Joy & Sorrow

Yesterday was filled with the joy of Sweet Girls birth 25 years ago and at the same time it was filled with sorrow.

Josie was acting a bit odd yesterday.  She refused her grain in the morning…very odd indeed.  She then started walking around with her tail up like she wanted to poo but couldn’t…also very odd.  Then it hit me…oh my she’s going to calve.  I ran out to examine her and she showed no signs of calving being anywhere near close.  Her ligaments had not separated and showed no signs of dilating.

I gave her a couple little apples off the tree and left her.  She went off to eat grass.  Becca and I were watching Blood Diamonds, a very sad and tragic movie depicting the rebel war raging in Sierra Leone, Africa, surrounding the mining of diamonds.  When we finished the movie I went to check on Josie.  She was very sweetly laying underneath of a tree chewing her cud.  It looked like any typical day around the farm.

As I approached her with her uneaten grain, to see if she was interested in it, I saw something fall out of her.  Then when I looked at her, what I saw was a cow that didn’t look pregnant AT ALL!  Her sides were flat.  We called that slab sided.  I slipped through the electric fence without getting zapped, and I approached the blob.  It was either an afterbirth or a water bag or a placenta.  I ran around in circles, crying and saying out loud….where is the calf?  I ran to the barn…and found no calf.  I ran all around the pasture which I’d just mowed so visibility was great, and still no calf.  I frantically called Honey at work crying and asking him to come home….unbeknownst to me he was already on his way.  (He’ll have quit a good message on Tuesday morning!)

I then called the Vet.  The vet had just pulled a calf and would be at our place in about 30-40 min’s.  We kept searching the area surrounding the field and the underbrush for a calf that might of wondered off…..but by the looks of Josie……there was no calf.  She showed absolutely no signs of birthing, other than the fact that she definitely didn’t look pregnant. She didn’t show any signs on her vulva that she just gave birth.

OK.  Then she didn’t give birth and was going to give birth on Becca’s birthday.  The calf must be in the birth canal thus the slab side and she needed to make progress.  But there was still NO udder development….none at all.  And no signs of her vulva swelling and dilating.

The Vet arrived and began to examine her.  She could not find any sign of pregnancy.  There was nothing inside of Josie.


She examined the blob and didn’t think it looked like the placenta or afterbirth and sorta looked like the water bag.  She gave me some options.

One….get her someplace for a sonagram!  $$$$$

Two…induce her to see if she expels anything else.

Three….do nothing but watch and wait.

I chose two.  So she was induced just in case something was remaining in her.  If there was, there was a chance that it could kill her.

The Vet’s only guess…..and it is a guess because no one saw what happened and there is no calf or fetus or anything other than that blob.  Her only guess is that she aborted her fetus that for some reason hadn’t developed past a very early stage and that she ate whatever it was.

Numbness hit me….and confusion….I couldn’t wrap my mind around all of it.

She finally ate her grain last night.  She was up and eating grass this morning and seemed just fine.  She doesn’t have a fever.  She is walking around with her tail out, like she did yesterday….obvious signs of contractions from the injections.  I wish I could talk to her.  I wish she could tell me what happened.



I’ve been hit with a ton of emotions.  Confusion.  Sadness.  Pain.  Confusion.  Sadness.  Pain.  Why did this happen?  Could I of done anything?  Is there something wrong with her?  Will she ever be able to carry a pregnancy?  Will she ever have an udder?  Why me?  What am I suppose to learn?  Do we get another cow that is lactating and bred?  Do we get rid of someone?  Who?  Josie or Joy?  Do we put them in the freezer?

I’m just kinda numb today.  Wishing things could of ended differently.  Ended with the birth of a healthy calf.  But as Job said, “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

There are some things in this life that we will never understand and were never meant to.

I think it’s a day for good chocolate!


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