|*(Olive and one of her twins)*|
This year got off to an unusual start because when everyone arrived, Mike and I were in the barn, dealing with a breech birth. My grandchildren got a real education (and some of the adults in the group, also!). The ewe could not have given birth without intervention. After the second lamb was born, Mike palpated the ewe and found nothing else, so we cleaned everyone up, moved them to a mothering-up pen and I managed to get dinner on the table, only two hours late. The kids had their egg hunt and we had begun to take our annual family pictures on the big rock in the side yard when, Jared, my eleven year old grandson, came running from the barn to tell us that the ewe we had thought was finished four hours ago, now had another lamb hanging out of her!! As we all ran back to the barn, what was going through my mind, besides pity for the ewe, was that I really didn't want the grandchildren to see me pull a dead lamb out of that ewe, but everyone was determined to watch the whole scene unfold. Sure enough, there was the head and one leg. Not good. I had to push the lamb's head back in and find the other leg, then pull the lamb out. Now here's the miracle part. The lamb was alive! Within minutes, she was trying to get up and find her way to her first meal. At this point, there was some risk that the ewe would reject her. After all, she already had two healthy babies, who were cleaned up, well fed and sleeping contentedly. But, she immediately started cleaning the lamb and 'talking' to her. So, what seemed like a sure disaster (and possibly scarring experience for the onlookers) turned out to be an Easter memory that everyone (with the exception of the Parker, who is only three) will remember a long, long time! Ah, life on the farm.....never a dull moment.
It's been a strange year with birthing times all over the place and several malpresentations. I go through different stages during lambing season. At the beginning, I'm very anxious to just get things started, around the middle I'm thinking it will never end and by the end, I'm wondering if, at my age, I should still be doing this! But, oh those babies! How could I not have some babies in the spring?
So, I think lots of people have seen some live births on the lamb-cam in the last few days. We are down to having only two ewes left to lamb (yay!) and they should go within the next few days. After that, it will be lamb races and games of lamb-on-the-straw-bale, for your viewing pleasure.
**Remember my baby, Olive? Well, she had her first lambs this year. She had twins, a boy and a girl. I wondered what sort of mothering instincts she might have, since I raised her on a bottle and she's just a little spoiled. I needn't have worried. She's doing a wonderful job. I had to laugh this morning because when I took some bottles in to supplement the triplets born on Easter, Olive tried to take one of them! That girl remembers when she had it really good!