After making us wait a week longer than the other two goats that were due on the 23rd and 24th, Coco gave birth to quads shortly after noon today. Yesterday, her tail ligaments actually felt harder than they had the day before, which confused me. But there was no denying that it was quite easy to find them yesterday morning, while it had been a bit of a challenge the night before. I couldn't remember ever having a goat's ligaments get firmer, so I just ignored it and kept checking on her every couple hours yesterday.
When I checked her ligaments last night, they were almost completely gone, so I decided to spend the night in the barn. I'm glad we got the kidding pens completed, because I can stay in the heated office and keep an eye on the goats in labor. We have four kidding pens, which I need to discuss in another post (and give Mike his due credit for building them).
Sam the barn cat and Trouper kept me company. It was a long night. Trouper couldn't decide whether he wanted to sleep with me or on the floor next to the bed, so he was off and on a lot. At one point, Sam must have looked at him funny or something because he jumped on me to snap at her -- she was laying on my other side. And at another time, Sam flew across me and sat very attentively at the edge of the bed flicking her tail. I'm thinking that there must have been a mouse that caught her attention. And in the middle of the night, Coco decided to get talkative. She woke me up, but as soon as I realized she was not in labor, I went back to sleep.
I didn't see any signs of labor in Coco until 10:00 this morning when she started to make the wimpiest little pushes. I then noticed that her belly had hollowed out at the top, so the babies were jockeying for position. Mike was working in the room next to the office, so we talked about plans for renovating that area. Finally, around noon, it looked like Coco was getting serious. She was stretching out her legs and neck while laying down, then standing up, turning around and laying down again. She was having more difficulty than usual finding a comfortable position. Poor girl!
She started making a little bit of noise with her wimpy pushes. She'd let out a soft little moan or a short "ma!" I told her that she would never get the kids out with pushes like that. Then we saw a little bubble of amniotic fluid, which popped, and I thought she'd get serious. But no, she continued with her wimpy pushing. There was a foot-long string of goo hanging out, and she was still not seriously pushing. Then as if someone flipped a switch, she decided it was time to get serious. All four kids were born quickly and without difficulty -- except that I couldn't get them dry fast enough. Mike was there, and I passed one newly born, dripping wet kid to him when Katherine (who was videotaping) told me that another one was emerging. And there was a little doe whose amniotic sac didn't break and seemed much tougher than your average sac. But otherwise, our very important job was to get everyone dry.
Katherine videotaped the whole event and will be editing it like she did with Carmen's birth in 2009. It won't be up too soon, however, because she has a lot of homework this weekend.