Monday, March 05, 2007
And when it rains, it pours. If anyone should know that, we should.
Well, on Friday it was pouring down rain and seven kinds of trouble.
In the morning the farmer got up and April and her daughter Peaches were both starting into labor. The garage up in Gorst, about 45 minutes away, had called the night before to say that the horse trailer was ready after being in the shop for two months with a broken axle, which is another story about seven kinds of trouble but that will have to wait for another rainy day.
Anyway, the farmer really wanted the trailer to go and get some hay and the trailer place is closed all weekend, so the farmer looked at April and Peaches and calculated that there was no way they would kid before noon, and then made what we'll call:
Mistake Number One:
The farmer decided to run up to Gorst and get the trailer as soon as the garage opened and then run back home.
This left Lori home alone babysitting April and Peaches.
The farmer hurried up to Bremerton, paid for the trailer, pulled the truck into the garage parking lot to hook up to the trailer, put the truck in reverse, stepped on the gas, and the truck died. The truck died and remained dead. The farmer looked at Spenny the border collie who was along for the ride as usual and said, "the truck just died."
Spenny the border collie nodded; she knew. Spenny actually had thought something like that might happen but didn't want to say anything.
The truck was dead, stone cold dead, and the only good thing about it was that it was already at a gas station. The garage man said he would be very happy to have one of his mechanics look at it.
The farmer tried and tried to call Lori but Lori was out in the barn and didn't answer the phone. The farmer called a reliable friend who answered from her car. She was on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (half an hour away) and headed in the opposite direction. She asked if the farmer wanted her to just turn around? Then the farmer made what we'll call:
Mistake Number Two:
"No, that's okay," said the farmer. "I will call my neighbor."
The farmer called a neighbor who is very nice but in retrospect not the most talented navigator. The farmer explained the situation. The neighbor obligingly agreed to go over and tell Lori what was happening and then come and pick the farmer up.
"I'm in Gorst," the farmer said, speaking very clearly. "Do you know where Gorst is? If you take the Belfair Highway up north, it is right where the Belfair Highway meets Highway 16."
"I know where it is," said the neighbor.
Two hours later the farmer was still standing in the rain outside the gas station in Gorst. Something, to point out the obvious, didn't seem right.
The farmer called Lori, who now had her cellphone turned on. "Where are you?" said Lori, sounding very rattled, "are you almost here?"
Peaches was hard in labor by now and having a difficult time. In the next stall over, April's water had broken an hour ago and now nothing was happening. Not a good situation at all.
The neighbor was lost; he thought Gorst was south instead of north and had driven the wrong way on the Belfair Highway, then had to turn around and come back. The 45 minute trip took over two hours, then 45 minutes more to get back home.
The farmer arrived just as Peaches managed to get her second baby on the ground. She and her daughters were tired but doing well.
April was in deep trouble and getting deeper. The farmer scrubbed up and went in and it was a forest of legs, no heads to be found. The farmer tried to get one of the babies out backwards but couldn't get the baby turned around. The other one was upside down and there is no way to deliver a live baby upside down.
The farmer called the first vet on the list. He couldn't come. The farmer called the second vet on the list. He wasn't in the office on Friday. The farmer called the third vet on the list. She was out of the office until 2:30. The farmer scrubbed up again and went back in and tried again; April was breathing hard and shaking and starting to get shocky. No luck.
Lori went inside and called the fourth vet on the list. The fourth vet couldn't fit the farmer in. The third vet's receptionist called back and suggested calling the emergency vet up near Bremerton.
The farmer had never heard of it. "Where is it?" asked the farmer.
"In Gorst," said the receptionist.
Within a few minutes April was loaded in the van and headed for the unknown vet in Gorst. By this time she was shaking and panting with her mouth open. It was a long drive back to Gorst.
When April arrived at the vet she had a temperature of 105 degrees and no color in her gums and by this time certainly the babies were dead. The vet had nice small hands but couldn't get the backwards baby out. But she was young and not conceited, so she asked the vet tech to try.
The vet tech had been raising Alpines for 20 years and within a couple of minutes she had the backwards baby out. He was not only alive he was very feisty; he soon got up and went for a drink of milk.
Now for baby number two. Baby number two would not come out, even with more room to maneuver. He was stuck fast. He had his feet forward and his head tucked into an armpit. Again the vet tried and tried and could not get the head around to pull him out. Again the vet asked the vet tech to try. It wasn't easy but soon she had him out.
He was stunned but alive. After a good slapping (sorry, little man) he sneezed a couple of times.
April was panting and very weak but starting to feel much better. The vet loaded her up on pain meds, and she finally accepted a drink of water and some grain. Her temperature started to come down. Soon the new family was headed home in the van.
April had a rough night then began to perk up. She is doing pretty well now. The farmer thinks she is probably retired from having babies.
The boys are doing well. It has taken a few days for the second baby to get his legs straightened out, he was jammed in so tight. But he gets around pretty well now, and all that oxygen has done his little brain a world of good.
His brother's name is Gus. His name is Come and Get Me I'm Stuck in Gorst and I Can't Get Out.
But we just call him Stuckey.