The news has been nonstop coverage of Jonas, but at CAS, we’ve had a different arrival on our minds.
Actually, make that seven arrivals.
Jacqueline went into labor early Saturday morning. While most of us were having our first cup of coffee, she was busy giving birth to triplets: Lonnie, Loretta, and Lulu.
Lonnie and Loretta are doing well and are with their mother. Unfortunately, Jacqueline is unable to produce enough milk for both babies, so they’re being bottle fed four times a day to supplement her milk.
Lulu’s story is sadder. She was lethargic and wasn’t improving. The vet quickly diagnosed her as having pneumonia and immediately began treatment, but despite her valiant efforts, Lulu worsened. We decided to let her go rather than allow her to suffer further.
Yesterday morning it was Vanna’s turn, and another set of triplet girls joined the growing goat family. The girls, whom we named Violet, Annie, and Tula, are tiny, with little Violet weighing only one pound.
Despite their diminutive size, Annie and Tula are holding their own. At just a few hours old, they clearly already know they’re goats. They’re hopping through the straw and beginning to headbutt each other. Both are nursing. Both are breathtakingly cute.
Violet is our biggest concern. She is so, so tiny. Worse, Vanna rejected her tiniest child, the neediest of all, refusing even to clean her after she was born. After a trip to the vet, she’s receiving round-the-clock care, being bottle fed every two hours and kept warm in a cat carrier with a heating pad on low underneath a mound of soft towels. (Truthfully, she’s also sometimes kept warm inside the jacket of Kellie, our tireless health care coordinator. Kellie reports that Violet the Valiant loves to cuddle under her neck and suckle her nose.)
Just when we were starting to catch our breath, another goat decided that yesterday was the day! Libby easily made her grand entrance. As the “only kid” of Leah, she is the healthiest of the babies, fully twice as big as the other girls.
Meanwhile, in the neighboring maternity ward, little Lillian, who was born on New Year’s Day, calls out to the newborns. She really wants to play, but she’ll have to wait a few weeks for her first play date!
We knew when we rescued the herd in October and discovered the pregnancies that these would be difficult births. The first few days of a newborn goat’s life are often precarious. Even in an ideal situation, it’s common that one triplet will not survive.
But this was not an ideal situation. These mothers were too young to be pregnant, chronically malnourished, and ill-treated. The last several months have been spent healing weakened bodies in the hope of giving the babies a fighting chance.
We’re doing everything we can to provide a life for these babies that their mothers’ never knew. Medicine, heating pads, round-the-clock feedings, clean bedding, and plenty of love is what offer in abundance. But we need your help to do it. Will you please make a donation right now of $40 to help the baby goats?
And will you please keep the babies in your thoughts … particularly tiny Violet? We’ll have more updates in the days to come, but wanted you to know what is happening now.
From our hearts to yours, thank you.