Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Cow is Born - Revised

For all you that have me on feeds ... sorry you're getting this again, but due to the higher power of the farm, aka the upper management, or my husband if you may ..... I am revising my post to be a little less graphic with what only represents a beautiful loving birth! I am only doing this to keep peace on the farm since I do have to live here. Talk about an infringement of my rights ... and Mama's. Ha!

I shall speak only of the gentle wonderful birth of a sweet baby calf that my kiddo's named Cloudy. I shall not speak of "assistive devices," and we shall only visualize a natural birth and not get the farm shut down. Okay?! ... and this shall make the neighborhood happy.

Meet Mama. The Littles named her Mama after they met her this evening in a dark barn while she was giving birth. I'm sure she could have done without our presence and an audience ... but being that my Littles live on a Dairy farm and Cows are our bread and butter, and someday soon they'll be out there in the mist of all the excitement, I thought they might want to witness the miracle of birth and the beginning of new life on our farm. Plus, they always get to name the new babies.

They watched with big eyes and had lots of questions. One question in particular that was really cute came from Meg. She asked, "Where are the rest of the babies?" I don't think she has the concept that not everything born is a triplet. Then once we got home this evening, they fired off questions like a rocket.

First of all, they wanted to know where the baby's Daddy was. I just couldn't add to their confusion, but I did snicker when Marlboro Man caught my eye. You see, this sweet little calf doesn't have a Papa. His Papa lives in a Nitrogen tank with about 100 other frozen straws of Cow DNA (semen). MM artificially inseminates all our ladies, and BINGO .... he was successful with Mama about nine months ago!


Cloudy was just your ordinary miracle that happens in a straw filled barn. Her Mother, aka Mama, Moo'd loudly with each contraction. Push push push Mama! Being a Nurse and Mother myself, I wanted to pant for her and teach her Lamaze, then give her a shot of Morphine and get her an Epidural as fast as I could. Then I wanted to call 911 and have her air-lifted to a real hospital with real Doctors.


Our entire family stood on the other side of the fence watching this beautiful miracle unfold.

No one had electricity out here due to the wind storm we had today .. and the only lights were run by a generator on our farm. So this evening, we all just hung out in the barn and Mama just happened to be in labor ... so we had a cheering and pushing party.

After Coudy's birth, my first question was, "Is it a boy or girl?" MM just grunted at me and got busy reviving the baby after they laid Mama's little 100 pound bundle of joy in the center of the birthing room.

Keep in mind, this is entirely different than a human birth. Marlboro Man was kneeling down doing something to the calf's nose, and I couldn't see what he was doing ... so I had to ask. He said that he was tickling it's nose with straw so that it would sneeze. WHAT??? No one did that to my babies after I delivered them. Instead, they got flipped upside down and received a first class massage. I guess MM does the tickle technique since baby calves are born so big and there is a 1,500 pound Mama standing by watching his every move. They do that so that when the calf sneezes, it sucks in air and starts to breathe. Pretty amazing, eh?

Once the baby started breathing, they let Mama have him. She immediately took over and started licking him clean, and giving him some well deserved loving. Licking a calf stimulates circulation. That's very similar to how when human babies are rubbed and dried ... it too stimulates circulation. So close and yet so far ....

Mama, your baby is beautiful, and you did such a good job!

Our babies aren't generally put to the teat of the Mama. Mama's milk goes to you instead. Well, maybe it goes to Sam's Club or IGA, Buehler's or Kroger's or some where. They will give the calf a bottle about an hour after it's born and then it will get up and walk. This little calf won't be living on our farm in about three days ... he just happened to be born a little guy. Little guys don't stay here since we have no need for bulls since we have a Marlboro Man and a Nitrogen tank. He'll be sold to someone who most likely will raise him and ... well, you don't want to know do you?

I also don't want anyone to think we're cruel out here on the farm. As soon as I post this, I'm going to call our local Animal Psychiatric Clinic and schedule Mama an appointment to help her process her lack of bonding time; and the fact that she didn't get to nurse her first born baby boy, related to the fact that she wasn't allowed to make a choice whether to breast feed or bottle feed.

Then next week , Mama and I are going to fly to Washington DC to lobby in congress to change the farm laws of bovine dairy births. We want them to get to room-in for at least the first 48 hours after giving birth, and we want to do away with the mandatory adoption of baby boys! A Mama should have a choice! Just don't tell MM my plans okay??!!

Anyway, my kiddo's went to bed tonight talking about the fluffy little Cloud they saw take his first breath tonight, and they thanked Jesus for letting him be born. Tomorrow evening we'll go visit him and take pictures of him, as we go to feed animal crackers to the Goats!