After her 3rd Birthday, BabyGirl seemed to start to come into her own.. each day she progressed as she became a goat in the herd once again.
I kept her busy in the house at night playing games like the one she would play with the French Fries box from Micky D's.
Then in the daytime, it took all I had to allow her to stay outside unattended with her mama and sister~ But I knew I had to do it. One hard knock and all she had worked for could come apart in just a split second, she could go down again so easy if her neck were to get tweaked the wrong way. Her mama and sister, both, were very protective, but after seeing how hard she worked to get back on her feet especially the second time around..I could not bear it if something were to happen to her.
She fell less but she still fell once in awhile.. not as hard as she did before~ she had learned how to fall so not to land on her neck quite so hard. Good thing her voice is unmistakable.. she would call for me immediately if she needed help getting up..And I would drop everything and run to her side!
Spring came and it was time to start letting the goats out to pasture during the day.. I had a HUGE decision on my shoulders.. let her out with the rest of the girls OR make her stay in the goat yard by herself where it was safe?
Our pasture is not flat.. it has hills and things like rocks and logs where it would be easy to trip. Even though I did spend most of the time out with the goats when they were out in the pasture it was not an easy task. Until you have tried to keep 200 goats together in a 20+ acre pasture you have not lived!
Everyone has their own idea of where to go..in small groups.. they would split off in the lower pasture~some going up the hill. some going into the woods and some trying to go into the creek.. (which for some could lead to ACROSS the creek)YIKES!
The fencing was pretty good but there were places that needed repair..and the creek was not fenced off.. wooded areas that could get pretty thick..
Well..I took a deep breath and decided.. she worked very hard to get back on her feet and walk..and by gosh she was going to enjoy the pasture with the rest of the goats! I would just have to be extra attentive and not let her out of my sight.
I will have to say..she did VERY well..she was skeptical at first..but when she saw mama and sis go..she followed.. or tried to. They were not used to her being with them so the first few times they went a little too fast so she stayed with me.. but day by day she got better at navigating the hills and her mama saw she was trying to keep up with her.. so she slowed down and waited for BabyGirl to catch up.. There were times she fell, I was there to help her up. She would get back on her feet and find mama once again.. Every day was an improvement!
Since it was now June. I was running the boys and girls together.. not worrying about anyone getting bred as it was not breeding season.. This way everyone got pasture time during the day (I did not have the pasture cross fenced).
In the lower pasture, I hear the "sound"... I have a billy somewhere who is courting one of my girls.. as I turn around ..My heart stops! There in the big middle of the pasture is BabyGirl with Oreo hot on her tail..I panicked!
LAST thing she needs is to be pregnant! She would never be able to carry a baby's weight,she would not be able to hold herself steady enough to allow a baby to nurse..and she certainly did NOT need to have to strain herself in labor..
MY baby *S*
I had to stop this.. NOW! I ran and picked BabyGirl up and carried her back to the goatyard.. My kindergoat billy,Oreo, in hot pursuit..I then went out and got everyone back into the yards.. cut their pasture day a little short and spent the remainder of the day figuring out how to let the girls out seperatley from the boys each day! He didn't get her but that was too close of a call for my heart! WHEW! Won't do that again.
Well..I figured it out..I would let the girls out early in the daytime and the boys later..each group would get a few hours and since they got hay in the evenings it would work out fine, just a little more work for me is all..I really didn't mind a bit.
As the summer wore on,the goats got easier to control in the pasture..they were finding out where their boundries were and really being pretty good about things.. Of course I had my little rebel groups..but for the most-part things went well. I could go out with them and stay for awhile..and then when BabyGirl was ready to come back toward the pens..I could come back to the house to rest for a bit or get other things done that needed done. BabyGirl was getting more and more steady on her feet and hardly ever falling, if she did she was able to get herself up.It was a FAR CRY from just months ago when she had to be carried everywhere she went and propped up. She was as proud of herself as I was proud of her!
I'm not exactly sure what happened the morning everyone decided to go berserk..(I had my camera and was taking pictures of everyone enjoying the pasture) but I had goats in ALL directions when I let them out early one morning..I'm not sure if they thought I needed to exercise more or what ..All I know is goats were in places I didn't even know I had places..*LOL* I started rounding them all into a group and heard the sounds of goats in the creek.. (having angora goats in the group) getting wet is NOT an option.. not only can they get pneumonia easy..even in summer..but the weight of their fleece could easily pull them under the water and drown them.. SO the creek petrified me and there was NO way to fence it off.. I just had to watch close and get them back up the hill if they went down there..
Well, they were down there..so off I ran to head them off and get in front of them. I had to get in the creek and get in front of where they were headed in order to get them back where I wanted them.. As I clapped my hands to get them Out of the water.. my heart stopped once again..There on the hillside ledge..in the midst of the group ~ was my BabyGirl.. The rocks on the hillside are loose in places.. and the bottom is about 20ft down.. I stopped..dead in my tracks and quietly got the ones in the bottom turned around.. hoping she would follow them back up..she did.
I got my camera out and took pictures..I knew NO ONE would EVER believe this.. She got back up the hill fine and everyone just looked at me like "what?" My heart was racing..I went over to BabyGirl and asked her.."What were you thinking?" She just sort of looked at me with that twinkle in her eyes ..as if to say back to me.. "Did you see me mama?..I was a big girl on the rocks with the rest of the goats"..How could I be mad at that?..she was doing EXACTLY what I wanted her to be able to do.
The summer went well..not many times did she fall..I would make sure to give her a shot of dex if she did have a bad fall where her neck was involved..she spent the days out in the pasture, the evenings in the goatyard.. if it was raining, she would follow her mama and sister into the barn for awhile. She was part of a small herd of outside goats that when it was evening and I knew they wouldn't try to go out in the road..I would let them out to play under the dusk-to-dawn lights in the pasture or they would come up on the porch. Then later in the night she would come in to be brushed and hang out until bed time.. she got her extra attention with me and had her real goat life outside both..what little goat could ask for more?
Bedtime she would go to the bed and wait for me to lift her up into the bed. She would lay down on my pillow and then after I got in bed I gave her 2 cookies.This was our ritual every night. She didn't need her legs massaged anymore but I would rub her tummy and pet her until I fell asleep..
One night in September 2001, my nightmare became reality! With my hand on her tummy I felt a bumpbumpbump that could only mean one thing!
I knew she had been putting on weight but she needed to.. she had been only 41 pounds a year ago and she now weighed 68lbs. She had also grown in size and filled out.. But a BABY?.. This would kill her for sure..I had to wait till morning to call my vet. I didn't sleep all night. All I could think about was how dangerous this was for her..I went over and over in my mind who and when someone could have gotten to her, if I could feel babies then she was only about 2 months from kidding..was it going to be too late to abort her now?.. How Could I have let this happen? I held her and sobbed..
Well..I was right.. I called the vet and he told me it was far too dangerous to try to abort her now.. we would have to wait and see and allow her to try to give birth. Either way it was not good. The pregnancy could mean she could go down once again because of all the added weight or worse the strain of kidding could damage her neck. But we had no choice now.
She seemed pleased as pie with the whole idea.. and I have to admit, there was an extra sparkle in her eye... But it still remained a dangerous journey.
Just as she was doing so well and I was starting to allow her to get a little distance from me, I went right back to being an overly protective mom. I watched her every move, she never left my sight. She still was allowed to go in the pasture but not all day. I would bring her back after a few hours. If she fell now I could not give her dex as it is also used to induce labor. I did see changes in her dexterity ..she was having a difficult time going tinkle..actually squatting to tinkle..she was just too heavy for her legs and unbalanced because of the added weight. SO the minute I saw her start to squat..I was there behind her holding her back end up for her..I became very well trained at this.. she sometimes would holler for me to come..and then as soon as I got behind her she would start her squat and I would catch her back end and hold the weight of it for her..
Time went on and I could see she was having a harder time doing things she knew she should be able to do. I felt terrible.
Each time I started to get upset with it all..I would look at her..and the look in her eyes told me she was thrilled with the idea..I only wish I could be too..Would she still be My Baby? Would she be able to make it through the birth without hurting herself? or worse? Would she be able to care for a baby?..to stand steady for the baby to bump her udder?..I prayed.
October 2001~ The leaves started to fall once again..was she going to be able to lower herself down to get the leaves or will she be unbalanced and fall?.. I held my breath. Slower than she would have liked to.. she lowered her head down for a leaf.. She seemed to know her limitations.. I cried again..
She did very well..and enjoyed the leaves, especially the maple leaves.She is such a joy to watch!
Her movements got more dedicated and precise. She continued to get bigger and bigger..and since I was not aware she was even pregnant until I felt babies bouncing in her tummy. I had NO IDEA when her due date was..But it wasn't very far off..On the colder days I would get her into the house and lay her upon my bed so we could watch TV for awhile.. It gave her some time to lay on something soft and gave me time to feel her tummy and watch her..
Besides I could see she was beginning to get more and more uncomfortable ~ so the extra rest was just what she needed..and I needed to be close to her as much as I could.. Just in case my time was limited with her now..I was SO SCARED of losing her!
All I could do was wait and watch and try to get a gut feeling of when it would happen.
Now,that's a face that wants to get this done and over with..Isn't she beautiful?..Well..I think she is..her crooked little face and all. I could never get enough of her in a million years!
Each day passed slower than the last, playing the waiting game is very intense..
especially when the stakes are so high. October ended..no babies yet..BabyGirl continued to get bigger by the minute! She started grunting with each strenuous movement. I'm absolutely scared to death.. I keep going over and over in my mind when this could have happened and who got her? How big are the babies going to be..because she really is not very big..How in the world did she manage to hold the weight of a billy on her back during the breeding?..I drove myself absolutely NUTS during these last few weeks!(Which my late husband would always tell me.. "Honey, that's not a drive ~ It's a short putt") I had to laugh.. PuttPuttPutt then..*LOL*
Second week in Novemeber 2001 BabyGirl's udder is getting tight and shiny..
It must be getting close to her kidding date.And she is beginning to be very animated about her size..she now weighs 90pounds..and is miserable to say the least! She will lay on the floor and just sprawl out like I have never seen her do before.
November 11, 2001
The day started out normal enough. I got BabyGirl out of bed, took her outside to tinkle and then I saw it! She was beginning to lose her plug! This was going to be the day!!!! I didn't know whether to be happy or scared so I decided to be BOTH!
I followed her around all morning.. watching.. waiting.. What to do.. what to do..Nothing I could do except wait and watch her.. Then it happened, She started labor. I started to get blankets for the living room floor since it was wood.. but then I thought about my bed.. I already had a plastic sheet under the sheets in case she ever had an accident.. what could happen except make a mess that could be washed in the washer?..
So I picked her up gently and put her in the bed.. got all the pillows and propped her up and lay there with her to wait.
I sang to her, I stroked her face..I held her.. I kissed her.. I told her I was sorry she hurt.. I prayed she would be ok and I waited.. hours I waited. She gave a few pushes and cried. I cried. I hated her hurting.. and I could do nothing to stop it from hurting. I rocked her and talked softly to her.. she cried out again. I had the video camera set up so I wouldn't miss a thing.. My son and Trine were also waiting and coming in every few minutes to check on her. I asked Trine to check to see if she was dilating.. Just as she bent down to look (I was at BabyGirl's head with the pillows under her) I heard a loud gush of water hit the floor. Her water broke and she completely missed the bed! She didn't miss Trine though.. How's that for talent?.. We had to laugh. She was not dilating fast enough and I was scared the baby would get caught up and either hurt her or die in the process.. she was pushing and the baby was ready right there but she just was not dilated enough.. I had only ever had to do One episotomy before.. and it was years ago.. Trine went and got the surgical scissors, sterilized them and gave them to me.. I tried one last time with the lubricant to get the baby's head to crown.. but no luck.. it just was not a big enough opening~ I HAD to cut her. I held my breath and steadied my shaking hand.. I made one 1/2inch cut and the baby's head crowned. I cleaned it's little nose and mouth with a clean towel..A little more work and she would have a new baby .. healthy and beautiful I prayed.
BabyGirl was hollering and I was crying.. I heard her mama from out in the goat yard holler back into the house. Just a few more pushes I asked her. Please God let her be ok.. I prayed. I had the tiny feet in my fingers and pulled as she pushed.. One more push.. and we had a beautiful baby girl.. I took her and immediately brought her up to BabyGirl's nose for her to smell and clean..I was not sure if she would even know what to do with a baby since she was so pampered and protected from as much as I could protect her from.
3PM, Nov 11, 2001~ My Little BabyGirl became a mama, all had gone well so far and her baby was gorgeous!
She loved her baby from the second she saw it.. and for the first 2 nursings.. I put the baby up to her teats while she was still laying down. BabyGirl did a GOOD JOB and was resting now.. it was hard work for her..
I just lay and watch her and the baby for hours..what a blessed miracle for sure!Thank you Dear Lord for letting her be ok!
I went out to the goat yard and got her mama, Shani, and brought her in the bedroom so she could see her daughter was fine and that she had a new grand-baby. BabyGirl leaned up for a bit to show mama what she had done.. they talked a few soft whispers to one another and then Shani turned around to me to be let back out.. She was not a house goat and she was very nervous about being in the house. I'm sure she went out and told Bubbles all about her sister having a new baby. I spent the rest of the day watching my baby with her new miracle.
We all did.
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