June 4th, 2006
Sometime after a storm passes and the torrential rain has subsided, a small shower seems of much smaller consequence, although every drop of rain it sends has just as much value…albeit without the drama. So that is how I would like to preface the story about the birth of Magnolia.
By now, it is June 4th. Sharon and I, through some luck or fate, had time to go back to the show at Proud Meadows. This time I was able to walk through the barn and admire the Fresians. We then drove over to Dallas and went to the Sixth Floor Museum. That was solemn experience and it touched us both. It felt eerie driving down that same road by the Grassy Knoll to get on to the freeway after taking a walk back in time. After taking Sharon to the airport, I called home to let Art and Carson know I was the way. They were at the barn doing evening chores.
By the tie I got there, there wasn’t much left to do. However, I had a feeling about Lisvilje. That morning, I had put her with Numbers, BonaFide and Lolita, just so someone could keep an eye on her throughout the day. When I got home, she was right at the gate, ready to come in. She voraciously ate her pellets (which was nothing new for her). Art left to cook supper and Carson to take a shower. He had started a pot of pintos and some cornbread with jalepenos. I was starving, but decided to lollygag for a little bit. After I had come back up the hill from giving had to a few horses, Lucy had broken a sweat and her neck was covered. I knew at that point that she was in labor, so I decided to sit on a bale of straw and wait. I kept thinking that any minute I would heat the undeniable gush of water breaking!
And I waited for what seemed like an eternity. Now I know how new Father’s must feel in possession of the knowledge that the long awaited birth is imminent, but without any control over the process. By eight eighteen, I heard a lot of grunting. Lucy was lying down and there were two legs out to the cannon bones and a nose, just stuck there and the bag had not broken. The placenta was detached because there was red just behind the luminous white sac. So, I got my trusty bandage scissors and made a cut through the tough, slick bag and tickled the pretty brown nose that was now exposed with my index finger. Such a still, perfect moment.
Lucy needed a little help, so I gave a gentle assist to help clear those big, well formed shoulders. I was elated to see fluttering eyelashes and the nose pulsing in and out with air….and two tall socks and some kind of nice blaze! I called the house and the cavalry appeared (yes, he turned off the oven). At eight twenty three, the foals wasn’t even all the way out and was slapping it’s front feet one by one in frustration, trying to get up! By eight thirty three…all parts were clear and in a couple more minutes, I “did” HER navel. Yes…this one was a her at birth and stayed that way (refer to the story of Oz). By five after nine, she had been totally violated with navel services and an enema. I have to wonder what they think upon arrival.
Classic Lucy behavior, she laid down beside her foal and had a talk with her…gently licking away the shock of Earth’s first impressions and leaving a mark just of her own in its place. Lucy’s children know that they are loved unequivocally.
So that was our queue that all was well and that we should go tend to things human…like supper. I can’t remember what we watched on TV while we ate….just that I ate fast and went back to the barn and by nine forty three, Magnolia was standing and trying to nurse. By ten twenty five and again at ten forty, she was well on her way to her destiny. What more could we hope for than a big strong filly up and nursing well in under two hours in the shadow of the loving Lucy?
In addendum, Magnolia wasn’t named for a week. Lisvilje’s registered name is Mille, so I thought we should have an “M” name this year. After I suggested “Magnolia”, Art got out a JJ Cale CD and played the song, “Sweet Magnolia”…and then it stuck! We will probably call her Maggie for short.