Ma’s Twins

The twins and Ma
Ma and her twins

“I see hooves!” I yelled.  Jon was on the phone with our neighbor Jack, making tentative arrangements for him to dispose of Ma’s body.  It was 3 hours after her water broke and the Vet was on his way, but said there was a good chance the lamb was dead.  If that was the case and Ma couldn’t birth it,  we were talking about putting her down.

But there they were little hooves.  There was still a good chance that the lamb was dead, but at least we would be able to pull it out.  Which is just what Jon did.  We waited about a half hour giving Ma a chance to push it out herself but when there was no progress, Jon decided it was best to help it along.  And he did, he grabbed the hooves and pulled and out came a little white lamb.  She came back feet first and  wasn’t moving.   We both assumed she was dead, but then we cleared her nose and mouth  and Jon shook her a bit and she opened her eyes and slowly started to move.  Ma was on her in a second, licking her off.  It seemed a miracle.

Dr Jason Weinstein showed up moments later and Jon went out to meet him.  I was watching Ma and the lamb and when Ma turned around I saw two more hooves sticking out of her.  Jason pulled the second lamb out.  A boy.  Ma was still cleaning off the first lamb and then Jason showed me how to stimulate the second lamb by rubbing his sides.   He wasn’t as strong as the girl, but we put him near Ma so she could clean him and bond.

Both lambs and Ma are doing great.  It’s hard to believe just a few hours ago we thought they might all be dead.   I’m realizing how much I’m not a farmer.   I can’t imagine going through all this and then sending the lambs to market.   They might as well not be born at all.  I’m not saying tit shouldn’t be done,  I’m just saying it’s not for me.

I think naming the twins will be fun.  Something else for me and Jon to think about on our way to New York tomorrow. I think city’s going to feel like a weekend at the beach compared to the past few days.

Ma and her first lamb
Ma and her first lamb just after she was born

15 thoughts on “Ma’s Twins

  1. Roger and I have been following the ups-and-downs all week. We leave for NYC on the 10:20 Amtrak tomorrow morning (I see the radiation oncologist on Monday). We’re so happy that Ma delivered 2 healthy lambs. We’re glad you had a great time in Gee’s Bend (thanks for posting all that you did there – it was a treat to read/view it). Ma’s giving birth just makes the week that much sweeter. Jon must be very relieved. Enjoy your time in NY. And when you return, maybe Zelda will have a new lamb or two to greet you!

  2. Oh Maria, Your words are so touching. With you all the way. Whew…..can’t wait to hear what you name them
    and look forward to all the wool to come. Even from the distance of the Net….this has been a heartfelt experience….Happy Mother’s Day Maria…..you’ve earned it.

  3. Yea! Babies! I couldn’t get rid of them either, what pretty white fleece they will have, wonderful to knit. Farming is so harsh in many ways a much more casual approach to death, I couldn’t deal with it myself. Im so glad Ma pulled through, sometimes a little vet intervention can make the world of difference. I hope they don’t get into as much trouble as Liam does, that ones a rascal! I bet your quilts are going to get really cute with the additions of lambs! Enjoy new York and pet a horse for me. Cheers and congratulations Mom!

  4. so happy for Ma, for you, and for Jon. This is an outcome beyond all hopes, and proof that everyday life is a miracle. I know you’re not looking for suggestions, but here’s one anyway–what about naming the lambs after the 2 vets?

  5. Oh Maria, this is beautiful news!
    We have all been praying for this outcome…
    I am so thankful Ma and her twins are OK.
    With all you and Jon went through to help Ma, I can’t imagine having to give them up, either.
    They are so adorable! Prayers answered…..

  6. Oh, I love watching this whole lambing experience!! Thanks so much for posting all these fascinating pictures!

  7. I have been an avid reader of Bedlam Farm throughout the lambing journey this year. I love seeing the perspective from your side of the events. As with many things with animals what is beautiful is also hard, I am not sure I will want to read about the selling of the lambs, but I will because as you and Jon have both said, it is part of the cycle.

  8. Life is so fraught
    It’s easy to doubt
    Yet a miracle it is
    When least you quiz
    What helps bring it about.

  9. Maria,

    How wonderful. Literally. I am so happy for all of you. Enjoy yourself in New York.

    Kathy P.

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