I really, really want to be a goat doula. Like right now. My doula bag is packed, I’ve watched all the live goat birth youtube videos out there, and I’m ready to go. Unfortunately Bonnie-the-Pregnant-Pygmy-Goat is not cooperating, and she is driving me crazy. Let me share with you some of the signs of impending goat labor. These are real. I’m not trying to be funny:
- Pawing at the ground
- Doing a weird yawn type thing
- Staring into space a lot
- Laying down a lot
- Developing an udder
- “Talking” to her belly
- Scratching more than usual
- Getting up and down a lot
- Eating less than usual
- Acting more affectionate or less affectionate than usual
I know what you’re thinking, “Those sound kind of vague, but mostly like normal goat behaviors. Like stuff goats would do all the time.” And my answer would be, “Yes!! So you can imagine my frustration!!” Three weeks ago I announced to the world (or my 100 friends on Facebook) that Bonnie was going into labor. She was showing all of the signs. I bundled up, grabbed my camera, and prepared to spend the night in the animal yard so I wouldn’t miss the big event. The whole family was buzzing with excitement for about an hour or two, then they all bailed and went to bed. As I sat alone in the darkness with only the light of my laptop to comfort me, I wondered how I would handle the big moment if I had to intervene. I would like to think of myself as someone who could help pull a stuck baby goat out of a goat va-jay-jay, but who really knows themselves that well? There are times when I surprise myself with my nerves of steel and other times when I suddenly fall to pieces without explanation or warning; so being alone in this moment was a little unnerving. After about 5 hours the temperature started to drop and Bonnie was clearly not on the verge of delivery so I decided to go inside and get a little rest on the couch where I could still hear her if she started to yell. I spent a fitful night there and only got a few hours of sleep.
For the next two days she continued to show all of the above signs, then abruptly stopped and went on with her life. Since then I’ve been watching her constantly for the signs to return and driving my husband up the wall with my daily updates. Me: “I’m really worried about Bonnie today. I think it’s happening soon. She’s acting weird again.” Him: “Weird how?” Me: “She’s just acting different. She’s got this distant look in her eyes. I can tell something’s up.” Him: ……….. (turns & leaves room.)
Needless to say, we’re pretty green at this whole goat birthing thing. However, if one more person asks me if I’m sure she’s really pregnant my head will explode. I don’t know if it will happen today, or in two months, but I know she’s pregnant! I can feel the babies moving in her belly, she’s as big as a house, and her udder is growing larger daily. At the expense of everyone’s sanity I won’t update again until I see a baby goat on the ground.
So til next time……