Our goat girl’s due date was 26 Feb., but they can be born five days either side of that date. I wouldn’t say I was a terribly nervous goat midwife*: there are signs, I kept telling myself, and she’s done this before. So I knew we’d just have to watch and wait.
And wait. After a while, I felt like a goat stalker! Every two hours I would come through the door. Every two hours she would just be as she always is, standing there looking out her window at the garden, chewing her cud, and looking quizzically at me: “You, again? What, is it snack time already?”
Her udder CAN’T get bigger, I said, when it hit bowling-ball size. Then it got to be basketball-sized. Then bigger.
Labor took about six hours. Of course the first one was born when I had dashed into the house for yet another towel. Our daughter was on duty, though: “Hi baby! What a cute little thing! Mama, I saw it come out!” and she had.
Birth is a messy business, but this was not nearly as messy as I had been led to believe. And quick. Exciting, and fun. Miraculous, and so very mundane.
*My duties were simply to wipe the babies off when they arrived, and get them pointed in the direction of dinner. And call the vet if something went awry.