Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my daughters and I took some time away recently. Leaving home, when you have a small farm, is a big undertaking. It can sometimes be a challenge to find someone reliable and competent to manage the farm while we’re away. This time we were thrilled to find a couple of fantastic friends to stay at our home. They were capable and loved animals, but didn’t have much hands-on experience with farm animals. We planned to leave detailed instructions along with phone numbers for farming friends and our veterinarian, and be on our way.
A few weeks before we left, though, we noticed that one of our older does, Autumn, was looking a little rounder than usual. We started watching her closely, and soon enough, it was evident that she was quite pregnant, and most likely ready to deliver soon. Keep in mind that Autumn is retired, and hasn’t had kids in a few years. She has earned her place as the queen of our herd, even though she’s one of our smallest goats, and lives a life of leisure. Apparently, Autumn was not yet ready to be retired and had planned one more breeding without our input.
Not knowing exactly when she was due, we hoped and prayed that her kids would arrive before we departed. Of course, things don’t always work out how we would prefer them to. Autumn was holding tight to those kids, and it was about time for us to leave town.
What were we to do? The thought of canceling our trip was disheartening. The prospect of leaving a very pregnant doe with inexperienced farm sitters was unrealistic. Thankfully, we have some fantastic farm friends who stepped in and volunteered to host Autumn (and her expected kids) while we were away. We delivered her to a well-appointed “maternity suite” in their barn the evening before we left. By the looks of Autumn, we expected to hear news of new kids very quickly.
With the farm in good hands, and Autumn well cared for, we headed out of town. Each morning we’d wake up and check my phone, hoping to see pictures of Autumn’s beautiful babies. Day after day, we waited, and didn’t hear anything. We continued to pray for a healthy delivery for mama and babies. As is her way, Autumn seemed to be working on her own schedule.
We returned from our trip and gratefully picked Autumn up just before dinnertime. As soon as we got home, it was pretty clear that these kids would be here soon. We had dinner, cleaned up, put some of our luggage away, and headed down to the barn around 10:00. We didn’t come inside until 4:00 a.m.
I mentioned earlier that Autumn has had kids before. Both times she’s had twins in fairly easy and straightforward deliveries. We assumed that, although she is a bit older, things would go pretty much the same this time. That was not to be the case. The first kid presented in a somewhat difficult position and was pretty large. Things got a little bit stressful, but we soon delivered a healthy baby boy. Lia named him Thumper, because we’d felt him thumping inside his mama’s tummy for the past several weeks.
We were fairly sure that there would be a second kid, so we settled in to wait, watching the clock. A little later than the textbooks say it should happen, but not long enough to cause too much alarm, a second kid started to present. Typically, the second kids come out pretty quickly and without much fanfare. Again, that was not the case this time. This kid presented completely backwards with only one read leg available – not at all an ideal position. As I worked to rearrange the kid, my prayers increased in intensity. This was not going well. We called the veterinarian at 2:30 in the morning and she walked me through the steps that I needed to take to bring this baby into the world. Praying for a clear head and skilled hands, I followed the vet’s directions and by 3:00, we had a beautiful, healthy, baby girl. Prayers of thanksgiving flowed from my heart.
As we watched this newest little one stumble to her feet and search for her first meal, I asked Lia if we could name her Faith. After all, it was faith that helped bring her safely to our little farm, and I firmly believe that we all need a little faith in our lives.
Keep the faith friends!
P.S. the picture is little Faith on the left and big brother Thumper on the right.