Childbirth is one of those amazing things in life that’s nothing short of a miracle and leaves me in awe. Whether it’s reflecting on the birth of my children, hearing about a friend’s birth or reading the birth story of a total stranger, it simply amazes me.
Animal births are just as amazing, perhaps even more so, because they follow their animal instincts and simply. give. birth.
A week ago I received a text from my friend Michelle, who has a small farm, letting me know that her Nigerian Dwarf goat Truffles was in labor. I knew of the impending labor and had been
hounding asking her daily for a week if the babies had come yet and was beginning to feel like the annoying friend of a pregnant lady — “Are you in labor yet? Did you have your baby yet? Are you getting close? Any news on baby?” Eventually I told her as long as she promised to tell me when they were born, I would stop harassing her.
I expected a text after they’d been born, so I was both surprised and elated when she was kind enough to text me to let me know the babies were coming…imminently.
I hadn’t given it any prior thought, but when Michelle said Truffles was in labor and it was only 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night, I thought maybe, just maybe I could hang out at her farm and actually be there FOR the birth — you know, like a goat doula! I didn’t want to impose, but I had to ask.
Our conversation that evening went like this:
I was so excited! I was going to get to attend a birth. 🙂
It wasn’t more than 20 minutes later that she texted,
“Better hurry! She’s pushing.”
Quickly followed by,
“Just park outside the gate and run back!!”
It was then that I threw on some warmer clothes, jumped in my car and headed to her farm which is thankfully only about 5 minutes away.
As I pulled into her driveway I got the text,
I hightailed it to the barn out back where Michelle, her husband and their two boys were oohing and aahing over the first of the babies (or kids if you want to be technical) – a doeling. She was tiny and dark and beautiful and precious.
Truffles took a break then before birthing babies # 2, 3, and yes 4! Smart mama. 🙂 Perhaps she knew she still had a lot of work ahead of her.
I took on video and flashlight duty while Truffles birthed baby #2 and 3. Then, as Truffles birthed baby #4, Michelle called me into the pen with them to help and I got to fulfill my role as a goat doula. 🙂 I helped dry off the new babies, keep them all straight (it gets confusing with 4 babies), help them nurse and of course, love on them. It was the perfect way to get a birth and baby fix.
And that’s how I became a goat doula. I wonder if there’s a market for that?? 😉
Truffles ended up with three girls (doelings) and one boy (buckling). Michelle was very pleased.
The video below is of Truffles birthing the third doeling (which came out breech). I don’t know if it needs a warning. It’s not excessively graphic, but it is a birth so, you know… If you don’t want to watch the birth, scroll down for pics (that my friend Sara from Walk Slowly, Live Wildly) of the little sweeties when they were two days old.
Now that the kids are a little over a week old I really want to go back for a visit. Michelle tells me they are adorable as can be and bouncing all over the place, even on top of their mama! Who can pass on that kind of cuteness?! I hope to head that way for some more goat snuggles soon.
Photo credit: Big thanks to my friend Sara (who blogs at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly) for letting me use her photos (the bottom four) in my post. Sara is embarking on a new farm adventure of her own soon (and blogging about it) and is just as smitten by Michelle’s goaties as I am! 🙂
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