February 23, 2012
JustLiving Farm

Yesterday, with the help of a few friends, we reshaped, remodeled, and temporarily organized the barn into a kidding area.  This came the same day I received notice a friend of mine is pregnant.  As a guy I really don’t have a clue what it means to be an expectant mother, but as a parent I do know what it means to be expectant.

I know it drives folks—it did me at one time, a little nuts when folks compare the human condition of pregnancy or raising children to that of animals, but I know few folk who are parents and work with animals that don’t make the comparison on a regular basis.  For instance, today, four out of twelve does have bagged up—that telltale sign of goat utters filling and teats enlarging.  This stage of pregnancy says soon: soon birth, soon mamas making the sound only mamas make with newly birthed babies, soon baby kids finding they have legs, soon the first taste of milk, soon babies learning the mystery of life with sky and wind and straw.  This sooness has the demeanor of the four does quite different from that of the other eight and not all that different from other mothers, four legged or two legged, living this stage of life.

When the demeanor, the expectation, of these mamas become what it is, then we are compelled toward the barn to ready stalls and a loafing area in anticipation of birth.  In only a few hours the barn was readied for the first birth of the year.  Now we wait.

It is nice to be ready, to have shelter and warmth in the time of expectation.  And I reckon that is my hope for all expectant parents, to have a warm place for new life to enter which allows their youngsters to live and learn and love the mystery of life with sky and wind.

© David B. Bell 2012


  1. Funny aside to your comments about comparing animal and human birthing…..a long time ago I delivered my first child. I was the one to diagnosis myself with mastitis – my doctor told me I was reaching on that one, but I told her I felt just like a cow 🙂 Turns out I was right.


    1. Hi I am Belinda, I am grabbing this one for David, your comment struck a cord with me: I once compared myself to a Mare defending her foal with ears back and teeth bared, when in a crowd with our newborn daughter. Cows or Mares when it come to motherhood we are all in the same paddock.


      1. Love the analogy! I find so many “farm” topics that relate to “human” topics. And I don’t mind being called a heifer…esp. because that is a YOUNG cow 😉


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