We had 3 pregnant goats. Two weeks ago, Stella, one of the moms went into labor and died suddenly. It was very traumatic for me and I still don’t know what I could have done differently.
This Monday night, January 1st, we arrived home about 10:30 pm and started evening chores. Lacey, another pregnant goat was standing and pacing. That was unusual as all the other goats were nested down for the night. We gave them some extra food and fresh water. By the time we finished our other chores, she was lying down and seemed to be resting.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 I got up and checked on her at 6 am. She seemed to be contracting but still okay. I finished some chores and then went back to check on her. Her contractions were stronger and she went to lie down in the shelter. I sat with her, rubbing her. I watched her every move as this was exactly how her sister Stella died.
She continued to labor well and eventually had more energy. About lunch time I finally noticed some discharge. The children and I were excited to see some progress. I sent the children back to the house about 1 to get some lunch.
At 2:30 Lacey was lying down and discharge emerged from her bottom with a flow of water. I called the children to come back and bring the camera. The next 2 hours were crazy and difficult. Shortly after her water broke, she began to push. Finally something came out. It was an empty membrane. I was so confused. She immediately cleaned it up and and seemed to be finished. She ate, started lying around, and labor seemed to stop. I started to worry. Where was the baby?
My phone mysteriously died and so did the home phone. I had no Google, no husband, and no goat friend. I had me, the goats, and my children. I prayed a lot, wondering if I should check her internally.
Eventually we got the home phone to work and called Martie. He googled some things and it was decided that I should check her internally. (Don’t worry, I had everything I needed to safely do this) I checked her and couldn’t feel anything.
It had been about 2 hours since her water broke and she started pushing. I sat there in tears. Then finally two little hooves emerged. She pushed several more times. More came out. I started to see his nose. When there was enough out that I could grab, I pulled. With every push, I pulled. Finally he came out. I swiped his face clean and put him with his momma. She cleaned him off well and cuddled him.
Mothering is not coming natural to Lacey. I’ve had to force her to nurse the baby and make sure she’s keeping up with him. But she’s learning. We all are. She’s a first time momma, he’s a first time baby, and I’m a first time goat midwife. We’ll figure it out. Until then we are celebrating life.