a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

of Death and Doubt

I found Summer's dead baby boy this morning when I went out to do my morning chores.

I have no idea when he was born, or when or how he died. I was lazy last night and did not go out to check on the goats when I got home.

The facts

The baby had hair and toenails, so was not too early a kid. I found him at the bottom of the little ramp from the barn into the field. The placenta was about a foot away from him. I could not tell if he was still slightly wet (frozen) or only new-born-baby-looking.

Summer was active, alert, and only slightly confused-sounding this morning.

The suppositions

The could-haves and the what-ifs are plenty. The baby could have been born a tad early, since the sonogram in January put Summer's due date in mid-March. The baby could have died in the womb and Summer's body expelled it early.

I should have locked Summer up in the barn so that she couldn't kid in the field. I could have checked on the goats last night and maybe saved him, or maybe not. He could have been lying there dead since the moment he was born. Or maybe he birthed healthy, was ignored by his first-time mom, and suffered in cold and starvation until he expired in the dark of night.

The "it could have been much worse" list is long. Summer could have died of birthing complications. Summer could have been in the middle of hard labor and we had an emergency vet call for a C-section. The baby could have been born weak and spent the night in my arms as I tried to save it only to have it die anyway.

So I need to count my blessings:

I have seven healthy happy baby goats.
Summer survived the experience (so far) without complications.
We did not spend all night in emotional agony over a weak and dying baby goat.
Nothing happened to the baby's body before I got there, so we aren't stuck wondering and waiting.
I have a wonderful husband who doesn't mind being woken up out of a sound sleep by a crying wife.

Edit: I'm so glad I'm not a parent. I think I'd go nuts with guilt and worry.

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