Archive for July, 2011

Independence Day for Kitty

July 1st brought us a new moon in Cancer (feminine, moist and fruitful – the sign of motherhood) and with it came the birth of another set of twin does by our goat Kitty. It was her “Independence Day” from this heavy pregnancy.
Just for fun, early that morning we went out to the kidding pen with a seamstress’s tape and did some measuring. We had no idea that this would be the day we would welcome new life to the farm, it just happened. Kitty is 31″ from nose to tip of tail and stands 18″ tall at the withers. Then we managed to get the tape around the widest part of her belly and it was 47″- just 1″ shy of 4 feet around! That was one pregnant goat! She has looked like she was smuggling 2 basketballs around for at least the last 3 weeks, and we just kept wondering if she could get much larger. She did this same thing last year, so I was never really worried, I just felt sorry for the obvious discomfort she must have been feeling (not to mention really wanting to see the new babies!)

By 9:30 am she started to get “that look” in her eye and I knew that she was going into the early stages of labor. I made sure the birthing kit was at hand, and brought a stack of clean towels out to the kidding pen. It was now the time to watch and wait. I did chores around the yard, checking back in with her every 15 minutes or so. At 1:37 her water broke, and within a few minutes a beautiful little doe kid effortlessly came into the world (well, it was effortless to me, I’m sure Kitty was not thinking this right at the time.) Last year, Kitty took about a 20 minute intermission between the births, but this year she went right back into labor, so I wrapped her first little bundle of joy up in a clean towel and set her down in front of her.

We were not as lucky with the second birth. The proper presentation for birth is a diving position, – the two front feet first followed by the nose between them. Sometimes you can go with one front foot followed by nose, but better to have both front legs if possible. I knew I was in for a bit of trouble when I saw just a nose coming out first. What made it worse was the birth sack broke so the kid started to breathe – so no pushing it back in to try reposition it. The shoulders were stuck, and I had no time to try to go fishing around for a front foot. At this point I needed to get the kid moving so that it would not choke. I got out a large catheter, filled it full of J Lube and inserted the tube back up behind the stuck kid as far as I could into the womb, then injected about 8 ounces of the lube. I waited through another contraction, and then repeated the process. After a few anxious moments the kid began to move forward, and one more contraction freed the shoulders and chest. The kid was out a few seconds later sputtering a bit, but not really much worse for the whole ordeal.

After a quick towel dry, I set both the newborns down in front of their mommy for bonding, and listened to their tiny squeaks and bleats, answered by their mommy’s low knickers, in between her thorough grooming of every hair on their little furry bodies and faces. A quick check of Kitty’s udder to make sure both spigots were working, and the newborns were both up wobbling around and nursing in about 15 minutes.

I introduced them both to Nikki (our LGD) over the fence, so she would bond to them as well, and then I left the happy new family to go wash up the towels and equipment, and make some phone calls and e-mails to announce their arrival to waiting friends and neighbors, and well-wishers.

About a half hour later, I went back out to check on the babies, and I stood outside the pen and just watched for a while. Kitty was taking them on their first little tour of the pen and was just as proud as could be of her new little entourage as she stopped every few feet and cooed at them softly, encouraging them to follow her. It never will cease to amaze me that in just a matter of two hours, these newborn babes are up and walking and eating and exploring the world around them and everything is brand new in their eyes.  Truly a miracle in itself as far as I’m concerned. It always helps me to remember to look for things in a new way each day, and to try to see everything from a simple perspective. Each day as it comes, clear and new, bringing with it different situations and choices. I love to let these moments slow me down and unfold before me as I watch and listen. It keeps me in touch with what is important – life itself and the promise of the future it holds.  After all the times in life we must give heed to the things that go wrong, I love to revel in these times when things are going right, and enjoy each time they come my way – it is actually more often then I think it is, if I just take the time look for it. Welcome to the farm my dear little jewels, I hope you come to be very happy here – as happy as we are to have you.