So, needless to say, I was a little worried when Cosmos was ready to deliver. She segregated herself in the shelter and stayed there for several hours. I checked on her, did chores, checked, had coffee, checked and did some more chores and then finally she was laying down in labour.
The hooves both presented with the little nose between, perfectly for the way sheep are supposed to be born. Since Cosmos had given birth previously, she also knew what to expect, but she did not mother her first born, not lick her off to clean her or nurse her willingly or anything. Her little lamby was born beautifully with no stress. Then Cosmos got up and walked away. She did not come back so I grabbed a towel and cleaned her mouth of fluid and the amniotic sac and toweled off her head. The baby still did not move, so I picked her up by her hind legs and swung her back and forth a little to clear the fluid from her lungs. Finally she sputtered. Cosmos heard the baby and came back. She did not lick her at first though and I thought she was going to leave again, but she sort of hung around.
She did leave and I cleaned the baby up pretty well, but Cosmos did not leave the shelter. So, at that point, I thought maybe my presence was disturbing to her and I left. Robbie and Karin Llama were watching too, and I made them go away. Cosmos slowly began to lick her baby. I went in the house for a while and when I came back, she had bonded to her and was calling and talking to her baby, thank goodness, but she had not nursed her. I knew that because the teats have waxy plugs and they are sucked off by the baby when she nurses, but they were still there. So I flipped her and allowed the crying lamb to nurse. If they do not nurse very soon after birth they become weak and cold and it is imperative that they do. Once they nurse they are usually strong enough to nurse again on their own, even if the mother is a little standoffish, which Cosmos was.
So, after the baby was fed, I left mother and daughter again and came back a few hours later. Cosmos had the little girl out of the shelter and was calling to her. Baby was able to crawl under Mamma and nurse too, which was a great relief for me. So, finally Cosmos was a real mother and the little lamb, another little girl just like Anna, is doing well and is healthy and strong. Welcome to the Fat Ewe Farm, baby!