This is Echo, she was born at 11pm on Wednesday evening – not the best timing ever.
I had had a long day teaching in London and got home about 7.30. All I wanted to do was go to bed as I had to leave the house by 6.15am to get to hospital in London on the Thursday to have an echo done of my heart – I seriously hope that this the start of it getting sorted out soon as it is having a very detrimental impact on my life and I feel terrible a lot of the time.
Anyway, just before 9.30pm I went to check on the ewes and lambs – all was well. As I was leaving, something caught my eye – one of the pregnant ewes was lying down and had curled her lip back – a classic sign of labour.
I could have carried on walking, but I didn’t. I stopped and checked and yes, there was the beginning of the water bag about to come out.
I walked back, collected James and together we got her into a pen in the shelter. Normally labour is pretty quick in sheep if there aren’t any complications. James went to bed, but I decided to stay up in the dark in case of a problem. Just for the record I really wanted to go to bed.
A single hoof protruded out. She paced around, scraped at the floor, lay down, moaned a bit – the hoof still peaked out. After 40 minutes I started to worry – was the other leg stuck behind, was this stopping the lamb being born? Would I have to rearrange the lamb? Could I do this alone? I got ready.
More time passed. The contractions kept coming.
Then she lay down and more of the head appeared. I gently helped ease out a lamb – a huge ewe lamb. The largest lamb we have had this year – this was why labour had taken so long.
Mum cleaned the lamb, I checked her teats for milk and popped iodine on the umbilical cord and made the decision that given the size of the lamb it was likely that she would just have a single – and if there was another it would probably slip out easily! So at 11.30 I went back inside to go to bed, knowing I would have to get up at 5-ish to make sure the little lamb had got enough colostrum and milk from her mum before heading off to London.
Not many photos of Echo but here are the other lambs playing in the early morning sun Thursday morning.
And here are the goodies I got from China Town after my hospital appointment – lots of yummy SE Asian dishes coming up very soon.