February 15th is a crappy day for the Gerber household. It was the day that my husband fell to the floor and never regained his life. It has been 15 years since that day and I could not believe that this heavy cloud was hanging over me after all this time. I did not have time for this - I had too much work to do. I struggled to recenter myself and find my peace and joy. I kept wondering why after all this time was I in such a funk?
I went about my day doing those tasked that where required to keep everyone running... I admit I was so tired that I felt like I was walking with cement boots on. I tried to be kind to my weary body and listened to inspirational CD's trying to force my mind into a good place. As the day wore on I had this sinking feeling that something terribly wrong was coming my way...
It was around 5:30 pm and just fed the bottle kids. I was going to make another round of bottles but decided to make another check in the barn. As I entered the barn I could tell Mother Goose was starting up. She is Gretal's mother and is another one who never makes a sound - you know she is in labor because she will curl her lip and puffs her cheeks. I got my chair and sat down.
Mother Goose was normally a quick birthing goat but this time I could tell we were going to be in for the long haul. The head was out but there was no movement. I grabbed a towel and in the pen I went. This is the time I wished I had another set of hands here. It is really hard to hold a goat still with one hand and reach around this big girl trying to free a stuck baby. Mother Goose was not having any of it. I had to put all might into getting her to work with me. It is not easy to get this big girl down. Again, I did the cowboy throw and down she went. Quickly I got to her rear end and reached inside to push the baby back some to feel what was stuck. She had a back leg pressing forward and so this was too tight to get out. I could fell also that the baby had died and so this was a mission to save Mother Goose. I could not feel if there was another inside but had prayed that this was her only one. With the next contraction I reached farther back, pushed the leg back and then with the next contraction I pulled with all my might to get that baby out. Once out and on the ground Mother Goose jumped up and started cleaning the lifeless body. I made sure there was not a faint heart beat and then my light bulb went on. I put the baby down, got out of the pen and made a mad dash to the house.
As I threw open the shop door I pulled off my boots and up the two sets of stairs to the bathroom. I jerked open the door and frightened the twins but without a sound I gathered up the sheet that they where standing on and like jolly St. Nick grabbed the bundle and ran down the stairs. I quickly put on my boots and started running back to the barn. As I opened the door to the barn there was Mother Goose still cleaning the still body. I quickly got the twins into the pen - they where screaming and I took a towel and rubbed the deceased body to get every speck of afterbirth on the towel and then in turn rubbed it all over the twins. I grabbed Mother Goose and kept pushing the twins under her to get them started on nursing. They sure took to that fast and Mother Goose stood still but only because I had hold of her.
After giving her about 2 minutes of them nursing I let go of her. She stood and let them finish nursing but just then she took those horns and flung them into the air. They quickly ran to me crying in shock. I grabbed her again and we repeated the same procedure. Again I got the same response. I left the pen and sat quietly to see if she would settle. Those girls where so excited to be nursing that they would not leave her alone. After seeing her push them, flip them and run around the pen I thought I guess I better pick them up and get them into the house before they get hurt or cold. After three hours I was giving up.
Just when I was gathering up the sheet Mother Goose began to push again. Her afterbirth was slowly coming and now it was here. Just then I again got in the pen quickly and grab it - I had to play tug a war with Mother Goose but I got a huge portion of it. I rubbed that bloody sack all over my pure white girls as they stood in shock. They looked at me as if to say "MOM, have you lost your mind - what is this mess you are smearing on us?" I took chunks and stuck it even in their ears. I sure hoped this would work otherwise I was going to have a real mess to clean off these girls. Just then Mother Goose started talking to them, licking them and calming down. OH MY GOD!!! Can this be? Could I get this Mother to take these week old bottle kids??? I was so thrilled - my heart was in my throat. We have never gotten a bottle kid to be taken by a mother - Could this horrid day have a silver lining??
I sat in the barn for hours watching to make sure that Mother Goose was not changing her mind. I worried that my sweet little girls would get too cold outside because they had a personal space heater running all the time for them to warm their sweet little bodies. I must admit when I finally got to bed around 1 am my heart was singing. This day that was nothing but tragedy ended with a miracle. I was sill very sad for the loss of the little boy - by the way he was about three times the size of any of the little kids - so that was not a good sign. All I can say is with his short life here he has given a great gift not only to the little twins but also to Mother Goose. She is an incredible Mother and I do not know what she would have done if she did not have someone to care for - now she has two.
Thank the universe for reminding me to get out of myself and be in the moment - there is much I can't control but there are a few things I can be a active assistant in and this day was one for the books. I hope in some way my late husband was looking down and saw how far I have come and what skills I have mastered - a different life I live now then anything I did with him but this life would never have been created if not for the events of 15 years ago.