Monday, December 27, 2010
Christmas in a "stable"
We had all of the family over for Christmas Eve night and then a smaller group of family and friends over for Christmas Day. WONDERFUL TIMES!! Missing my two sons and daughter ( and families) who were unable to be here from their home-responsibilities in the States and my two precious little Liberian darlings so far away from my arms but so close to my heart! I was all set to play a game of Cranium with my mom and kids after gettting Christmas Day dinner cleaned up when one of the boys told me that Brownie (my best dairy goat who was due to deliver on the 25th) was getting ready to have her babies: they had seen the "bubble break". That was some time before 4PM. As things would go, Baby #1 of Brownie's triplets turned out to be coming butt breech and was stuck. I've delivered butt breeches before and done fine, my vet did stuck triplets for me last year and we lost a doe. It can be very dicey with multiple babies after two. . At 7 :30 I knew we had real problems when she had not delivered (goats birth less than an hour after that water bag presents and breaks)so I called my vet who as life would also have it , was in California. Called several vet friends of Jael and also of my neighbor: it was Christmas night, no one wants to answer their phone on Christmas night, ( I DO NOT BLAME THEM!!) those who did told me to take Brownie to OSU Vet Med hospital for an emergency C-section. BLAH. I NEVER told a patient in my midwifery practice (or when I was taking call for another midwife) to go somewhere else on Christmas; I went out and took care of my ladies and their babies, numberous times!!!
I called our old vet , left a message.......... but he did call me back pretty quickly, from 3+ hours away, but gave me some tips and said "YES OF COURSE YOU CAN DELIVER HER!." Followed his advice, which was a tad bit of different technique than I was using, and discovered not only the butt breech I'd been feeling, but that the head of #2 was stuck in the birth canal under the butt of #1. A good hard push back on #1's butt pushed #2's head out of the way. I never was able to pull the legs down and out ( the preferred way to deliver a breech animal) ; the baby advanced quickly when that other baby's head was out of the way, and I delivered the baby butt breech. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! A DOE!!!!! #2 came less than 30 seconds after #1 was out and #3 came a few minutes after that. Two bucks but its OK. #1 is fine and SHE IS A DOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time of delivery: 9:55~!!!!! Brownie and babies did just fine, the goat midwife is fine too but stiff from being in her small confine on my knees for all that time. At first I thought that all three babeis were black and white like the daddy but upon closer examination and light of day on Sunday morning, I was beyond delighted to discover that we had TWO brown babies and a black one! We've never had brown babies from Brownie: pure white ones and black and white ones, but this accidental breding, shall we say, er, brought out the brown genes that would not have presented otherwise? (Redneck and inbreeding jokes caused the names of several "sterotypical comment" -States to be suggested as names for the babies...if y'all get my drift?? )
So after not getting to bed till after 3:30 Christmas morning, and really hoping for a relaxing after noon.............. I got 6+ hours in a cold stable of sorts, with my hand up a goat. It is OK. I got a doe out of those triplets . A brown doe!!! Brownie has only given me boys the last two breedings and boys on a dairy goat farm are pretty worthless!
Attending this birthing on Christmas gave me a whole new empathy for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus' birth, being out there all that time in the straw and the cold. Straw is a great insulator, but definitely better for the birthing of goats and other furry creatures than for human babies, especially The Son of God. I thought of Joseph...poor guy. What could he have possibly known about labor and birth in that day and culture except that it should NOT be taking place in a place like a borrowed stable with an espoused husband actign as midwife! I thought of young Mary and all the things she had already experienced in her few years.To also travel while so great with child,...all those miles from home and her mother, with no midwife...... and then to know she would give birth to God's Son in straw and animal dung WITH HER HUSBAND ATTENDING HER? What humble obedience that all was! And then, as she lay recovering from labor and birth, trying to figure out how to nurse the baby and think all the thoughts that first time mommies have, a band of shepherds showed up, pumped and awestruck by the angels' visitation , to see The Baby. I have had visitors very shortly after I have given birth in the comfort of my home and nice bed and it was "OK"...they were known and trusted friends. Sweet Mary not only gave birth in that stable but entertained guests there . It's truly more than my brain can get wrapped around. No wonder scripture tells us that Mary kept and pondered all those things in her heart: she had a LOT to ponder!
So, Christmas was wonderful, both days of it. I was so thankful that there was no unwanted drama from ANYONE either day and that it truly was a celebration of God's gift of Jesus, start to finish. Getting to talk to Junior and Diamoh gave me a wonderful start to the day to be sure!
The babies are WONDERFUL!!!! Brownie is such a great momma to her babies, every year and this year is no exception. The babies are snuggled closely up by her neck most of the time and she keeps them close to the heat lamp in her little nursery stable as well. The doe we will keep to further that Brownie bloodline and her name, like her grammas and half-aunts will be a flower name. She is Pansy, named for a tough winter- resistant and very spunky flower. She will join Rose, Sunflower, Daisy, Lilly, Daffodil and Topsy Turvy (there was NO flower to name that upside down butt -first baby girl last March so she breaks the tradition!) in the pasture when she is a bit older. .The boys will either be put up for sale or raised for meat. Cute is only good for so much mileage on a farm. Boys are "worthless" since they have come from the mammas who need to be bred again the next year.
Today has been a wonderfully slow "do regular stuff " kind of day and for that I am very grateful! A big pot of beef noodle vegetable soup warmed everyone for dinner tonight and Isaac said "Mommy, this is almost atthe top of the favorites list with Barley soup!" I knew it was a hit because Barley soup is THE favorite and most requested soup around here.Its amazing what one can do with a small portion of marked down "on sale" beef and a well stocked pantry!