U is for…Ups and downs of lambing

So the up part to this story… ¬†ūüôā is that Drifa, my AI¬†Hvellur daughter was showing signs that she was starting to labor. ¬†The down side? ¬†She was a week overdue, looking huge and wasn’t making any progress laboring.


The other down was that my husband had just left to go out of town on business. ¬†So this left Sawyer and I to try to sort things out. ¬†When Sawyer checked Drifa, he could only find the head presenting without any legs so he ended up finally pulling both legs up to their proper position and then started to try to pull the lamb out…nothing happened, it wouldn’t budge. ¬†We ran through a million different¬†scenario’s and¬†re-positioning¬†the lamb. ¬†Sawyer could feel the rams head and horn buds and could feel them getting caught up on the pelvis. ¬†He said that the baby was too big and ¬†he wasn’t ¬†going anywhere.

I made a frantic call to my husband who made a call to the vet, to find she was out of town for the weekend. ¬†We put a call into the mobile vet, but didn’t hear anything back from him until the next day. ¬†:{ ¬†Finally my husband was able to get a hold of a guy he knew who had sheep and would come over and give us a hand. ¬†I felt so relieved! ¬†After he showed up and worked on poor Drifa for about 15 minutes he made the same statement as Sawyer…the lamb wasn’t going to fit. ¬†Thankfully he had connections to the horse vet, whom will work on sheep if he was on call (but wasn’t that night). ¬† Thanks be to our Heavenly Father for people with connections! ¬†With in the next hour we were loaded up, in the back of our van, ¬†distressed, pregnant ewe, Sawyer in the back holding her down, ¬†three kids in car seats (normally we could have left them with the older girls but all 4 older kids went with their dad.) ¬†By this time Drifa had been in labor for about several hours, I thought the lamb would be done for.

The C-section was very interesting to watch. ¬†A vet. student did the whole thing under the supervision of the vet, she had just a couple of months left until she graduated from college. ¬†She was too sweet and was very stoked to be doing the C-section and to be performing it on a ewe. ¬†Drifa was a great patient and they had to go back and actually make the incision longer because the lamb would not fit out of it. ¬†Once they were able to pull it out they handed him to me. ¬†I started to rub him briskly and felt him jerk. ¬†I swung him by his hind legs to help drain the mucous out of his nose and mouth, he shook again but wasn’t real lively and only breathing occasionally. ¬†I blew air into his mouth and remembered I had put a bulb syringe in my coat pocket, ¬†so I quickly grabbed it and started suck the mucous out of his throat and nose… at this time the vet looks at me a smiles and looks at me with a laugh and states…’You come prepared!” ¬†I laughed and felt a bit¬†embarrassed, but hey it saved the lamb, right?

The vet student with the big boy...

Once they had Drifa all stitched back up, I took the big boy over to his mama and she immediately started to lick him. ¬†The vet and the student were very impressed, first time mama, extremely stressful¬†situation¬†and Drifa is mothering up. ¬†During surgery they zip-tied her feet together, so we kept them on for the ride back home and Sawyer would attach the lamb to the mama’s teats so he could nurse. ¬†When we arrived home and undid her zip-ties, Drifa was unsure if she wanted to lick him or head butt him. ¬†She would lick for a while and then he would try to nurse and she would put him right down. ¬†So I ended up hold the Drifa in the corner and attaching the lamb several times to make sure he had a full belly. ¬†At this time it was after midnight, the kids were crying and starved and we had been¬†Shepherding this ewe¬†for over 9 hours and we were all bushed. ¬†So we ended up driving up town to pick up something to eat and coming back home were I got kids ready for bed and Sawyer helped the big boy to nurse one more time and giving him some Lamb Rescue Supplement. ¬†So, with everyone having full bellies, we all turned in and awoke very early to check on the patients.

The boy, himself!

He ended up weighing 9 pounds, while the typical lamb size should be about 6 to 8 pounds!  He has the softest fleece I have ever felt on a lamb and I love his pattern, a black grey badgerface.

Drifa's owie!

I ended up needing to hold Drifa again in the morning so that he could eat.  We ended up taking a couple of turns throughout the morning holding Drifa and getting baby to eat.

Another glimpse at this handsome boy.

Look at these horn buds!

The combination of Drifa being a week late with a ram lamb with huge horn buds and only being ¬†yearling didn’t make for a great combination. ¬†I am so happy to have this behind us and that both mama and baby are doing so much better already. ¬†And I am happy to report that mama has completely accepted this big boy as her own. ¬†No more head-butting and he nurses when ever he wants. ¬†Yeah!

Sawyer and the lamb.

I am so proud of how well Sawyer maintained his calm and did a wonderful job in trying to get the situation figured out and was so helpful!

Two days later and going strong.

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