Thursday, 1 March 2012

An unexpected birth at the farm

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       I've decided that I love how life can be so unexpected at times. I'm usually a big planner. I like to have a plan. I like to know what is going to happen. I like to feel prepared and I like to feel organized with what is happening in my life. However, I've recently started to let life just happen and let go of some of my plans.
      It all started when Terry and I started planning our pregnancy with Mya. I had it all planned out. I was going to have a summer baby (obviously ideal for a teacher). We were going to start trying to get pregnant at a certain date, and we would therefore be pregnant by the appropriate date and it would all line up perfectly with my career and my life in general. However, I learned pretty quickly that none of that was going to work out the way that I had planned and I obviously had no control at all over it. It was probably one of the hardest (but best) lessons that life could have taught me. Sometimes it's not always good to plan. Sometimes you can miss out on the little moments in life when you plan out every aspect of what you think life is supposed to be. I also learned that life will happen the way that it is supposed to happen and everything happens for a reason.

        We learned after Mya was born that regardless of what I had originally planned, she actually came at the absolute perfect time. Only a few weeks after Mya was born, my mom was attacked. She is a nurse and was working alone in the middle of the night in the lower level of the hospital, with noone around, and a male patient began to physically attack her. I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been as she screamed out for help while noone could hear her. She had the bruises and scrapes to prove how horrible this incident really was. She ended up taking time off of work after this happened and spent the majority of these days at my house holding and loving on her newborn granddaughter.

      We realized in this moment that Mya could not have come at a more perfect time. There's nothing like newborn therapy and after calling my mom tonight to check to see if it was okay if I wrote about this, my mom reminded me that she still believes that she couldn't have gotten through that experience without Mya.
     Anyways, my point is that I've finally learned that although I will still try to plan certain aspects of my life, I will also try to just trust and enjoy the unexpected and spontanious things that make life so wonderful. Mya and I, for example, were looking after Val this past Tuesday as we do every week. However, something amazingly incredible happened this week that we were so priviledged to witness. When one of Val's nurses showed up, I decided it was the perfect time to be able to get Mya out of the house to get some fresh air and a change of scenery, while knowing that Val had someone caring for her for a few minutes. So I got Mya all bundled up and we headed outside.
    Val and Brad live on a beef farm, so I love that Mya gets to learn all about cows and farm life from them (and what a fun thing to be able to just walk out the front door and see fields and cows right infront of you). Mya's first animal noise was even "mooo", from showing her the cows every week. Anyways, we walked towards the barn with my dog tearing past us, excited that there were finally people to play with outside. I brought Mya over to the bails of hay and she waddled around taking in all of the new smells and interesting things around her.

     I then brought her over to see the cows. As we approached these massive animals, I noticed something white laying on the ground in then pen. I moved up to get a closer look and realized that it was actually a little baby calf that had literally JUST been born. The white that I saw was the birthing sac that the calf was still in, and the mother cow was gently trying to tear it off of her new baby. It was the most incredible thing to witness. I was just in awe, trying to take it all in. I held Mya and excitedly tried to explain to her what was happening, as she just stared intently, watching as closely as I was. I wish I knew what was going through her little head. But I know that she knew it was something extrordinary as she silently watched.

I couldn't get a great shot since there were so many huge cows in the way, but you can see the mom to the left of the pic  pulling the sac off of the calf lying on the ground. The sac at this point was still around the baby's head, so she had to quickly rip if off so that the calf didn't suffocate.

      We continued to watch as the new mother licked her baby clean while nudging it, trying to encourage it to breathe. As we watched this miracle happen infront of us, I was overwhelmed by this unexpected moment that Mya and I were having together. I hadn't planned this. I didn't know that our venture outside that day would end in this type of experience. And I love that it reminded me that some moments in life shouldn't (and can't) be planned.

     However, as we contined to watch this amazing little calf being licked clean, I started getting worried. This baby calf had been born outside, in the winter, on the mud, and it was cold. I don't know a thing about cows and the birthing process, but I did remember a story Brad told me about having to bring a baby calf actually into his house to warm it up since it was so cold even in the barn for the new calf. So I quickly left the cows and started back for the house so we could call Brad to come home to do whatever he needed to do for this new little life.

    But on the way there, we ran into Brad's dad who just happened to be working in the barn, helping Brad out that day. I told him about the calf that had just been born, and he quickly went over to check out the situation. As we stood by the fence, watching the mom continue the natural instinctual process of cleaning her baby, Brad's dad started telling Mya and I all about the cows, the birthing process and the details of when and why the mother cow was doing what she was doing. I felt like Mya and I were on our own little personal field trip with a farmer. It was just a magical moment.

And this is what happens when you think you're all brave and march up to the cows, only to have one of the cows let out a huge "MOOO!". Poor little thing.


       Although I've been waiting literally for years to actually see a calf being born on this farm, this was better than I expected since there was something amazing about being there just Mya and I and walking into this miraculous, unexpected scene just the two of us. I'm sure one day I'll get the chance to actually see a calf being born, but I love how this moment with Mya made me realize that life is full of unexpected moments and if you try to plan them all out for youself, somehow the magic in the unpredictable is lost.

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