Yesterday I really felt the gravity of the life and death decisions I am responsible for in our little home farm and within our family.

DEATH: At 9am I was ending the life of a chick that had failed to thrive – two weeks after hatching from its egg it was half the size of it’s fellow chicks in the brooder, and it had obvious health issues relating to it’s internal organs. It was starting to get bullied by the other healthier chicks – it was being repeatedly stomped on, and generally shoved around. It was tiny, and looked so vulnerable and fragile. I made the choice to end its suffering, and did so as humanely and quickly as I could. I don’t enjoy killing animals but if you breed chickens it is almost inevitable that you will do so – whether to use them for meat, to dispatch roosters that can’t integrate into the flock (and which you can’t rehome), or as was the case yesterday, having to do so as an act of compassion for a bird who is too sick to survive with any quality of life.


LIFE (maybe): At 11am I was the one feeling ever-so vulnerable – engaging in my very own personal animal husbandry project that is trying to conceive a baby via IVF. Laying on my back, I was able to watch a TV screen above me which displayed live video of my embryos – only 8 cells of possible life, but I found them awe inspiring, enough so that I was almost distracted from what was going on at the business end of proceedings (so to speak). The idea that one of those little blobby things could develop into a living, breathing, crying, pooping baby is mind boggling.

While there’s no guarantee that I’ll get pregnant and have another child (I am so grateful to have two gorgeous children in my life already!) I find myself deeply thankful for my good fortune at being alive in this time in medical and social history which has allowed me the choice to make use of this technology to try to create another member of our family.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.  ~Havelock Ellis


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