Jasmine. April 10, 5:30 pm
Julia. She is brownish and a little smaller than Jasmine.
Anabelle and Jasmine about 10:30 last night.
Julia tends to curl up by herself.
Anabelle gave birth to her kids yesterday! Maria & I were both in attendance and everything went well.
Anabelle had been moving slowly for a couple days and towards yesteray afternoon it was becoming very apparent. She also started making new noises, it really sounded like she was talking to her kids. In fact, it sounded like the kids were talking back. There were these very quiet cooing noises coming out of her, not Anabelle's regular voice. Very strange. Then she started moving less and less, standing in place in unusual parts of the stall. Pretty quickly she sat down at kind of a steep angle, her front feet mostly extended and her butt on the ground. The contractions came quickly, 5 minutes total for the first kid. She really screamed for the last couple of contractions.
The kids come out in a clear bag, while in labor it looks like they are flying out in their own space ship. You can actually look into the bag and see the face and front paws. When it hits the ground, Anabelle quickly tears the whole thing apart and starts cleaning up the kid. The first few breaths come right away, although initially it is more gasping as the lungs open for the first time and the fluid gets cleared from the airways. The second kid came out much easier, I don't even think Anabelle screamed. But she was standing for #2, so the poor thing dropped very unceremoniously to the ground in a sticky glob.
Maria helped Anabelle dry them off with towels. It was in the 30's, but not much wind and good sun. I took pictures and handed Maria towels. Wilhelm, Nigel, and Simon hung out in the stall next door. Wow!
Julia moments before hitting the ground.
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Here are my notes for April 10:
|afternoon||getting vocal, quiet "talking". Her udder is noticeably larger and stretched out today|
|16:45||very soft cooing, new sounds. I swear the kids are cooing back.|
|17:10||light nesting and pawing at the ground|
|17:18||she will stand perfectly still for 2-3 minutes at a time, eyes closed sometimes, seems almost sleepy. Vulva becoming concave.|
|17:21||serious pawing at the ground|
|17:24||on the ground, clear labor contractions. Very loud noises from labor pain.|
|17:26||The "bubble" starts sticking out of her vulva about now, there are loud contractions but really not much movement.|
|17:30||#1 is out! Anabelle turns around and starts licking her.|
|17:35||#2 comes out. This one drops to the ground while Anabelle is standing taking care of #1.|
|17:39||#1 is standing|
|17:54||#1 is drinking|
|18:09||afterbirth still hanging out of her. She has tried to push it out several times, but it does not seem to move.|
|18:20||#2 getting good drinks|
|19:00||Anabelle eats the afterbirth. (btw, this is perfectly normal for most mammals, including primates and a few human cultures) She never completely expelled the afterbirth, it was just hanging from her behind. It was difficult to count placentas, there were really 4 distinct blobs hanging from her butt, they all looked basically the same. But there should only have been two placentas, right?|
The signs of labor prior to the actual birth were very subtle. Really, 30 minutes before the first kid was out Anabelle was acting fairly normal. The most significant signs were the tight udder and the talking, and the general slowing down. Maria could see some dried mucus when she checked around 17:00, but there was no obvious "plug" or water breaking. She also stopped letting our cat Jezebel into the stall, she would furiously charge Jez every time she came near. We were never able to make sense of the "lost ligaments" and tailhead indicators that so many sources talk about. She also really seemed tired all afternoon. I think we were lucky to witness the birth, it would have been very easy to miss.
|April 11||5 lbs 4 oz||4 lbs 12 oz|
|April 12||5 lbs 2 oz||4 lbs 12 oz|
|April 17||7 lbs||6 lbs 8 oz|
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