Thirteen weeks after finding out we were at last expecting our first child, we finally made it to the day we’d been anxiously waiting for on the Cwach Farm – our 18-week anatomy scan, where we’d finally find out whether Baby Cwach was a boy or a girl, and more importantly, healthy and growing.
To be completely honest, up until that point, part of my mind still couldn’t come to terms that in just a few short months, we’d have a baby in our arms. Although we had happily announced the pregnancy and were busy planning our nursery and making child care arrangements, it was difficult to feel 100 percent confident that these plans would actually become a reality. Outwardly, I still looked and felt very much the same, and without feeling any movement inside, it was easy to slip into moments of doubt. Had something terrible happened in the last four weeks? Would I even know if it had?
But suddenly that day was here, and as we waited in front of the ultrasound monitor, we found ourselves staring at the face of our baby – who no longer looked like a small blob on the screen but an actual human being! Our ultrasound technician chuckled, told us we had a bit of a show-off on our hands, and announced the news that we would be having a baby boy – and he looked perfectly healthy.
Suddenly, everything seemed incredibly real. Not only could I see the baby – our son! – moving around and waving his arms, but I felt like I could finally start imagining what our son and his life might be like. And I couldn’t be happier knowing that he was going to grow up as the seventh generation on the farm and raised in a way not many kids get to experience these days.
I’ve always been convinced that growing up on the farm is one of the best places to grow up. As a town kid, the highlight of every summer was spending weeks on my grandparents’ farms, which were just a short drive away from each other in Sisseton. My sisters and I treasured those moments, simple though they were – driving the lawn mower around the farm, riding horses, learning how to drive the Bobcat skid-steer loader, taming kittens, working in the garden and baking with grandma.
Stories of Dan’s childhood share the same sense of freedom and wonderment. At just five years old, Dan was known to trek down the gravel path on a four-wheeler to play cards late at night with his grandparents, who lived nearby. He happily played with toy tractors and buckets in silage piles, mimicking what dad and grandpa were doing and waiting for the day when he, too, could drive the big machinery. Until then, he was just happy to be tagging along behind his dad in the back of the International 5088 tractor cab.
As soon-to-be parents, we consider ourselves extremely blessed to be able to give our children not just the simple pleasures of country living, but those unique opportunities that come from farm life that build character and teach responsibility. Whether it’s helping bring a calf inside the house to warm up in the dead of winter, or bottle feeding an orphaned calf, or seeing dad come in late after a long day planting, there’s always a life lesson to learn on the farm. And we plan to take advantage of every opportunity to teach those lessons to the next generation.