I just delivered a goat, by myself. The goats here at the farm have started to give birth and we are on goat number three of about seven now.
The first was born without anyone knowing and when I went up in he morning to feed them there was a little kid stumbling around.
The second we knew was coming. We had planned to go out and watch a 3$ movie but when Karen and David realised the goat was approaching labour we cancelled and all went up to the barn. It was nearing dinner time so we got beers and pizza (just a side note. This is one of the many reasons i really like Karen and David. Any excuse: beer and pizza. I’m tired, let’s get beer and pizza. Goat’s giving birth, beer and pizza. I love beer and pizza, so being here is great) and waited a couple of hours, and the goat started having regular contractions. It was a difficult birth which Karen, David, and ok Google pulled off as a team. Karen had the gloves on, david was nearby speaking into his phone: ‘ok Google, how do you deliver a goat’ and I was watching.
Google replied with a website with diagrams of various births. In the end Karen thought the head was bent back so she had to push the baby all the way back in and after a difficult labour it was born (when I say difficult we are talking KY jelly, headlamp and medical gloves).
This last one didn’t have so much warning. Everyone was out except me, I was sitting on the back porch like a true hillbilly. Admiring the view of the huge mountain behind our house, enjoying the sun.
I heard some strained goat noises coming from the field in front of the house. It sounded like that time Ted had severe food poisoning in Egypt and was being sick one night. It was an incredibly funny noise that makes me chuckle every time I think of it.
I decided it was just a goat making goat noises, as it sounded pretty constant, rather than the bleeerrrrrgh (contraction), pause for a minute, bleeerrrrrgh, pause etc. I finished watching a video and went to check it out.
As I approached the field I saw the goat making the noises, lying against the fence. Which seemed strange, outside in the broad daylight, I thought she was more likely gonna be in a quiet spot when giving birth.
It became pretty clear she was in labour so i ran up there to check it was all ok.
I arrived on scene, asked the other goats what was going on and they let me know that this goat was indeed pregnant and about to give birth. I asked for some space and they shuffled away, chatting amongst themselves.
I saw the hooves and nose which was good, it was coming out the right way. It was seemingly stuck though and I could see the baby trying to breathe out the small gap in his mums fu.
So I went in, full midwife. I grabbed the slimey hooves and pulled, pulled a bit more and it came out. I ran and grabbed the towel, wiped the thick slime off his nose and mouth, ran and found the squeezey syringe and sucked out his mouth, I left his nostrils, don’t wanna bother him too much.
Unfortunately the 1 year old, omnipresent, omniannoying, over excited black lab was on the other side of the fence that mum was leaning against. He was barking, jumping around, a biting mums ears. I ran and grabbed a stick and threw it to try and get rid of him. It worked breifly. But he came back. He scared mum who jumped away from the kid, breaking the umbilical cord, and releasing her (I assume) amneotic sack, although note quite, it hung there till later. So I grabbed the slippery baby in the towel and took it to the pens, to lock it and mum up away from the dog.
Mum eventually went after him, cleaned him up, he started nursing and the rest is history.
As a note, childbirth is not beautiful. In order of appearance; firstly the baby, sliding out covered in yellow tinted slime, having to suck that out its nose and mouth to stop it suffocating. Secondly, the umbilical cord, hanging of the kid, later eaten by mum. Third the amneotic sack, like a clear water balloon full of blood, it hung from mums fu, until an inquisitive chicken stalked her down, cocked his head to the side, and gave it a peck. At which point it burst all over the floor and the chicken just walked away confused.
Child birth encompasses all that is gross about being a mammal: slime, mucus, blood and poop. There was nothing beautiful. It was all necessary evils. If someone had designed childbirth to be beautiful it would not look like that.
All that being said, afterwards, when mum is nearly done licking the slime from the baby, and she takes a moment to sit whilst the baby finds its legs, there is a long period of peace, when everyone just relaxes and looks at the kid. I guess that is the beautiful bit.