Monday, February 28, 2011

It's all about me!

The last four days have been a complete blur. After spending Thursday in Urbana for Caboose's c-section, I tanked up on coffee before my drive home in the dark. I had only slept two or three hours the night before and really didn't have time for a car accident, knowing that I had six goats left to kid before the weekend was over. I knew I'd have trouble falling asleep once I arrived home, but it was preferable to death or being paralyzed or even simply rolling my car into one of the big ditches on Rt. 47 if I fell asleep driving. So, I finally fell asleep around 1 a.m. and got up about six hours later, which is not my idea of a good night's sleep.

Viola's doeling his tiny elf ears because she's a mini mancha.
Friday morning saw Carmen give birth to twin bucks, then shortly after noon, Viola gave birth to buck-doe twins. The whole time she was in labor, I kept seeing Lizzie out of the corner of my eye, and she looked like she was pushing. As soon as Viola gave birth, I needed to head back down to Urbana to pick up Caboose and her kids, because the vet said they were ready to come home. Katherine pulled into the driveway as I was leaving, and I told her she needed to keep a close eye on Lizzie. So, I drove down to Urbana, picked up Caboose and her kids, and headed home. Lizzie gave birth as I was driving back, but not without some challenges, which I heard about via cell phone.

I didn't get to bed until close to eleven Friday night, and then Coco woke us up screaming over the baby monitor at 5:49 Saturday morning. When I sat up, it felt like I'd been hit on the side of the head with a two-by-four. I really thought we would see a kid when we got out there, but instead, Coco was just standing there staring at us. Thus began what could possibly be the worst day of my life in terms of pain. By noon, my headache had blossomed into a full-blown migraine, and I had two does alternately screaming and talking to me until Cleo finally gave birth to twins around 4:00. Normally, when I have a migraine, I can't even stand to whisper, so being in a barn with two bleating goats was torture. Coco's weird progress was not helping my headache, because I was afraid I might be looking at another c-section. Around 6:00, I called U of I and talked to the vet, who said it sounded like Coco was just trying to rearrange her babies, and to my happy surprise, he suggested that I wait and watch. So, I went to bed and told Mike to watch Coco until Katherine got home.

I woke up at midnight when Mike walked into the bedroom, still feeling like I was half dead, and I asked if Coco had given birth. "It's complicated," he said. Bottom line is that she had quintuplet bucks, but one was born dead, and some of the others were having problems.

Sunday morning, I woke up with a headache, but nothing compared to the migraine from the day before. As Katherine headed out to church, she said I needed to check on Coco's kids. She thought one had a broken leg, and the others didn't seem to be nursing well. After breakfast and coffee, I was finally able to drag myself out there, and I felt like I'd just walked into an episode of "Goat ER." I saw a black kid spread eagle in the corner of the pen looking dead, so I picked him up and realized he was terribly cold but still alive. I plugged in the heating pad, and just as I laid him on it and covered him with a towel, I heard a long bleat from Claire's pen. She was giving birth. "I'm so sorry, little dude!" I said as I left him on the heating pad and ran to Claire, who had a head hanging out. After drying her twins with Mike's help, we went back to Coco's pen. I figured I'd splint the leg of the red and white buckling, then I'd get some colostrum into the black one that was trying to die. But as I was splinting the kid's leg, I realized he was also ice cold and would soon be in the same shape as the black one. Even with the splint on his leg, he was unable to stand. I milked Coco, who had plenty of colostrum, and I told Mike we had to bring the kids into the house.

Neither of them would suck on the bottle, and I'd read years ago that if a kid is completely depressed, it is best to use IV fluids first to get them perked up before even tube feeding them. Giving IV fluids to goats is really not that hard, because you just put it under their skin, and their body absorbs it. So, I gave each one 15 cc of fluids, which was 5% dextrose, and within minutes the black kid lifted his head, which seemed miraculous considering his condition for the past hour. I tried to give him a bottle, but he still wasn't sucking, so I gave him two ounces of colostrum via stomach tube. I did the same with the red and white buckling, because he was equally out of it. Then I put both of them on a heating pad and covered them with a towel and hoped for the best. Two hours later, I went to check on them, and both lifted their heads and then stood up. Each one took an ounce of colostrum from the bottle, so I was ready to celebrate. Then I realized that their body temps had fallen, so I put them back on the heating pad. By last night, they were doing quite well, and the little black one napped in my lap for an hour while I was online.

So, that's my side of the story for the past four days. For the rest of this week, I'll tell you the goat's individual stories of their kiddings. Katherine has agreed to write about Lizzie's and Coco's births, since she was the one who was there. It's been quite a ride bringing 20 kids into the world in only four days while also making lots of maple syrup. And in a couple weeks, we'll start again with seven more does kidding.


Spinners End said...

Hang in there Woman! :) It will all sound so wonderfully realistic in retrospect for "Book Two".

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's quite a weekend.
You are making me seriously consider my plan to have all my goats kid in one month next year.

SkippyMom said...

Okay I know I said "Goatopalooza" a few weeks ago, but I am now modifying it.

We are now deeming it "Goataggedon".

I figure if they can make up names for snowstorms I can make up names for a blizzard of goats.

Nicely done Deb. Take care and please try and get some rest.

[Are there any left to kid - and what's the total.]

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Wow, another set of quints and all bucks again? This is getting weird!!

Kellie said...

I am getting tired just reading about all the happenings! Get some rest.

SkippyMom said...

I just woke up from a nap Deborah and I have come to the conclusion I need to stop reading your blog.

I had a dream and in it I was talking to you about all the goats and the word "Armagoatten" came up.

Yep, it's official. Do not read your blog before sleep. :)

Hope you are getting some rest tonight.

Donna said...

Have you considered a vaca in Belize...Cozumel??? Good grief deserve a medal!

LindaG said...

Lots of family additions! Congratulations. :)

Voni said...

Wow!! Is all I can say.


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