Sunday, February 23, 2014

Suckier than sucky

Nettie went into labor this morning around 10:30.  Early, of course.  It would have been too nice to have her be able to rest for another five or six days before kidding.

Not-So-Quick'ish Synopsis of Today's Sucky Events:

First kid had his head presented correctly.  I grabbed what I though were his front legs as they were directly below his head and felt his feet move.  Nettie couldn't push very hard because of her condition so I helped.  And tugged, and pulled.  But nothing, like something was stuck.  And something was stuck.  Those weren't his front feet, they were the front feet of the kid underneath and behind him, both trying to get out at the same time.  I lubed up and had to go in, trying like hell to push the other one back in order to get the first one out.  Nettie was screaming (as much as she was able to).

Finally got first kid out.  Dead.

Grabbed a hold of the second kid's front feet again & looked for his head.  Where the hell was his head?  I was certain these were front feet, why couldn't I find his stinking head?!?  It was bent soooo far back that I was sure he was going to be deformed and/or dead.  I tried like hell to get his head around, but couldn't.  Nettie was yelling as much as she could.  Paul was holding on to her front end while I tried & tried & tried to move the head around; there was no way that the kid would come through her pelvis (or birth canal, or whatever) with his head bent back.  I finally gave up and even though Paul's hands are larger, asked him to try because I could not for the life of me get it around.  Paul tried to no avail.  I went back in after a few minutes (to give Nettie a little rest), and monkeyed around in there for what seemed like forever.  Eventually I managed to twist his neck to bring his head forward; I was certain that I had broken it in the process but didn't care, I just wanted it out of Nettie.  Pulled him out and held him out to drain his mouth/nose/lungs.  No movement, no breathing.  I swung him around just to do it, and was about to put his lifeless body in the bucket with his brother.  Then he moved just a twitch.  So we were on a race to get some life into him.  He was as limp as a rag doll.  No movement in the legs, head, neck; I was still certain that I had paralyzed him and that he was breathing his first - and last - breath of air.  But he slowly became more alert.  I handed him to Paul with some towels and tended to Nettie.  I wanted her to be able to relax now.  She had gone through hell.

But as we all know, it just keeps on getting suckier.  There was another kid in there.  She tried to push, but again I went in.  Breech presentation.  Of course.  But not only breech (as I have easily delivered breech before), but breech with the back legs under, not behind him.  Forfuckssakes.
Had to push him farther back in before I could get even a single back leg back behind him.  I finally managed to get both back legs out & then he came out easily.    And he came out easily as I swear to gawd that Nettie's uterus was now a huge, gaping hole.  I was up to my elbow inside her.  The kid was limp, but I swung him around and he coughed so we got him cleared out and cleaned up.  Nettie wanted to see her babies so badly.  She was softly naaa'ing to them, but couldn't get up to see them or lick them.  We took her babies away from her.  Took them inside to warm them up, to hopefully get them to suck a bottle.  Paul & I took turns with the kids inside and with Nettie outside.  Friends of ours ended up coming by right as we got the kids inside and they helped dry them off and warm them up.  They didn't have sucking reflexes because they were so weak.

I was afraid we were going to have to use a stomach tube to get some colostrum down in their bellies, but we managed to dribble bit by bit of colostrum and Nutridrench down.  Kept doing this for several hours between their naps.  Then, just about an hour ago, they finally "got" the bottle thing.  Thank goodness.

Nettie, however, is a wreck.  She's passed one of the placentas with gentle tugging from me (I know you're not supposed to tug, but I was really only helping when she pushed a bit) there's still one that is half out and I tried to tug when she had a contraction, but then left it as is.  If she hasn't passed the other two by morning I'll call the vet for some concoction to help it out as well as getting something to flush out her udder.  I can't imagine how much damage could have happened or how much "icky" stuff could have gotten up there with all the manhandling of her insides.

She's still not well.  Obviously very, very weak.  I'm continuing her drenching regime of electrolytes, Nutridrench and RedCell, but she really, really needs to get more fluids down her; I'm still debating about using a stomach tube.  She hasn't eaten anything but an apple in almost 48 hours (I think), and although that's something to be worried about, I'm more worried about her becoming severely dehydrated.

I'm off to check on her again.  I hate going out there, I know I have to, and I will, but I feel like such a horrible, horrible mother to her.  Shouldn't have bred her.  This kidding was supposed to be her last kidding.  She's only nine, so I guess technically she had a couple more "good" years of kids, but I was greedy, I wanted one last doeling from her.  And guess what?  Every stinking one of her kids were bucklings.  Guess that's what I deserve.  I just hope that I didn't kill Nettie in the process.


  1. Oh gosh, Carolyn, don't beat up on yourself. You have been SO good in your care of Nettie . . . doing absolutely everything you could do for her. I doubt that a vet could have done more. Seriously. Wishing you had not bred her this last time . . . well, that's just hindsight that makes you think you did something wrong. Nettie may well pull through with your tender, loving care. I've said it before, I am in awe of your knowledge and ability to handle the unexpected and difficult. You go, girl!

  2. Wow! You've had a rough time! Poor Nettie too! You are doing a good job with her though. Hopefully things will turn out ok. There's still a chance of that. I do know how you feel about being a "bad mom". In fact, that's one of the reasons I'm selling my goats.......

  3. Poor Nettie. You are doing such a wonderful job. Don't feel bad, you are doing your best.

  4. I agree with everything Mama Pea told you. What an ordeal for all of you -- Nettie, babies and humans alike. We have no crystal ball that assures us in advance of success or failure -- in the end, what counts is doing your best and not giving up when things get rough. You did that. You did good!

  5. Bless your heart. I sat here reading, feeling so grateful we don't have farm animals and yet feeling guilty for feeling grateful. I can't say I know how you feel cause I don't. But I know I'd be streaming tears all down my front. Tears of sadness. Tears of frustration. Tears of worry. Tears of fatigue.

    When you can, go have a good cry.

  6. As I said in my earlier email, you have done everything possible for her so don't beat yourself up.

    Possibly the kids were not in proper place because she did kid early didn't she?
    What else could have gone wrong? I am very impressed with your knowledge and ability to help. I think she already has enough antibiotics in her to protect her from further infection. There is a product that can make cows clean after calving. Maybe ECP or Lutalyse? I would get that for her.

    Then, you need a few days off....won't get that with the new babies though, will you! How often do they have to be fed?

    What an ordeal. I sure identified with that dread of going to the barn not knowing what you will find. I have doctored so many calves and remember that feeling well. I never kept track of how many I lost or saved.

  7. Your an excellent goat mom! Nettie is lucky to have you as her nurse. I hope and pray she heals from all of this. That girl has been through a lot this past week. So have you. Take care goat mamma you are doing your best and that's all you can do :)

  8. Oh my gosh. Even though I don't know a darn thing about goats, I see it as you are doing everything you can & are doing an excellent job as well. Hope Nettie feels better & gets her strength back. And those babies are too cute.

  9. Hugs and hugs to you and Nettie and the little kids! I hope all turns out well.

  10. Is there anyway you could get an IV into her? Just to get some fluids back quickly? I hope she's ok, poor girl... Can you take the kids out to see her? Might cheer her up...

  11. You are the best goat momma I know! I don't know many, but you definitely prevail. I keep checking your facebook for updates, but I'm sure you are super busy with all those kids. Just give Nettie as much love and medicine as you can. I agree with LHiB... Can you take to boys to Nettie for just a little bit to cheer her up?

  12. Poor Nettie and poor you! I had to do some pulling this year and we lost my favorite ewe. You have done so much for her and unfortunately sometimes bad, crappy stuff happens. Hang in there, and fingers crossed for Nettie and babies.