My hubby and I often muse over the fact that nothing crazy really happens on the farm unless you have visitors.
So a friend from the market, Sheila, came over to get some “fertilizer” a week ago. We scooped and shoveled and loaded the trunk of her car with bags of decomposing goat pen and sheep pen refuse for her garden. Sheila is also great with trees. After pooper-scopper duty she instructed me in the best way to trim the drive-way inhabitants. Some of them had suffered frost damage and some of them were in competition to take over the region and needed some reining in with the clippers.
The goats were happily munching in the pasture and I casually asked if she had a minute to look at the latest newborn kids. So we did. That is when the visit took a strange turn.
I looked over the fence and saw Little Red was in labor. A head was emerging. I asked Sheila if she would like to witness a new birth right now! So we went on into the pasture and it became quickly apparent that Little Red was in distress. On closer examination (no details since this is a family blog) there were two heads trying to come out at once! Twins vying for first born status.
Now if you are not into the OBGYN side of animal husbandry you will not appreciate how grave a matter this could have become. I have delivered may different species over the years in many different settings. The vet that I worked for used me often for emergency work since I have little hands. This was a very bad delivery situation.
Sheila volunteered some rags from the trunk of her car and ran to grab Jimmie from the house while I talked to Little Red and said a prayer or two. Where we live a vet would never make it out in time to save this trio. I figured we might lose one or both twins but maybe we could save mom.
Once Jimmie arrived we all steadied mom and I “went in” to sort out legs (tangled and back versus in the right birthing posistion). I had to push back one twin so that the other smaller one could slide over the bigger twin. Once I had located the correct pair of front legs and pulled two little hooves out into the world I saw that the bigger twin had a blue tongue and gums. I was increasingly worried over twin number two since it was in respiratory distress at the prolonged labor and delivery. I was worried mom would be injured as well.
The littlest twin was a girl– we discovered as she slid over her blue-ish brother into the world. I handed her over to Sheila who jumped right into action and rubbed the baby down briskly while I attended to number two and Jimmie held mom’s head and reassured her as best he could.
Number two came out with the next big push and I had to do a little work to clear his lungs. We all marveled when he stood up and joined his sister for their first meal.
Sheila had to go pick her children up back in Phoenix and had to jump in the car and head out right away. I hoped she hadn’t gotten too much of a farm experience…
However, she is delighted that we named the little girl twin “Sheila” in honor of her help and courage in a tough kidding situation. This picture is of little Sheila in the pasture with brother twin against the fence resting in the backgroud.