Saturday, November 29, 2014

A New Addition and a Loss

When I found out I was pregnant last spring, blogging was one of the things I decided to set aside in hopes of maintaining my sanity. Few events of note happened, anyways; it was a fairly quiet and peaceful summer. Now that our precious boy is six weeks old, I will attempt to continue the narration of our little farm.

Our own baby Buck was born on October 16th. It was two days past my due date, and I was feeling it. A summer of chasing goats up and down the hills around our house had left me eager to have a normal sized torso again. Then, a few days before I went into labor, we harvested our 43 meat chickens--a lengthy process that is tiring when NOT pregnant. However, little B was pretty content in my belly and decided to stick around through all of the activity.

During the time I was laboring in the hospital, my husband and I laughed over silly goat YouTube videos while my best friend snapped pictures. My 8 year old daughter and mother were there, as well, to witness the water birth that took place just three hours after admission and after five minutes of pushing. For the past six weeks, A and S have been happily adjusting to having a little brother, and I have been happily adjusting to being a homesteading/homeschooling mother of three surviving.

Just one day after we came home from the hospital, Moon went down. After a rocky start on our farm, Moon turned out to be our best milking goat this year before battling health issues in the last few months. What started out as a copper deficiency became an immense struggle against parasites that her body just could not fight off. We had tried everything, both herbally and chemically, with little response. After spending days trying everything we could to get her back on her feet, the vet came and gave a discouraging prognosis. He said it looked like meningeal worm, a particularly devastating parasite that attacks the nervous system and is both hard to prevent and hard to treat. Moon was losing all feeling in her legs, and he gave her less than 50% chance of survival. I spent the next few days walking out to the barn every day to hand feed her and give her the medicine the vet said was our last shot at saving her. I could no longer go to her stall without crying. I would sit at her side, counting her breaths and stroking her thinning hide, encouraging her to lick molasses from my fingers. When she finally died, I was just thankful the suffering was over.

Unfortunately, death is a regular part of this lifestyle, and it is something I have dealt with many times already in our short tenure here. I have yet to become hardened towards it, and I am not sure one is supposed to be. Life is precious and something to be incredibly thankful for. There is always sorrow in death--whether it is the planned slaughter of our chickens for meat, or the unplanned suffering of one of our best goats. It is one more reminder that we live in a decaying world, and I am so thankful for the hope that we have in Jesus. One day, this will all be put right again.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

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