Monday, April 30, 2012

A Lamb is Born

A beautiful Sunday morning.  Cold, but sunny.  The shepherd waits expectantly as a ewe goes into labor.  In hindsight, I  think I drank too much coffee.  The experience of being the only doctor, nurse or midwife in the room with only book learning and no experience to go on made me jittery enough.  What if something went wrong and I needed to held out?

Sonja digging a birthing nest.

Once the hard labor began, it was sometimes painful to watch.

Sonja would lie on her side and strain during the contractions.  In between she would get up and walk about a little.  I was in attendance for the birth of all five of our sons, so I generally knew what to expect, but it actually was more nerve wracking for me since there were no experts in the room, just a rookie intern with no clinical experience.

Two small hooves emerge, soon to be followed by a nose - the normal presentation for a lamb.  However, when I first saw this I was afraid I was seeing four hooves.  I was already jacked up with caffeine and the thought of a jackknifed lamb or twins coming out at the same time really rattled me.

Fortunately, the rookie never had to scrub.   After a lot of hard work,  Sonja pushed out an 8 lb. lamb.

The proud father looks on as Sonja cleans her lamb.  Go figure - cross a white ram with a brown ewe, and of course, you would expect an all black lamb, right?  Shortly after this Gunnar tried to butt his daughter through the fence so I had to tie him to a tree.  Animals are animals.

This is a miracle.  The theory of evolution cannot explain things like this.  Within minutes of being born  the lamb was  looking for a teat, and she found it. is good.

Of course, the shepherd has to meddle a bit.  I am carrying the lamb at ground level so that Sonja  does not lose sight of it.  I then barricaded them in the hayshed for a couple of days so that they are out of the wind and  have some good time to bond.

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