Clara's belly is low now, so low it is nearly touching the ground. Her nipples are erect and taught and the glands surrounding them are full and firm, full of nourishing milk for her babies. But the other way to tell is the back end. Her vulva is jelly like and bulging and the little pink nodule is pointing straight out. In the early development of the pregnancy that part points down and the closer she gets to being due, it moves to an upright position. The vulva is already loosening in preparation for birthing.
Clara is a first time mother, so technically not a sow, but a gilt. She has a heat lamp in her shelter, and when I crawled in today to asses the temperature, it was considerably warmer than outside, which was blowing snow in a strong wind. Tonight there were still no babies, but by early tomorrow morning when the sun comes up, I can pretty much guarantee she will be in delivery if not already a mother. The babies were actively moving, but because it is so close, the babies do not have much room and are restricted, so there is less movement than in the past month when the babies could be seen bouncing around inside her.
Clara was not comfortable allowing me to touch her when she arrived, but we have become friends and she does allow me to pet her and give her some belly rubs and ear scratches. I am hoping she will be a gentle sow and allow me full access to her piglets. Piglets have to be one of the cutest baby animals and potbelly piglets top the scales. I can hardly wait and I am sure, neither can poor Clara. Stay tuned.