Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Cows are Alright

Name that Academy Award Nominated Movie!
This calf was born Monday by Caesarean Section.
(I swear I googled the spelling of Caesarean five times, even the internet doesn't agree on how to spell that word!)
A C-Section on a cow is NOT a simple process.
We hauled the cow, in obvious distress, to the vet, twenty miles away.
And when I say 'we' I mean 'we' in a metaphysical sense. In the sense that everything we do on this property is a union, a joint effort, a labor of love.
(okay, I wasn't home when it happened, shut up)
The vet had to cut open her belly WHILE SHE WAS STANDING UP.
I'm sure that's normal procedure but WOW am I glad they don't do that to human women!
Heavily pain medicated of course ... or the cow would have discovered her inner raging bull.
Which she didn't.
She stood calmly (all things considered) throughout.
The vet cut through three layers of...her.
My Cowboy stood in as obstetric nurse with good will and when the cow was....open, the vet pulled the calf out back legs first and my husband's job was to make sure the little guy
(who weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet---trust me, he was soaking wet)
didn't conk his head on his way to the floor.
My husband took the calf aside and made sure it was alright.
Then his job was to hold the cow's uterus (wow, hold the cow's uterus, there are some words you don't hear everyday) while the vet started sewing and sewing and sewing.
The vet sewed the uterus twice, two layers. The uterus OUTSIDE THE COW'S BODY!!!!
Weird.
And all the while My Cowboy had to hold the thing.
It's HEAVY.
Then they returned the uterus to the inside of the cow
(wouldn't want to forget that, it's not like the doctor left some puny SPONGE in there or nuthin')
then the vet sewed up two more layers of her.
The sewing took more time than everything else combined.
And now here is mama and baby four days later in the picture above. Looking pretty chipper.
I know she's feeling chipper because this was the best picture I could get from the lively pair.
And that's the side she was shaved and cut open, right there.
Nothing shows. Black fur. Black skin. She looked great.

I fooled around with the picture and I think in this one you can see the missing fur on the cow's side.
A big patch is missing.
The cut is vertical almost two feet long, though honestly I never did really see the cut clearly,
it just doesn't show.
It looks like it's healing well.
(Dr. Mary makes that medical diagnosis--you're welcome)
We have her locked up with the baby so we can watch her for another few days or weeks.
And she's on medication (because she says she's got a raging headache)

4 comments:

Linda said...

They didn't do C-sections back on our farm. Crippled the cow. Put her down. Butchered her. Tasted like grass. Ewwww!!! Calf survived.

Amy K said...

WOW, Mary!
How exciting! I'm a labor and delivery nurse... for humans. I've seen tons of c-sections, but I think your story tops them all! Enjoy your new calf!
(p.s. I can't wait to tell your story around at work)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Awww glad they're okay and you all are okay! :-)

XOXO~ RENEE

Faye Rhys said...

Wow, sounds like fun. My uncles's cows are calving right about now too. What did you you name the calf? My uncles name every single one, and every year there is a theme, the last 2 years were Country Music Stars, and Biblical names starting with "A." I hope there are no more complications, those are difficult. But that's what happens on a ranch:)