I have to say I always hate it when I get this odd feeling that something I just read or wrote is about to play out in my life. Because it's usually a little 'heads up' feeling that I get. I got that the other day when I was responding to a comment from Sarah, about having a goat birth kit. Just as I hit the 'publish' button, I got *that* feeling. I tried to put it behind me.
Fast forward to the following day (which was two days ago as I write), and one of our goats, Honey, started showing signs of labor. A new friend of ours had asked for us to call her when a goat went into labor as she really wanted to see a kid be born. So I called her, and she made it in time (the day before she missed a birth by 30 minutes). I headed out with all the children and our birth kit. This was Honey's fourth kidding, so we felt confident that she at least knew what was up, and that she would take care of her kids. Honey was pretty much as huge as a house :-) We were pretty confident that she was having at least twins, if not triplets.
Pushing started, and about 5 pushes later out comes one big kid. Wow, maybe she only has twins in there, due to how big the first one was. We waited, a handful of minutes pass, and she starts to push again. We see the 'bubble' with hooves in it. This is good, hooves are supposed to come first. However, I see that the hooves are not facing the right way...is this kid sunny side up? Honey pushes, and pushes, and pushes. This kid is NOT moving. I try to see if I can help with a head that may be kind of stuck, but I don't feel a lump from the outside. Oh boy. I let her push a few more times and still this kid is not moving....at all. So I reach in to see if the head is at an odd angel. I don't feel a head, this kid is coming out back feet first. I don't feel anything else so why, oh why is this kid not moving? I decide I am going to have to pull on the hooves when Honey has a pushing contraction. I do so and all of a sudden out pops a head, NEXT to the legs that I am pulling on!!!! WHAT!?! I am telling you NOTHING was next to those legs just seconds ago. We try to push the head in, it won't budge. I am trying to pull the legs out, they won't budge. For a few seconds there I thought we were going to loose Honey and these kids. Finally the breech kid starts moving, but then gets stuck again. We look to see that the umbilical cord severed. OY. So I just pull like mad, because at this point they are all going to die if one of these babies doesn't get OUT.
In one fell swoop, BOTH kids came out...AT. THE. SAME. TIME. Can anyone say, "OW!!!!"? I can assure you Honey did. The poor thing :-( The breech kid was very limp. I didn't know if it was already dead. I rubbed it vigorously, and it started to cough/sneeze. I had one of the girls sprint inside to grab a bulb syringe as the kid was too weak to really cough/sneeze out the goop. To make a very long few minutes shorter, all the kids made it! One of them had a hard time getting the hang of nursing, but now they are all champs. There is NO doubt in my mind that Honey and the two kids would have died had we not been there to intervene. I was able to also give them some much needed Nutri-Drench, which I think really gave the two stuck kids a 'leg up' those first couple of hours post birth.
All I know was that I was praying our other two pregnant goats were not going to go into labor anytime soon. I was exhausted. Things have eased up a bit as we purchased a heat lamp. With the kids, from both triplet mamas being weak, and it being cold here (freezing temps over night), I had the girls taking turns going out each hour to hold the kids to warm them up. They would go out for 15-20 minutes, then come back in. An hour later another two girls would go out. The kids were using up too much energy to try to stay warm. I knew this would make it difficult for them to grow strong and stay healthy. The heat lamps have made a world of difference. Today it was a nice warm day, and all the kids (7 in all) were out jumping around. Baby goats are SSSSOOOOO cute playing, jumping, butting heads. So, so, so cute.
So now we wait. Two more goat mamas to go. One a first timer. That is always nerve wracking as some goat mamas don't have their natural mama instincts kick in like they should after a kid is born. I am praying that both have an uneventful birth and that both of them will be good mamas. Pippi, a second time mama, had a bit of a difficult time bonding with her baby last year. After the first day or two of confinement with her baby, her mama instincts kicked in. As a matter of fact we were all laughing over remembering how she was always 'loosing' her baby. She would start maaa'ing for him. Her maaa'ing would start to esculate. Then she would walk around frantically, basically yelling/screaming for him.