Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cleo's triplets

We were awakened before 6 a.m. by Coco screaming over the monitor so loudly that I was certain there would be a kid on the ground when we got out there. As soon as I sat up, it felt like I had been whacked in the side of the head by a two-by-four. I knew this was not going to be a good day. When Mike and I walked into the barn, Coco was just standing there staring at us as if she hadn't said a word. I was freezing, so I headed into the barn office and turned on the little gas heater. Mike came in and sat down on the futon. I laid down and put my feet in his lap. We waited. Coco would scream every twenty or thirty minutes, which reminded me of Caboose's and Lizzie's labors. This did not help my head.

Katherine came into the office an hour later, and I realized that Coco really was not going to have her kids anytime soon in spite of her occasional screaming. I came into the house, had breakfast, heard Coco scream over the baby monitor a couple more times and called a goat friend. She encouraged me to check her and just see if she was dilated, so shortly after ten, I went back outside and checked Coco. Nothing. Absolutely no dilatation at all. Not even getting started! This is really weird for my goats. Normally, from the time I realize they're in labor until the time I see kids is somewhere between five minutes and two hours. This was shaping up to be the weirdest kidding season ever. My head felt worse. I went into the office and laid down on the futon. For four hours, my head throbbed and I listened to Coco's scream every twenty or thirty minutes. Close to 3:00, I heard Cleo a couple times. I went into the barn and sat down with her. She is always a big baby when she's in labor, and she wanted to lay in my lap. She weighs about 75 pounds, so she is not even close to being a baby.

Neither Katherine or Jonathan were home, but Mike had been running maple sap from across the creek and boiling it down. I finally decided I couldn't take it any longer. Every time Coco or Cleo screamed, it felt like a smack across the side of my head, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I went into the house and told Mike, "Okay, I know the maple syrup is important, but you can fill up the pots really full so you don't have to worry about them boiling down to nothing. I can't sit out there anymore. I need to go to bed." I asked him to come with me and hold Coco, so I could check her cervix one more time to see if she had started dilating. He held her. I squirted iodine on my gloved fingers and checked. Still nothing, nada, zilch dilation. As I stood up, Cleo made a sound from the other end of the barn that sounded like she was seriously pushing. Mike and I walked over there and found her laying in the corner of the pen pushing quite convincingly.

Cleo's black doelings at one week
Because she was so close to kidding, I told Mike I'd stay with him and talk him through everything. He only delivered his first baby goats a couple weeks ago. Now that our children are growing up and leaving home, he needs to learn how to do it, because there will be times when he is home alone and has to know what to do. The whole birth was rather uneventful, except for one annoying little kid that was trying not to be born. The nose and two hooves were sticking out a couple inches, and suddenly a hoof jerked back inside Cleo. Then the other hoof disappeared. I told Mike that next time Cleo pushed them out, grab them and just hold them so the little stinker can't yank them back inside again. Who knows what problems he might cause if he twists his leg into some weird position. The second and third kid were born so closely together, I helped dry the second one, but Mike was able to handle everything else. Final tally was two black doelings and a red buckling with blue eyes.

After the third kid was born, I saw membranes hanging out, indicating that the placenta would be next, and I told Mike I was heading to bed. I thought about calling U of I to talk to one of the vets on call, but I was in no condition to drive Coco down there, and I hated the idea of sending Mike off with one of my goats. I guess Cleo knows that it's okay to act like a baby when she's in labor, because my goats are my babies. If Coco had to go to U of I, then I had to go with her, even if I had to take a barf bag along for the ride and ask Mike to drive for me. So, when I walked into the house, I picked up the phone and punched in the number for U of I.

5 comments:

CONEFLOWER said...

My oh my!! What a year you are having!! Tell us again how many mommies are kidding this spring... and why do you have so many...

I think of your migraines and I cringe even though I've never had one...

LindaG said...

Moon eyes are the strangest, I think, but kind of cool, too.

Hope you're feeling better by now. ♥

Nancy K. said...

I hope you find some time to get some REST!

I'm getting a headache just reading about your kidding season...

Mama Pea said...

Another cliff hanger . . . you know how to keep us coming back for more!

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Finally catching up on responding to comments!

Coneflower, we usually have this many goats kidding every year, but we spread it out from January to May, so we've never had this craziness packed into so few days before! The goats provide the milk for us to make all of our dairy products (except butter), and because Mike is the hard cheese maker (cheddar, gouda, colby, parmesan, etc), and he has summers off from teaching, we thought it made sense to have all the goats freshen by March, so we could be separating all of them from their babies every night starting in May, and Mike could make lots of hard cheese over the summer.

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