..... a friend of mine dropped by yesterday for a civilized afternoon of hot tea & chocolate biscuits, and I ended up forgetting that I had an appointment in town..... he'd brought along a nice collection of Morgan silver dollars and they had me completely distracted..... so as I bartered, broke out my own collection from the safe, and generally tried to figure a way to separate a Man from his Silver, the telephone rang..... it was the receptionist from the business where I had failed to appear at the allotted time.... I explained that I had been minding my own business earlier in the day when I was suddenly struck by a severe bout of Walter Hustonism and had become absolutely & completely debilitated.... there was a short bout of nervous laughter from the other end of the phone, and my apology was accepted...... but personally?.... I don't really think that they got what I was talking about.......

..... but they were quite amicable about the whole situation, and I simply rescheduled my visit for this afternoon.... much like me, I guess, if the folks around here were any more laid back, they'd have to be in a coma........

.... so I am driving home from my appointment in town today and I turn right off of US Highway 411 onto the curvy county road which leads to my house...... (those of you who have visited my home during the October Blogmeets will know this road as the home of the 'Kaboom! Tree"..... named by Elisson, I believe, it is the small stretch of road which winds down through three S-curves over the course of 1/4 mile with a drop of 600 feet and then climbs immediately up the creek-valley over another 1/4 mile to a height of 800 feet..) .... actually, I posted footage once of that stretch of road..... it's buried somewhere in my youtube account, in case you are curious....

..... anyway, just as I passed the "Kaboom! Tree" and swept Sylvia down to the trough of the valley, there was a large cow laying beside the roadside fence with her back legs splayed out in a most painful-looking manner.... I slowed down and prepared to stop..... as I came closer, I realized that she wasn't as large as I had imagined...... she was probably only two years old and about 600lbs...... I rolled down the window and placed the Audi in park once I was alongside where she lay - heaving steadily......

.... her bulbous, jet-black eyes were drawn wide and were blinking wildly while her huge pink tongue lolled out from between her white, flattened teeth.... she was terrified and obviously in pain..... I checked the barbed wire fence with a quick glance to see if she was somehow tangled, but no, she was not..... I craned my neck back towards the farmhouse which sits at the top of the hill above the field - no movement there..... this was Mr. Miller's field, after all, should I go and tell him that one of his cows was down?..... and then, at that wonderful moment of complete indecision, I noticed the slimy nose, gooey mouth, and placenta-glazed eyes protruding from between her legs......

.... I watched for another minute or so, and the front hooves appeared..... and then, well, I knew it was going to be alright...... two more heaves and the shoulders would be out..... and then, hell, all she'd have to do is stand up and gravity would do the rest.....

..... it truly was a beautiful sight, in a way..... and in another way, it was absolutely disgusting..... but hey, that's life, folks...... Mother Nature is a messy, messy gal, ladies and gentlemen........ and there isn't really anything wrong with making a mess from time to time...... it's just natural...... actually, I suspect that if I had hung around for a bit longer, I would have witnessed one of the most tender moments of life - watching that new mother clean her newborn and gently nudge it to stand.....

... but, well, I didn't stay to watch...... once I knew that she was ok, I rolled up the window and headed towards home..... in reality, once I realized what was going on, I felt like a complete voyeur......

...... in the end, though, I am glad that I stopped.... and I am glad that she was ok...... and I am glad that I had a chance to witness my very first birth.... I've seen death many times.... and I have seen newborns the morning after hundreds of times..... but this was the first time that I actually saw a birth from the beginning (even though I didn't hang around the for the 'end')......

...... ahhhh.... Nature is messy, you know?..... and messy is OK... beautiful, messy, and real......

..... but hey, it did put me off my fish sandwich just a bit afterwards....... but only for just a bit.....

by Eric on February 20, 2008 | Bullshit (8) | TrackBack (0) | Thinking
Bullshit So Far

At least you didn't have to I have many times......go up there and reach into her shoulder deep to turn a breech birth around.........then sit there in the mud, the blood and the shit.....heaving mightily to assist her efforts in delivering a calf too big for easy ejection.
You're absolutely right......beautiful.....if a bit messy.

Bullshitted by kdzu on February 21, 2008 08:18 AM


Bullshitted by Elisson on February 21, 2008 11:14 AM

Yea well think what you want. It's not beautiful. First of all it's the most painful thing a female will ever experience in her life. Blood, shit, placenta, amniotic fluids, a dangly cord that looks like a sausage, and a slimy newborn. At least us humans don't have to lick ours clean anymore. Thank gawwd. Now Eric, when you have the pleasure of experiencing 32 hrs of labor and the reward is something that split your hole in half, you will probably be thinking a tad bit different. Just a guess though.

I know, it hurts just thinking about it doesn't it? Hah!

Bullshitted by upset waitress on February 21, 2008 06:01 PM

Actually, upset waitress, I have to disagree with you. I didn't find it disgusting at all. I've done it three times, one long and horrible with drugs at the very end, one short and no drugs, one with complications luckily endured with good drugs and a nurse not afraid of 'calving'.

After the first birth, I realized I didn't get to see it. I called my Dr. on the carpet for it. I'd done all the work and everyone else got to see the miracle. The next two times I insisted on a mirror, which they gladly provided. It seems to be a normal request.

I've thrown up, my eyes have glazed over with pain, I've nearly passed out in pain, I panicked and thought this was it... I was going to die, which my Dr. assured me was not going to happen. And did not, obviously.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat. All of it. And I'd hold someone's hand through it and coach if they needed. I'd watch, I'd assist, I'd do anything... and I suspect I would find it to be wonderous every time.

To be able to stumble upon something like this... cow calving... what a blessing. Truly. The whole miracle of birth thing... its wonderous.

Bullshitted by Bou on February 21, 2008 06:34 PM

"First of all it's the most painful thing a female will ever experience in her life.." Maybe really painful for some women, but that is because human babies are born with such large heads because the brain is so developed.

Most animals feel nowhere near the pain a human feels during a normal birth. I have seen cows, pigs, dogs, cats, mice, hamsters, snakes, and fish (the kinds of fish and snakes that have live births, some lay eggs) all give birth. None ever seemed to be in great pain (and yes I know the signs of great pain in most of these animals because I have seen them in pain too). Human birth canals never quite adapted to the size of the heads of the babies they birth.

Having said that, I would not want to be a woman, thank you!

As for you Eric, a good deed you did just in checking on that cow, and you got a decent reward for it, watching the baby as it was born.

All the best,
Glenn B

Bullshitted by Glenn b on February 21, 2008 10:11 PM

A "cowfish" sandwich?

I've not witnessed a "normal live birth" of a human, other than on TV. My first was emergency C'd, and the next was scheduled as if there was an appointment with a lawyer, or a dentist.

I am familiar with the basketball through a garden hose deal, and I'll tell you, I think it'd suck to be the garden hose whether your a cow, a sow, or otherwise. The stuff I've seen, frankly, looks like it hurts. If it was me, I'd take the dope and the blade.

Cut me Mic...

Bullshitted by RedNeck on February 21, 2008 10:38 PM

You didn't stick around to watch the cow chew up a long string of placenta like a big wad of Bazooka bubble gum?

Bullshitted by Jerry on February 22, 2008 12:57 AM

Have not seen death up close an personal (near death is another story)... have seen birth 3 times. Tis a miracle indeed, and something never forgotten (in all above cases). For what it's worth 2 of the three births are out of college, the third, in the middle of high school. Damn glasses were more then a little damp after each birth as well, must have been the high humidity in the room at the time.

Bullshitted by Guy S on February 28, 2008 10:44 PM