Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url: http://flickr.com/photos/35090117@N05/collections/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More babies

SANY8287 Yesterday afternoon, Wanda, one of our sows, gave birth to 7 beautiful little piglets. We had expected her to have more, but this is her first litter and having less might not be such a bad thing as she learns the ropes of motherhood. She is a great mama, being very careful to make sure her babies are out of the way before she sits down and keeping them all within her sight. She is also very calm with us (even with an overexcited little three year old) being around her and her brood.

SANY8298 We all went out after lunch to check on her (we knew her time was fast approaching) and there she was, with one piglet running around and another coming out of her. They really are so cute at this age. Unfortunately, Gloria (the other sow) was right next to Wanda and her nest, so we decided to move her out, as she could accidentally squish a piglet. Abe had to push her unwilling ass into the pasture and shut her out of the pen. She is very annoyed. She's not used to being alone and she feels her place is beside Wanda. Just for a couple of days, Gloria - sorry.

For more photos and videos, click here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One week old

SANY8125 We went into the village today to the doctor. I had my stitches out. I'm generally doing really well and am relatively pain free. Nico had his first checkup. He's looking great. His umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed fine; he seems strong and alert; he hasn't gained a whole bunch of weight, but it is the first week, and his bowel movements are frequent and healthy. All in all, a normal little baby.

Photos for this month will be posted here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A new arrival

SANY8036 At 5.55pm on the 28th April (his aunt Shelly's birthday), we welcomed little Nico into our family. He weighed just over 7 lbs (as opposed to the predicted 9 lbs or so of an ultrasound a few weeks ago!?) and was 20" long. Pretty much on a par with his big brother Leo, and he looks uncannily like him at that age too, although a little darker.

SANY8078 He was delivered via C-Section, as he refused to turn out of the breech position, again just like Leo. Even under the best of conditions, Cesarion is not the most romantic image of birth out there, but in this case it was even worse than usual. For some reason, the hospital was packed, with a bunch of emergencies coming in all the time. The result of this craziness (other than no family members allowed into the operation area) is that Nico was left on the infant table in the operation room for almost an hour an a half, crying, as there was no one available to take me to the recuperation room and give me my baby.

When we were eventually moved and united, he was so upset that he had some trouble latching on to the breast and continued to cry. Poor little guy. It took almost the full two hours of recuperation to settle him down, but once he did, he took to nursing like a voracious little vampire and became very calm. We got out of the hospital as soon as we could - 24 hours after the op.

SANY8070 We went to a hotel to stay for a couple of nights before making the ride home (for those of you unfamiliar with our place, we live off a bumpy and long dirt road). Jim and Vickie, Abe's parents, were at the hotel as they had come down to watch Leo. They did the perfect job - bringing him lots of toys, spoiling him rotten and making him feel special during a difficult time. Thank you.

We came home on Sunday and now, one week after Nico was born (I can barely believe it), we have settled into a four person family. Leo loves his little brother and is extremely attentive to him. He is acting up a little with us on the other hand, but I suppose that is to be expected given the circumstances. I am definitely looking forward to when I can pick him up again.

SANY8048 All in all I am recovering very quickly, and although still a little sore, I can walk, turn over in bed, do small chores. What I spend a large part of my time doing is nursing Nico. He has an almost insatiable appetite, partly because he finds comfort at the breast, so likes to nurse when pooping or when he has gas, etc. Luckily my supply can keep up with him.

Right now, he also sleeps a lot, so we have a chance to recover somewhat, although we all continue to be tired. Luckily, he is very calm, although he is a little nocturnal, a habit we hope he breaks soon.

SANY8108 We are all delighted with the new arrival and very much in love. I cannot believe I have two beautiful sons.

For more photos, click here.