I thought that coming back to America I would have absolutely nothing to write about. I was wrong. This last week I got a job! I kept thinking I was going to be the person dancing on the street corner holding the sign, “We buy gold!” or “$5 pizzas”.
Last week, I was sitting at home and got a phone call from a friend asking if I could help deliver a sheep. I have only delivered humans, but surely I could help with a lamb!!! My friend was in surgery, but would give me a call when he was done. In the mean time, I needed to read about difficult lamb births. Forgive me for saying this, but I have never looked at a sheep’s vagina, so I figured I should start with basic anatomy. I figured it would be easy to tell, but I didn’t want to look dumb or stick my hand in the wrong hole, so my dear friend google helped me out. It is amazing what you can find online! All sorts of videos of sheep giving birth, but none were difficult births. No worries, though, there are many articles with pictorials on the complications.
Side note: Dear vetrinarians, vet techs, farmers, etc, please do not judge me!
At last, my phone was ringing and it was time to try out my newly learned “skills”. I had my mental list of things that could be the problem… lamb too large, two lambs trying to come out together, lamb coming out sideways… We go out to the barn to check the status of the sheep and her lamb. The sheep is huge, a good 250 to 300 pounds. I hope she doesn’t mind being checked! I feel two hooves and a head, so the lamb is coming out ok. I reach in to find out if the hooves are attached to the same body as the head. Not the same body. We have twins!
I won’t bore you with all the details of delivering lambs, but lets just say it is a work out! It took an hour of pushing and pulling, putting the mom on her side and then her back (seriously!?!?!), trying all sorts of maneuvers… We were both huffing and puffing, but finally the lambs were out. The first lamb didn’t make it, but surprisingly the second was in good shape. They were heavy! This type of lamb is normally about 9 pounds, but these were 20 lbs. This was much harder than catching a human! So my job was done, right?
Well, there are three sheep. Two have delivered and one is still pregnant, but the moms’ milk has dried up. I spent this last weekend feeding the lambs, giving mom antibiotics for her infected uterus and taking care of all the other animals… nine barn cats, about 20 chickens and a ram, so we shall see what kind of adventure this turns into! Next month, I will be caring for all the barn animals again.
In the mean time, life has been busy looking for “real work”. Once my contract is signed, I will let you all know about my future. While we are on the topic of the future, I would like to share that I am engaged to a wonderful Ethiopian man. His name is Kebede, which means heavy. He is still in Ethiopia and we are working on getting him here on a fiance visa. Maybe I am being optimistic, but I am hoping he will be here this summer or fall. If anyone has gone through this process and has any advice, I have open ears.