Who Guessed Dottie???

If you guessed Dottie…YOU WERE RIGHT!!!

Congratulations!  You win an all expense paid trip to the barn tonight to take care of her!  And her baby!

Yes, 4 days of labor is long.  She wasn’t in full-on labor the whole time, but we’d notice a contraction every once in a while.  Last night was when her water broke…that’s when we started seeing a thick mucousy strand hanging out of her.  For our experience here, that usually means things will move pretty quickly.

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That was at 8:30 last night.  I went out at 9:45 pm, The Animal Whisperer went out at 11 pm and 3:30 am,  and I went out again at 6 am.

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She still had the gooey discharge that had covered the tip of her tail and part of her udder.  Her udder was full (another good sign).  But no babies.

When I say it usually means things will move pretty quickly, I mean we’ll have babies in 2 or 3 hours.  So far, it had been 9.  I cancelled all the work I had planned to do for the morning, invited my mom over for coffee and birthing, and she, The Animal Whisperer and I hurried up… and waited.  The kids begged to stay home, but we sent them to school with the promise we’d get them out when things got more active.

We checked her about every 20 minutes, looked for contractions, saw weak ones every 4 to 10 minutes (too weak and erratic…not a good sign).  She started pawing the ground at some point in the morning…a good sign.

I finally picked the kids up from school at 11:15.  Not because there was rapidly progressing labor, but because I had to go to a meeting and The Animal Whisperer would need help and would not be able to leave to get the kids if the birthing began.

It didn’t.

Worried that she was not progressing, and remembering that Lucy had the same problem last year and birthed a stillborn, at 2 pm, he went in.  To her.  To get them.  After 20 minutes, he pulled out the first one.  A boy.  Stillborn.

I was still out in town, and close to the vet medical supply store.  He called, requested supplies, I got penicillin, more NutriDrench, rubbing alcohol, betadine and lubricant, and I hot footed it home.

Dottie and my husband were in the small goat shed, both with exhausted faces and Dottie still looking very pregnant.  Over the course of the next 2 hours, we pulled out 4 more kids.  After the first one that The Animal Whisperer delivered, she was no longer having contractions (bad sign.)

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I washed up to above my elbows with betadine, gloved up and went in, to the second knuckle of my index and middle fingers.  Right away I felt a tiny hoof.  This, the second kid, I pulled out left back leg first, his amniotic sac had already broken.  I attempted, but just couldn’t turn him around.

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Next, I reached in up to my forearm, found the next one in a bubble (she was still protected by her sac), and coaxed her out her head first.

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Of all of them, Dottie delivered her the easiest…the lubrication of the intact sac helped.

Numbers four and five required reaching in up to between my elbow and armpit, both were stillborn.

We gave Dottie 2 cc’s of penicillin after the first kid was out, in attempt to protect her from the bacteria and germs that we were inevitably introducing to her system.  We’ll give it to her for 7-10 days.  We hope it works.  She had an awful, painful day.

Number three is the one that lived.  She can’t stand up on her back legs successfully yet, so I’ve splinted them at the knees so that they can’t hyperextend, which is helping her maintain standing, but she continues to topple over like a four legged tree at the drop of a hat.  So, no nursing for her yet.  Dottie’s udder is hanging too low and the baby can’t balance well enough to even think about latching on.  We’ve got her inside and she’s had a good amount of Dottie’s colostrum from a bottle.

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We warmed her with towels and a heating pad, and now she’s sleeping in a Rubbermaid storage box.

Aren’t you glad you WON??  We’ll see you tonight at midnight at the barn for bottle feeding and checking on Dottie.  And, don’t worry, for the night time feedings, you can wear your pajamas.

–  The Goat Cheese Lady and The Animal Whisperer and Dottie and her baby girl.

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About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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6 Responses to Who Guessed Dottie???

  1. Herbert says:

    Some men are very lucky… and I know I am one of them! This story barely scratches the surface of what really went on, but knowing my wife…. it was just another day at the office. She doesn’t mention that she worked every muscle in her body, her soul and every bit of mind testing trick that you can imagine to finally get the last baby out… after 3 hours. And then went on to make dinner, do laundry, get the boys ready for bed and milk, feed baby goats… Get up @ midnight milk Dottie an feed the baby AGAIN. I am so proud to be your husband, mi negra. YOU ARE A GREAT WOMAN. TAW

  2. Bonnie Stoney says:

    Whew, long delivery. Sorry you had to go through it, but did enjoy your accounting and pictures. I recommend that you have a bottle of oxytocin on hand to help with contractions. I picked up a bottle from my vet. Very inexpensive and helps with contractions, especially if a doe has uterus enertia from being over stretched, which I would bet happened with 5 kids!

  3. Melina Bush says:

    Oh man. Similar things happened to me over the years, but never 5! Hope the next delivery will be trouble-free.

  4. Sandra Knauf says:

    What a story. Poor babies! All of you! I hope dear Dottie and baby bounce back quickly.

  5. Jen Cordero says:

    Aw, LIndsey, sorry that was such a hard experience. Poor Dottie. We are rooting for her baby. I am still in awe that there were so many of them.

  6. Sharon Chapple says:

    Awesome amazing dottie my family and I felt we were there with you even though we are in Australia my daughter wants to be a vet too !all the best will have a drink for you all and dottie cheers from Ozzie sharon the cheese lady in turramurra Australia xx

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