For the love of life- provided by Deep

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Well-known member
Jan 20, 2007
LaRue, Ohio
This came from Deep- I just posted it for her so she wouldn't have to type it over again

This was written by my sister-in-law a couple days ago.
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007 began as any other day of the week at our house with the typical litany if misc. and necessary farm and home chores. We were particularly keeping a close watch on several cows due to calve at any time. So, with this day of the calendar being one of the coldest, cloudiest, windiest and in general, more miserable days of the winter thus far, one of these cows in question chose to bless us with the miracle of birth. Jim had already checked the stock earlier in the morning and was to run an errand to town. On his way he drove around the fields to have another glance. I had just gotten comfy in the sofa with mu crocheting, only to be interrupted by the speeding truck up the drive, startled by the horn blaring. Rushing to the door, I was told to throw blankets and towels in front of heater. In his arms, Jim cradled a newborn calf rescued from the creek. After vigorous rubbing and drying we transferred her to bathtub. Jim was committed to his town errand and left me with the daunting task of revival. His parting words of encouragement as he closed the door was, "she's probably not going to make it." A shot of antibiotic to help combat pheumonia was administered. To help stimulate energy, syrup water was drenched into back of her mouth every 15-20 minutes. Vigorous rubbing and turning from side to side became my full time job for the day. i had to be cautious and not introduce too much heat too fast for fear of sending the little girl into shock. But it became apparent that all my efforts might be in vain. I wasn't succeeding in raising her body temp. The poor baby's tongue was cold, gums pale blue, limbs stiff eyes rolled back in sockets and moaned with every breath, which I was certain would be the last. As I slumped over the edge of bathtub, I couldn't help but think, "what's the point?" Things were looking like Jim had predicted, death was most likely emminent. But not being easily swayed and striking a new resolve, I pumped another syringe of energy down the little girl's throat, cranked up the heater another notch, dragged out the hair dryer and started rubbing and flexing legs again. By the time Jim returned home, the breathing had become less labored and tongue and gums were beginning to feel warmer to the touch. Maybe there was hope. With circulation improving, we filled tub with warm water and ran the shower head over the baby's body. Having fallen or rolling into the creek on such a raw day was this baby's first misfortune, but not being able to nurse initally as nature intended was misfortune number two. The next hurdles would be nourishment., standing on all fours and getting mama cow to accept her baby back. But, the day was far from over. Just before dark Jim went out to check cows again, only to return with yet another baby. Gratefully, symptoms were not as grave for this newborn as the other, but circumstances were not good. It was now dark and even colder. Baby #2 had not gotten his legs under him yet and it was growing colder to just leave him to chance. Long story abbreviated, we had two newborn calves as overnight guests in the utility room. The next day was just as challenging. Both mamas were reluctant to let their babies nurse. But after much confinement, manipulation and coercion, we were able to get the much needed colostrum in their bellies. Although the mothers were mooing and cooing and licking their babies, all being good things, voluntary nursing on the mother's part was still questionable., not to mention the decreased stamina and vigor of the stressed babies. We bedded the babies with their mamas for the night and hoped for the best. We had exhausted ourselves and our abilities, survival was left for the powers that be. Next morning we were elated to find two calves nursing, just like life is meant to be. Now, as I reflect on the events over the previous 36 hours, and hear a newborn calf bawling for its mama, i am reminded of that question I had asked myself, "What's the point?" Given the big picture in this world of turmoil and up-hill challenges, isn't The Love of Life the point of everything?
P.S. Update: "Jameson's Miracle" and "Baby Boy" are progressing nicely.

Written by: Tammy Dill, Tennessee