Friday, November 13, 2015

Dottie's Birth Story

This is a post I've been sitting on for a little over a month and, while it may seem trite to include this on one's blog, this is a night I don't want to forget. All the details are important to me because there's no doubt in my mind we experienced quite a miracle. :)

Sweet Dottie got pregnant last Christmas (Christmas Eve, to be exact) and weathered the 9.5 months like a champ for the most part. Not to say Dave didn't call me a few times over the summer to tell me was out in the pasture and looked dead (to which I told him 'been there, done that - it's called being pregnant in the Texas heat') or that she didn't become SUPER grumpy toward the end. But who can blame the girl?

I certainly couldn't.

In the days around Dottie's due date, we basically stalked the girl. We monitored every move, wondered if we would drive up to a calf one morning, and were SUPER excited to meet the little one.

And on Friday, October 9, 2015, Dave and I went to feed her with the baby in tow while Taylor worked the rodeo as a Sweetheart and it was OBVIOUS the girl was in labor. Among other things, we had to force her to come eat and she was clearly walking funny and having contractions.


Dave checked on her about 8 o'clock that evening and, though uncomfortable, she was fine. Things were progressing. All was well. 

Taylor and Hallie checked on her again after her shift and we got a frantic "I saw a hoof come out and then it went back in" call. We weren't panicked. But we did wake the baby, we grabbed our boots and headed to the barn. With the thought that Dave could quickly help her out by pulling the calf and we would be on her way.

But that was not the case.

When we arrived, Dottie - who LOVES FOOD MORE THAN LIFE - had gotten up and was eating hay. We had to make her take a seat and Dave set out to try to pull the calf. I immediately noticed the hooves were HUGE and he could only get it out far enough to see the baby's tongue. 

Not. Good.

We got some great advice and called the vet immediately. He assured us he would be there as soon as possible. Some friends soon arrived and we brought her inside the barn - to her pen - and she looked at her empty feed bowl and snorted at us. 


The tension was building because we weren't sure how long the calf had been stuck and, well, we had watched way too much Dr. Pol in the months leading up to the birth. Which actually prepared us more than you would think. But I digress...

By the time the vet arrived, a small group had assembled and Taylor was absolutely terrified her calf was dead. As was I after Dave quietly told me the vet had informed him that the baby wasn't moving. After quite the struggle, baby boy arrived. Not breathing. Not moving. Like, he came out and his head banged into the ground immediately.

Not. Good.

By this time, sweet Taylor was holding Dottie's head. And she was SOBBING. And SHAKING. But she never let go of her cow.

This is where Dave and his NICU skills came in suuuuuper handy because he set out to arouse the little guy. And, while he apparently wasn't concerned because "he had a strong heartbeat from the get go," the rest of us didn't know this and were terrified. After what seemed like an eternity (but obviously wasn't), the little guy began blinking and we heard a very quiet "moo."

Now I would love to tell you Dottie was so overcome that her son was ALIVE that she jumped into super mom mode. But, to be honest, she began eating all the hay around him. She. Was. Not. Amused.

So Taylor took care of the (not so) little guy.

Imagine our excitement when Dottie walked over and started licking the baby...only to learn she was licking the hay off his face. And eating it. Gotta love her. :)

It was an anxiety-laden night. Thankfully my parents arrived shortly after his birth and took of Tiny duties while we all got Dottie settled and, you know, tended to her child. 

The next morning Dave, Tiny and I headed to the barn early while Taylor caught a few hours' sleep. Everyone was still doing well, Dottie let him nurse and he finally stood up. Progress!

So. Stinkin'. Cute.


Sweet boy is now thriving, running around the pasture and enjoying life with his mom. Dottie has decided she won't let anything bad happen to him, to feed him when he needs it and to love him when no one is watching. And we'll take it.

Because the truth is that this could have gone either way and, though it may sound silly, this mama is so incredibly thankful that her sweet teen didn't suffer a loss that would've seemed giant to her animal loving (and very attached to Dottie) heart.

And, yes, she finally named him. His official name is Dramatic Entry. Fitting, no? But I had begun calling him Clyde until he had a name and it kind of stuck. So it's kind of his nickname now. :)