That time is fast approaching. Baby goat time!
If you read this post, this post, or this post, you will know that we had a bit of a fiasco breeding our two does last Fall. And alas it seems only Phoebe settled after all that (although we are still praying that Sophie is just being a pregnancy ninja). Dwarf goats are pregnant for about 145 days with a possibility of 5 days in either direction, and since today could be day 140 (Phoebe has 2 due dates) we are now in “operation baby watch”.
Her belly is huge and the poor girl waddles from place to place, taking long naps in the sun, and laying down because she’s just so darn wide and tired. She does a lot of moaning and grunting when there is effort needed – such as stepping into the doorway of her stall, or just standing up in general.
She started to form her udder in late February, and her girly bits are also puffy, pink, and flabby. The thing is so loose she tends to get stuff stuck up in there – leaves, straw, hay, wood shavings, an alfalfa pellet. She seems ever grateful when I pull whatever piece of foreign matter, that is violating her, out of that flabby vulva of her’s. Girlfriends gotta stick together, it’s rough out there when you’re the size of a whale.
As the days get closer I get more anxious. This morning I noticed the babies seemed to have dropped, and her ligaments have been gone for 2 days nows. I check on her several times per day just to watch for any signs of labor. So far I can still feel them moving around in there. As long as I can feel them, I know there is at least over 12 hours until they make their appearance. Once they’ve moved down into the birth canal they won’t be as easily felt.
Preparing For Kids
1. Have A Stall Ready
This I’m still working on (and had better get a move on). She isn’t one for change so we have decided that she will stay in the barn and the others will move, perhaps with Sophie being the one exception. Phoebe is usually most comfortable when Sophie is with her, so we are planning on keeping Sophie around. If at any point however Sophie gets to aggressive, or starts to cause Phoebe stress she will be moved out of there too. The male goats are moving into our old chicken coop (remember the one that the raccoon broke into), and then I will be giving the barn a thorough cleaning and topping everything off with lots of fresh bedding.
2. Herbs for Mama Goat
I’ve been told that child birth is pretty awful. The reward is worth it, but the experience isn’t the greatest. My intense fear of childbirth, among other things, have kept me away from motherhood myself. Phoebe on the other hand is in for it. Poor girl. In my attempt to make everything go as smoothly as possible for her, I have gathered up a few herbs. Lobelia and cayenne tincture with added raw honey and apple cider vinegar to help open up her cervix and give her much needed energy. Rescue Remedy to calm her nerves (and mine), and mother’s milk tea (with added fresh ginger root) to help her milk come in. She’ll also get a big bucket of warm water and molasses after kidding to help her regain energy. Raspberry leaf would also be a good one to have on hand.
3. Trimmed Finger Nails
In case I need to go in to help preposition or pull the kid.
4. I also have been putting together a birthing kit which includes:
- A nose sucker – to help clear mucous
- Towels. Lots and lots of towels
- Baby bottle and nipples – just in case anything happens to Phoebe or she has triplets.
- Gloves – for going in
- Coconut Oil – for lubrication
- Essential Oils – Lavender (calming and healing) and Tea Tree for dipping the umblical cord (antiseptic)
- Hair Dryer – should they be born on one of these really cold and wet days, and need assistance warming up
- Note book and pencil – for any record keeping, or notes
The rest of it is in the Lord’s hands, and his timing. I need to have patience.
Which is hard. Because, hello baby goats!