Spoiler alert, it's a boy!!!
Penelope went into labor Sunday Apr 25th. We could tell it was her time because her udder filled up and got tight and she started being more vocal, pawing the ground, pacing, wouldn’t settle down and chew her cud, and was generally upset. Poor Penelope, she didn’t know what was happening. I had everything all set up in the barn for her and we kept a close eye on her throughout the day and evening. Initially the girls said they were going to sleep in the barn and they got out and blew up the air mattress and got out their sleeping bags and bedding. Last minute, though, Emma decided she did not want to sleep in the barn and then Cecilee didn’t either.
Although she continued to have labor signs, she did not appear any closer when we went to bed at 11:30 pm. I am all for my comfy bed. I wasn’t sleeping in the barn! I set my alarm for 1 hour, and promptly passed out. It had been a really busy weekend, and I am not as young as I once was!!! Before I knew it, the alarm went off, and I huffed and puffed out of bed, into some clothes, glasses and boots out to the barn. Nothing. One hour later, I repeated this process. This time I watched Penelope for about 5 minutes, but she had laid down and was chewing her cud, not pushing or looking in any distress. I came back to the house and said to myself, “I need at least 90 min to get a full REM cycle in and that goat looks like she is not even going to have babies tonight!” So I set my alarm for 2 hours. About 1 ½ hrs later, Josh got up, and asked me if I would like to have him go check. Knowing that my alarm was going to go off in another 30 min and that if nothing was happening I could avoid this wake up for another 2 hours, I said yes. So he got his clothes and glasses and boots on and huffed and puffed out to the barn.
About 30 seconds later, I heard him running back to the house. I don’t know if I have gotten out of bed so fast since the last time a chicken was getting eaten by a raccoon in the middle of the night. “Honey, there is a baby on the ground! It is breathing and looks good but she is still pushing! Hurry!”
Faster than this Mama ever moves, I got out to the barn, and sure enough there was a perfect little black and white…buckling…sigh. We of course instantly fell in love with each other. And he was up and moving, strong, nursing and bleating before we knew it.
Alas, he was a single. Penelope got so fat with her pregnancy, we just knew she was having at least twins, maybe triplets. Cosmos was a good sized little boy-about 6lb 5oz, but by no means huge. Penelope definitely lost her girlish figure during the pregnancy and she sure fooled us!
After Penelope and her baby had had time to bond, I blew dry Cosmos’ ears, tummy and all the other little parts that stay damp in a 45 degree barn in March, dipped his umbilical cord and counted his fingers and toes. I made sure he nursed and got a good amount of colostrum. Penelope needed just a little coaching but she caught on pretty fast. Then, we took about 1000 pictures of Penelope and her baby, only about 10 of which turned out.
By then it was about 5:30 AM and we left mama and baby to rest. We, too climbed back into our beds and caught a few more hours of sleep.
And that was the start of kidding season!!