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This is going to be a hard one to share, so please bear with me. I’ve gone back and forth on how much to share, but my hope is always that someone will read this and learn from our experiences. So here goes.
On Friday I had just settled into my day at work when my husband texted me to let me know that it looked like Tali would be having babies that day. I told him I might not make it home as my co-worker had to be at the hospital with a family member, and I was needed to cover. As much as I like to be present for every kidding, I know it’s not always going to possible because I work outside the house, and count on my husband to take care of things at home when I can’t be there. I wasn’t overly concerned about Tali’s kidding, as she had given birth to triplets previously without a hitch. Plus my daughter was home from school, and I knew she could pitch in as well if needed.
Right before my lunch break I was told Tali was going into labor, so I activated the barn cam on my phone (so handy), and I watched as the first baby arrived, a tiny handsome little buckling.
Soon after she laid down to begin working out baby #2. And she pushed. And she struggled. And no baby. And time kept ticking. And still, no baby. Finally a bubble appeared and it appeared to be intact. Tali struggled and continued to make no processes. I continue to watch on the monitor, out in the parking lot in my truck on my lunch break. When my husband called me for advice, he told me the baby appeared to be breech but with one leg extended. I told him it had been too long and he needed to go in after the baby.
Once the second baby was out, it was clear something wasn’t right. It wasn’t breathing. There was a hint of movement. My husband attempted to clear it’s airway – he swung it, he suctioned it, and he even attempted CPR. The beautiful little doeling never took a breath. I watched, and I cried. We had never lost a baby at birth before, and even though we knew it would happen eventually, no one was prepared for the depth of that loss. As far as we could tell, the sac had actually ruptured at the top, and the doeling had inhaled fluids before she made it out.
While my husband was dealing with baby #2, my daughter texted me and said she thought there was a third baby in there, but nothing was happening. I told her she would need to get a glove, lube up, and feel for what was going on. She said no way. So I texted my husband and told him he had to go in after baby #3. Tali was exhausted and no longer pushing. He went in and felt baby #3 presenting the same as baby #2. Working with Tali, he managed to get the baby out.
Baby #3, a very tiny doling, was limp, but alive. As my husband worked on her, he shouted that her back end wasn’t moving, that he didn’t know what to do. I called him and told him to get the baby warm and dry, get her some colostrum, and we’d worry about the rest when we knew if she would live. After checking the baby’s temp and realizing it was at 97F, we opted to put her body in a plastic bag and submerge it in a sink full of very warm water to bring her up to temp. With some effort, the tiny doeling was moving and responding.
When my coworker returned, I told my office I had to leave and get home to help out with the situation. On my way home, my husband called to tell me Trudie was also in labor. I went as fast as I could. Half way home my daughter called to tell me Trudie had delivered twins, a healthy, happy boy and a girl. I was relieved, but disappointed I had missed two labors in one day.
All of the babies are continuing to do well. Tali has her buckling with her, though she’s not an attentive mom to say the least. The tiny doeling, who we’ve dubbed Buffy is still small but thriving, and has been spending time with the bottle babies in the barn. Trudie is being a really great mom to her twins and they’re already growing like weeds.
We’ve been trying not to let the loss hang over us, but it’s been hard. We know it will make the rest of the kidding season fraught with a bit more tension to say the least