I promised to tell you when Kidding Season started at the Funny Farm - well, this afternoon at 4:30 pm while doing feeding chores I noticed that Ebony was in the early stages of labor. She is always the first to start the ball rolling. So with a storm heading our way I went into the house to get on more layers and get things ready. As soon as that was done I was back out into the barn sitting in the pen with her.
By 6 pm their came the sweetest little red haired boy. He was bright, alert and crying up a storm. Ebony went to work cleaning him and tending to his cries but I knew we were not done. Her glazed face told the story and she layed down and started her pushes. I took my towel and assisted in cleaning him off as the night air was getting cold. Ebony delivered at 6:15 pm a silver haired with a black back ridge darling little girl. Strong, sound and healthy she proceeded to start to crawl and cry. Ebony was busy cleaning and tending to them both - classic Ebony. I noticed that the little boy was not trying to crawl but just cried and cried so I wrapped a towel around him and took him into the other side of the barn where I had all my medical supplies and hair drier. I listened to his lungs and heart where I found his heart rate was way too fast. I started to warm him with the dryer but he was becoming limp and unresponsive. I gave warmed formula, rubs and finally assisted breathing but he passed. I wrapped him in the towel and went back to Mom and baby girl. She was walking and trying to figure out where dinner was. Mom was trying to pass the last of the after birth so I kept a close eye on the little one. She was attempting to find Mom but all of a sudden her legs buckled and she went limp. I immediately wrapped her in a towel and sprinted to the house. Upon reaching the house I ran to the bathroom where I had been having a space heater running just in case I needed a hot room to work in. I started the hair dryer and began warming her while feeding her with a bottle of warm formula. I worked on her for about 20 minutes but she was going quickly. When there was nothing left for me to do I wrapped her in the towel and took her back out to Mom. I placed both the babies next to Ebony and we sat and cried. Ebony licked them as I stroked her. One by one the other goat girls came up and viewed the bodies and then rubbed their heads on my back and shoulders - that is their way of showing compassion as they have done to each other. As I let Ebony have the time she needed to say goodbye I went to work cleaning up the pen and gather the supplies I had used. Once she seemed to have said her goodbyes I gathered the babies up and went back into the house with them..
I cleaned up the bathroom, cleaned the bottles and started the washer machine with the birthing towels because everything has to be ready for those who will be coming.
This is the hard part of the wonderful life I lead. The buckets of tears I have shed over the years for those who have passed is very hard but I remind myself daily that with the amazing joy I get each day with these furry family members there does come some incredible hard times too. It has been 13 years now that I have been delivering animals and the most important lesson I have learned is that there are some sweet souls that are just not meant to be here. I have brought many back from the edge but others are just meant to be sweet animal spirits from the moment they take their first breath.
So as I write this post my heart is breaking but my mind is telling me - "Stay focused on those you can save" I have others girls who will be delivering soon and I must be 100% so that I will be there if they need assistance. So, it is back to 2 hour butt checks and sitting with Ebony as much as I can because despite what folks might think - They Do Feel Grief and Loss.
So if I might ask you to say a prayer for those tiny souls who went tonight, one to easy the suffering of Ebony and one for those to come next. I thank you for that.