Friday, March 26, 2010

Provision, Faith and the gift of a miracle or two, or three...

A lot has been happening since we moved here there is no doubt. But, one of the most astonishing to me is God's continued provision for our family. There have been many days out here that could cause me to worry. Out here on a small ranch like this every calf counts. They account for a year of paychecks. How many are born alive is important, how many thrive is important. How they gain weight. Even putting up the hay to feed them will determine how we are going to live over the next year, and not just us Mr. & Mrs. H too. But, even when I am tempted to fret, God has been reminding me He has everything under control and that there is no need to worry.
One way He has been reminding me of this, is through his amazing provision with the birth of these calves. God has provided with the twin births we have had, though it has been bitter sweet. With each twin birth we have had a loss. A few days after the first set of twins where born we had a mama cow in labor and things just weren't progressing as they should. When they checked her the calf inside was backwards. Kyle and Mr. H worked on her for quite a while, even a neighbor was called to help. They finally got the calf pulled but unfortunately the calf was dead. It was one of those; there was nothing that you could do situations. The calf probably would have been still born regardless of how soon they would have delivered it. But, God had already provided for this. Kyle and Mr. H were able to graph one of the twin calves onto that mama. Both calves and mamas are thriving now.

The second instance of God working was through a miracle that took place before our eyes. Mrs. H saw a cow out in the pasture laboring for an unusual amount of time. Mr. H brought the cow up and let Kyle know what was going on. Everything seemed to be going according to plan with the exception of one thing. Even as the calv's head was delivered the water bag had not broken. As soon as the calf was out Kyle was by it's side breaking open the water bag. The calf had fluid built up in its lungs and Kyle knew just what to do. He hoisted the calf upside down over the fence and let the fluid drain from its lungs. I watched from the window, praying the breath of life to enter the calf. I watched Kyle work on the calf. He had hoisted it up over the fence a total of 3 times. Then quite suddenly he put it down and walked away. I watched still praying, but from what I could see the calf still wasn't moving. I thought the battle was lost. Kyle came in a little while later. I was bummed out, thinking the calf was gone. I noted that Kyle seemed to be in a fine mood. I said I'm sorry about the calf. He said, "why?" then he got it. He told me the calf was alive, it was just going to be a little delayed because of the ordeal. Sure enough a little while later the calf was shaking its head, and a little while after that trying to stand and nurse. I was amazed. First that God heard my prayers and secondly that God without our knowing it had prepared Kyle for just such emergencies while working on the dairy farm, back in Michigan (a job that he did not thoroughly enjoy.) Had he not acted so quickly The calf surely would have died.

We have also had two more sets of twin births. Unfortunately we have also lost two other calves. One mama simply aborted her calf. In another case a seemly healthy calf came down with Bloat ( See the story of Blueberry for more details) However, even with these losses the twin calves where able to be graphed to the mama cows who had the loss. And amazingly they are bonding.

Then there was the case the other day. It was the same day two of the twins sets where born. along with a bunch of other calves and the cow who aborted her calf (Let me tell you that was a crazy day!) Kyle and Mr. H where down in the barn dealing with one of the sets of twins trying to graph one of them to the mama that had aborted her calf. Colton was restless that day so we went for a walk. I decided I wanted to get a picture of one of the sets of twin calves so I walked down the road toward the pasture (Kyle and Mr. H had not brought up the second set of twins yet.) As I was walking I saw in the pasture a set of legs up in the air! There is a drainage ditch that runs through the pasture. A cow had rolled upside down into the ditch. I turned and came as close to running as my pregnant body would allow to alert Kyle and Mr. H. Fortunately they came out of the barn at that moment. Kyle knew I would not be out for a jog, yelled to find out what was wrong. I yelled that a cow was upside down in the ditch. Off they raced, Kyle in one skilled attempt flipped the cow over and up out of the ditch. (another skill learned at the dairy farm.) It turned out the cow was in labor, they ran her into the barn. The delivery would have been impossible anyway because one of the front legs of the calf was retained. Kyle worked quickly to free the leg, and pulled the calf. Both mama and calf are fine. But, I have no doubt now that it must have been God's promting for Colton and I to go outside, and had we not cow and calf would have surely died. God works in mysterious ways.

We do have one more miracle in progress. It has to do with one of the twin calves. One set (either the second or third, I'm not really sure.) From the day this heifer was born she has just been kind of mopey (We call her, "The Little Red Heifer") She never really got up on her own and never really tried to suck. Since there is usually a dominant and a weaker calf it was not really that unusual. They usually try to graph the weaker calf as the mom usually has already bonded with the dominant calf. The Little Red Heifer was first graphed to the cow who aborted her calf. Well, that cow wasn't really making any milk. So, after Blueberry died they re-graphed her onto that mama. After being graphed twice she just has not been thriving. It came to the point that it looked like we would loose her too. She was dehydrated and bound up. Kyle did some research and started intensive electrolytes over the course of 24 hours. He also, began treating her for scours (a bacterial imbalance that causes diarrhea and dehydration) Within two days she was bouncing back, she was even trying to nurse. The mama she was graphed to had accepted her. It was just up to her to get going. Yesterday she nursed all day and things are looking up. Hopefully she will continue to progress.
This may sound silly but we pray over these cows and calves daily. God has been faithful to answer our prayers. Sometimes in ways we do not expect, but nonetheless He is faithful.

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