Nina’s Birth Story

It’s almost been a month since this year’s kids were born.

February was literally a blur. I had vertigo writing out the March calendar on the dry erase board when I came to the end and had to write “April 1, 2, 3, 4”. APRIL! The next thing I know is it’s going to be August.

Anyway, cuddly, loveable Nina, our dairy goat, gave birth to twins on knitting night. It was February 10th, a Tuesday and I was on my way to go knit with my awesome neighbors and drink some wine. Nina had been extremely boring all day (because I was watching her and waiting for her to go into labor). Her udder had been filling for the past week and just in the last day it looked like it had filled completely. Anyhow, I went to check on her a half hour before I was due to leave and she was already pushing.

It was not an easy delivery. The first baby came out and was followed by some bright red blood. That worried my husband and I. There wasn’t a lot of blood but it was worrisome, nonetheless.

Then we waited, and waited. Nina was as big as a house and I had started to wonder just how many kids she had in there. It is not too uncommon for a goat to have five kids at one time. FIVE!

Her second kid was born nearly an hour after the first. (A normal amount of time is 30 minutes or less.) She had a very hard time getting him out and I was worried I’d have to scrub up and “go in”. I did not have to but I did pull that kid’s legs as she pushed. It turns out they were his back legs, he was delivered bass ackwards. It wasn’t exactly a breech birth but close.  After the kids nursed and we took care of the umbilical cords the new family of three collapsed on the straw and the two bucklings promptly fell asleep. She hadn’t delivered her placenta yet but she was so content and exhausted I didn’t think waiting around to see it delivered would prove fruitful, so I went to bed.

The next morning the afterbirth was hanging there, (ugh!) on its way out. As it neared 24 hours I started to worry. You aren’t supposed to pull it because you can cause a hemorrhage. I went online and researched ‘retained afterbirth’. Once again, I was worried I’d have to scrub up and “go in”. After reading as much as I could stand, I decided I liked the idea of tying a small rock with enough weight to apply a steady downward pressure to it.

I tied the rock to the placenta. To date, in this new farming career of mine, that was the GROSSEST thing I have ever done. And, I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve done a lot of gross things so far. But it worked! Not immediately but I guess it tilted the scale. The next morning it was mercifully gone.

The little family has remained happy and healthy and it seems Nina’s new kids have already doubled in size.

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