Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Sunday, June 29 – Men and babies

When Martin and I came back from church today, Stephen said he was worried about Anna. He said she was feeling uncomfortable and he thought she was getting contractions. I went upstairs to see her and found she was making the bed, not lying down.
She said Stephen was fussing for nothing and she and I both think the Braxton Hicks contractions are just getting a little more noticeable and more regular now. I asked her what she had been doing while we were out and she laughed and said she’d been sweeping the floor, then felt the contractions and stopped suddenly, holding her stomach, just as Stephen came in with a pile of kindling for the fire. He’s just like his father, I said, getting worried for no reason. Best not to let him know next time, until the real thing.
Anna is looking and feeling really well, despite the sickness earlier in the week. I am very hopeful that she will have an easy birth, even though it is her first, and that the baby will be in good health. Then we sat and talked for a little while about the preparations we’ve made and how she feels about the forthcoming birth. She is sorry her own mother won’t be here, but she has said she wants me to be present, especially if the village midwife or doctor can’t attend.
Then we laughed a bit about how we saw the sheep getting on with lambing out in the open field this spring, without any assistance at all. It makes human beings seem like a load of weaklings, Anna said. Not only do the ewes give birth all alone, but their young are up and running about within a day.
This year’s lambs are also now quite large. The oldest is more than three months old and the first of the young rams have already developed curled horns. I expect when Neil rounds them up for his inspections, he will pick out one or two for slaughter, as they would normally be going off to the abattoir by now.

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