Things That Are Learned…and Remaining Mysteries
Saturday Feb 25, 2012 Written by Judith
It was a long night. We checked on Sugar at 9:30, 11:00, 1:30, 3:30 and 6:00. And then just for drill, we
added cleaning off the all the greenhouse roofs at 11, because of the mounting snow. Katie surprised
Steve at 11 by showing up at the barn to help out. That made it so Steve could get back to bed by
But all our words of prayer and encouragement did not deliver Sugar of her babies. So this a.m., we
knew it was time to intervene, for real. Luckily, Sugar had dilated enough for Hannah to be able to
reach in and try to figure out what was going on. Mind you, this had all been theoretical to her until
that moment. She is the designated “reacher” because she has small hands. With Steve carefully and
patiently coaching her, and me holding onto Sugar with her head between my legs and telling her sweet
nothings, and Sugar, most of all, working working working with us, we were able to remove two very
entangled, and unfortunately dead, babies. Sugar licked them just like a good good mom, and worried
about why they weren’t standing up.
It is not a given that Sugar is out of the woods. This whole process is very hard on a goat, but her
temperature is OK, she eagerly drank warm molasses water and was willing to come into the milking
parlor to have her first milk squeezed out. She’s not really eating well yet. We will be watching her
closely today, checking to see if she successfully expels the placenta, looking for signs of rumination,
giving her appropriate homeopathic treatments….and once again saying words of thanks and
encouragement to her.
What went wrong here? What should we have done differently? What will we do differently next
time? These are the questions we asked ourselves as we had something to eat in the late morning after
it was all over. It’s very hard to say. Birth and the bringing of vibrant life into the world are mysteries.
Sometimes it just doesn’t work. (95% of the time it does).Were the babies too tangled? The head of one
and the legs of the other were coming out together. Was one dead before the birthing process started
and triggered it too early? Did we wait too long? We couldn’t have asked for an experience that would
test our resolves for “hands off” births more dramatically.
What have we learned? Hannah did one awesome job and is now as prepared as she could be for the
birthing season. Very few births will be as complicated as this. Next time, if the second stage of labor
has not materialized within 4-5 hours, we’ll use some homeopathic approaches. Next time, we will
check what is going on internally earlier. Next time, at 12 hours, we intervene no matter what. Next
time, it will be different and we will have to learn new lessons. Next time, we will still be a little heart