My first calving season was so full of wonder and horror, and it still is that way. There is something so darn sweet about those little calves bouncing around. There is nothing more horrifying for me than to get that phone call, I need your help, get your boots on. First if he needs my pitiful help, it is not a good scenario. I cried for years whenever we lost a baby, or as a my son's girlfriend calls them, cow puppies, (city girl) and there are a number of ways that can happen, she can't push him out, too big, or maybe the uterus twisted, back ended and stuck, get dropped into a pile of cold mud, stepped or rolled on, they can freeze their ears off even, this is way more hazardous than I knew.
Seared into one brain cell memory is the first "pull" I saw, "chains and a crank-bar", what....and every time he pulled, my insides lurched, I got dizzy, I think my girl parts seized up recalling two moments they had been "pulled". I was exhausted, I cried. First time mama cows don't know what to expect either, I related to them. I had two C-sections. It sucks, and sorry but I have a hard time believing anyone had a delightful time birthing. Sometimes the cows say screw it, you hurt me bad and I want nothing to do with you, some get over it, some don't, then you have to bottle feed the Lil cow puppy.
I am used to the very long gloves that go up to your shoulder, the giant smelly milk replacement bag in the kitchen, the tubers and bottles, also now in the kitchen for the next couple of months. What I am not used to is that "I forget" how hard it is, just like childbirth, every year, until that first time I hear my husband utter "I don't know, whatever". You see first timers need a lot of attention, so you are getting up every few hours to check on them when it is close, how do you know, they "udder up". Calving season for us last about 3 months, he says two months... never happened. This is major sleep deprivation folks, and not just for him. In Iowa, Feb/March, those cold legs popping in and out of bed wake you up fast. So both of us get a bit wore out, but he gets full out boggly. I should take advantage, but I am too tired myself to get that creative. But it drives me nuts he can't make a simple decision, I hear the words I don't know, multiple times a day, you start to think, My God Man, is this worth it, you are a blithering idiot right now (in the kindest way possible).
So about 3/4 of the way in, I get the blues. I miss my Guy. I miss my sleep. I miss my nice "filter", I hear myself being a tad blunt with people. I am yawning like 150 times a day. The weather is still not the best, people are not dying to come visit us in the mud and crud. I do get on my pitty potty a bit. One day at a time I say to myself. I dream of warmth, while the townies are all on spring break, plastering their epic vacations on facebook, at times, I don't wish them well.
I am not sure when I actually come out of it. I do know I have one night where the whole bottle of wine is gone, and I have sang loudly to and with Van Morrison, moved the furniture around to make it feel different. Then the sun is out, I smell new grass, we are moving the cows and their "pups" out to a lovely pasture, they are so happy, and I ask my hubby a question and he can reply with an actual answer, and all is right with the world again.
Life on Gravel
About the Author
City girl sharing stories of a life full of country glitter and other shit.