Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Baby Goats

We experienced the miracle of birth. My good friend lives about 30 miles east of here and was anxiously waiting for her doe goats to give birth. She was praying for twins and for more does to grow her little herd. On Feb 5, the first doe had twins, one male and one female. On Thursday I was talking to her in the evening around 8 and she tells me that she thinks her second doe is in labor and asks if I want my children to see the baby goats being born. Having grown up on a farm and having practically a midwife to cows and sheep I thought, you know that would be really neat for them to experience.
I left a note for Loren since he was at his first evening class up at Wesley Biblical Seminary. I packed up the kids in the van with jackets and some snacks and by 9:00 I am pulling in my friend's driveway. The baby goats still have not made their appearance but the mama goat is definitely trying to push. There seemed to be too much distraction, the older babies kept jumping on her when she would lay down so they got seperated. Literally in the dog house!
Soon we see a little head, my friend's son is in the pen with a towel helping. It looks so cute, and odd, just this little head sticking out. Then the mama goat got up and nearly hit the baby goat's head on the wall. She was distressed and her contractions stopped. I started asking some questions and trying to direct the young attendant but then I realized why it looked 'odd'. There were no front legs visible. My friend looks at me and later she said she knew something was wrong by the look on my face. A million thoughts raced through my head, what to do, how not to scare all the children watching and how to turn it into a good outcome. Then the baby goat started gasping and going into distress. I said "There are no front legs out, there's supposed to be legs." The next minutes are suspended. My friend ends up in the pen and I have her camera, I thought she was going to jump over the wall but she used the gate.
She had to reach in and find the legs, one was twisted at a weird angle and she said later she thought she was going to break it. The entire time she is trying to save this baby she is praying outloud and her son is standing over her shoulder. I ended up holding a few of my friend's rings, I know the mother goat was appreciative of that fact! The baby finally arrived, alive, and it was a little buck.
Afterward her son just kept saying, "Thank you momma." Over and over. My friend is shaking so hard she can hardly stand up. Later she said that at one point she was wondering why she didn't grab my baby and let me go in after the goat's legs. I've done it with a cow and I'm really not sure I want to repeat that experience.
Soon after the first baby arrives, the mother has another one, this time it is a doe. My friend calls her family to update them on the birth and then I notice the mother is not finished. I said, There's another one coming. My friend threw her phone in the hay and they had to help the mother get the sack off the baby doe. It's been a long time since I've seen a sac that tough.
My friend ended up with Triplet goats!
She had been wondering about what to do with her animals and had prayed to God for direction. She was amazed, again, that He cares about the little details in our lives, including her animals. What could have been a bad outcome turned into a blessing on so many levels, especially faith renewed.
Also on the plus side, my children had a very interesting biology lesson, not to mention a very late night. It was after midnight by the time we got back home.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This brings back memories of you and I home alone with the cow :) I'm glad things turned out well, somewhat surprised that you weren't the one who jumped in the pen. :)

Nancy said...

The memories are so vivid, sometimes I wish I could forget. The crying, the pulling, more crying, the yelling. Sometimes I think my inexperience killed the calf. Then I remember the feel of the calf in my hands

Elizabeth said...

I thought the calf lived...

Nancy said...

There must be another birth I'm forgetting....