Beginning in March, I scheduled the breeding of sheep, dates for lambing around one event, one day. In March, my youngest daughter informed me she was pregnant. News I was excited to hear. Most grandmothers are happy to hear of another grandchild coming into the family. A month later I received another phone call, with giggling she informed me she was pregnant with triplets. They were not using any type of fertility treatments to become pregnant. Spontaneous triplets are rare. We are being blessed with triplets.
The anticipation of the arrival of triplets encouraged me to do projects for my daughter, projects of love. I refinished and repaired a dresser to use in the nursery. I had drive to make baby blankets.
Last week, I have been staying at my daughter’s home. She was admitted to the hospital, two weeks before scheduled delivery. I have been caring for my granddaughter, taking her to and from school. The other task, was finishing up the preparations in the nursery. Folding baby clothes, remembering the anticipation of expecting my children. Knowing how a mother wants the nursery completed with everything in the right place, I worked hard to finish the task. With constant communication, I did the physical work of getting my daughter’s “nest” ready. The anticipation of their arrival gives me the energy to complete tasks.
With triplets there are many various scenarios of outcomes for the babies. The doctors do their due diligence of informing the patient of all possible outcomes, sometimes creating a negative anticipation.
What is to be a happy occasion, can turn our thoughts to sadness or worry by thinking about the negative things that MIGHT happen. We have the ability of controlling our thoughts, the focus of what we think about. We need to anticipate the good, not be looking for the bad. Yes, bad things do happen, but to anticipate the bad will shape our actions and lead to failure.
In March I delivered a starter flock to a friend of mine. He had waited a year to purchase a starter flock from me. The excitement he and his wife showed to having their own sheep. They had anticipated this day for several months. There was also concerns of how to care for the sheep. I had answered a lot of questions prior to the arrival of the sheep. They wanted to be prepared for everything and to be able to care for their sheep.
Anticipation is good, it keeps us excited and moving forward with energy and expectations of the future and success. With the drought in our area, and the cost of hay, it is easy to want to give up on being a sheep farmer. I keep my mind focused on the purpose of the being a sheep farmer, positive thoughts and a hope that everything will work out.
I have another group of ewes lambing in October and November. Some of these ewes are bred to my new ram Jumbo. I am anticipating this group of lambs as it is the first group by the ram Jumbo. With each lambing, I see the results of my decision, and if the decision was good, bad or fair. I anticipate a good lamb crop with good quality lambs. Breeding animals is sometimes a gamble, as some bloodlines do not cross well with other bloodlines.
This fall I have a lot riding on the quality of the lambs. With the extra cost of hay for winter, I am needing a higher sale price from my lambs. I have consigned two young rams to a special sale in October with anticipation of getting a good price for them. They are good quality rams for a commercial flock, what the buyers are looking for at that sale.
With my current situation of locating winter hay, and paying more for the hay, I could focus on the negative, get depressed and even give up. I have worked hard, anticipated each lambing, building a better flock. There have been some sheep farmers who have sold off their flocks, not able or wanting to pay the extra for hay. Some are thinking they can rebuild in the spring when the green grass returns. Others are done with raising sheep, they have totally given up on being a sheep farmer.
Personally, I am pushing forward anticipating good sales in October and December. Looking forward to a more profitable year in 2023. I am not to the place of selling my flock and starting over later. I may be forced to sell my flock, or a large portion of my flock in order to feed my sheep, but I am anticipating the “rainbow” and sunshine of the following day.