That was a shameless pun, I can’t help it. So, many of you know the incredible anxiety I had regarding the unknown arrival date of our baby goats. The kidding kit I ordered in the mail came with gloves that go up to your elbows and a kid puller, which looks like a giant zip tie. Couple that with my own horrible memories of childbirth, and I have had trouble sleeping!
Dustbunny, our beloved mommy goat, was only getting bigger and bigger. I have profound sympathy for all things prego—I hated every second of each 9 month sentence—and when I saw her struggle to get her girth off the ground my heart just went out to her. I sporadically prayed for her deliverance. By that I mean that come Friday, I would pray she would go into labor. Round about Sunday evening, I would pray she would hold off until
the next weekend. I did not want to deliver kids without Shea home to assist me. He was at all my deliveries (big, proud Daddy!) and had a better vantage point than I did, so I figured he was more qualified to bring little caprine bundles into the world. I was so worried for her, I went so far as to, brace yourself, shave her derriere because the neighbors said it might make things easier. Never thought I would have that on my resume!
Friday, March 11th dawned bright and warm, one of those pre-Spring teasers that make you want to throw away your winter clothes for good. My neighbor across the street asked me for an unusual favor….could I check on his goat every 30 minutes until he came home that afternoon? His goat appeared to be in labor, you see, and he needed someone to watch her and call him the second anything happened. Gulp. Ok.
Every half hour I dutifully ran across the street to check on the poor creature. She was laying in the straw with a tummy as wide as she was tall, not unlike my sweet girl. But unlike Dustbunny, she was making the most horrible wheezing sound—like goat Lamaze?—and there were some unusual things going on at her back door. Every once in a while you would see a wave of contraction move across her middle and she would moan louder. I compared this sight to the one of Dustbunny nonchalantly munching winter-limp grass in her little pasture and I figured my lady must be weeks away; she didn’t look nearly as beleaguered as this tortured soul.
Minutes after returning from this midwife-ish duty, I was in my office with my BFF Leslie (I used bff in a blog post, does that make me seem younger?) putting together my indoor seed sprouting set up (a future blog post, I am sure) when pandemonium broke out in my backyard. That is not unusual, what caught our attention was the “MOOOOM! SOMETHING JUST FELL OUT OF DUSTBUNNY’S BUTT!!!” We were frantically grabbing towels and what turned out to be bed sheets when we heard “EWWWW….THERE’S ANOTHER ONE!!!”
So much for my vision of midnight deliverance after hours of holding Dustbunny’s head in my lap and spouting inspired pep talks. All the scary books I read about sticking my hands in her out to turn babies sideways and such. The look of gratitude she would give me as I bravely delivered one baby and waited by her side into the night for the next. Even the angst-ridden goat across the street didn’t prepare me for the blessed event.
Dustbunny literally dropped 2 bundles in the middle of her field in less than 5 minutes. Did you ever see the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”? (If not, I command you with all the authority of a blogging mommy to rent it, watch it, love it.) Recall the seen where Owen introduces his wife, “She’s short but she’s strong, first kid come out sideways, she didn’t holler or nothing.” That would be my Dustbunny.
The fence is close to the street (see stuck up red head) so people could see the commotion as they drove by. The big event literally turned into an instant block party. Within the hour we had half the neighborhood watching me clean up the gunk—did you know they look like they are covered in egg yolk? Bag of waters, nothing! That was closer to ectoplasm than H2O!—and even worse, my first time milking was in front of an audience. Not my most graceful moment. But we will save that for another post.
Dustbunny now has rock star status in my ‘hood. The goat shed gets more visitors than we do. Incidentally, the neighbor’s goat is still over there groaning away. Pray for her deliverance. And pray that they don’t grab their good leopard skin towels when it happens, I think I have to consign mine to the rag bin now (I just can’t look at them the same.) Sigh.
So this may come as news to some of you, it did me. Goats have been having goatlings since the beginning of time. They do it everyday. They do it all alone. Apparently they are pretty well equipped for the deed. They usually do it without complications and almost always without a hysterical red head hovering over them. Gotta love goats. They are also very intelligent and mild-mannered. Wonder if you could train one as a midwife?