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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.