Hindel Kidz 14: Pearl's Girl
Hindel Kidz 14
Grace had thought since Porsche had babies the past three years, she would have babies again. They noticed Elmer was still chasing her around, nipping and snorting at her as well. Elmer wasn’t showing any interest in Pearl so it was a safe guess she was going to have a baby. Late last year Jack had said, “If any of the goats have babies, they will be due sometime in February 2008.”
Grace was hoping for Valentine’s Day. If it was a girl, she was going to name it Valentina.
As time went on, Grace was beginning to wonder if Pearl was actually going to have a baby. Neither she nor Porsche were showing any signs. Every year Grace had always looked forward to the goats having babies. Velvet, Bud and Lucki had been sold in August 2007.
Since it appeared none of the babies would be born on Valentine’s Day, Grace was hoping for St. Patrick’s Day. Or Easter since Easter was going to be in March that year. If the baby had been born on Easter, she would have named it Bunny, no matter if it was a boy or girl. She also thought it would have been neat if the baby had been born on February 29th …Leap Year Day.
Finally, on March 2nd when Sven and Grace were up there feeding Jack said, “It looks like Pearl is starting to show signs. We will just have to keep an eye on her.”
He wasn’t sure when she was going to have the baby. Grace was glad to know at least one of them was going to have a baby for sure.
Around 1:00pm on March 3rd, Sven called Grace from work. He said, “Dad is going to ride into town and Pearl is going to have her baby today.”
Jack had already separated her. Grace had been wondering how she would know when Pearl had her baby since she and Sven were living at Patty’s house at the time. It would be very unlikely Jack would call down there. Grace grabbed her coat and was on her way.
It was in the upper 60’s and windy. She didn’t even need a coat. She took her coat just incase Pearl didn’t have her baby until evening. As Grace was walking up, it reminded her of last year. The first day they thought Pearl was going to have her baby was real nice and warm and the day she actually had the baby was bitterly cold. It felt like déjà vu.
When Grace arrived, Pearl was already lying down and would push and cry. There was no question. She was definitely going to have her baby soon. She would push herself up on her front feet and roll into a different position.
“I’m here, girl,” Grace said and went into the pen and started to pet her.
Remembering how Pearl didn’t want her in the pen last year, Grace sat outside on the dog food container for a few minutes.
Each time Pearl would push Grace said, “Come on, Pearl,” and “That’s a girl. I know you are tired and it hurts. Just a little more and it will all be over with. Just think Porsche has gone through it eight times.“
Now Porsche was going to be the aunt.
After every push, it would be a little while before Pearl would push again. She had pushed three times since Grace had been there.
Finally, on the third push Grace saw a little bit of the nose. She started to get excited because she was the only one there. She had always wondered what it would be like if she was the only one there when one of the goats had their baby. This time it didn’t matter; she was going to be inside the pen with Pearl. She would also have to take on all the duties of an actual midwife. She had always joked about being a midwife for a goat, but this time it was for real. Grace started to get worried since the baby was coming out head first instead of front feet first like it was supposed to. When the head was half way out, she stuck her finger inside the mouth to clean it out so the baby might have a chance of breathing. She prayed it would be okay.
When Pearl had pushed the whole head out, Grace thought she could hear it making little sounds. She couldn’t pull it, but she did flip the ears out. When Pearl stopped pushing for a few minutes, Grace almost wished Jack was there incase something was wrong. When the baby was half way out the rest of it just slid right out. Grace got a towel and started to clean it up and dry it off. She scooped it up. It was as limp as a rag doll, but at least it was breathing and she could feel it’s little heart beating. She put it in front of Pearl so Pearl could start licking it. It was a little girl.
“Here’s your baby. I am so proud of you, Pearl. You‘re a mommy.”
While Pearl licked it, Grace rubbed it dry. The baby wasn’t crying, but she did squeal almost like a cat meowing. Grace tried to put her feet under her a couple of times. She also tried to get her to eat.
When Jack got back, he asked Grace if Pearl had just had a single and if it had eaten yet. He said he was worried because neither Pearl nor the baby was standing. He tried to get Pearl on her feet, but she didn’t budge. When Grace told him the baby hadn’t eaten yet, he went back inside the house. She put the baby’s feet under her again. This time she stood up. When she would fall over, Grace would get her feet back under her again. Jack came back with an over sized syringe/eye dropper and force-fed the little one. She didn’t like it at all. She started to squeal real loud.
“That is what we want to hear,” Jack said.
When Pearl laid her head down, Grace went inside so Pearl and the little one could rest.
At feeding time, the baby was hobbling around. Pearl ate a few bites of molasses and bread, but no apples. Sven even tried to get the baby to eat and make Pearl stand there long enough to let her try. He got close once, but wasn’t sure if the baby was eating or not.
“I am going to force feed her again. She is awful small for Pearl only having a single,” Jack replied.
“So what are you going to call her?” Sven asked.
“I don’t want to name her until I know she is going to be okay.”
“You should call her Carolyn,” Sven suggested. Carolyn was Jack’s favorite neighbor who had just passed away in December 2007. She used to come over and say she could only stay for a couple of minutes. Two hours later, she would finally head home. She was also a teacher and would correct everyone’s grammar. She just couldn’t help herself. But she was a character.
Grace really hoped the baby would be okay because she had already come up with three names. She looked almost exactly like Pearl except her ears were a little grayer. Grace was considering Sapphire, Topaz and Emerald for a girl. If it had been a boy she might have called it Coal or Obsidian. Since they already had Ruby and Pearl and since this was Pearl’s baby, Grace wanted to name her after a gemstone. Lots of farms have a theme each year and name the babies accordingly. The goats at Rolling Hills all have people names. The year Joy was born, Ann had named all her babies after fabric and candy bars.
It was supposed to get cold again and Grace was worried about “Baby Pearl” making it through the night.
“Dad will turn on the heat lamp and force feed her a couple more times and check to make sure she is okay throughout the night. He wants her to be okay as well,” Sven said.
The next day, Baby Pearl was walking around, eating and lying underneath the heat lamp. Grace was happy to see her eat. They tried to measure her and she was only nine inches tall. Grace took a picture of Sven holding Baby Pearl and his one hand was almost bigger than she was. Sven and Grace thought Pearl might have had her early. Jack said Pearl was ten days over her due date. Grace figured it was just because they were all used to seeing Porsche’s babies and none of them were 100% pygmy. Baby Pearl was. They also thought it didn‘t look like Pearl had a lot of milk. When Porsche has her babies, she looks like a Jersey cow. Baby Pearl was doing better than she had the very first day, but she wasn’t out of the woods yet…she was just on the edge of it.
Ruby had come over to investigate. She was only able to stick her nose through the gate. They opened up the gate so Pearl could walk around in the building. Ruby got a little too close to the birthing pen for Pearl’s liking. She swung her head around pretty hard and tried to head butt Ruby. She was also trying to push Ruby away from the pen. Whenever one of the humans went in the pen, Pearl would watch them with an evil eye. She was on Mommy Patrol. However, Pearl did not like the fact when her baby was underneath the heat lamp she couldn’t get to it.
This was Pearl’s first baby that had been okay. And Grace was glad she had been there for the whole process. Baby Pearl was also the first registered baby Jack had ever had so he was going to keep her. He was going to have to name her before he could register her. Grace suggested Gem. It would cover all the basis. Jack said something about maybe calling her Opal. Grace didn’t care as long as it was a gemstone.
The baby went without a name for over a month. In the end, Sven won. Jack had decided to call her Carolyn.