After misreading her signs, more like the independent, little girl decided to wait awhile, Violet (our youngest goat) went into labor the other night. Being the sweet girl she is, she could not have picked a more convenient time for us. It was last Saturday night; we did not have plans and were home with the kids. Hope had just gone outside to feed and was making the rounds when she called me on the radio saying that Violet’s bag (udder) looked awfully full.
I replied, “Yes, I saw it yesterday and it looks good.” As we have been a little bit worried that her udder wasn’t bagging up enough and that she was not going to have much if any milk for this new baby. I was having flashbacks of Hope nursing Captain Black Boots, a little Jacob lamb we had, at all hours of the night like one of our own children. Hope then calls back over the radio and says, “I think she might be going into labor…well, if she isn’t she is really close and it will be tonight or tomorrow.” I said, “OK, keep me posted and let me know if you need me to come out.”
I was trying my best to stay calm and hang with the kids, not goats but our actual children, however something inside of me kept nagging saying something is up. Then Hope calls back over the two-way radio and says, “You might want to come over here if you want to be part of this!” I reply, “Oh come one! All right, I have to get dressed and I will be over. Just hold on!” Like she has any control of this, but I was not there for the full birth of our last goats and I want to be present for the whole process.
I hurriedly scamper around the kitchen to get on my Carhartt overalls, boots, jacket, hat and gloves. Like any of these moments when you are rushing it feels like you are moving in slow motion. Hope later remarked jokingly to her Dad that I did somehow manage to come out with a bourbon cocktail in hand. Well I did, but I had already poured that before this whole thing kicked in so I figured I might as well bring along the traveler.
I get outside and proceed towards the goat pin and sure enough, Violet is in labor. Hope is already in the goat hut with her and I bring her the towels and the lantern. We are thinking there are two goats in there so everything we are doing is geared towards that. Violet is lying down and we can see a hoof and the little goat’s face. She is moving a little, and it is truly the most amazing thing you have ever seen.
Truly beautiful and once you have done this, you move past the gore or so called grossness of it all, which is none really and see the miracle of birth for what it is, a MIRACLE. Violet seems to be stuck as there is a little bit of a pause at this point. We get worried for a moment that we can only see one hoof and that maybe the other is stuck. Violet stands up, which alarmed us at first, but all at once she lays back down, a few strong pushes and the baby kid just spills out. The amniotic sac breaks immediately, Hope helps clean off the kid with a towel a little at this point. She then picks up the kid and puts her in front of Violet. Before too long, she is licking her and cleaning her off, which is exactly what you want.
We wait for a while, expecting another baby and yet there is nothing. Hope and the veterinarian clearly saw two spinal cords on the ultra sound. Since nothing is happening, I rush to feed and water the other animals while we are waiting, as they are all hungry on this cold winters night of 22 degrees already.
Twenty minutes pass and after much deliberation, we decide that we should move our newest, little family inside. I run into the garden center offices and prepare one of our landscape design offices that is not being used. Yes, we put goats in our offices. We are pros at having livestock indoors as we have had a lamb, among other creatures in our house! The good news is the garden center has concrete floors. I get some old floor mats, a corral we had used for our own children, fresh hay, feed and water.
I then go get the baby kid from Hope and take her into the design office as it is getting very cold quick. Hope puts a lead around Violet and walks her in, I help them through the door and we get everyone inside. The whole time this is going on our kids keep calling us over the radio asking if the can come see the new baby goat. We keep replying to hold on and that we will let you come over soon.
We are all in the office, the two of us and the two goats, and we can finally take a sigh of relief as we realize that there are not any other babies coming; which is fine as we have a healthy girl. Hope reminds me that we need to dip the umbilical cord into iodine to sterilize things. I discover the little iodine wipes that I had in a first aid kit are all dried up. So I rush over to the house, tell the kids to sit tight and I will be right back. “When can we see the baby goat, when can we see the baby goat!!??” they ask me. I tell them to let me run to the store and we will go over together.
After driving over to CVS to get the iodine, I run back into the house, get our kids and run over to the garden center. Crain and Lily, our children, are delighted as always with the new baby goat. We dipped her umbilical chord in the iodine and decided after sitting with the goats for a while, that it might be a good idea to feed our family. Hope calls our friends over at China King (Crain is in class with their daughter Xin, got to love Oldham County) and I run back out to get Chinese take-out. This was just another normal day on Acorn Lane Farm.