I phoned the veterinarian, who in his slumber, took a while to understand what I was asking. He said to wash the head with a little soap and water and stuff it back in then go in to in to find the feet, if I could. Stuffing the head in was not possible. Babydoll sheep have rather large square heads and once it was out, there was no going back in. I would have to pull the lamb if I could not find the legs, most likely killing the lamb, but saving the mother. I prayed for help and guidance to all of nature and all the helpers out there, please to help, for this was beyond my expertise. The cesarian was about $800 or more and the vet was a half hour away. It was me or me.
I was able to reach inside the poor little mother, who was crying in agony, and pull out one leg, but there was no way I could do anything more. The chance of breaking the neck was lessened now, with the leg to pull. I also was able to turn the lamb a little so the shoulder would come through. Then the mamma sheep and I gave it all we had. A gentle steady pressure pulling the leg and head at the same time, resulted in nothing. Then mom gave a big cry and large push and the lamb was dislodged and was able to come out. The tiny baby was exhausted from the difficult birth and did not move, and at first I thought she had died. I picked her up and moved her head and rubbed her with a towel and she sputtered. Thank God! She was alive. Would she make it though? Was she damaged?
Mother sheep got up and ran away. She did not want anything to do with the pain that she had just suffered, it seemed. I found her and brought her back, but she wanted to escape. So I brought a cage and straw and put mom and baby together, hoping they would bond. Mother sheep was trying to butt the baby away, and although she was not forceful, it did not look good. Sometimes they just need time, but all Cosmos wanted to do was to get away.
I went in the cage with the mother and lamb. The cage is the crate that surrounds the 1000 liter containers that large amounts of liquids come in, about 5 feet square, so there was lots of room for the mother and lamb and me. I held the mother so the baby could nurse, and she tried, but Cosmos did not want to let her milk down. We did both teats and since it was 3 am, I decided to try again in the morning. I took the baby, now named Anna, after a very much beloved Lassie collie, now deceased, in the house and fed her some lamb milk replacer. She was placed in a box for safety, and she and I went to sleep. She dozed for 2 hours, then cried for milk, but her tiny tummy could only hold 4 ounces at a time. She slept again for 2 hours and again cried for food. Robbie, the border collie, cleaned her and made sure she was loved and cared for before she went back to her box.
In the morning, I did take her out to her mother and though the mother was looking for her lamb, she did not want that one for sure. I turned Cosmos on her side and let the baby nurse, but Cosmos would not let her milk down, so she was unable to take in much. I milked an ounce of colostrum, all I could, and mixed it with a little milk replacer for the baby.
Anna is adorable, a spotted Babydoll Southdown. She is strong and although the start she had to life was trying, she is in good health and active and beautiful. Cosmos is doing well, but is sore, and is not interested in her little girl. When the lamb is a bit older, she can go out with the sheep so she can learn to be a sheep and not a sheeple. Bless you little lamby. Little Lamby, Niki sheep, the first little lamby, went to a new home yesterday, and Anna lamby was born. I am grateful for the help of all that responded to my prayers. Bless you too!