Izzie had her babies last night at about 3:00 am! David made a visual chronicle of the birth:
Izzie went into labor yesterday morning. We had already moved her into the birthing stall and set up a baby monitor in the house so we could hear her. When she would start bleating I would go out and spend time with her stroking and comforting her. This happened several times through the afternoon and evening. This picture is taken about 10:00 pm. She was beginning to breathe quickly, and several strands of mucus had come out, so we knew she was close. I went in around 11:00 pm, and told her to call me when she needed me. She did!
Around 3:00 am we heard her start to yell. I jumped up and ran out. We already had the towels and plastic gloves ready- When I came into the stall I saw her water break, so I knew we had about a half an hour or an hour til the birth. This picture shows the first kid’s head just as it emerged. One more push and baby was out!
Here I have lifted the baby out of the muck and am starting to dry her off. ( I think she is a she- I haven’t got a proper look yet! ) Izzie started right away to lick her and clean her, but then she started pushing again, and out came the second little one! Izzie is so small, I had not thought she would have two babies- a sweet surprise!
It’s important to make sure the baby’s airways are clean, and get it to suck at mama’s tit as soon as possible. This promotes a strong sucking reflex. Babies that don’t get that reflex in the first half hour can become poor suckers, or even become bottle babies.
Both babies were soon clean and dry, and had each sought and sucked on Mama. When we were sure they were all fine, I removed the soiled toweling and lay down new clean pine chips for them. You can still see Izzie’s placenta (afterbirth) under her on the left side of the picture. Most goat mamas will eat their own placenta, and this is healthy for them to do, so we left it for her. After we had given Izzie a sip of warm water with just a bit of maple syrup in it to help her regain her strength, set out food and hay and fresh water for her, and had one last cuddle, we were off to bed!
I was exhausted and slept til almost 8:00 am! As soon as I woke I ran out to check on mama and babies. They were doing great, resting and mewing and cuddling with mom. I watched them each suckle from mom, and then removed some more soiled pine chips and laid down new. Later in the afternoon I will go in and shovel out the chips here and put in all new chips again. For now, mama and babies are well and happy, getting to know each other and growing stronger all the time. Soon they will be bouncing and hopping all over the place!
Kara watched all of this with her usual ‘big sister’ persona. She is also due, and so we will soon do this all over again with her. I expect her to have twins as well, so we will have four new baby goats at The Goat’s Garden. We can’t wait!