Alright, so I told GZB and JLK that I would go ahead and take care of their dogs/foalwatch for them while they attended a wedding. Considering how close their mare, Duchess, was to foaling... well, checks on her were hourly. Things hadn't changed for weeks, and the 2 AM check was no different.
3 AM was different. FINALLY. I got out there to find that she had begun to foal. There was a bit of a complication - the foal presented head first with his feet over his ears. Foals are supposed to present feet first, with one shoulder rotated slightly back to allow for easier passage through the birth canal. It goes feet, head, shoulder, body. He decided he didn't want to be conventional.
This wasn't too much of a worry, as I've dealt with that before. You simply gently move them back a bit in the birth canal, re-arrange them, and allow them to continue with the birth process. It was at this point that the mare decided she wanted to go into the barn. (mind you, mares normally lay down to foal. She'd been standing the entire time.) So, I followed her into her foaling stall, closed the door, and waited. This puts us at about 3:30 AM.
She got a couple of goooood pushes, through which he moved all of oh, an inch. As she continued to strain through her contractions, hisdarling little tongue was gradually going from pink, to red, to dark red, to purple... I'd been pulling on him while she contracted since I noticed that he hadn't gone anywhere during her initial attempts at pushing, but he was so stuck that I'd pull, she'd walk forward, and drag me across the stall with her.
I grabbed the phone and called GZB to ask her to get someone/anyone out ther to help me, as he was very very stuck and very very not looking good. As I waited, I decided to try something innovative. I macguyvered it with a length of rope, tethering myself by the weaist to a hitching ring in the wall. I grabbed the foals legs, braced, and the mare walked forward as she felt the tension of me holding his legs. After a few minutes of that, we finally got him free enough that I could help her deliver the rest of him.
It was a beautiful, joyous moment. I caught him (since the mare was standing, didn't want him just dropping on the floor,) laid him down (at this point, he was blue) rubbed him vigorously to get his circulation going, and made sure he was breathing.
The mare moved away and "cut" the cord by doing so. Now, considering that mothing else had gone smoothly that morning, the umbilical stump decided it was going to bleed. Not a little bit, either. We're talking spurting blood four feet away kind of bleeding. Again I went with the macguyvering, and as I pinched it off to prevent him from bleeding to death, I grabbed the elastic bandout of my hair and used it as a tourniquette to tie the stump off.
This puts us at about 4:15. I called GZB and JLK to let them know that the mare and I got him delivered and he was okay, all things considered. The vet came out, checked him, stitched the mare (she had some significant tearing due to his initial presentation,) and cleared him for take-off.
GAB and JLK had gotten in the car the moment I called them to let them know that I needed help, so they arrived shortly after the vet left.
He's had a couple of issues, a meconium impaction and some dehydration/overheating, but he's a spunky, scrappy little monster, so he's pulled through amazingly well.
He's also very inquisitive, bold, and friendly. He'll gladly walk right up to anyone who crosses his path.
Now, on to the pictures! :D
If you look through the mare's tail, you can see two legs and a nose.
Fresh born baby!
He FINALLY stood and nursed. It took a while.
An attempt for my scrap book to get a photo with the proud, exhausted mamma.
Attempt #2... (either her head is too long or my arm is too short. ;P)
"Where do I go for that milk again, mom?"
Getting to know happy GZB with my large rear end in the photo... (photo by JLK)
Another photo taken by JLK. Looks by the shadows like this was right around mid-morning. I was sleeping, I think.
He's SO FREAKING PERFECT!*(#&_(!*#^