There were a couple titles that I came up with for this post – nasty start, miserable cold, trouble lambing – but in the end this is the most fitting and definitely the most positive! Isabel was due last Friday but hasn’t shown any signs of lambing or stress until this evening when I fed. She ate and promptly went over to a dark corner by herself. I thought to myself “Nice night to lamb Isabel, it’s only supposed to be 19 degrees!” I had a little pep talk with them this morning (when it was a chilly 12 degrees) that if they were going to lamb today that it would be wonderful to do it while the sun was shining. Isabel must have been chewing her cud and daydreaming during this little discussion. Since she probably had a little while to go, I came in and had some dinner. I proceeded to check on her and warm myself periodically in my little room in the barn, with a blessed heater. She paced, pawed the ground, layed down, got up, and chased the other ewes away from HER corner for quite awhile. Finally she layed down and started pushing….nothing happened. I felt like there was something wrong but didn’t feel like she had been given enough time to warrant my sense of dread. I had my husband come out and hold her so that I could make sure. I couldn’t feel any lambs blocking the birth canal, only a water bag still intact. Ok, give her some more time to progress….finally when it was apparent that she wasn’t going to progress, I went in again. Of course my husband was in bed and sound asleep at this point 🙂 Luckily she was obliging! I felt 2 feet and 1 head – yay, wait a second, what the…another head…and that is 2 feet but it sure feels like a back leg and a front leg. Reading the lambing books never really prepares you for this scenario, and while reading these books this is definitely my most feared scenario. Ok, take a deep breath. After pushing and pulling and maneuvering and twisting and swearing and praying – Isabel and I (with a little help from the good Lord) were finally able to get both lambs out. It is always a little nerve wracking when you are pulling on these fragile little creatures that they are going to be intact and alive when they finally get out. I plopped both lambs under Isabel’s nose and she quickly started talking to them and licking them while I vigorously rubbed and dried them. Within seconds they were both talking back to her – YAY!!!!!! Now to get them dry and warm enough to withstand these frigid temperatures we are currently having. Luckily I planned ahead and had brought out a pair of my son’s polar fleece pants. I cut the legs off and cut little holes for their front legs and gave one to each lamb. These 2 girls are definitely fighters! They were standing within a couple of minutes and both had eaten within 10 minutes. And the icing on the cake is that they are both stunning little girls 🙂
Here they are with their little red jackets on.
Yea! Congrats on a job well done!
Great story Shannon!!! They are cute little ewes and what a wonderful feeling it must be to know you can do it. GOOD JOB.
I have never had a go at helping a ewe give birth, but my husband does it all the time and I know that it is a lot more difficult than it looks.