My vacation is almost over and this very night, 15 years ago

Elsa is not really what you call a vacation, but probably will seem so once I have to milk two cows, and that will most likely be tomorrow.  Annabelle seems to want to give Natanielle a birthday present.

She is not the only one who wants to give Natanielle a birthday present tomorrow. Lucy does.

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Looking at Lucy this evening made me remember that I indeed remember that feeling, and it was on this very night, 15 years ago.

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Considering that I have not always had a life of coconut oil, to enhance my memory, I had to consult this.

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It begins, “So beautiful and peacefully brought into our arms on Friday, 7:45am,  July 24, 1998. 9 lbs. 5 oz, 22 in long.”  You did not even cry, but looked up with big searching eyes and a dear happy face.

But as of this moment, it is getting dark outside, and I must go see if Annabelle is in labor.

…All is well, and everyone is up and eating.  The deer flies and horn flies torture the cows so severely right now that during most of the day they go into the barn for relief from them and the sun.  I must admit that is is a horrible mess in there and I can’t keep up with it, having two cows, one heifer and one calf in there pooping it up for most of the day and today when Annabelle  stayed in there after everyone went out to eat, I got her out of there and shut the door.  She absolutely cannot have her calf in that!    I have made some other nests for her with clean straw… and we will see where she settles.

Annabelle is due on Aug 1st but then again Elsa’s calf, Faline, was due on April 20th and she had her on April 13th.

Why do I think tonight’s the night (or tomorrow)?  Well, first of all her udder has filled out considerably.

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“I told you Annabelle was close!”

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Second, it is not normal for her to separate herself from the other cows like she did this afternoon, and she had a lot of mucus.

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Ok, sensor that for the non-farm people, but my farm/cow friends know what a dork I am because of my third clue: squishy bottom.

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Yes, I can say (edit: Unfortunately, I did write out the “v” word, and this post is one of my most searched and viewed, as “some people” search for this term often, yuck.) , but I have to admit that I do not prefer to do so and just call it “squishy bottom” much to the chagrin of my more mature farm friends who even have their children saying (edit: “v” word.) all the time.

I can’t really say the other “v” word either, but will recall from the consultation of my journal what a bit of it was like 15 years ago.

Wednesday 7/29/1998

“I cried this morning when your Daddy left.  We have been together with you every moment since you were born… this summer is the worst drought Texas has seen in many years and your Daddy drove with the trailer to Arkansas, before sun up, to see some hay he might buy…”

You were due on my birthday, which came and went.  On Friday morning, the 24th,  I woke up at 12:30 with heavy contractions and heartburn.  At 2am he started timing them and we were supposed to call the midwife when they were 5 min apart and at least 45 seconds long for a consistent hour or more.  They were every 2 to 3 min. and lasting 45 sec up to 1 and 1/2 min so we thought to call the midwife at about 3am.  She was certain I was a long way off, considering this was my first baby, and I felt bad to call and wake her up.  She said I was a long way off and that I would certainly be much more serious and panicked if I were having a baby any time soon so we should wait and come in when ready and call her when we were 30 min away.

Since we lived on a ranch about 1.5 hours away from Dallas, and in major Hicksville, we felt it was best to have a midwife at a lovely old Victorian house birthing center in Dallas instead of having you at home.  In case there were complications we could be near a real hospital instead of Lord knows what was in the small town we were close to.  We got in our RV, “roughing it smoothly”, and I laid down on the sofa behind Luit and as he was driving I did not want to panic him and let him know that I was pushing, hard, but trying with everything in me not to, until we got there.

When the midwife finally arrived I had almost had you on the sidewalk and she said I was certainly a long way off, until she examined me!   Daddy got to catch you and waited until your cord had stopped pulsing and then he cut it.

Dearest Neeno came to see you that morning and by 9:30 am, a couple hours after you had been born, we were on our way back home with the admonishment of the midwife, “Don’t you pick up anything heavier than this baby for 10 days!”

Well, when we get home, this was the request, “I’m hungry and then I have to go back to Dallas to the shop.”  So I fix the man his lunch and off he goes.  Dear Neeno drives out that afternoon and upon entering the house says, “All the cows and the horses are on the road!!!”  I say, “Here, take this baby!” and then go round up 50 Brahman cows and two bad horses.  Whew!  All in a days work. 🙂

Happy birthday dearest girl, we are so proud of you and there is nothing in this world that makes us happier than you do. Do you know who is almost as darling as you are?

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So we shall see what tonight brings, as the cows are settling in for a stormy evening.

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Annabelle is brave, as I must be, because Natanielle is at camp until this weekend and Luit will arrive then as well, and a storm is moving in.

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She is a dear mama and fingers crossed all goes well and that I can be a good midwife.

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In case anyone is wondering how the ducklings are doing, they are most obedient to their mama and have joined the flock once again.

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p.s. If any of you Dallas peeps read this and are hanging out with the man, tell him that the trash man, who comes only once a month and missed the pick up at the first of this month, who promised he would come today, did not come.

12 thoughts on “My vacation is almost over and this very night, 15 years ago

  1. Pingback: Drying up Annabelle | grassfood.

  2. Pingback: There’s a time to be born, a time to die, and to eat. | grassfood.

  3. Pingback: Fly Spray and Annabelle’s Hoof Trim | grassfood.

  4. Happy Birthday Momma!!! and of course happy birthday to sweet, darling, spicy Nonnie. We just simply adore you both!!!! Looking forward to hearing about how all the births go. And I really really really love those ducklings!!! xoxoxo

    • Thank you dear one. I so hope I don’t have to make yet another tearful panic phone call to you, my wise friend. Oliver has his picking of a drake and two hen ducklings, when they are a little bigger. They are great layers! xxx

  5. Happy Birthday Natanielle! Awesome bit of writing Jamie! Love your story. Hope all is going well on the “western Front”….XXX

    • Thanks Francie. When I checked this morning Faline was in the meadow, running and running around, chasing a bunny rabbit! The mama duck was caught in the fray with her ducklings and she was quacking up a racket! All is well. xoxo

  6. Thanx for sharing this wonderful story….happy birthday Natanielle! And…perhaps Annabelle…

    Sent from my iPad

    • Thank you Carol, I will tell her today, if I get to see her. I got to talk to her on Sunday and told her I was going to try and bring her a cake to camp for her birthday and she said not to bother baking one, because I can’t bake. “Don’t be offended Mama.” Hmmm. 🙂

  7. You did not round up horses and cows the day she was born! Really? I had heard that you came home and cooked after having her and I was shocked at that. You are something else (I mean that in every good way). Happy 15 years and 9 months of motherhood to you!!! You’re doing a great job.

    • Haha. “Round up” does sound so cowboy romantic. It was really only a “walk up” as those Hindus were actually pretty gentle. Thank goodness Nancy was there or N. would have had her first “throw up.” 🙂

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