Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hector is much better!

What an answer to prayer! Little Hector is much better.

To be honest, we didn't hold much hope last night. Don and I went out for one last forced feeding late in the evening. He barely took four ounces and seemed listless.

This morning I opened the barn door and fully expected to see a dead calf. Instead Hector was on his feet. He gave me a saucy look, danced over to Amy, and began nursing vigorously. What a wonderful sight!

We were prepared for much worse. Yesterday when Don was in town, he picked up, among other things, a feeding tube. We were going to intubate this afternoon and get some milk into his belly.

Now clearly that won't be necessary. Hector is out of the woods. He's been doing happy little skippy-hops around the barn all morning, the sign of a healthy calf. Thank you for your prayers!

A funny little story: years ago, when one of my best friends from college had her first baby, her mother came up to stay with them for a couple of weeks to help out. Around 3 am, Kelly heard her baby cry, so she got out of bed to nurse him. As she was doing so, she started crying -- a combination of fatigue, hormones, and being overwhelmed.

Shortly after, Kelly's mom came into the room. Through her tears, Kelly asked, "Mom, what are you doing up at this hour?"

Her mom replied, "I didn't hear YOUR baby cry. I heard MY baby cry."

How does that relate to little Hector? Well all day yesterday, Matilda (Amy's mom) stood right outside the barn door and bellowed and bellowed and bellowed. She even tried to force the door open, so we had to reinforce it with a cinderblock.

Finally Don suggested we just let her in, since of course Matilda's wonderful with babies. She's been in the barn ever since. Not only did Matilda calm down, but so did Amy. The new mother was now in the presence of her own calm, experienced mother. I wonder if it's a coincidence that little Hector learned to nurse once Matilda was on the scene...?

Whatever the cure, we now have a healthy baby calf.


  1. Congrats, always nice to see a little one catch on on its own.bkl

  2. The story of your friend made me tear up! What an example of a mother's love, one that doesn't go away once "babies" are grown. I am so happy that Hector is doing well. I was anxiously hoping for good news!

  3. That's fantastic!! same story for humans, we just don't see enough nursing, hence terrible BF rates. Hope he goes from strength to strength!

  4. What a gift from God that he is better!

  5. That picture of Hector nursing was a sight for sore eyes indeed! I think Matilda MUST have made the difference. It makes sense. What a great story!

    Just Me

  6. Now your wonderful story about Amy and Matilda have brought out a memory I haven't thought of in a while. A few years back, we arrived in the barn to find a brand new baby goat. We weren't expecting it to arrive, so we hadn't penned up the doe, kind of like the Amy and Hector story. We checked around the barn for babies, put the doe and kid into a birthing pen, and started checking them out. As the doe started doing her 'momma talk' to her baby, I realized that I could hear another baby goat somewhere. We searched the barn high and low, but could find no signs of another baby. Then I just slowed down and watched. What I discovered was this doe's baby from last year, that was now getting ready to be a mom herself, was answering her mother in a baby goat 'voice'. I was astounded. I guess once a baby, always a baby when your mom is around. Right? This is a great story, and proof that even though they are animals and livestock, there are so many things that we will never understand about them. Great story, Patrice. Thank you.


  7. Groceries in...groceries out!!!


    Soooooo glad y'all didn't need to intubate! (For everyone's sake.)

    And I'd bet you're right about Matilda's role in the outcome.

    You'll sleep better tonight.

    A. McSp

  8. I wonder if the breech birth contributed to the issue with the feeding. Pressure caused by passage through the birth canal helps to expel secretions from the lungs and upper respiratory tract (at least in humans), so maybe the backwards passage through the birth canal didn't have the normal results. Whatever the cause of the difficulty, he seems to have gotten past it. Glad to hear the happy update!

  9. You might want to keep some LA200 handy. Might have gotten fluid in the lungs. Maybe a shot to be on the safe side!

  10. Patrice, thank you so much for letting us know Hector is better. I'm so happy for you all. Funny, I can see myself struggling to keep Matilda out, too, when the easier and more helpful thing was to let her in. There's so much to learn, isn't there? Hector looks so precious in his pristine bed.

  11. Marvelous news! And the Matilda Factor makes it more so. Having a very small goat herd, I try to keep a daughter from each doe. They spend their days together, eat together, and bed down together at night. It's precious...

  12. Very good news! I was afraid that I would come to your page and learn that she had not made it. We are babysitting a neighbors calf whose mother did not make it. She is doing well and the wife is enjoying the process.

  13. What a joy! I cheered when I saw the headline. I teared up when I read the story. This is why each child needs a mother and a father who themselves each needed a mother and a father, and on and on. Just like God intended.

    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

  14. So glad to hear the good news!

  15. Oh, the joys and wonders of motherhood. So glad to hear the little guy made it over the rough patch. I guess I needed a good cry to start the morning out right. Thank you and blessing to little Hector.

  16. So happy to hear he is doing better.

    Ouida Gabriel

  17. "then another female came over" http://www.batcon.org/resources/media-education/bats-magazine/bat_article/698

  18. Hooray for Hector!