There are actually three goats in the family room. A room that now smells suspiciously like the barn…
We have been watching one of our pregnant does very carefully over the past several weeks. She had a bad case of pregnancy toxemia in late January and once she recovered from it, I assumed wrongly that she was over it. It came back with a vengeance four days ago. I noticed that Buttercup wasn’t coming out of the goat house to greet me that morning. She usually makes an appearance as soon as I open the gate with an armful of hay. When I peeked in at her, I wasn’t able to coax her out. My nurse daughter, Bekah, came down to take a look and while trying to assist her out of the shelter, we found out pretty quickly how poorly she was doing. She was completely unable to stand. It took Bekah and Dad to lift her and carry her to a warm stall in the barn. Although she was still eating a little and drinking, her usual appetite was absent. After talking with our vet, we started a regimen of propylene glycol and feeding her as many alfalfa pellets as we could get her to eat. We were faced with a really difficult dilemma. Do we induce the babies early to save the mom or try to nurse her as close to her due date as possible to save the babies? At the time, she was 139 days into her pregnancy. To give the babies a fighting chance, we needed to get her to at least day 143.
On the evening of day 140, her appetite dropped off to just nibbling a little grain. The next morning the decision was made that we couldn’t wait any longer without risking both Buttercup and her unborn babies. After receiving drugs to stimulate the babies’ lungs, Buttercup underwent an emergency C-section. Every bit of her remaining energy was going to the babies; there was nothing left for her to use to push through a natural birth. It was everyone’s belief, including our vet’s, that she would die on the table during the surgery. The babies were at 141 days so we were bracing ourselves to lose all of them. The end result is a tribute to the power of prayer…
Buttercup survived the surgery although she is not out of the woods yet. In fact, her prognosis is fairly poor but she has surprised all of us up to this point.
The twin preemies are also hanging in there. They are requiring tube feeding every three hours, a warming pad to sleep on and it took a full 24 hours before they attempted to stand.
At the time of this writing, the twins are 27 hours old. They are standing, walking, stretching, accepting kisses from the dogs, and Rosie, the little doeling, is taking the bottle.
Avi, the buckling, who was named by a very special young lady, is still needing the tube feedings but is coming along nicely as well. He likes to sprawl out during his massages!
There are definitely possible setbacks ahead but right now the babies are thriving. All of the extra care is well worth it. So I guess I will deal with my family room smelling like the barn. After the gift of all three of them coming home, we will certainly do our best to keep momma and babies on the mend.