Thursday, April 19, 2012
It's a girl!
Peach did it. She had a girl today. A single, gigantic doeling. I was certain there were twins in there.
Look at that cute face!
I started to get suspicious that today would be the big day when Peach kept wandering off by herself yesterday, going out into the pasture to graze. Alone. A herd animal. Every time I turned around she was gone. And I turned around a lot, since I had the day off and was working on outside projects all day and into the evening.
By this morning, her ligaments were very soft, barely detectable. By early afternoon, she was restless, calling to no one in particular, and becoming unusually clingy to both me and her mother. At one point, I found her lying on her mother's legs. This picture was taken when she got up. She stood in this position for a long, long time.
What was she trying to tell me?
She was making me nervous, so into the kidding stall she went. Almost every time I looked over the wall to check on her, this is what I saw:
Peach, what are you saying??? What do you need?
I saw little contractions on occasion, and after an hour went by and nothing significant seemed to happen, I called the very patient Kate Helms. She listened to my detailed description and told me it was likely Braxton Hicks, and the babies were moving into position to be born. She told me to relax, keep an eye on her, but that there might not be babies for a few more hours.
It took superhuman effort not to call her every five minutes throughout the afternoon. I got an amazing amount of work done outside, particularly near the barn. My backyard make-over is really shaping up nicely.
Finally, when I decided to milk Plum and Ginger, Peach started really grunting and vocalizing on the other side of the wall. I never knew I could milk so fast. I threw the milk into the fridge unfiltered and ran back to the barn to see.....goo. Pale amber-colored goo. I finally called Kate.
Apparently translucent amber goo is amniotic fluid, and opaque whitish goo is not. With amber goo, the kid whose sack ruptured has about 30 minutes to get out of mom. I'd lost a few minutes milking, so we had about 20 minutes to work with.
Nothing. Just goo.
I had to get the hubster so he could restrain her while I....er.....washed and lubricated my arm to the elbow and went in to "see" what I could "see."
Twins, both coming at once and STUCK. Shaking, I called Kate. As I dialed, my husband said, "Take a breath."
She was very calm and clear in her instructions, having me find the most forward head and follow it back to figure out which legs belonged to that head. I got a little bite from a big baby in the process....it encouraged me that it was alive.
That big tangle suddenly became clear, as if someone just turned the lights on in my brain. 150 watts. It was one kid, but a HUGE one. Stuck. Poor Peach.
With some guidance from Kate, I helped that big doeling into the world. Kate said I had 30 minutes before I needed to worry about the next one. I decided to get this doeling all dried off before exploring again.
Yay! She has ears!
I bounced Peach (Kate taught me this a few days ago with Ginger) to see if there were more kids in there. I couldn't feel anything, but since it was only the second time I'd ever bounced a doe, I explored one more time and found no twin.
Look at the size of this girl!
Mom! Enough already!
After getting plenty of colostrum into her via the bottle, I put her jammies on and put her in with her brothers. There was a little hollering, but not too bad. She found the heat lamp right away, and they didn't push her out. I suspect they are just the right age to be together and get along well.
Peach's tartlet in her pj's.
As I went back to the house, I suddenly noticed how beautiful the yard was looking. Now that no one here is pregnant, I can relax and enjoy the babies and the beauty around me.
Bleeding Hearts in my shade garden.
How we got our name. Violets are everywhere, and we sometimes see them in December.
Time to feed the babies.....again!