Today was a rather eventful day. What started out as a soon-to-be-momma-heifer in labor, turned into a rather wild event. Red momma-to-be decided to have her baby on the worst, rainy day we've had in a long time. Normally, that would have been okay, but after hours and hours of labor without progression things were beginning to get quite worrisome. John was at work with some important people from out of town and it took him a while to be able to get home to me and access the situation. It only took my experienced hubby one look to determine the baby was breech. "Those are hind legs," he says to me. And then tried to explain how to tell. I'll admit it now, my mind was frazzled and worried and I just nodded yes because I wasn't sure, in that moment, I would ever understand. I can grin about it a little bit now though.
The real panic set in for me then as I realized she'd been trying to have the baby the wrong way for four hours. John and I tried our best to pull the calf from her, but we were unsuccessful. We decided that a vet was needed so we called our local vet and he was there within 30 minutes with an assistant. Within 15 minutes they had the little fella pulled from her.
I will admit, once I observed the process, it was quite evident to me that John and I would not have been able to pull that baby out by ourselves. The vet used a "come-along" to get him out and we do not have the strength of a "come-along."
So, here is a picture of the little guy, soon after birth. I regret that I did not get a picture of him immediately after he was born, like, when he was hanging upside-down over the fence. I wish I had, but I remember thinking the vet would call me nuts if I ran to get my camera just then. Poor baby. John had him by the hind quarters ad he hung upside-down over the cattle-panel. We were trying to get the fluids out of him. Sadly, before he was born, the vet was pinching on his legs and didn't see even the smallest of flinches. He told us around a big ole' cigar hanging out of his mouth, "I believe you have lost the calf." We were all QUITE surprised to see him gasping for breath when he came out.
Here you will see a progression of pictures. Caleb has named the bull-calf, Miracle. And I would say he earned his name quite justly. While Caleb was OUR biggest Miracle of all, this new baby on the farm is one we are enjoying quite a lot.
|Miracle right after birth.|
|Miracle after momma cleaned him up.|
|Miracle being force fed. Vet said we HAD to get colostrum in him TODAY. Tomorrow will be, too, late!|
|Caleb excited to actually get to touch the little guy.|
|One of many attempts to bottle feed him.|
I watched my husband, one of the kindest sweetest men I know, care for this young calf. While many thought we were a little crazy and should have put him down, my Johnny just never gave up. I caught this picture as he watched the little guy nursing momma for what we thought was the first time. This photo brings tears to my eyes for a couple of reasons...Nature in progress, humble husbands, and miracles...
|Another attempt at bottle feeding.|
Sissy was over to see the new baby and wanted to help Johnny try again to feed the baby. She borrowed my boots and was determined they would find success.
Did they find success this time? Uuummmmm, no. This little calf would naw on the nipple and pull away, repeatedly. Then, he would turn and run to momma and try to draw some milk from her teat. It's was like he was saying, I only want the real thing folks!!
Our little guy giving Miracle a scratch under the chin. He loves to be scratched under his chin and will s-t-r-e-t-c-h his neck out for more!
God is so good. Each day, Miracle is improving more and more. He's gone from two bum legs, to one of them appearing to have regained it's strength and getting around like a trouper with the other leg bound in a splint. We're not sure what the leg will look like when the splint is removed, but were banking on improvement and that God has done some healing.
Did we do school today? Um, no. I think there was tons of education going on right in front of us and Caleb took in every bit of it. As they were pulling that calf, he was hanging over the fence, watching every second. I saw a few tears in his eyes when he saw what was happening to the momma, but he quickly regrouped. That's my boy, a softy, yet strong when necessary....