About 2:30 in the afternoon on January 31st (yesterday's Thursday, if you wanna get that detailed), I had just finished up doing a chore for each of the kids so they didn't have to after school. (I felt like they needed a break.) Call it a premonition twice over (they never did a single chore), but I had a funny feeling it was time to check Frankie, despite the fact that the baby monitor had no sounds telling me that anything was out of the ordinary. And I am always having an inkling to go check Frankie. In fact, I believe this check was the seventh one of the day. So I, non-optimistically, donned my boots and sweater and headed out.
I got to the door and peered into the barn. Frankie had her back end turned to me and it was (finally) oozing amber colored goo. My heart started racing and I reached into my pocket to grab my cell phone cause I had to tell somebody--anybody! But it wasn't there. Well, that wouldn't do cause you can't deliver kids without a cell phone, so I ran into the house, grabbed one of each phone, and ran back out to the barn. Not only did Frankie not move and inch while I was gone, but she never even paused to stop chewing that cud either. She wasn't nearly as excited as I was. So I did my texting and then gently (I acted like I was gonna break her, just so you know) corralled Frankie into the "birthing stall"--a tiny little square Scott made full of fluffy clean straw; it's really not much. Anyways, I deter. . .
Nina comes home and hollers out the back door (I guess mom's always in the barn), asking if she can have a cookie. I holler back with my mom-voice, "Nina, it's time!" She hears, "Nina, it's fine!" and goes and has her cookie. So I wait. I wait for Frankie and I wait for Nina. Neither show progress so I use my cell phone and call the house (because I absolutely can't leave Frankie now, says me.) Nina doesn't answer, but comes out and wants to know what did I want. I tell her, it's time. She says, "Time for what?" Good grief.
Fast forward thru Dominic coming home, calling Scott and asking when he'll be home, and him being home. I waited and watched that goo the entire time all that happened. I never left Frankie's side until I had to pee. Once. But I was back in a jiffy! (Yes, I washed my hands.)
So, it's about five thirty in the evening--kids and hubby are getting hungry. Scott does a DQ run and as he's walking into the barn with my chicken tenders, Frankie starts pushing. I scarfed the four tiny chicken tenders (don't get me started in how tiny those tenders are and how much we have to pay for them) and skipped the fries. It was time to get to business. Get down and dirty. Grab the bull by the horns. Pray to God that I didn't screw it up.
About 6:30, Frankie starts pushing hard. Not the wimpy little "eh's" she was doing earlier, but now she was grunting and bearing down. Baby number one showed up around 6:45. She was very tiny and beautiful! I cleaned off her face, aspirated her mouth and nose, and handed her to mom. Frankie starts licking her to life. Oh, I forgot Scare #1: nobody told me what to do with an attached umbilical cord (because all the you tube video's show it just falling away from the mom), so while I was figuring it out, Frankie jumps up, ripping the umbilical cord. Blood starts gushing everywhere and thankfully my level-headed husband clamps it up for me, while I applied pressure. And try to stay calm in front of my kids. My heart just about came out my throat on what had just happened, and knowing that umbilical cords aren't supposed to bleed like that, but second guessing what we were doing, I call Melinda, from Left Foot Farm. She encourages me and tells me we're doing the right thing.
Okay, so this is where it happened so FAST. Baby #2 comes out about ten-fifteen minutes later. This time we clamp the umbilical cord and cut. I check and this one's a boy! Thinking God had blessed us so richly with a boy and a girl, we were all oh-ing and aw-ing the new arrivals. Frankie was licking them and they were starting to look less gooey and wet & more fluffy and cuddly. We thought God had done enough so we assumed we were done. Then Frankie starts bearing down again. But nothing's coming out. Well, a fluid sac was, but not baby-filled. So we thought maybe it was the placenta. But then Frankie starts crying and something doesn't feel right in my belly. So I start panicking. Just a little. Scott's asking me questions and the kids are giving me their input. . . I look at Scott and I tell him I dunno what to do. He says go in. To appease him, I put on a glove and slip my fingers into Frankie and feel around. I feel nothing. But my gut, and Scott's gut (and Frankie's screaming), tells me that things are not over. Scott puts on gloves and goes in, too. He thinks he feels something, but is not sure. We decide to let it ride out and two minutes later, out comes Baby #3 followed by Baby #4 on it's heels--literally! I was scrambling. I clamped and cut umbilical cords. I was wiping faces and aspirating and it was all crazy. We thought, how the heck are we gonna get four babies on two teats? So we call Melinda again. She laughs at our good fortune and says to put the tinier ones on first and. . . and. . . I didn't hear the rest because Scott's telling me--and wouldn't you know it--Baby #5 is on it's way. I tell Melinda I'll call her back and I rush to Frankie's side just in time to catch it. After Nina ran to the house and got dental floss for the umbilical cord, we stared in shock. There we had five squirming, bleating nigerian dwarf kids. Oh, and a lot of goo. I was wearing it, the walls were wearing it. . . you get the picture, don'tcha?
You would think this is where the happy ending goes. No, no, no, no! The babies still had to eat! And it's vital that they get some colostrum in their belly in the first hour they are alive. Hence Scare #2. Well, the firstborn had been trying to eat, but momma was so busy popping out siblings, she gave up. As did Baby #2. And we were on that hour mark. They had to eat. So we start showing them the teats. They don't get it. We put the teat in their mouths. They scream and yell at us. Four of the five were doing this. But # I-have-no-idea (the biggest and loudest) is doing fine. He attaches himself and up to the moment you read this, he's still probably attached. Baby #1 starts winding down and gets a little listless. She rolls her head back when Scott picks her up. We are besides ourselves at this point. So we call Melinda and tell her the scenario. She tells us, and we follow, the advice: she needs glucose and so a drop of honey will do that in a pinch. Check her temperature (it was 104). Make sure it's 104-105. Try getting her on the teat fifteen minutes after the honey. Repeat honey and teat try. Melinda says she may be in shock. So while we are working on her, we are also working on getting three others attached to Frankie's teats. It was not easy. It was as if the clock stopped. Baby #2 started acting like Baby#1. It was all mayhem. I have not slept because I am still processing it all!
But I'll spare you the details. After three more calls to poor Melinda and as of now (about 6:45 a.m., 12 hours since Baby #1's arrival), mom and kids are doing great. We don't know what it's gonna be like over the next few days. I suspect that Chunky Monkey Baby will probably take his fair share and that a couple will probably suffer and perhaps need to be bottle fed. Maybe. I do know that we have three adorable females and two handsome males that I would very much like to keep alive. I would be so appreciative if you'd please pray for my little ones. Oh, I mean, Frankie's little ones.
Pictures to follow a.s.a.p.