This past Sunday was not just a baby boys birthday. He shared it with 3 other kids.
I have not been able to find the words to write about Storms labor & delivery. A good friend told me today “write it out like it happened. stories like that help other goat owners”. She’s right Maybe I just had to get my head around the whole thing, to find my words.
As Tess was delivering, Storm’s water broke – well one of them, maybe 2. This was around 3:30 pm. She continued to leak water and the clear looking slime that comes with the sac throughout the day. She was up and down, sometimes pushing then not.
I was concerned but what could I do? Just keep an eye on her. I didn’t leave the barn much the rest of the afternoon. Actually my day ended around midnight.
As the sun went down she was still up and down, talking softly, obviously in labor but it just wasn’t moving fast enough. I have always been one of those women whose water would leak & I’d have contractions but they weren’t strong enough long enough to get anything really going so they always ended up giving me Pitocin. It was always said that eventually – maybe in days I’d deliver without it but with the loss of water – baby goes to long without it, that’s not good. So I knew that I was worried with good reason. My husband got home from a road trip and came out to check on me & the girls. I told him what was going on with her & of my concerns & let him know I was going to stay longer.
As the evening progressed Storm looked to her mama, Grace, for answers & comfort. Grace is a loner, always has been as she was lowest in the pecking order for a very long time. She is very loving to people and with her kids while they are small but as they grow she is a bit of a hard ass. She and Storm sleep together and stuff but her bond & relationship is not like that of Zeva’s family. Storm had made 1 last attempt for her mothers comfort and Grace nodded her away. I told Grace what a mean mamma she was as Storm once again walked out of the barn yard. When she came back in she was wide legged waddling and squatty. Here we go, the moment I’d been waiting for. She again went to grace whom, much to my surprise, walked over to the “room” across from Jaysa & her kids and took her place on the outside perimeter so that Storm was safely between her & the shelter wall. Wow! What a mean mamma I am! Bite my tongue (in half). She made an ass of me (I think she did it on purpose).
Now Grace is a very private goat so I did not pull out my camera. I knew that they needed their space, not to mention god forbid she get unsettled and I just delay things! So I sat from afar talking with the other girls while keeping my eye on Storm.
She laid down and push for a few then back up and onto the other side. Poor little girl looked like a fat lady rolling around in an oil slick! I knew that she was “adjusting” the kids. This continued until she started bellowing out. I call it screaming but anyway they start doing this when baby is crowning. My former labor & delivery experience told me that this screaming was going on to long with no results so it was time to invade privacy and take a look. Grace got up and allowed me in. There was poor Storm with hooves in site but no nose. Great I thought to myself. Of course the baby monitor was on so I yelled for a towel. Out comes my husband with one- he was speedy!
I showed him what was up while Storm was pushing. Finally we saw another bulge, of some sort, it just didn’t look right. She was dry, having lost all her “slip” earlier throughout the day but she pushed on and out finally came baby one. She was folded over in half backward. God bless this doe, a first timer pushing out something like that with almost no lube! OUCH! She was smaller so that helped, she looked more like her daddy only a more white face than he. She was dead. Her teeth were bloody & loose with some blood from her nose. She had no sac about her. I think all the slamming and rolling Storm had to do to get her as positioned as she ended up being did some damage. I think with that aside, she’d still been born dead. We let her tend to her even though she was expired. I think a doe needs to come to terms with the fact. Joe’s daddy went to the house. Contractions began again shortly afterward. A teeny tiny black blob came out. I saw that there was movement. I snatched that baby up and cleared her face, mouth & nose. She was pretty rattly so I hollered for a bulb syringe. Joe’s daddy to the rescue, flew out with bulb in hand. I sucked her nostrils & mouth out. As Storm bonded with her little girl, we took the other away and put her out of sight. It took her a while to keep her attention on the live one & not the dead but she finally got there with time. Back in went my husband to shower and go to bed.
I stayed with her to make sure all was good and that baby would nurse etc. She was so little. I felt Storms tummy. It was still hard and a little to fat to be empty. After some time she began pushing again. I took the little one and set her safely aside.
I see hooves! but no nose. Shit, I think to myself. I don’t always like to intervene. The only time I do is when I think it is necessary so that baby does not stay half in to long (this is not good) or if mama can’t get baby past the crowning point. After you see enough kids born you kinda know when to intrude & when not to. I gave her ample time on this one and still saw no nose, just hooves. I felt with fingers while she was not contracting, the head was there just no chin on feet. The head was back and keeping the baby from passing though. I tried to push it back a bit and hoped that it would reposition. After the next set of contractions ended it was plain to see this was going to get ugly.
Oh I felt so bad for Storm & I had never done anything like this and really didn’t know what the hell to do. I set my fears aside and just went with it. Did what I thought was best. While she pushed, with my fingers I worked her opening up and around so that eventually babies head pushed through. Oh I felt so bad having to stretch her like that. I was careful as I could be. There may have been other or better ways to get this baby out, but I did the best I knew how at the time. Strange how afterward you realize how loud she was screaming but at the time all you can think about and focus on is helping this doe get this kid out of her. She was tired & I was frazzled!
As his head passed though she stopped contracting. She was very tired & I hoped that she had enough energy to finish. I went ahead and gently pulled the baby with the next set of contractions. Poor girls cooter had to hurt and I saw no sense in that baby setting there keeping her expanded like she was.
He was beautiful. He was white marked with black JUST LIKE STORM. To the letter, everything down to her black go-tee below her lower lip. He was HUGE too. At least 12 inches from head to tail with long legs! His tongue was white, he was dead with no sac around him. He was wet but “dry”. I’ve no doubt he’d been in there all that time with no oxygen as she had lost water & sac(s) earlier. Sad sad sad but she still had a little girl who was alive and seemed to be pretty healthy just small. I took him despite her pleas not to. She needed to focus on the living now.
We worked on nursing a while & then I left them to go warm up in the house. Sometimes when you’re not looking good things happen. After an hour or so I went back out. Baby was up & I saw her nurse a bit & I made sure they were settled under a heat lamp before I went back in.
The next morning I went out and baby was not as energetic as she was the night before. Poor Storm looked so sore. I made her get up and set baby to nurse. She didn’t seem to have the strength to stand long to try. I went back to the house & gathered some opinions & made a decision to bring her in. I took her temp and syringed her some milk that I had expressed from Storm. I made sure that her tummy was good and full, then wrapped her up on the couch in flannel jackets, Stoked up the fire nice and hot and let her sleep there for about 3 hours.
When she woke she was alert and standing well. She pooped on my sons jacket & that was sign enough for me that I’d done my job and we headed out to see mama! She’s been fine since.
I keep my eye on her & always make sure when I can that she is warm. Ha I even made a little sweater of sorts for her from an old tube sock.
She’s such a doll. All the other kids are running and bouncing and she just follows the walls of the barn room. It’s really silly. Storm seems to be a pretty good mama. Time will tell & I am sure I will continue to keep an eye on her until I see her run & play with the others.