Three generations, four girls and four goats
This morning we woke up early (as we always do) not just because we're farmers, but because we have two small children who think sleep is for the weak.
Matthew and I were tired. We are in full blown kidding season and, right before we went to bed last night, two of our Mamas appeared very close to kidding. Matthew and I took turns doing barn checks throughout the night while also juggling two children who, I swear to you, coughed all.night.long.
I poked my head out of the door and looked down into the barn and much to my surprise there were four little babies standing on their own. At first I thought both mom's must have had their babies.
Meanwhile my mom, who is staying in our home while we finish the final adjustments to her trailer, was getting dressed to go check on mamas. (Since my dad's death she has carved out a little space on the farm to make her own. This will allow her to come and go from her home in Oregon and essentially set up roots in her Grandchildren's backyard).
Mom came inside almost as soon as she went down with the news that one of our Mamas was still pushing and it didn't look very productive. (Those four babies I saw belonged to another goat!)
Somewhere in there Matthew's mom (who we are so lucky to have come hang out at the farm on the days she doesn't work) appeared in my kitchen offering to go help feed babies. Yes! Great idea! But first we have to go check on the goat in labor!
Myself, Gizmo, and two of her Grandmother's suited up to head to the barn. Banzai and Matthew suited up to head to the milking parlor. Divide and conquer!
When we got to the barn it was obvious our sweet goat was in distress. We quickly got to work trying to decipher what was happening in her uterus. Normally when you have to "go in" to help a goat you run into something recognizable. A mouth, a foot, a butt. Something that makes sense. But when we went into Skipper we encountered nothing but a warm mass. Upon first entry we couldn't find anything to grip onto. Luckily, my mom has larger hands than Matthew's mom and I and was able to get an entire body flipped around. She was able to present two hooves (a good sign! pull!) but we recognized immediately, those feet belong to two different goats. So we had to push one goat back in and readjust some more. Finally the first goat came out. Gizmo, my four year old midwife, immediately went to work cleaning it up and drying it off.
But the rule on goats is: If you pull one baby you have to pull them all. The Mamas are just too tired and spent from pushing unproductively they don't have the energy to push more.
So we went back in. Another wonky goat. This one came out almost folded in half. And then we went back in. Another goat. Backwards. One more time. Another goat. Sideways.
A MESS OF BABIES.
But we got them all.
My mom. My mother-in-law. My daughter. Me.
Four women. Three generations.
There aren't that many of us.
But, in no way, do I run this farm on my own. Matthew, my husband, is the rock of this farm. He milks goats, he makes cheese, he fixes EVERYTHING when it breaks (and so many things break), he hauls feed, he builds things, he mucks stalls, he keeps the goats healthy, he feeds the pigs...and so much more. This farm WOULD NOT exist without him.
And yet, when you come here, you might notice, there is A LOT of pink on the farm.
Bright pink doors, pink feeders, pink collars, even our cheese label is pink.
You see. Pink is my favorite color. And truly, who doesn't love pink?
It makes our farm beautiful and yes, pretty girly.
But that's exactly how Matthew wants it.
He is of the mindset that farming is such a male dominated field it's hard for girls to see themselves doing it. Which is why, when girls come to our farm, he wants them to be able to see themselves owning their very own all pink farm.
Which is why it was so powerful to me to share a somewhat scary goat birth with my daughter and two of her Grandmothers.
She got to see three women in her life be strong, calm, confident, patient, and comforting. She listened to us as we talked to each other with respect, as we detailed what we were feeling and worked out our next plan.
She stepped right in and followed our lead.
Never once did she cry, or whine.
I couldn't have been more proud of her.
Four girls delivered four baby goats this morning.
And it was beautiful.
And then, after that, she finished up morning chores.
Because, like all farmers, she knows, the animals wait for nothing. Not a crisis. Not a celebration. Nothing.
24/7, 365 days a year.