Stuff Happens

My Generation

There's no such thing as normal when you have livestock.

Published on: February 21, 2011

Saturday night. It was supposed to be our big date night. Our last night out was Christmas shopping in December, and before that, a pre-harvest date night. So we were kind of excited, and, bonus, it was even halfway close to Valentine's. That hardly ever happens.

But nothing's ever simple. No joke, we walked into the restaurant and John's cell phone rang. It was his dad. I could see "COW PROBLEM" written all over his face. Sure enough, one cow was having trouble calving, and another was out in the stalk field with a new calf. It was supposed to rain and they absolutely had to be brought up to the barn. But the calver was the real problem.

Nuts. I mean, really, cows. Again. We apologized, left the restaurant and the potential for my most favorite dessert and headed home. We figured, best case scenario, John pulls the calf, they get the other in, and we head back for a late supper. 'Cause hey, we have a babysitter and we are not going to squander this opportunity. Worst case: he can't pull the calf, they call the vet, the calf dies, the cow dies and I take our babysitter back home. (these were his words, not mine)

Also, an aside, we love these calving straps. They took a little bit to get the hang of, but they seem easier on the calves' legs.

Anyway, we got home, John grabbed coveralls and calving straps and headed out the door. Forty-five minutes later, he texts me: "Deformed calf doing C section."

Time to take the babysitter home.

And because she's our niece and is as curious as I am, we swung past the barn on our way to her place. Part two of this little story will include details for the deformity situation, but suffice to say, I have never seen anything like it. Our vet had only seen a couple before. And our kids were wide-eyed and amazed. Questions the rest of the night ranged from the calf, its insides, the cow, the stitches, the needle, C-sections, will the cow die, how are babies born, do women have C-sections, why did God make the calf wrong, The Fall, and so many more my head is still fuzzy.

No one ever said being a farm kid is boring. Nor for that matter, is being a farmwife. We'll go out, someday. Maybe after calving is over.