Made two batches of jam this morning and a batch of granola! It rained through the afternoon so I made envelopes and drew with pastels. We went out in the drizzle to put the moms back inside. Elaina, who is usually pretty agreeable, did not want to come. She was being vocal and I heard her teeth grinding, which is a sign of discomfort in a pregnant lady, a sign that things are accelerating. Same with change in personality. Westi came up the hill behind her and pointed out a small drip of clear goop coming out of her. That certainly means baby is coming! Like, today or the next.
We got everybody inside and closed off a separate section for Elaina to be in. With Grandeur. Elaina couldn’t care less about Grandeur’s company but G would go nuts if a fence separated her and Elaina. While West made dinner I sat on goat watch. This entails sitting in the pen in a lawn chair with a beer and a goat book, taking note of any notable behavior. Elaina laid down a few times and each time I thought, ‘omg, is it time!?!?!?’ but each time she was just resting and looked at me exasperated for disturbing her with my nervous excitement.
I went inside for dinner and Westi came back out with me afterward for the usual milking time. The kids did not drink from mamas today, so there were full utters all around, woohoo! Just as Liane and I were off to a great start (for once), Elaina let out a holler and Westi exclaimed, “she’s pushing!” After only a short while – minutes – a body appeared at the opening of Elaina’s uterus. She was pushing and groaning, yelling like crazy with her tongue sticking out. What was coming out was a tail, which is not good (I just read this in the book). When this happens, you need to intervene and make sure a leg exits first. So Westi reached a hand inside of Elaina to find a back leg to pull. But in order to extend a leg, she had to push the body back inside… while Elaina was trying to push it out. It was very dramatic and intense for a few minutes while Westi struggled with her hand inside the screaming goat. I felt like crying for a moment! Mike came in while that was happening, and Grace too. Westi finally got a leg extended and the baby came out slimy and matted, with incredibly long legs! It looked just like Elaina!
Grace cautiously inched closer to see the new baby; she was nervous and didn’t want to get too close. She neared Elaina’s back end and was bothered by the sight of the placenta (understandably), and as she stood there, another baby shot out without any warning! Same deal with the slime and matted fur. And after another few minutes, Elaina started pushing again, and a THIRD squirted out! Literally, these two came sliding right out. She went to licking all the babies and it wasn’t too long before they looked like tiny goats. They weren’t drinking from the utter right away like they’re supposed to so Westi milked Elaina some and squirted it in the kids’ mouth. The milk stuff is special for newborns – thick and yellow! Like eggnog.
They all accepted the nectar and soon 2 of them started acting like goats – walking around and searching for the utter. But one laid face down in the hay. We rubbed him and gave him coffee for stimulation. Put a Chihuahua sweater on him to make him look like a dweeb I mean for warmth. Tube fed him. Eventually he held his head up some but his front legs just hung lifelessly and half backward. I felt bad for him, wondering if he was in pain or confused or scared.
The other two are hilarious and adorable. The girl (#3) refuses to sit down; she will stand motionless for lengths of time until she loses balance and falls to the side. And she’s fiery already, like Cora. We left the little sad goat (#2) in a sweater in the box with the others. Westi will check on him through the night. I hope he’s alive in the morning.
Sounds like we were lucky with this birth being fast and convenient. Westi has stayed up the entire night with a goat in labor before! Still, I am exhausted. But this needed to be documented in full before time passed. And now I sleep.