David (Dave) Thursday Miller's birth story begins late on the night of March 5th, 2012. Irma was looking mighty uncomfortable when I went out to separate Hana for the night, so I checked her ligaments and they were completely mush. I watched her for a few minutes and noticed that she was also looking quite posty in the rear legs AND her udder had gotten a whole lot bigger in the course of the day. Hm, I thought. Perhaps I should put her in the kidding pen...
Now for those of you who have no idea what ligaments and posty legs have to do with anything, let me explain. :) Goats have two ligaments that run in a V shape from the spine down to the pin bones on either side of their tail. Normally these ligaments are very tight and hard, like pencils. However when a doe gets ready to go into labor, they soften so much that you cannon feel them at all any more. Not feeling the ligaments is a very good sign that your goat is getting ready to go into labor.
"Posty" is a look does get when they are entering labor. Their back legs turn straight and have a boxy appearance. They seem stiff. I've included a few pics of what that looks like, in case anyone is interested. :)
Back to the story. So I checked Irma about every hour that night, but no real progress until the next morning. Around 8am she started having some mild contractions. I called my mom, who came out and kept me company while we waited...and waited...and waited for baby Dave to be born. Boy, did Irma take her time! He didn't venture out into the world until about 5:30pm!
So without further ado, here is the story, mostly in pictures, of Dave's birth!
Irma, the morning of her first kidding!
Here is a view of what "posty" looks like. See how boxy her back end looks? Her feet and legs are facing straight forward.
A view of "posty" from the side...
Poor Irma had a really hard time getting comfortable. She couldn't stay in one place for a very long time.
Buttercream could, though...
We thought poor Irma was never going to have her baby! She had pretty heavy contractions for a couple hours before she started pushing. She had a hard time pushing, and after about 20 minutes of no progress I washed up and went in to see if perhaps the baby was presenting itself wrong. Talk about scary--I was so nervous! My mom had my dad (who is a vet) on the phone coaching me through everything. Thankfully what I found inside was two HUGE hooves and a HUGE head. No wonder she was having a hard time! He weighed six pounds at birth. That is big for a mini breed.
Once her water broke, we started to see the baby bubble. I ended up having to help a little getting him out, but all was well in the end. I am so thankful--I was really worried there for awhile.
We couldn't get any pictures of the birthing process because Irma decided to have her baby inside of the dark goat house. Alas! But here he is immediately after birth:
An interesting nursing position...
I LOVE his curly hair. I am hoping this means that he will have fleece like his mamma.
My family came over to see him later and we watched a video of his birth.
And here is Mister Dave today! Happy, healthy, and as cute as a button in his little yellow sweater.
Hoorah for new life! It will never cease to amaze me.
BTW, Dave's daddy is my buddy Dean:
Signing off for now...