Brooding On

They're Here! They're Here! Our First Babies Are Here!

The day started normal enough.   Girl 1 woke up with a low grade fever and got to stay home from school.  John went about his morning chores, we put Girl 2 on the bus to school, then Girl 1, Little Boy, and I headed to Cherokee Village to pick up our food co-op order.  We were gone about 2 hours.  When we got back, we had two additional members of our backyard herd! 
These adorable brothers are Honey's very first kiddos!

Since the latest daily OB exams had indicated that we had entered the "anytime" phase of this thing, I'd been checking in on the goats pretty frequently, which is what I did as soon as I got home from our errand.  Honey had one baby all cleaned up and tucked away in the corner and was just cleaning up her second little one.  We have the baby monitor set up in the goat barn, so I knew Girl 1 would hear me when I started yelling, "Babies!  Babies!  Call Daddy!" 
She got him on the phone, we told him the news, and he rushed home to deal with the after-birth chores.  Oh, wait, no.  That's what I thought was going to happen.  Instead, he informed me that he was in a meeting he couldn't get out of and would be home when he could.  Apparently, he had complete confidence that I could take care of this.  And, so I did!

With Girl 1 as my assistant and Little Boy entirely underfoot, we went methodically (and amazingly without freaking out) through the "snip, dip, strip, and sip" procedures I'd so carefully studied up on in preparation for this big moment. 

I snipped the umbilical cords; dipped the remaining nubs in iodine, stripped Honey's teats to be sure that her colostrum was in and ready to go, and got the babies to sip their first meal.  Actually, the darker baby was really having a hard time standing (we're not too worried -- apparently, it can take 'em awhile to get their legs figured out), so I had to give him some colostrum by syringe to be sure that he got it within the recommended first two hours after birth. 

It was such a beautiful day!  Here are Momma and babies enjoying an afternoon nap in the sun.
The kitties were really intrigued by the new arrivals.

When Girl 2 got off the bus at the end of the driveway, Little Boy  was shouting "WE GOT BABIES!  WE GOT BABIES!"  Girl 2 high-tailed it to the backyard, running right through the backyard gate rather than through the house, backpack in tow.  Her excitement was contagious, and we all ran after her.

Honey is an excellent mother so far.

Razz, our other expectant momma, started showing signs of early labor late yesterday afternoon.  She was grinding her teeth with the pain of contractions but loving this brushing!  Girl 1 was distraught upon hearing that Razz was in pain:  "Are people ever in pain when they have babies?"  ;)

If I'm being honest, there are days when I question what we're doing here.  Surely we all have days like that.  "This is a lot of work.  Is it worth it?"  Today, though, was not one of those days.  Seeing those babies, seeing Honey instinctively taking care, seeing my own kids' excitement at this miracle made it all so worth it. It was indeed a good day to be living on our little farm.

Oh, and visitors welcome anytime!  The photos really don't do them justice.  :)