Saturday, February 23, 2013

She Needed A Distraction

And God looked down on earth, and saw a 20 year old farm girl who was distraught because of the sudden loss of her Jersey cow named Mattie. He knew she needed to grieve, and knew it would take time for the pain to subside, but didn't want to see her so terribly downcast. She needed a distraction.

So God made one of the farm girl's goats give birth 15 days before her due date, on a peaceful Saturday afternoon; the 23rd of February it was, that he did it. At 15 days before their time, the baby goats were tiny... weighing in at only 2 lbs. each when they should have been 6-8 lbs. each. He brought them into the world very quietly... The goat was a first time mom and had no idea what to do, so she left the babies by themselves in the cold. 

Then God put the idea into the farm girl's head to check on the animals at a time that she normally didn't go out at. So went out she did. She didn't notice the baby goats at first; she filled water buckets, threw hay in the manger, and scratched the heifer cow on the rump. It wasn't until she was about to leave that out of the corner of her eye she spotted something unusual in a quiet part of the barn pen. Her first thought was that the little babies were dead. So small they were; it couldn't be possible that they had life in them. Then one blinked, and the other twitched its leg. The farm girl gasped in shock, then scooped the wet mass of babies against her chest; not caring that she was getting blood and amniotic fluid on her nice skirt and shirt. She thoroughly freaked her family out as she carried the goat kids inside shouting, "I need towels, fast!!"

Working quickly, with the aid of a sister, the farm girl rubbed the goat kids vigorously with towels, trying to get them breathing, and trying to get the slippery scum off their baby coats.

Twin girls, those goat kids turned out to be. One was the color of ripe wheat; golden all over, with one tiny black dot behind her left shoulder. The other was a wildly spotted girl; also golden in color, but with chocolate spots spattered over her, as though she was caught in a paintball war.

The two girls continued working; now with a heater blasting at 85 degrees, trying to warm the babies up so that they might eat. Alas, the solid colored doeling passed away, despite their heroic efforts. The spotted one however, clung to a thread of life.

The farm girl eventually wrapped the spotted baby up in a towel and went to sit in front of the woodstove... The tiny kid could neither stand, nor move it's head, and the girl knew its chances of survival were incredibly thin. At 15 days early, the kid's hooves were not yet fully formed, nor were its lungs quite ready to receive oxygen. Only grit and determination could pull such a tiny thing through.

The farm girl milked the new mama goat out, and brought the resulting colostrum inside in a mason jar. Upon finding no droppers, she dug a small syringe out of a drawer and commenced to trying to get some of the first milk into her new charge.

It was slow going.

for the first while, she could only get 1/2cc to 1cc inside the little goat. They sat in front of the fire, the two of them did, one tiny and one big. Finally, the farm girl decided she could only do so much holding, so she found a large metal bowl in the kitchen, lined it with a fleece blanket, and tucked her baby inside its new nest. Turns out it's much easier to carry a bowl around, then carry a floppy baby.

Three hours later, the farm girl glanced into the bowl which she had set on the counter while she did the dishes, and saw a little golden head bobbing around. The little goat kid was perking up and was looking for food. The farm girl filled the syringe with 2cc's of colostrum and watched the kid suck it down. Then she fed the kid another 2cc's. And then another. Finally, after 7cc's of colostrum, the baby goat fell asleep... Her little nose twitching all the while.

The farm girl knows the kid may not survive, being as premature as she is; but she's happy for the sudden distraction. Glad that she has something to occupy her mind and keep her from dwelling on "what-if"s and "I should haves" stemming from the demise of her cow.

And God looked down at the farm girl and smiled. Glad for the distraction He had given her.


Justin Caiss said...

I like it, Caity. :)

Anonymous said...

Here's to her hanging in, bless you and her!

Anonymous said...

Sweet! Could I see a pic? You made me think of my babies that died of cold. Wish I had found them a few hours earlier. God is good.

Karen Rickers said...

Loved the way you told this story, Caitlyn! I've got my fingers crossed for the little doe.

jl straight said...

Congratulations momma! You are a wonderful farmer and I was truly privileged to have shared in Mattie's milk and your life! Thank you for this blessing and sending prayers and healing white energy.

Prairie Kari said...

The saying that when God closes a door he opens a window seems to be the case here! It sounds like this little one already survived a “Paintball War” I am praying that she continues to survive and thrive! My thoughts are with you – keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

How lucky you found them. Hope she's doing well. One of my girls had her kids 12 days early last year, and one of them did survive.

Jocelyn said...

I believe we get what we need when we need it. Sometimes the thing we need isn't obvious, but it always helps.

I'm glad you saved the baby.

Hannah C. said...

Way to go praising God for the good in your life! I need to do more of that... often I look at the bad and not the good. I will keep praying for you as you mourn the loss of Mattie. So sorry about that!

I miss you! Hope to see you sometime.

Anonymous said...

What a bitter-sweet blessing!
Baby goats are really good at cheering people up!

What about Providence as a name??

God bless your little farm!