This past year has been a busy one. Not just with the new farm and lifestyle change, but also with the children. Lucinda continues to be busy, busy, busy, and sibling conflicts have been many and intense. Still, after Lucinda’s second birthday, back in October, Andrew and I decided to try for another baby. Because of my own relationship with my sisters, I’ve longed for Lucinda to have a sister. Much to our sorrow, I’ve miscarried over and over, throughout the winter. I still hope and pray for another baby, but it is more apparent to me than ever that this is beyond my control. So, I give thanks for these sweet ones, and I pray that God will grant me peace.
On a lighter note, you know what else is beyond my control? Silly cows. Our first cow, Galaxy, blessed us with a beautiful calf this past week. We think she’s a heifer, but we haven’t been able to check properly. Galaxy and last year’s calf, Buttercup, have a very strong bond. Once her mama calved, Buttercup was overcome with jealousy and attacked the calf. We were able to catch her quickly and separate her from Galaxy and the new calf. Phew! The next morning, we came back to the barnyard and discovered Galaxy, the new calf, and another cow missing. We looked and we looked, getting more and more anxious. (Galaxy has a history of milk fever, and we feared that she’d crashed somewhere.) On a second sweep of the barnyard, we noticed a few dark blobs down in our uncut hay field.
The hay field borders the pasture to which Buttercup had been relocated, and there is a nice, long shared fence line. Galaxy busted through a gate, and took her calf (and her friend, Morwen) down the field to visit Buttercup through the fence. Ever since, we’ve been waiting for Galaxy to bring the calf back. Galaxy makes repeated, furtive trips into the barnyard for water, but she’s hidden her calf out in the hay field. We’ve been giving her as much time as we can afford to get comfortable enough to bring the calf back, but it’s nearly time to cut the hay. Today’s jobs will include stalking Galaxy until she shows us her hiding place.
On a purely positive note, Galaxy did not have milk fever this year! For those of you who don’t know, milk fever happens when a cow begins to make milk but doesn’t have the required calcium in her blood. Cows strip the calcium for the milk from their bones, naturally, and happily go about their lives, making milk and feeding their babies. When a cow doesn’t, for whatever reason, she crashes. Last year, Galaxy went from appearing normal, to staggering, falling down, and nearly dying. The vet came out and gave her calcium intravenously. It was like magic. She was completely flat, and moments from death. A few minutes after the IV, she sat up, got up on her feet, and went back to grazing. I’ve been quite anxious about a repeat, for this calving, and another expensive vet bill. I’m so relieved to report that Galaxy has been hardy, healthy, and happy enough to plague us with her shenanigans.
We’ve been excitedly waiting on our other cow to calve. My favourite cow, Morwen, was artificially inseminated at the same time as Galaxy. Since we didn’t have a trailer at the time, we didn’t take her to the vet to confirm her pregnancy, and I watched her all winter long, anxiously, for signs of a heat cycle. I saw no such signs, and I assumed that we’d be welcoming a calf, and I’d finally be able to milk the cow that I’ve been working so hard to tame. Sadly, Morwen came into heat this weekend, and we won’t be getting a calf from her this year.
Life is a funny thing. Full of joy, excitement, sorrow and disappointment, all at the same time.
Welcome to the world, little one, and may you be much less troublesome than your big sister and mama!