"This...this is what family does!" That's what my mom-in-law told me last weekend, as everyone at the farm was doing different jobs to get the evening chores done. Two men (and one little one) were hauling water, one was feeding, and three of us (plus two bonus "helpers") were out tagging new calves. It was a beautiful display of how families truly come together and get work done on a farm. While we aren't able to help every night, Sunday's are typically spent at the farm after church.
From sleepovers, to picking Riley up from daycare, or watching her on those days that we may not have daycare, help is there. We do grocery grabs for each other, if someone's going somewhere, we generally check on one another (both sides of the family) to see if there's anything someone may need while we're out. It's just how it works.
Throughout last week, God's blessing of family was shown in many different ways. My mom grabs us farm fresh eggs from her neighbor (almost weekly), my dad was able to watch Riley so Jesse and I could attend the Annual Day of Prayer event in town, Riley was able to spend an entire day with her Aunt Nicki and cousin Theo, we donated a small freezer to Shay & Nathan, and while doing that, my father-in-law and brother-in-law were at our place and were able to save a cow in distress.
A cow in distress??? What exactly does that mean? While Jess and I made a quick check for new calves before heading to pick Riley up and meet Shay & Nathan for the freezer swap, as well as grab a couple of grocery pickups, we noticed a cow that seemed to be struggling. Jess made a quick call to see if our reinforcement crew (named above) would be able to check her while we were gone because her level of distress and lack of calving progress wasn't sitting right with either of us.
Shortly after picking up Riley and heading for our next stop, we did get a call and it wasn't looking great. First assumptions were that the calf didn't make it which was why she was stressing and struggling. They thankfully made the call to get our vet out asap, and after being able to catch her, he was able to determine that the calf was 100% breach, not just backwards. He was able to reposition and pull the little one, and to everyone's surprise it was alive. That was not a text/phone call we anticipated, so we were relieved to here that both were doing well, just very tired.
We checked the pair when we got home, and both were still seemingly ok. Mama was up and while she's normally a doll of a cow, still wanted nothing to do with people. We understood and let them be since baby was still breathing and had its head up. Sadly, Saturday morning when we went to check them, they were still in the same spot as the night before, a coyote was near, and mama was extremely upset. The calf did not make it through the night. We had hoped it would, but were aware that there was that chance that it may not, as traumatic as the birth was, but it could have been so much worse.
We're so grateful for the family that God chose to put in our lives. He has a specific reason for each and everything He does, even when we don't know or understand. Thankfully, the rest of the weekend went much more smooth, with several more healthy calves, happy mamas, and family time!