“Sleep”, A Foreign Concept

Picture of Alyson Zawisza

The last 24 hours have been pretty interesting. I had the day off and was doing homework all day. I had just turned out the light and called it quits at 1:30 am. Fifteen minutes later I heard the jeep, which only means that something needs to go to the vet. I threw my clothes on and went up to the sheep shed. One of the ewes was unable to lamb so the farmer and I loaded her into the trailer and headed for the vet’s office. After examining the ewe, the vet decided that C-section would be the best way to get the lamb out alive. It was sad news for the ewe but I must say I was so excited. I have seen several C-section before but only on cats. As one can imagine, this surgery would be far different from being done on a cat.

I won’t get into the gory details as I know that it’s not something that is unbelievably fascinating to everyone. But believe me when I say it was not something I had ever seen before and it was awesome. We got back to the farm at about 5:30 am. It was still dark and seriously cold out but the ewes didn’t care. When we opened the shed doors, hoping to not see any lambs, there were two sets of twins and a single that had just lambed. That was the first time I was not excited to see a lamb.

Once everyone was sorted out, I went to bed finally at about 6:30 just to get up at 11:00 and start all over again. Lambing was constant today. I don’t think I left the sheep shed until later in the evening. It was one lamb after the other. One ewe that started lambing, only pushed out the head, no front feet. For those of you that don’t know, lambs are supposed to come out front feet first followed by the nose, in superman position. Knowing this was not correct, I jumped in, caught the ewe, got her on her side, and pulled my handy-dandy glove up to my shoulder. When I reached in to try and find the two feet, I found another head instead. I ended up having to push both heads back through the pelvis and into the uterus. From there I had to sort out what belonged to who. This is a trial and error sort of thing. When you have one leg out already and you go to pull the other but it pulls out anther leg with it, it’s safe to assume you got the wrong pieces.

While I’m completely exhausted, today was very rewarding. It was incredible to see a C-section like that. Then getting the chance to push two lambs back into the uterus, reposition them, and pull them back out…how many people can say they’ve done that! It was a day of new experiences. I have come quite far, from having very little experience with sheep to doing and seeing what I did today. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you still love every minute. There is always going to be something new and unseen and you can’t miss it. The coziness of your bed doesn’t compare to the happiness of bringing new little nuggets into the world and watching them grow.

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