Thursday, January 30, 2014

I wish I could write but. . .

I'm waiting for my goat to go into labor.  Yep.  you heard me.  She's pacing a lot and panting and all of those things that let you know that soon something wonderful and miraculous and disgusting is about to happen.  Why does this stop me from writing, you ask?  After all, I'm pretty much just looking out the window and occasionally skating, er, walking, up the hill to check for external signs of dilation.  And you'd be right.  Except.  Except it's cold here.  Really cold.  Like, I could have sore I saw a polar bear trundling by.  That means the methods we use to keep the livestock warm aren't sufficient for an itty bitty.  Which means that I'm going to have to bring them inside and bottlefeed.  That means that I have to prepare the milk replacer just in case Barbie Goat doesn't take well to milking or I lose the motivation to go out twice a day in the Arctic cold and pull on the teats of a grumpy caprine.  Also, we heat with wood and the solarium where they will be kept needs to be toasty.  So, I'm also hauling wood inside and poking at the woodstove (I'm fire-maintenance impaired) trying to make sure it's all cozy.
Goat Nursery

Oh, and I have kids.  I have a small herd of children and we homeschool so I'm trying to get reading and writing and mathematics done early so that they can get bathed and their hair dry before it's time for them to come up on the hill and watch the kids enter the world.  Please understand, I'm not complaining it's just. . . well. .. I have this story pounding in my head.  I mean, truly, I've never had a story do this to me before, take over like this and it's spooky and wonderful and will possibly become the best thing I've ever written.  If I ever get it written. What a lot of people don't realize is that writers, well, that side of us is kinda our alter-ego.  It's who we turn into when we disappear into a phone booth, or when someone makes us angry.  It's our sidesidesidesideSIDE job.  The one we all desperately hope becomes our full-time job in the mythical someday where people are begging me to attend their conventions instead of the other way around, ice cream makes you lose weight, and Rupert Grint shows up on the movie set for Hunter the Horrible and falls madly in love with me.  But I digress. So, today, I present to you the peek inside the BatCave, what happens when DaVur takes off the corset in heels (because have you ever delivered a baby goat in stilettos)?  Keep checking back today for, erhem, progress, and comment below with your suggested names.

Update: It's 2:50pm.  Goat has stopped acting uncomfortable and even ambled over to munch on some leftover grain.  That's bad news.  Laboring animals generally don't stop to eat.  I'm sure she is doing this to ensure that she goes into full labor at exactly the moment I decide to go to bed. 

Update 2: 7:43.  Still no active labor.  As a former midwife, I always had disdain for those OBs who were rushing things along based on their convenience and schedule.  I'm not going to lie though, as the temperature is dropping and my sleep time is disappearing (best case scenario, I will be walking up every 90 minutes to stoke the fire and check on the blasted beast), I find myself wishing desperately for a pitocin drip and wondering if "stripping the membranes" is really that different in goats.  Oh believe me, I wouldn't do anything like that, for the sake of the goat and because there are certain aspects of my former career I do NOT miss,  but give me another hour and I may have the darn thing walking the hallways paddock. 

Update 3: 5:39am.  Thrice damned beast still won't kid.  She is getting really ornery,though, attacking her penmate Pigasus repeatedly if the shambling porker gets too close.  I managed to fight the horns long enough to "bump" her, though.  For those of you who don't know, "bumping" is a prenatal goaty Heimlich maneuver. You wrap your arms just in front of the udder and kinda "bump" them up.  If there is something that bumps back, there is a baby.  If the bump moves, it is still alive. Everything appears to be well. 

Update 4: Saturday 10:30.  Still no baby.  It's time to swallow my pride and admit to the blogosphere that it was a false alarm.  Really, though, I know the second I leave the blasted house it's going to happen.  I mean, her girlybits are all bulgy and her udders have distended and her tail is disjointed.  IT'S TIME.  Except it isn't.  Trust me, though, when it happens, I'll be sure to let you know. 

Update 5: 4:00pm Monday.  I take back everything bad I said about the goat.  Yesterday, on a warmish day, during daylight hours, while my husband was home, Barbie goat delivered adorable twins!