Thursday, May 5, 2011

I became a midwife today...

Well sort of....

I got a call from my father-in-law this afternoon (just under an hour from when my daughter and I had to be at a meeting about my sister-in-law's wedding shower/tea). The conversation went basically like this (this is most of what I remembered. Also FYI some of this content may offend some people, we are talking about a birth here):

FIL (father-in-law): you busy?
me: not really I have a meeting at 2:30...
FIL: (pause) I have a sheep lambing and I think she is having some trouble
me: (pause) you know I have only watched my dad pull calves but never done it myself
FIL: yah, but I called your MIL (said her name but don't want to use it) and she figured you could help
me: oh?
FIL: plus your hands are smaller then mine...

So it was agreed that I would go out to the farm and see if I could help check the sheep to see what was taking so long for her to lamb. So I packed up my daughter and didn't bother changing because I figured it might get messy.

My in-laws only have a few sheep, more of a hobby then anything else. The farm is run more on grain. Now I am use to growing up with cattle they are big but quite brilliant animals and they herd quite well. All of the above, I found out is not the qualities of sheep (sorry if I offended people who love sheep but they really do not herd all that well).

So I showed up at the farm my FIL is in the barn waiting for me. We then managed to get the right ewe into the barn into the right stall. (again a warning to those who do not like to hear about a birth this is not the blog post for you).

My FIL then managed to get the ewe on her back so that I could see what the problem is, I could see a tiny little nose and two hoofs, it appeared that the head was trying to come out before the feet which is a no no in delivering of lambs. My FIL wanted to know if I could see if the the lamb was alive so I removed the sac from around its nose and mouth...and it licked! So it was still alive at this point. 

So the next option was to see if we could get the legs "unstuck" you do this by slowly pulling on one leg of the lamb until you hear it release and then the other. It worked!!! The lamb came out quite easy after that and WOW was it ever a big lamb! Which according to my FIL was probably minutes away from dieing because the lamb was too big for this first time mom to deliver on her own.

We then trimmed the wool around the utter of the ewe so the lamb would be able to find a tit to drink from. Ewe and lamb were then united and she promptly started to lick her baby off. It was quite the sight too see (unfortunately I forgot my camera will try to take a picture of the lamb in the next few days).

So I wish everyone an early Happy Mother's day as I sit here in awe that I could help a first time mom deliver her lamb.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs

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