Irish Farmerette – Organised? Inspirational? Hmmm I wonder ….

I was touched by a couple of tweets I received today, together with some of the comments on the blog post in the I Married an Irish Farmer blog today where Imen featured me in an interview on ‘farm wives’. Women telling me that I am inspiring. Unfortunately though, I have just discovered a letter in my bag that should have been with the bank manager a week ago so that is making me feel ?substantially less inspirational and organised than people seem to think I am 😉

I was particularly touched as one of the tweets came from Rebecca of the Sallygardens blog, Rebecca’s blog was one of the first I ever read and I remember being awed by her blogging prowess four years ago and am delighted to see her taking up the blogging quill again recently.

This time three years ago I wasn’t feeling at all inspired, in fact I was in a pretty bleak place. ?I had received an email asking if I was interested in going on the ‘Not enough hours’ RTE programme and even though I hadn’t watched the previous series nor was even aware of its existence, sometimes karma plays a part and I sent off an email on a whim. ?After a couple of telephone chats, it was arranged that the presenter and the producer would call down to see me and I was fully expecting that RTE had hired some ‘dorky expert’ on time management for the series.

Brian was there for the chat and we found Owen Fitzpatrick?not to be that dorky at all. In fact, he seemed to be very perceptive and pretty clued in. ?The reason for my ‘time management’ problems were analysed pretty quickly. ?I had had 2 miscarriages and desperately wanted to be pregnant again. I was so consumed by wanting to be pregnant and yet terrified of another miscarriage that I was literally ‘frozen’. ?I couldn’t think about anything else, I wasn’t laughing any more, I was spending time online procrastinating as I read blog posts and online forums. ?I found the online forums to be depressing places, reading about so many women that were undergoing fertility treatment that didn’t always succeed simply seemed to reinforce that I wasn’t special, that there was no certainty I would have a successful pregnancy. ?Having had 2 normal pregnancies with our first two children seemed to add to the confusion and turmoil. ?Although I would argue that my time management skills still require improvement, at the time I was so consumed (probably verging on depression) that I was barely functioning. Every month was a roller coaster of hope, of wondering and then disappointment that was all consuming and exhausting and I know there are way too many women out there that can empathise with that. ?However, I also needed lots of help with my lack of organisation and time management.

I actually got pregnant in the December but lost it early January, two days before we were due to go on holidays and just a week before the Not Enough Hours process actually started.

We had great craic though during the filming for the programme, ?we had to fulfil certain tasks. They actually wanted to sort out Brian’s time management too as he is so busy but he felt he didn’t need it! They wanted us as a double act ?(apparently they thought we were quite funny together) so they arranged tasks that the two of us would carry out together. The main filming consisted of 3 days in the middle week of February, smack bang in the middle of the main calving season when Brian was at full stretch and getting very little sleep. ?Tasks included the two of us doing a treasure hunt, moving across a muddy patch of ground using teamwork and various props, archery, and the most frustrating and funny of all – I was blindfolded and had to make a jigsaw with Brian telling me where to put the pieces. At one point, I nearly picked up the pieces and tried to aim a piece at each of them (blindfolded!). ?It was like a breath of fresh air though.

Becoming more focused on the business and succeeding with some of the tasks that Owen set me gave me clarity and focus once again (although I had severe withdrawal symptoms from restricted laptop use that took more than a few days to disappear). ?I began to feel as though anything was possible once again and what was most important, I was laughing again. ?I was enjoying my two children ?and they had me back fully again. Brian is a wonderful husband (in fact, his only flaw is that he is a complete workaholic which makes me feel lazy in comparison) but my complete absorption was putting a strain on both of us. He wanted his ‘old Lorna’ back.

Before we agreed to do the programme, I wanted assurance that they wouldn’t be exploitative in their editing of the programme and that the infertility wouldn’t be mentioned and they stuck to their word. I didn’t want any ‘wishy washy’ stuff either, I wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth – and yes, I got plenty of straight talking! Owen had also promised that I would be able to contact him any time for more help after the cameras had disappeared. ?(I had gone for a couple of counselling sessions the previous year but hadn’t found them helpful at all – way too Freudian and not at all practical) I had only say that I hope RTE paid him well because he has certainly earned it. I’m not going to pretend that everything was hunky dory when the cameras went, I did have rough times again and would occasionally have to phone my ‘straight talking shrink’. He would always warn me that he was going to be brutally honest and I would grimace inwardly, take a deep breath and listen. ?It was never that brutal though, only once did I feel like I had been punched in the gut and winded momentarily as the realisation of what he said hit me.

Even though I knew I was so lucky, having two beautiful healthy children when so many people have none, I often struggled when friends announced their pregnancies particularly when it was their third baby. ?I couldn’t even go to my nephew’s christening (my sister’s third child whose christening was a month after my third miscarriage). ?I would beat myself up about it, wondering why was I so miserable when I was actually so lucky but got through it though eventually with the help of some ‘brutal honesty’! ?Good friends helped immensely too, particularly Madeleine, Marie and Sibyl xx.

I had a call last week from someone I had lost contact with, we were both looking into ‘natural killer cells’ and other infertility reasons at the same time. ?We hadn’t spoken since last spring and I had only thought of her recently when two days later, she phoned me to tell me that she is 30 weeks pregnant, she conceived naturally and although they’ve had a few hiccups along the way, all is positive. ?I was genuinely over the moon for her, at no stage did I feel envious or jealous and it proved to me that at long last, I have moved on. ?We are moving onto other things which will be revealed in due time but it was such a good feeling.

Why did I post about this today? I suppose I’m conscious that to many outside eyes that we are a ‘perfect family’ with one boy and one girl but yet I am still more than capable of having a meltdown occasionally. ?Brian understands me pretty well but like most men, sometimes he just can’t quite get to the bottom of things even though I often think he knows me better than I know myself. ?I still have to phone my ‘straight talking shrink’ on the odd occasion and it is so refreshing to have someone who can sort me out in less than 5 minutes flat and never loses patience. Perhaps everyone needs an ‘Owen’!?To all those women who said they found me inspiring, I thank you and am genuinely humbled by it and feel somewhat somewhat bemused! I have to admit that I still procrastinate, I still want to lose weight and haven’t lost an ounce. ?I’m still useless at paperwork but the good news is that now that I’ve got two businesses, Brian has given up on me doing it and he’s doing the farm paperwork! ?But it all keeps me on track. ?I am somewhat amused though that this time three years ago, I partly went on television to bare all with my ‘blogging’ addiction and now I’m teaching businesses how to blog!

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