Something new always happens each kidding season. Never fails. This time was no exception, except it happened to me. I havenít had a cold, sniffle, flu or cough since Ď99 and this year I thought I would be a responsible adult and get a flu shot. After all, I really am an older responsible adult now. One month after the flu shot I get the flu which quickly developed into bronchitis and all at the beginning of the big kidding season.
I rolled myself up in a blanket on the couch and shivered and ached. Lee asked how I was. I croaked out, "Iím so sick" and thatís all I could say. To add insult to injury, the flu/bronchitis had given me a terrible sore throat and had almost taken my voice away. Croaking out a few words was the best I could do.
Mom suggested a sore throat recipe given to her by a throat specialist - 1/3 Listerine, 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, and 1/3 water. Fevered, I mixed this up and gargled. One thing for sure, it was a mouthwash that pretty much stayed with you. You kept foaming at the mouth, looking for a place to spit.
I came down with the flu/bronchitis over the weekend and Lee took care of the feeding and chores outside. I croaked out an assurance Iíd be right as rain by Monday. Monday I couldnít even croak out a word. Could barely swallow and stayed fevered. Lee left for work and I went back to my chores. It was the beginning of kidding season and we had put in 22 does (yes, I went out to help put them in over the weekend) in their kidding stalls.
Dutifully, I walked up and down that hill to the barn, checking on girls, bottle feeding triplets that had been born a month before, watering, haying, snow coming down and temperature outside dropping. Each time I went out my throat got worse.
I called the doctorís office and told them I was down with bronchitis, the nurse nicely called in antibiotics for me. I asked Lee to pick them up for me plus some boxes of banana popsicles. I needed something to cool me down from the temperature and to soothe my aching throat.
When Lee came home he found me once again rolled up in a blanket on the couch. "Iím sicccccccckkkkkkk." I almost croaked out. "Please stay home and take care of the goats," I croaked. He had time coming to him so he agreed.
From then on it was Leeís job to do the kidding and all the outside chores. It was my job to stay in and be sick. I believe I had the tougher job. We had a couple of baby monitors on down at the barn and we had monitors to hear the barn in the bedroom, living room, and the office. We also had walkie talkies so I could keep in touch with Lee and he could usually just talk back normal while at the barn and the baby monitors would pick him up.
As I sat up at the house practicing feeling miserable, listening to the baby monitors, croaking around, and sucking on banana popsicles, I thought, boy, am I sick. So this is what being sick is like. Boy, am I sick, and then Iíd go get another banana popsicle.
While in the middle of my reverie of thinking how sick I was, Lee called out over the baby monitor, "We have a girl starting to kid here!" I leaped off the couch, snatched up another banana popsicle, and headed to the bedroom where the monitor was nearest the kidding doe down at the barn.
The monitors were set up so the back part of the barn was covered by the monitors in the bedroom and office. The front part of the barn was covered by the living room monitor. It was the oldest monitor but the strongest and could cover a larger area. If a mouse sneezed, we would hear it.
I didnít last long in the bedroom listening to that monitor. If I sat on the bed, the aches from the flu would wipe me out, and if I laid down the coughing from the beginning bronchitis would get me. So, I headed to the office and sat up in the office chair and listened to that monitor that was picking up the kidding doe just fine. I kept the walkie talkie in one hand and the banana popsicle in the other and listened carefully to Leeís narrative as to what was happening. He would have made a great radio sports announcer. The play by plays were so clear that I could picture exactly what was happening. When I needed to ask a question, I croaked it over the walkie talkie and he would answer over the baby monitor.
There would be long spells of just waiting for her to get ready to have some more contractions, so I would click on the computer and read some on the goat list. I caught up on goat news, listened to Lee and the kidding doe, sucked on a banana Popsicle, and croak something to Lee over the walkie talkie. Sometimes I would get so excited about what was going on that I would snatch up the computerís mouse and talk into it instead of the walkie talkie.
Things pretty much went on like that until one day Lee hit a snag. He had four does kidding at the same time and in different areas of the barn. "I need help here!" he sang out. I tossed my banana popsicle into the sink and flew down the stairs to get my barn boots and coat. I was down there before he put the exclamation point at the end of his sentence. I wheezed, coughed, snorted, and croaked the whole time I was helping my two girls, but they didnít notice. Acted like I usually did that. After it was all over and all the kids had nursed, I crawled my way back up to the house to get another banana popsicle.
Half our girls seemed to have triplets this year and some very good friends came and bought four kids (one each from sets of triplets) for bottle kids for 4-H projects. They figured this would help the does and us out and they could always grow those bottle kids out bigger then most kids left on mom. Almost immediately after they left a doe started kidding. She was located beside her mom and her mom got quite agitated and started pawing the ground, watching her daughter. Finally, she laid down and started kidding too! I was called into service again. Lee took the mother and I took the daughter, both kidding at the same time and both having a set of triplets each. Which was a relief, since the mother had had quads last year.
So kidding season continued, Lee calling me down, day or night, when two or more were kidding at the same time and me usually staying up at the house in between times, hacking, snorting, coughing and sucking on a banana popsicle.
After a week and a half I decided it was time to get back to work and help Lee. He had been a real trooper. I was feeling a little better, sore throat was gone, still coughed, and I was thoroughly sick of banana popsicles. We have more girls to kid out but the main lot was done by Lee, freeing me up to be sick.
Looking back, forgetting the sick part, it was sort of fun. I sat at the baby monitor listening to Leeís play by plays of each kidding goat, speaking into the computerís mouse and then remembering it wasnít my walkie talkie, giving advice to Lee as he did the kidding, listening to newborn kids holler and momís soothing talk, and Lee telling everyone how good they had done. If I could have taped it I would have, it was one of those pleasant moments in time to remember, except for the sick part and banana popsicles.