Are you kidding? or, The babies are coming!

The girl giving half-hour old #2 a bit of a hug.  That’s #3 to the left and #1 behind her.

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.

“Mama, I want to be a vet,” she said, as she gave #1 a bit of a bottle last night

*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.

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19 responses to “Are you kidding? or, The babies are coming!

  1. Babies! Yahoo!

  2. I just love kidding season…you’re right, it’s a MESS, but it’s fun and full of the miracle of life:)

    Glad that you “caught” the birth!

  3. How cool is that! Are triplets common?

  4. congrats!

  5. Yay! Oh I can’t wait for baby goats! I swear, I’d give birth to them MYSELF if I could!

  6. Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations!!

  7. Hello – I found my way here via another blog.

    How amazing! I remember being at the birth of my friend’s first child, and walking home afterwards feeling like I was looking at the world with completely different eyes. I imagine the feeling must be the same after welcoming three new goat lives into the world. Congratulations all around!

  8. Ohhh, so beautiful. Your girl looks terrifically happy.

  9. Oh yea!! Babies!! Congratulations, El.
    I love your daughter’s reaction – she’s a natural!!
    They’re absolutely beautiful.

  10. Dear lord that hugging photo is off the cute chart. What a cool experience for her. And for you.

  11. Yay for kids! Have you figured out how many nannies and how many billies?

  12. boys or girls?

  13. Geez, I go away for just a couple of days, and you go and have goat babies…! How very exciting, and what darling babies they are. Congratulations to all involved.

    Brett

  14. What a nice posting–supernumerary kids!

  15. simplelifeinfrance

    So, I have no experience with farm animals of any kind, but really want to have goats some day. The one thing that really makes me fearful is the responsibility of knowing how to care for animals, especially in such a potentially stressful situation as kid-birth :).

    Thanks for posting on your goats–I feel I’m learning little by little. Or at least living vicariously through you.

  16. Jules, yesss!

    Jenna, well I can tell you that once she gets going, she is ALL business. These were some fast births! It gets less messy every day, which of course makes me very thankful.

    Pamela, they are. Twins is the most common, singles next, triplets not far behind. Lucky us I guess!

    Thanks Serina! Babies as you know are quite fun 😉

    Oh Aimee I wouldn’t go that far. In point of fact the whole experience brought up things I had suppressed/forgotten: meconium, yellow milk poops, painful mammary glands, ravenous hunger/thirst in mama…and lots of milk of course.

    Thanks, Thy Hand! It’s been terribly exciting.

    Miriam, welcome, glad you found me! Yeah it was a fun few days of starlight for sure.

    Stef, she IS happy. She now has three new friends. I worried seriously if we DID have a doeling that she would, uh, have outfits (hats, dresses) whipped up by our resident Coco Chanel.

    Thanks Ms D! Yep she wants to be a vet. Or an animal costumer.

    We all had a lot of fun once it was over, Sara. I admit I was nervous. That passed; things just work themselves out.

    Paula and Shelly: they’re all boys. That’s why my first post called them “heartbreakingly” cute. Because they won’t be with us long.

    Thanks Brett! It’s a fun change of pace. And within two weeks, we’ll be drinking the milk too.

    Hi Don! T-bell I guess didn’t want to disappoint us with a singleton.

    Well, Ms Slif, let’s just say *I* had no experience either, or in actuality any exposure to them. I started with 6 feed-store chicks four years ago and here I am now…every year I added one, maybe two, different species, and even then not many of them. And I was plenty worried about the goat girl but I knew she kidded easily; if this were a first-timer, it wouldn’t work for a first-timer like me, so…we got an old pro instead. My whole take on it is you need to get only as many animals as you can reasonably care for, then take that number down by 30% so everyone will get your fullest attention.

  17. Oh no! 3 boys! Still I am jealous. My does didn’t take with their first visit to the bucks so now no kids born until June. All my goaty friends will have kids on the ground long before I do. However my human kids will be out of school which helps with the stalking (I know exactly what you mean). Although, my oldest son refuses to keep checking goat privates for signs of goo—I guess he is too cool now for that. Sigh. Glad the birth went well! http://www.ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

  18. Stevie,
    I smiled at your comment…our favorite “sign” is the mucus because that means the babies are comin’!!! There’s eight of us two legged kids over here, and the 16 year old down to the 3 year old all look for it…:) Goats are great aren’t they?

    The joys of farm livin’!
    ~Jenna

  19. Hi Stevie! I am sorry your girls didn’t get knocked up either: June is certainly a lot warmer though for kids. Our daughter was very caught up with the whole experience, even though she knows these boys won’t be with us very long. It’s still fun. Hope your spring springs with all kinds of new life, soon. Mine sure is…yipes!

    Thanks, Jenna! Yes indeed it’s a biology lesson for all of us, isn’t it? It IS funny whom I tell about the whole thing. My city friends aren’t all that interested, can you imagine? 😉 They’re missing out!

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