When new babies arrive there is always a lack of sleep. Two years ago my little one was born and some days I would wake up planning my nap for that day.
The past few years with lambing have been very similar to having a newborn human. I would wake up every two hours, walk out of the barn, shine a flashlight on all the sheep and either a) finding nothing and drag myself back to bed OR b) see feet/a lamb and go running to the house to wake Jesse.
This year I had a different plan of attack.
I had a few worries when I started Operation Baby Monitor. Would the ewes make enough noise birthing for me to hear? Would I actually wake up if they did make noise? My plan was not to set a single alarm and SLEEP THROUGH the majority of lambing season, only to be awakened by the sounds of labor..... if they occurred at all.
The first lamb was born on a Sunday. We were watching a new episode of Downton Abbey when and audible yell came through the baby monitor. It was a screech that could only be interpreted as labor pains. I bundled up as quickly as possible and headed to the barn. Sure enough, Mimi Mumps was in the middle of labor. She needed some assistance passing the head, and to be honest, had we not had the monitor we would not have gone out there for another twenty minutes, when the episode was finished.
The rest of lambing followed in very much the same way. The new mothers, or mothers who needed some help, would wake me up with LOUD screeching. With the older mothers I would be awakened by the new and constant bleating of a lamb who is training it's mother to it's specific sound. If I awoke in the middle of the night to a suspicious sound I was able to check the video feed to see if there was something I needed to investigate, or if I could drop back off to sleep.
This year we lost just one lamb. Blerta's second born twin was presenting head back and one arm out. Jesse was out of town, and despite my best efforts I could not turn the head. The vet was called to assist, but by the time she arrived it was too late. For us, losing one lamb out of a potential twenty-one, in below freezing conditions is a great accomplishment. I attribute a lot of the success of this year to the baby monitor, it allowed us to get to the barn quickly and respond if necessary before any lamb was affected by the weather.
And while not as important as our lambs health, I was able to get some sleep. Which I think everyone on the farm appreciated.
The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of