Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Times Like These

Make me want to just find all the animals good homes and give up homesteading. This past weekend a neighbor came by to ask us to check her sheep. She had a pregnant ewe down and didn't know what to do. We went over and I knew right away it was ketosis. The babies inside of her had taken all her nutrition and she was skin and bones. We pumped her with everything we had that would help and even got some color back into her gums and eyes. Sunday morning she went into labor but was too weak to push. I had to go in and get the baby. It was a very big headed ram. Its lungs were full of fluid and though we worked 20 minutes suctioning and doing CPR it didn't take a breath. We could feel another baby moving but when I went back in I could not find the baby at all. We gave her antibiotics, along with electrolytes,probiotics, warm molasses water, etc to try to keep her going till Monday morning and the Vets office opened. My neighbor just didn't have the money ask for emergency weekend calls. Little Momma hung on. She was resting while I sat by her when the neighbor brought me a sandwich. Little Momma opened her eyes, raised her head, and looked right at my sandwich. I broke off some of the toasted bread and she actually snatched it out of my hand. She ended up eating all the toast from the sandwich and drank half my mountain dew. I was so happy to see her alert and eating. I gave her a bowl of warm oatmeal and more warm water. The temps were in the 20's and wind chill was 12F at night. We closed her stall, hung a heat lamp,, and a heater. It was nice and warm but not too warm. We all took turns being with her so she wouldn't be along. I came home to feed and check on our animals and when I got back William said her body temp had dropped and she wasn't responding. I sat down and rubbed her back and talked to her. Promised her more mountain dew and toast if she would just take her meds and drink some warm molasses water. Got those in her and she perked back up. Sat with her and sang to her, prayed for her, and just racked my brain on what I else I could do. Finally Monday got here and we got her to the Vet ASAP. The first Vet finally found the second baby upside down hung underneath the pelvic bone. It took 2 Vets over 30 minutes to get the baby out. Her jaw was hung on the pelvic bone. Of course she was dead. I had held Little Mommas head and talked to her while all this was going on. She didn't cry out. Just looked in my eyes the whole time. She got pain meds, more antibiotics, IV fluids there and some for us to give her at home with pain meds. They told us to keep giving the antibiotics I had given her before we took her. To keep giving her the electrolyte paste, Vitamin B, probiotic, and warm molasses water and to keep her warm. We took her back to her stall , got her settled and we came home for a little while to get chores done. I went back once during the day to give meds and water. Neighbor had been doing every 2 hours like she was suppose to. Little Momma raised her head and put it in my lap. I sat with her awhile and talked to her. Shared some mountain dew with her and promised I would be back to say good night. Little Momma looked into my eyes and made a little crying noise. Felt like she didn't want me to go. I should have stayed. Instead I rushed home to feed our animals. Little Momma took her last breath right before I got to her stall. I have cried like a baby and she wasn't even mine. I felt like I let her down. I think if we had lent the neighbor money for weekend emergency visit she might have lived. The Vet had told us that she probably wouldn't make it. That we had done all the right things and that if they had been there the second baby would still have been stuck under the pelvic bone and they would have still had a hard time getting it out. I know all these things but I still see those eyes looking right into mine. I still see her raising her head even though she was weak to lay it in my lap. She trusted me and I let her down. Having animals means that there will be times like this. That we have to handle illness and deaths. Even though times like this make me think about walking away from it all I know I won't. Though I am sure I will make lots of mistakes, second guess myself, and even let another animal down that trust I will keep giving my love and care because they are a part of me. But I will never ever forget those trusting eyes looking into mine. Little Momma will always be in my heart and mind.

19 comments:

amelia said...

Oh Peggy, that made me cry hard this morning. How terribly sad. I'm sure there are times you feel like giving up but please don't. They all need you so much...

goatpod2 said...

Been there, done that! Hugs to you sweetie.

Amy

TexWisGirl said...

i am terribly sorry. i know this will stay with you...

JoyceAnn said...

Hugs to you my dear friend , you did all you could. You're wonderful at what you do , but just like doctors , they can't all be saved . The circle of life can be tough , but we have to accept it and move on. She was " Blessed " to have you by her side during that terrible birthing experience.

~ Love and Hugs ~

Marigold said...

I am so sorry. It is so hard when you know someone needs you and you can't help enough. Feel better soon. At least she had a chance because you came and at least she had comfort from you. You did all you could.

Maple Lane said...

So very, very sad Peggy. I am so sorry; makes me cry. I am so tender hearted with pets and I know what those eyes looking into yours felt like. You did the best and you gave her comfort, but I know how broken your heart is. Love you.

Hilltop Homestead said...

I understand completely. This time last year we were doing the same for our neighbor. But our little girl was able to make it as well as one of the twins who just two days ago celebrated her first birthday. We were working with a Barbado Ewe and I am hear to tell you they are some of the most amazing creatures.

Her is the story of our girl. We mainly call her Momma. She has since been given to us as well as her lamb Mary. There is much of the story I didn't write because it was such a long journey and there were things that just got left out but here it is. It may not make you feel any better but I just wanted to remind you that some make it despite the odds.

http://texashilltophomestead.blogspot.com/2011/08/story-of-momma-sheep-tamaru-and-mary.html

-Genevieve

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Peggy... I am so so very very sorry... You did all could do. I can only imagine how broken-hearted you were. But you did everything you could to help her. God Bless you, Peggy, and all that you do for the sweet little animals. This post made me cry and cry...

God Bless...
Hugs and Prayers,
Betsy

Terry and Linda said...

I am so thankful there are people in the world like you. HUGS! I wish I could be there to give you one. Losing animals are so very hard, but you tried and she knew you were trying. That is a huge blessing.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

melissa said...

Oh Peggy, I'm so sorry. Please take care.

Stephen said...

I'm so sorry, God bless you.

PEA said...

Sis, my heart goes out to you, I can well imagine how you're feeling and no matter what anyone says, you'll still feel terrible for what happened but at least you know that you did everything you could. Sending you big hugs of comfort xoxo

tea4too0 said...

Hi, just found you on Stephen's blog. He was right when he said I would enjoy it here. Well, I cried thu the first entry I read about "Momma". Animals sure can take over our hearts can't they. The pics of the babes Sparky and Sassy is so cute. I am raising chickens and rabbits right now, and am trying to convince my daughter that we need a couple goats.
You take care, and thank you for letting me visit.
tea4too0

lisa said...

(((HUGS)) Thats all I can say...So hard to go through all that...Know your in my prayers, Lisa

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Sometimes when you are dealing with livestock, things just go from bad to worse. We have all had this happen. The pain is part of the experience that goes along with the joy of raising animals.

My daughter, (actual the daughter of a woman I had a long relationship with, had an 8 pound beautiful baby that was born with his lungs full of water. Rogan never took a breath. There were not signs of this possibility a week ahead of the delivery. For a baby to die in hospital in this way is almost unheard of. I think of this dreadful outcome often and wonder how it could happen. The young goat may have had the same condition and there was nothing you could have done.

Flier389 said...

So sorry. It is a hard life lesson. And I don't think that you could of done more than you did.

She knew, that you were there to help. And god watched over the both of you.

Kelly said...

Awwww. That is such a sad story. I'm sure that is a painful memory, but you should take comfort in knowing that you did so much for her. Taking care of animals is a hard thing since they can't really tell you what's going on too.

Buttercup said...

You gave of yourself and your heart. We can always second guess. Sending a hug to you!

Mary said...

Peggy
You have such a big heart and love these animals so much. Sometimes you just can't do anything more.
You made her comfortable and you showed her love. You are wonderful. This story made me cry.

Big hugs

Mary