When my wife was pregnant with our oldest son, she was two weeks past her due date, terribly uncomfortable and still the doctor wouldn't commit to inducing labor. Part of his decision was that there was just "no room in the inn" - May of 2001 was the most 'productive' time of that year at Maine Med's Labor and Delivery Ward, and there were no available beds. I like to think that the other part of his decision was informed by the idea that nature will take its course when the time is right. Whatever his logic, that was the first time I ever saw my wife's face split open and demons fly out of her eyeballs.
The end result. . . she got a private room!
Brandy our doe goat has been pregnant for what seems forever now. Our bucks and does (in fact all of our goats) run together because of space constraints, and frankly, they are a fun project born on a whim. The sheep on the other hand are bred very intentionally and with some degree of scientific super vision. Our goats though, they do what they want, when they want, including breeding which makes it hard to pinpoint a delivery date.
To compensate for accuracy we do the next best thing. . . guess. Well, we make our guess as educated as we can by watching for the the signs and symptoms of labor, and we use one of our books as a guide. While many of our references are wonderful tools, in some instances it seems that life does not strictly apply itself to the recorded observations of our books. I.E. the book says that delivery will occur between two and three weeks after the udder bag fills. . . Or, as we have learned, sometimes the doe will five weeks to deliver after the udder bag has filled.
Another example: the book told us to expect delivery 24 to 36 hours after the signs of labor begin. . . Or, as we have learned, sometimes delivery occurs as much as 72 hours after the signs of labor begin.
In the end it is amusing, but the farmer feels silly making proclamations based on a well researched book that end up being, well, a smidgen off.
So today was finally the day. Brandy delivered a healthy kid buck at just after 1 pm. I had forgotten how much noise one little goat (Brandy, not the baby) could make. We had a wonderful audience present for the actual event with one in our party texting everyone else on two different phones, and of course, shortly after, the throngs started arriving.
So now, little Pat (who really isn't all that little) has a baby brother. Visiting hours will begin Monday for those of you who are local. As for a name. . . I am still teetering about that. After the great name wars of 2010 I still hold that numbers are better. Plus people get attached to things with names, and this kid's fate is not yet decided.
In our next installment. . .
"New Charlie and the genes of tomorrow."