San Clemente Goat Giving Birth at PsiKeep
Between water and blood.
We travel far between our birth and death. We forget how to address these gateways of our life.
This video is pretty graphic. I have found myself uncomfortable watching it even as I was putting it together. Birthing is a traumatic event. After all the kids I have helped bring into the world I am still exhausted after every birth, even when there is nothing more that I can do but wipe clear the nostrils of the newborn, snip umbilical cords, and feed a healthy dose of molasses and warm water to the mother doe after everything is over.
The mother doe was the last doe this year to become pregnant. I knew she was coming along but I was unprepared for the birth. I had cleaned out the barns from their winter stay and I was out of straw and shavings when it happened. All I could do was spread out a tarp and some old sheets that I used for sculpting.
The birthing time was short but she seemed to be having some initial difficulty. There is a break in the movie clip as I went to assist her just as the head is beginning to show. You never want to pull on any part of the kid for fear of tearing something inside the mother. I gently eased back the open to her birth canal and slipped the head through as she pushed. The process took only a couple of moments.
The next step is to quickly wipe away the membrane around the kid’s nostrils. This is extremely important. Inside the doe, the kid has been breathing underwater through the umbilical cord and when that breaks the kid’s transformation from a life in water to open air is immediate. Usually the doe will lick away the membrane but I have lost kids born out in the field because for some reason the kids never pulled out of the membrane and suffocated.
As I watch this video I realize that each of us has come into the world this way. Maybe not on the floor of a barn but the process is the same. Blood and water and the first gasp of air; our journey begins from darkness to darkness down the path of light.
Three days later…
Note: I have not added a sound track and have left the original effects in place for the moment. There is something about the jabbering of NPR in the background with the wind chimes blowing, and the mother goat reacting to the sound of the dog walking on the porch above.
Posted on May 12, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, San Clemente Goats, Unforeseen Events and tagged goat givin birth, mother goat giving birth, san clemente island goats, SCI goat giving birht, SCI goats. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.