Every few hours I am out with the goats - morning, noon, and night checking on them and their vaginal state. Friends have come and checked in, small off-farm visits have taken place, but mostly I am here. I am here with towels and bottles and a little playpen set up in my living room. I'm reading all my goat book's kidding chapters over and over. I know all the rules of the game, I'm just waiting to play and the wait is killing me. The goats, both of which look ready to explode, must be twice as anxious. We both want these kids out and the milk flowin'.
Friends like Tyler, Tara, and Yeshiva have been with me at Goat Camp. At night they help keep watch. The girls stretch and purr and ooze fluid out their business ends, but so far, no actual births have taken place. These past few days have been riddled with too much coffee and too little sleep. Showers are a rarity. I wake up worried and go to sleep guilty. I keep reading that warning over and over in my books: you should be there… you'll regret it if you aren't and something goes wrong… It feels like my first lambing season all over again...
Well, not entirely the same. Lambing was exhausting but not nearly as personal. This feels less like a job and more like an extended family member being brought into the farmhouse for a long visit. I think it's because dairy animals in general are more personal, more a part of your life than a sheep on the hillside. There are animals I will milk twice a day and know the way you know a college roommate. I have no secrets from these girls and they have none from me. I have stared at their back ends longer than I have stared at any text book and I think I am starting to see things that aren't there. Phantom contractions, mythical discharges, is that a hoof? Nope. It's a clump of poo. Great. Someone pass me the Red Bull… I am convinced both of them are holding out to the last possible second (because they are) and forcing me to feel slightly uncomfortable about my elevated state of caprine voyeurism.
I hope for news soon. In the meantime there's a Fiddle Camp this weekend, two new piglets in the barn, hay delivery, manuscript deliveries, game nights and hawk tests to study for… So much to update on and I will, but right now I am going back outside to check on the girls. More photos as I find the time to post them!
Photo by the gang at goingslowly.com