Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ten Fewer Years

As I continue to bask in the glory of the foaling season via or, I have experienced new heights tonight.

And it scared ten years off my life.

First let me say that I am recruiting/exposing all my friends to this brave new world... and with the exception of Requelle... they have been hooked.

BFF Brent Gambrell watched with some excitement while I was helping him pack supplies for a mission trip to Haiti. He learned more about foaling than he ever thought he needed. But it was fun to see! We watched a new little colt make his way into the cold, cruel world. Loads of fun there!

Over President's Day weekend, Lou, Amykins and I hung out at Amykins' Bachelorette Pad. We had two inches of snow. We had Great Food! We had good movies and music. And we had a fire burning THE WHOLE TIME.

Amykins has a laptop. I introduced Amykins and Lou to Lisa Lou, the mare I have been watching for two solid weeks and they became just as concerned as I was. The laptop was set up in the kitchen, and anytime one of us sojourned to that section of that house, the other two would call out "check the horse", and we'd get an update.

As of today, Lisa Lou is still preggers. Amy now checks on her a couple of times at night, and Lou's home computer is down, or I am certain she would check it as well. Amykins' sister Joan is in on the madness too! I am only too happy to share this joy with the world.

I attended choir rehearsal tonight and as soon as I got out of the building, I flipped open my phone to call my parents and check the horse. (I actually considered asking Amykins to bring her laptop to choir so we could have it standing by, but decided it would probably be distracting). My mother gave me Lisa's update... more standing around and NOT birthing... so I had time to get home without worrying that she would foal before I got there.

I came home. She's still standing. sigh.

But there was an alert up for another ranch, and I clicked on its site just AFTER the blessed event had occurred. I was curious to see how this mare would react to her foal, as it is the mare's first birthing experience. (It will be Lisa's first too) I wondered what was going through the mare's head after panting, groaning and pushing a LIVE HORSE through her birth canal.

From the looks on the mom's face, it was something like, "What the heck is that thing?" Mom sniffed the colt (it's a boy) and then generally didn't want to have much more to do with it. The owners stepped out of the stall to encourage mother/son bonding, but once the son stood and began to walk... Mom really didn't want much to do with him, as evidenced by her moving as far away from him as possible.

Geesh... talk about giving the little guy a complex!

The owners came back into the stall to back Mom up and see about getting son to nurse. Yeah right. If mom wasn't overly excited about baby to begin with, what makes you humans think she's going to be anything LESS than thrilled about a cold baby nose on the underside of a tender belly... with tender hanging down parts dripping with milk?

Yep. You get the picture.

I think Mom has taken on some protective qualities now though, (as she hasn't stomped the little guy into the ground) because she apparently is hearing a noise outside the stall and she charges the stall door. That's not a Mama you want to tick off. But, I can't say that they little guy has gotten a drink yet.

I don't know this for certain because whilst I was watching the new mother/son and keeping another eye on Lisa Lou (still standing there, munching on hay/grain, not having a baby) the ALERT signal came up with a high alert on yet another ranch.

Oh Goody! More foals to birth! This was my lucky night.

The new ranch has a great video set up in that there is AUDIO too! The first time I have heard anything coming from the long-away world of foaling (this one in Iowa). I was so excited because I could hear the mare panting, I could hear the owner being encouraging to the mare, it was almost like I was there! Another little colt! He's a beauty too and all was well. I watched with horror as the owner bound up the cord from the placenta in a knot and then wrapped it in what appears to be hot pink surgical tape. This is standard practice (and I know, because I read about it somewhere) that helps the mare pass the rest of the placenta. If you knot it up, the gravity will help make it fall.

All I know is that now this mare has a big pink ball hanging at the end of a cord coming out of her booty. This might be considered a bit tacky, but it is not the worst thing that can happen to a mare in the post-birth timeframe. What could be worse? One word:


I have very limited experience with colic, and that experience was with a human. A human baby. And it pretty much put me off the idea of ever bringing a child into the world.

I was 13 years old and I was babysitting for the first time. Ever. And it was a baby, just a few months old. It was only going to be for a few hours (4 or 5) and we just lived across the street, so I knew that I could call my mother if there were any problems.

I couldn't spell colic as a 13 year old and I had no experience with it at all. It was four or five hours of pure screaming baby hell. I walked the screaming baby. I rocked the screaming baby. I put the older sibling to bed with the screaming baby on my shoulder. I thought about putting the screaming baby in the freezer. Nothing helped. Even my mother couldn't help.

That was the beginning and end of my infant/babysitting experience for many years.

Imagine if you will a HORSE with colic. Imagine a screaming horse. Imagine a screaming horse that you can HEAR over the internet, who has just birthed a beautiful colt and is now thrashing itself about the floor in agony!

Now, imagine being me, on the other side of the country, hands fisted in anxiety and having the ability to hear the commotion. I'm telling you... it scared about ten years from my life. The owners were great though. They knew what to do, and were right there in the stall, keeping the foal safe (from being rolled on by mom, who is rolling about the floor), and finally getting mom on her feet and walking her as fast as they can.

I think she also got a shot to help calm and relieve her and I am happy to say that she and her boy seem to be bonding just fine now. He is up on his feet and she keeps sniffing his butt. A sure sign that all is well.

So. it will be off to bed for me as it is midnight and there is peace reigning in the horse world. As far as I know.

Lisa having just pooped again. But still. No. Baby.

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