To say that this post is long overdue is an understatement. But considering what's been going on in my life the past few months, you will forgive me, won't you? ;)
As I said in my post about Fiona's kidding, she had an intervention-free delivery. Thankfully! :)
So naturally, as I thought about Helena's impending delivery, I was hoping for the same: I watch; she delivers. And I won't have to get my hands dirty, so to speak. Ha! Not a chance.
Four days before Helena's actual due date, I noticed she was pawing at the ground, bleating nervously, and refusing to eat. She was also yawning. Alot. (Odd, I know, but a definite sign of labor.) She would lie die, get up again, lie down, get up again...over and over again. This was about 10:00 am. We knew the signs - this was it! Since Fiona's labor was so fast, we decided to camp out in the barn so we wouldn't miss the big event.
11:00: She's was still in labor. We were still waiting.
12:00: Still no babies. We were hungry and wanting some lunch, so I stayed in the barn while the children went to the house and fixed lunch. We ate in the shade under the peach tree next to the barn...should anything happen.
12:30: Still no babies, and I am beginning to get concerned about how long this is going to take.
1:00: Labor is intensifying and I realize that Helena might actually give birth today. ;)
1:20: Wow...she is working hard, and at this point we are official "goat doulas", cheering her on. :)
1:30: She begins to push. We see hooves and a nose! She keeps on pushing. We keep on cheering. (I am pretty sure that neighbors within a 5-mile radius of our property can hear us by now. Lol.) But when she pushes, she doesn't progress...the baby seems stuck. So when she pushes, I gently pull on the hooves. (So much for not getting my hands dirty!) The baby slips out easily onto a towel and Helena starts cleaning him up. That's right - him. And we were hoping for at least one female! But he is healthy...and big. So we are thankful.
1:35: Helena's starts pushing again, and this time when I see a nose coming out, there is only one hoof. Uh-oh....looks like I am going to have to find that other front hoof. I slide my hand in, but the baby's head is so big, there's only enough for me to get my hand in up to my knuckles. (So much for not getting my hands dirty - again!) I didn't know what to do. I silently asked the Lord for wisdom, and then started to slowly pull on the one hoof as she pushed. A minute later, he (that's right - another male!) was out. And was he ever big! No wonder there was no room for my hand!
Helena cleaned the babies up and nursed them right away. Hurray for no bottle feeding this time around!
Mimi summed it all up very well by saying, "That was the most awesome experience ever!" Yes, I agree. It was nature study at its best.
And now may I introduce Emmett.....
As with Fiona, four males, no females. Oh well, maybe next year. :)
"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations." ~ Proverbs 27:23,24
Have fabulous Friday, friends!