 6 hour nightmare: we sat motionless on the M4 with a raging toddler for 90 minutes, and were consequently forced to lunch at the very nice, very expensive, very plush-and-hush, very 5-star Celtic Manor Hotel. I had a bad feeling about it, as last time I visited the place I walked through the front doors only to be instantly struck by crippling-OMG-I-need-fresh-underwear diarrhoea. They have lovely bogs, though. 

Anyhoo, Harry waddled into the main lounge with his mud-splattered jeans-wearing parents happily enough, but when we tried to gently steer him away from all the quiet little coteries of well-cut suits and towards a distant isolated table, he went beserk. He yelled, he screamed, he shouted, he fought like a tiny wildcat to prevent his hand being clasped, and turned himself damn near inside out with ear-splitting protest whenever we picked him up. He was dementedly hell-bent on running away from us at high speed, smack though every armchair-ensconced group of grey-trouser-wearing-ok-yah-ing-mobile-phone-toting-disapproving-business-types he could see. This is a child who knows that laptops were designed specifically for him to play with, which is why I no longer have one that works.

He hurtled up and down the place for 30 oh-so-loooooong minutes, before the staff obviously pleaded for the love of God, hurry! to the chef, and he expedited our sandwiches. Harry grabbed about half a pig’s-worth of ham out of mine with both hands, shoved it rapidly into his gaping maw, macerated it briefly in manic fashion, before poking it indignantly back out of his mouth in revolting wet dollops – onto the gorgeous fabric upholstery –  with staccato thrusts of his tongue. He much preferred the home-cooked crisps and was wolfing away at them, when unhappily for everyone, including the cleaners, he choked noisily on one.

As Harry is usually happy turning pages, I handed him a Daily Express – which he promptly disassembled, ripped apart, and stamped on. I broadly agreed with his implied opinion, but I could have done without all the matador action. John was all for getting a copy of The Sun in order to placate him with some Page 3 boobies, but I thought A) it would only inflame him further with excitement, and B) I wasn’t entirely sure he’d connect such perky examples with my rapidly sinking bosoms.

When we left – to a collective sigh of relief – I asked the team of porters if the roads towards Monmouth were running clear. Just go! Yes! they said. By the quickest route! We’ve sent lots of people that way! they said. Lying buggers. We sat in another 70 minutes of stationary traffic 30 miles up the road, by which point we were all beginning to lose our marbles. I did slaughter Hubby at Hangman, though, so it wasn’t altogether time wasted.

I had my mobile phone right up to the point where we pulled onto the drive, at which point in time it vanished entirely. It is ringing when dialled, but cannot be heard anywhere. I have looked in the car, in the house and in the logpile. I have not yet searched the baby or the dogs, but they are next up unless someone can suggest somewhere cleverer?

ETA: ** Belated googling tells me this should be spelt Cardasian. Obviously my memory is flawed, but weren’t these the guys with the really serious foreheads? Or do I mean Klingons…?

Hello. Again.

I am enormously flattered by the pleading comments. My head is barely sliding through the doorway; although that could, admittedly, also be caused by my holiday arse snagging the frame. I also now know why Sinatra had so many farewells…

I thought the odds of anyone I knew personally googling or stumbling across this blog accidentally were absolutely miniscule, as my surname appears nowhere. (I accepted that if anyone DID find it, the content would be so immediately recognisable as mine, that suppressing our first names and photos was pointless. I think the psychiatrists might label that ‘rationalisation’, mind you – I do so love exploiting showing you all our young heart-throb.) However, I had entered my location into my Twitter profile, not realising that you can search any location for Twitterers in the vicinity. Imagine my surprise when a real-life local friend suddenly began following HairyFarmer! The big question is: did they follow the URL link in the profile before I whipped it off? 

It’s not the end of my virtual world, and I don’t intend to run off. But I’ve taken fright a little bit at how easily I’ve been located and I don’t feel nearly as confident about the security of this space as I was. I am having to re-read everything I have written and subject it to new scrutiny criteria.

 However, despite the anxiety (anxious? moi?!) I’ve realised that this blog and its visitors have become tremendously important to me over the past ten months, and you will have to bury me before I stop talking.

I think I see Hubby with a spade.

 *NB* Apologies if the old posts look like new ones as they re-appear. Wrastling madly with WordPress and my own wordiness here!

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