Well kidding season 2018 has come to a close! I’m so happy to announce that we have three beautiful healthy kids. We went with a Retro Snack naming theme
Now that it’s all over I want to reflect on the kidding experience…and boy were they different. Capri had an easy text book delivery and Millie’s experience was a little more complicated.
As you could see in the video Millie’s singleton buckling was quite large and we needed to go in and help her by pulling him out! It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I felt like both of their lives were in my hands and I was helpless to do anything.
As Millie started laboring and pushing I got a gut feeling that something was wrong. She seemed to be in more pain than Capri was. I understand that everyone is different so I just kept praying that Millie was a drama queen. But she kept trying to position the kids and didn’t seem to be progressing and even before she started truly pushing I knew that I was going to have to go in this birth (that’s what I get for joking after Capri’s babies that I wanted to use my birthing kit–Millie sure gave me that opportunity). As she began to actively push the bubble emerged but there was no baby in sight I figured the kid might be stuck. After screaming, straining and starting to get exhausted we decided it was time to go in. The baby’s big head was stuck. It took two of us, me and my wonderful neighbor who happens to be a nurse, to reposition the baby and pull him out with contractions. Everyone cheered when he emerged. We just knew he was going to be hurt from the pulling but he was perfect.
After this experience I realized that no matter how much you prepare something can come along and throw a wrench in your plans. This little buckling threw the whole tool box.
We all know that you should have a birthing kit prepared and available weeks before kidding. But here are some things that I learned (the hard way) that you should think of:
- A charged cell phone: both births my phone was near dead (and ended up dying). If I had to call a vet or ask a question in a group we could’ve been up the creek without a paddle.
- A charged camera: you are going to be rushed and busy but you WILL want the footage of the exciting moment later.
- Restock: I had my birthing kit perfect for my first kidding. But when it came time to take care of Millie for my second kidding I realized that I hadn’t restocked my gloves. And I spent valuable time looking for a fresh pair. It’s also important to re-sterilize your tools (I remembered to do this)
- Vet: I mention in this video how important it is to get established with a livestock vet BEFORE you bring home livestock animals. I had literally gotten established with one the day before Millie kidded. Praise the Lord we didn’t need her, but we had one to call had we needed to.
- Help: I am so grateful for my incredible neighbor who happened to be outside. You don’t always need help when you have to assist in a delivery but in this case 4 hands were definitely necessary.
- Support Community: during the kidding process I had a lot of questions (I am a first timer after all) and I am so blessed to belong to an online community that has no shortage of people wanting to help you.
- Self Care: Don’t forget about yourself. Millie kidded on a super cold windy day. I had to spend a few hours out side so I needed to be comfortable so that I wouldn’t be itching to get back inside (don’t worry the adrenaline helps). Wear weather appropriate comfortable clothes. I also had blankets and a hot drink for myself.
All in all Millie’s birth could have been way more traumatic than it was so I’m grateful that we just got a small taste of what could go wrong, but from now on I will be *that* much more prepared and I will expect the unexpected.