Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is This For Real

'Okay girl, are you in labor this time or is this braxton hicks again', I wondered as I stared at Pudge, our chubby Saanen-Boer cross.She was moaning, contorting her head to the side, and pawing the ground, but then she did that Saturday too. As I moved around to check her backside for signs of labor, honking drew my attention to the sky and I watched, soaking in the sight as three Canadian geese flew over the goat shed. There is something comforting and calming about the spring and fall ritual, like the sun rising and setting, steady and unchanging. The geese moved out of sight and my attention returned to whether or not this is the real deal or just prepatory labor. One glance show me the mucous plug and I figured I'd just stick around a while. In all the years we've had Pudge, I've never once been there when she kidded. So grabbing the scoup shovel, I headed to the manure pile to shovel it into the truck for the garden while I waited.

The truck was full, my stomach was rumbling from missing breakfast, and I was feeling rather light headed, but still no little hooves were sticking out from Pudges hind-end and the water bag hadn't even appeared yet. Confident that when I returned from eating my belated breakfast she would be nursing several little ones, I left, but not before I threatened her with, "I'll be back in an hour and if you haven't had them by then I'm going in after them."

When I pulled up to the pen she was laying against the gate exhausted but no closer to delivery. I washed up in the water hydrant and then grabbed her collar with my left hand and reached inside with my right. My fingers met an amniotic sack and inside pushed up against her birth canal was a little butt. Ripping my way in through the sack of fluid, I worked first one leg and then the other until they were protruding out the exit in order to pull the kid free. He gagged, coughed, and sputtered unable to fill his lungs with air as fluid from being delivered breach blocked the air flow. To solve the problem, I whirled around in a circle clinging to his hind legs as his body extended out para;lel in front of me. The centrifical force expelled the fluid from his lungs but as I tried to stop spinning and walk back to the goat shed I started swaying like a drunken sailor running into the fence. It took two more times to completely clear his lungs and when he was breathing normally I washed up and went in after the next kid. To my amazement he was in the same position, butt first. I repeated my swinging performance glad to deliver a second live kid. There was no way she could have had them on her own and would have died in the process of trying. Eyeing her swollen sides, I determined she had one more inside and in I went way down low. Once again it was in a breach position and I grabbed hold of its behind and lifted it upwards to where I could get ahold of its legs. 'Wow, will wonders never cease', I thought, I've never had triplets all in the breach position before.That evening as I watched the kids play in the barnyard, my favorite orchestra seranaded me.
The frogs croak creating a background noise, the geese on the pond honk quietly as if singing a lullaby, and out on the prairie the Meadow Larks called to each other while the song birds sang goodnight. It doesn't get better than this.Wild onions sprouting in the barnyard. It is definitely spring.

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