I expected a chaotic week; however I was gratefully surprised to have so many people participate in it. My main help after David was my mentor Deborah Niemann-Boehle of Antiquity Oaks Farm. Both Abby and Starry Night birthed twins, male and female from Midnight on Wednesday (Starry Night) to the afternoon of the same day (Abby). I was not present at either birth, arriving as the babies began to stand. The complications came after. Starry Night had a rough kidding alone, she behaved like a millennial Mom: she did not lick and clean her babies completely, but laid down to rest. She made no effort to bring them close; yet was talking with them. All voice and no action. She did not realize she had to provide milk. I waited till 5 am when the situation became critical. Goat babies need colostrum by 6 hours old. Praise God for Deborah Neimann of Antiquity Oaks who took my calls since Wednesday early morning to provide a plan of action. We had to put Starry Night on the milking stand, milk her and feed the babies by bottle or attach them on the teat. She learned unwillingly to cooperate being bribed to get on the stand with apples and carrots. The babies were not latching onto her teat, they needed her to stand still to figure how. Starry Night continued to be nervous until tonight when she calmly received both twins at the same time.
While all this was happening, Abby had her kids like a pro at 3 pm. I did not notice her udder to abnormally swollen. At 6 p.m. last night Thursday, she received her evening grain and I found all her udder rubber hard to the touch. Once again I had to contact Deborah Neimann to help me understand what I was observing. California Mastitis Test confirmed the mastitis is acute. We had no medication to respond to this situation. At 7:30 David and I left for a three hour road trip to Romeoville the nearest source of help at Blaine's Farm and Fleet. Praise God it closes at 9 p.m. Abby was producing less and less milk as the infection took over her udder. Medication was administered by 10:15pm Thursday night. As of today, she is still separate from her babies with three treatments; however she is producing more milk after each 12 hour injection.
Continual rain did not help. We could not get the goats to the field Wednesday due to the kiddings. We had two hours in the Waller Street pasture before the rain hit again on Thursday at noon. Last night Abby was separated from her babies, resulting in bottle feeding them every three hours. Slowly training Starry Night to nurse every three hours has had an effect. She is much calmer and quieter as she is locked in a pen with them. Esther came into critical labor today at noon with three abnormal deliveries of her triplets, two boys and a girl, together weighed 26 pounds, big babies. Two were born butt first and one with legs back, which can be dangerous, but certainly painful to the mom to push them out. We still have complications with these three as they are not progressing. The rain continued till two this afternoon and again tonight.
Our urban farm operates in community and this week the community walked with us with great kindness. People showed up miraculously. When we went to the field on Thursday, Lorel Jankiszewski surprised us with a visit and walked three groups back to our Midway Park property as yet another storm hit. Other folk literally walked into our lives and supported us in the moments that we needed. Roman our ESL student from Belgium cleaned pots and pans late at night, when I was practically living in the garage with the laboring nannies. Kari our Air BNB guest showed up at 7 a.m. to help weigh babies and re arrange spaces to accommodate the increased population. Ali Kushki cleaned floors and hauled supplies at 10 in the night and helped with medicating Abby. The craziest moment was this morning when two women walked up to me to introduce themselves as the owners of the Oak Park Brewing Company on Lake and Austin. AnnMarie and Kristen provided support as Esther labored over her triplets, running into the house for more towels and finding gloves while I was on the floor of the pen with Esther. As a reward, they could name a goat. So Esther's first boy of 2019 was named Stout. We gratefully take this time to give a shout out to those who helped us in our time of need.