Six hours later, near midnight, I woke up when Mike walked into our bedroom. I immediately asked, "How's Coco?"
"It's complicated." He paused.
So, here is the story from Katherine's perspective:
|One of the quints at eight days of age|
For the next 45-60 minutes (although I didn't have a clock, this is a rough estimation) Coco would plop down on the ground, scream so loudly that it echoed off the walls, get up, walk around, and lay down all over again. Because of a huge misunderstanding, I was under the impression that the vet wanted us to wait before trying to pull the kids out. But after a good hour of her screaming, Coco was looking very tired and I still didn't see anything as slight as a bubble, so I knew something was not right.
After putting on a surgical glove, I applied the lube and iodine before doing some investigating. I was expecting something like her cervix wasn't dilated like what happened with Lizzie. However, her cervix was fully dilated, and when I went a little beyond, that's when I finally felt a kid. Both hooves were in front so I was failing to see what was taking so long. It was then that I realized that the hooves felt upside down and I was not finding the head.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," I muttered when I realized that the kid was upside down with its head turned back.
I couldn't get my hand in any further and the kid was too slippery for repositioning, and because Coco had been pushing for the last hour, I knew I just needed to get the kid out. I grabbed the two front hooves and started pulling with Coco's contractions. When the kid came closer to the entrance is when I pulled the head forward and tried to reposition it better. With a couple more pulls, the kid was out and Coco was eagerly cleaning it.
|One of the quints with Coco at eight days|
It was not long after the third one that the fourth came out. This time the sac was full of meconium. The baby was not near as responsive as the first and the third born, but it was at least very much alive.
That was four babies and Coco was getting to her feet so I then started focusing all of my attention on making sure that all of the babies were dry and fluffy and hopefully getting ready to nurse.
"Took her long enough," I heard Dad say as he came into the barn. "What are the sexes?"
"All four bucks," I sighed. "One was a stillborn."
"Oh well," he shrugged.
It was after this that I noticed Coco stopped licking the babies and plopped down on her belly again and started contracting.
"No, you are not having quints," I laughed. A bubble then appeared that very clearly had a baby in it. "Oh! You ARE having QUINTS! I NEED ANOTHER TOWEL!" I screamed while jumping forward to catch the kid that was sliding out breach.
|One of the bottle babies|
Because they were all bucks, I figured that like must buck kids, they would be very eager to get up and start nursing. That certainly wasn't the case this time. None of the kids were interested in nursing. So because you can't force a kid to nurse, I decided to go inside for about 10-20 minutes and come back out to try again.
When I came back out, they were not any more interested in nursing than before. As much as I hate to be forceful, it had been close to an hour since they were born and I didn't feel like bottle-feeding kids. So I decided to push each kid against the udder and manually squirt milk into their mouth. This finally got them interested in the whole nursing thing. Within ten minutes, everyone had nursed except for the fifth kid, which was still dragging his foot around. After trying a few more times, I finally got him to nurse for a few seconds.
Seeing as though it was getting late and I had to get up early in the morning anyway, I figured it was time to call it a night.
|Bottle boys in the house -- the red and white one has a splint|
on his rear leg.