Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Waiting ...

The hardest part about kidding season is waiting. We have two does due on Friday, but today when Katherine and I went outside, ready to go into town for errands and my birthday lunch, Star started talking to us across the pasture. Since goats are usually quiet animals, we wondered what she was telling us. We walked over to the pasture, and she walked up to the fence, continuing to tell us something very important. You could tell it was very important by the way she looked at us as she continued talking. Her belly was starting to look a little hollow near her spine, meaning that the babies are starting to drop into birth position, but she didn't looked as hollow as one does when birth is imminent. Katherine thought that he tail ligaments were soft, but not mush. We decided that we should put her into a clean stall while we were gone, although that was a tough decision to make -- to go or to stay? Last year, Star was in labor all day before she gave birth that evening. Two years ago, we postponed a trip into town for two days because Dancy was in labor. Trying to be more mellow about the whole birthing thing, I told Katherine we should leave her in a clean stall in the barn and go to town. So, that's what we did.

We went straight to a restaurant for lunch, and the whole time, I kept thinking that she might be giving birth. We decided to skip the bank, the grocery store and all the other errands and just get home as quickly as possible. So, we arrived back home only an hour after leaving, and Star was standing on top of a big spool in the stall where we left her. She was looking very normal, although not very content. She wanted to go back outside. How frustrating! Before we left, she very much wanted to be in the barn! This is why it takes a whole week of our lives when it's kidding time for a couple of goats. For several days prior to the actual birth, we eat, sleep, breathe and think of nothing else other than the goats. We make dozens of trips to the barn. We read novels out there. We watch them through the window if they're in the pasture. Sometimes we even sleep in the barn. And from what I understand, we're a bit more low-key about the whole thing than some people.

Am I complaining? No. I love kidding time. Waiting is just a normal part of it. It's the biggest part of it. It's the part that reminds me of the importance of patience. Everything in nature teaches us important lessons, and I think the biggest thing kidding teaches us is patience. The best things in life are worth waiting for.

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