Must be Spring!
First came the human baby. Our sixth child and third son was born May 17th. He was born at home in the water with all his siblings in attendance. It was a very smooth HBAC that moved quickly enough that I didn’t have time to mentally run through all the scary, worst-case scenarios that hounded me during and even before the pregnancy. And our little somesaulter stopped flipping a few days before he was born and kindly settled head-down. I couldn’t have asked for better. He is generally sweet and even-tempered. He cries when he is changed or when he gets over-tired, but is otherwise content to look around and visit with whoever is holding him. His hair is quite short, but appears to be red. I keep reading that red-heads are going extinct…not in my house!
Grace (I’ve re-blog-named the kids…I could never remember what we had chosen and had to keep going back or just avoid writing about them…postpartum brain was the straw that broke the camel’s back), as is typical of the displaced baby, is crying a lot and being very needy. I am tired, sore, waiting for the relaxin to leave my system and give me a little bit of stability back. The house is a disaster with no order in sight. We have a friend, a dad of nine, who observed that every time you have a baby the house explodes and has to be put back together piece by piece. This seems to be true. But I know that eventually it does happen and REALLY quickly they go from being little snuggly, needy people to being already half out of the house. I can’t help looking down at this little boy and seeing his big brothers and getting achey-hearted as I try not to count down my remaining years with them.
Second, my husband went to buy a water tank from the feed store in Spring.
Learned that one the hard way.
Twelve possibly-three-week-old chicks of undetermined breeds and non-guaranteed sex for a little bit more than the cost of the birds we’re buying in July. The plan right now is to get them to or near laying age and then sell them …as long as they are actually hens. If so, we ought to make back what we poured into them with heat lamps and feed and, hopefully, a bit more. ‘Twould be a welcome novelty to come out ahead and not behind!
The third set of new arrivals came yesterday. Penny had been moaning and groaning the last couple of days and we’d set up the baby monitor to keep an eye on her. Yesterday morning she was showing definite signs of impending kidding, but, as with any labor, WHEN remains a mystery until it’s actually happening. It happened almost as soon as we’d sent the girls off to Church with my mom and Aunt. The kidding did not go as smoothly as it might have and we were really glad that we were there. First of all, the Right Way for kids to be positioned, often called “the diving position”:
The first baby (a 6 lb buck) presented upside down (anterior) and head (not feet) first, like this:
except that his head was back. After a bunch of contractions, prayers and just as I was about to have Isaiah reach in and feel around for feet, the baby got one foot and then the second up and my husband was able to grab and help ease him out as Penny pushed. He appeared to be fine and healthy and Penny got right to work cleaning him off.
About 15 minutes later she started straining again. Number two came very, very quickly. She (a 5 1/2 lb doe!) was born with intact membranes and the boys were all surprised at how difficult it was to clear them away so she could breathe. They hung her upside down for a little while to make sure she was good and clear.
After another 15 minutes another sac appeared and my husband couldn’t tell what was presenting. By the time he could tell it was in this position:
it was too late to do anything and number three (a 5 lb buckling) was born.
Triplets for Penny again this year! And a doeling for us! She is, of course, Margo (or maybe Margot). We will be watching the babies really closely to make sure that they are all gaining weight. Two teats and three babies don’t always go well. The plan is to raise the bucklings for meat this year. It’s a little hard to think of right now…they are so small and cute, but we know from experience that they quickly get big and voraciously-appetited and imagine that it will not be so hard to think of when that time comes.
And so we move into May and Summer with much to be grateful for and many new experiences ahead of us!