A couple of weeks ago now, there was a full moon...our five bovine and very pregnant girls all look like they're ready to pop, so I just knew we would have babies! Some of their sweet udders look like my breasts did when my milk came in with that first baby...sweet Jesus, surely they'll deliver soon! The full moon came...I snuck over through the night with a lamp on my head (multiple times)...there they slept...no labor on the horizon...the full moon came and went...many more days and nights passed by...no babies. Ugh! I'm over there talking to them...calling them by name (yes, I name them...our herd is small enough I can do that;) ...giving off some midwife warm and fuzzies...they apparently were not feeling it!
One following morning, there was one heck of a mucus plug from the biggest of the expecting cows, and for those who have ever been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a little one, well, they know what a big deal that can be...I would've bet my life that there would be a baby on the ground before nightfall...I would've been a goner...yep...still pregnant. As much as I've read and studied signs of impending calving, turns out, I'm not as good as that as I thought, and these mamas aren't nearly as predictable for calving than I thought.
Now, I'm gonna make a U-turn and talk about something completely different, but bear with me and know that it'll all come together in the end.
In the midst of all this baby-waiting, early on the morning of the 10th of July, I loaded a sleepy Effie Rose into the van with me, and headed out to Atlanta for her check-ups with her pediatric orthopedic doctor and her neurosurgeon. The appointment with the orthopedic doc has been one I've been super anxious about for a good long while. Since the end of December, Effie has been wearing her Rigo Scoliosis brace, and for the majority of the prescribed 22 hours per day, she is very good at wearing it just like she's supposed to. Over the past 7 months, she's had some random, and weird, complaints, and I've been worried that her curvature was increasing rather than remaining stable. And honestly, now that I know it's there, I can't not see it, so I way over-analyze it. I've spent countless hours reading research, looking at other people's stories, and just flat out imagining the worst possible recheck and x-rays on this upcoming visit. When I tell folks to stay off of Google for medical stuff...I should be looking in the mirror...I honestly had figured out in my head, what my questions would be when the curve was worse, and how to be as proactive as possible for Effie, and seriously worried we would be heading to some earlier than wanted surgery.
We arrived and signed in, and just a few minutes later, they grabbed her for x-rays...she's matured so much, and doesn't even need me to go with her anymore...and back she was, and there I was sitting on pins and the sharpest needles ever!
Her curve measurement was actually less than it was previously...her physician praises Effie for wearing her brace so well, and tells her the measurement is a direct reflection of how well she's done! What?! Better than before...it's not increased?! I had myself so prepared and so convinced and ready to make plans for whatever we needed to do..I was shocked! Praise Jesus! He did tell us, that if she stopped wearing the brace that very day, that slowly the curve would go back to what it was...that the brace more stabilizes it, but doesn't improve it longterm. The goal is to wear the brace over the next few years...and when Effie is skeletally mature, that's when we may be looking at surgery. The biggest changes in curvature will mostly likely occur when she hits a growth spurt...I swear her legs grow, and I know one of these days, her body will catch up with those long legs:) We will certainly have to watch her closely during those growth spurts, as sometimes that curve can change rapidly with fast growth, but for now, she is stable!
The neurosurgeon visit was uneventful...we will repeat her MRI in a couple of months to recheck the fluid that was in her spinal cord before the surgery...if that's resolved, she can get on the trampoline...something she's been begging him for! I secretly would guess that if he had his preferences, the trampoline would be a no-go forever;)
So, with all of that...I really thought I knew what was coming with Effie's appointment...and I really thought I knew when my cows were going to drop their babies...turns out I don't know squat about either of those things:) So, maybe I'll just stick to knowing about lady parts as a midwife...that seems like a safe bet...and even then, it's an ever-changing, and ever-learning environment. This year, especially pushing past my comfort zone and learning lots of new stuff...and absolutely loving it!
As adults, we often think we have the answers...only God knows the plan, and trusting Him is really hard sometimes. It certainly has been through Effie's venture these past nine months, but fear and anxiousness get me nowhere, so I need to work on that whole trust thing.
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13
He knows everything...nothing is hidden from Him...not my anxiety about Effie's health, not what the results were going to be, not what her future holds...and yes, not even when those dang cows were going to have their babies.
Those sweet cow babies started coming on July 13, and just five days later, they were all here...safe and sound...four girls and one boy...and our herd grew by 25%:) And after all that watching and waiting...I witnessed ONE...just one...baby arrive farm side of this Earth:)
Watch out for mama!
This little lady is the only one I actually watched arrive on our little farm...her mama is VERY protective, and certainly had me sprinting the next day! Meet Moana!
The one little guy...
This handsome dude is the sole little boy to arrive in our herd this time...he was very laid back! I would've bet my sweet life his mama was hiding two babies in there...but as it would have it...I was wrong about that too:) Meet Prince Naveen...Tiana had to have her prince here:)
And then there were 20...
Being a fourth girl surprised us tremendously , and when she arrived she rounded our herd number to 20! Introducing Jasmine!
Just about three years ago, we started with just one cow...Ruby...(not pictured). Ruby's due to deliver her third calf with us around Halloween!