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.