As I sit here getting into my composition mode singing with Whitney Houston, Sugarland, Journey and Phil Collins I realize I have much to catch you up on.
Things really began “hoppin’ ” in June. The quite studly, 14 X Champion Sleeping Giants Mr Cash (A.K.A Johnny) arrived to stand stud here this summer. He was here Summer of 2012 and really propelled my already progressing fiber program. I now have 5 of his stunning yearlings from him and definitely want to repeat/add more of the “Johnny Factor”!
“Johnny” Cash- Champion Herdsire
Last summer I reached the point that I could begin to utilize a few of my oh-so-fine males as herd sires. I’ve now come full circle- one full revolution- and thrilled with what my boys are producing. ( We’ll get to the babies soon. I’ve got to keep you in suspense so keep reading.)
The end of June rolled around and the crias started making their appearance. The first 3 were sired by my LRG male Remmy. Boom…the first one is a maroon male (dam BB) with strong confirmation and the tightest crimped bundles. His name is Rev (short for revolution). # 2 striking and spotless, LRG (with white face) male (dam TB with white facial markings). We just have the nickname “Tater” for him so far.
#3 deserves an entire page devoted to her…As my vet said, “the Miracle at Elbow Creek.”
Miss Sweet Baby Rosie made her entrance 6/17. Her dam was very uncomfortable and the presentation wasn’t that normal “alien” movement on her perineal area. It was a dystocia birth with the neck and the legs swayed back in utero. I gloved up as I had the vet on the phone trying to feel for identifiable landmarks. I couldn’t tell what I was feeling and, in retrospect, that’s totally understandable. I asked out vet if he was up for a road trip as he was 45 minutes away. He took off right then.
Bruce, our vet, arrived. He gloved up and right away realized the dire position of fetus. After medicating our dam, Meri, he then went in after the cria. It took 20-30 minutes to get the cria repositioned to pull her out. Out came our MRG/MSG, 12 lb 4 oz female. We had all of our regular birthing instruments- dried with towels, hairdryer, bulb syringe for suctioning out mouth, thermometer, stethoscope, etc. Everything checked out fine so Bruce headed back. All was well………..or so we thought.
Meri was cushed and still loopy form the medications and epidural, which we expected, and she would most like be like that for awhile. By that time we had the little one out and in evening sun to help warm her. I had goat colostrum available so we warmed up that for her and she took right to the bottle. We continued to go back and forth from mom to baby, especially looking for expulsion of the placenta. By that time we were at this point it had been about 2 hours since our had vet left. We did put baby Rosie by Meri to help with some sort of bonding and Meri tried her best in her medicated state to nudge and love Rosie.
Loving until the end
On my next rounding of Meri I noticed the placenta had been delivered. But the uterus had prolapsed as well. It was the first time I’d seen that in my 5 1/2 years of alpaca farming but I recognized the situation the need for more medical intervention. (Apparently uterine prolapse is not that rare and when cleaned off it can be carefully “stuffed” back in.) So with our vet on the phone I again gloved up. It was like holding a heavy blob of muscular-like jello, taking all of my strength to cautiously push it back in. Well it stayed in for about 30 minutes then she expelled it again. Putting it back in the second time proved more challenging. As I was pushing again to re-insert her uterus I suddenly felt a tear in the uterine tissue. A little bit of blood spurted out. At that moment a wave of sickness came over me realizing the seriousness of this potential emergent situation. Luckily the bleeding was much less than I had initially anticipated and shortly thereafter the bleeding stopped with pressure. We kept the uterus cleaned and wrapped in moist towels. We notified our vet, Bruce, and he was again on the road back for another 45 minute commute .
By this time, about 9 pm, Bruce arrived again. Meri was mostly alert but no longer in a cushed position and now laying on her side. Bruce immediately took a look at the uterus and reassured me that it was only a mucosal tear that could be stitched. He started an IV and he and my husband began stitching the tear in preparation to re-insert her uterus. Bruce briefly stepped out to get a few more supplies and was right back to notice there was a subtle twitching in Meri’s thigh muscle that progressed into a full seizure and she just stopped breathing. Meri’s body had had enough trauma. Not blood loss. Not illness. Just the shock of delivery and the uterus unsuccessfully being reinserted . We were all shocked and I was sobbing, I think, from the unexpectedness of it all.
On a slightly lighter note, I stayed with Meri’s body and let Rosie nestle with her mom until 2 a.m……….Until I saw my 4th mouse (or the same one 4 times- does it really matter!) I covered Merri up and told her that Rosie was mine now and took Rosie up to the house to begin my new role.