My “Shout It Out!” for Tonight; Just Have It Already!

Presently I am on “foal watch” and let me say, I am exhausted! I realize this is an act of nature and that mares have been giving birth to foals for centuries, however, my brain seems to be under the impression that my broodmare somehow “needs” me in order for things to go smoothly.  If you think that sounds incredibly stupid, then add the fact that her last filly was born not only without my help but without my even knowing it was occurring.

Approximately 3 weeks before her delivery date in spring of 2006, I started watching my mare, Fanny, like a hawk (I am sure she wondered why I was so “udder obsessed”; I can just hear her, “Oh Man!  Here my human comes to look at my boobs…AGAIN!”).  I had the foal alert put in at 2 weeks.  I also had my husband practically hanging from the barn rafters to put a camera in place, making sure that the majority of stall could be seen with only her ”bathroom” corner not covered by the lense. 

Night after night I would wake up and check the TV monitor to see if Fanny was acting uncomfortable, and day after day I got more and more tired.  Her due date came and went, making me wonder ”Is she was really pregnant.  Maybe she was just fat?  Did I make her too fat? Is she going to founder?….” (remember, I was tired).  I got so obsessed that I made my poor vet come out to see if she thought the mare was still pregnant (there are 3 vets in the practice so they probably drew straws to see who was going to have to come out!).   Of course, the vet said “Yes, she is still pregnant” and “No, there is nothing you can do.  You just have to wait.”  Unfortunately, waiting is not my strong suit. 

One morning around 5:15am (after yet another crappy night of periodically getting out of bed and checking the monitor for “strange” mare behavior), I walked through the TV room and didn’t see Fanny on the screen.  “She’s using the bathroom”, I thought, and went to start my coffee and get dressed to go feed.  I ambled out to the barn, taking my sweet time to let the dogs out.  When I walked down the barn aisle towards the feed room, I glanced into Fanny’s stall.  ”OH! OH! OH!” was the only thing I could get to come out of my mouth when I saw a little wet chestnut filly lying right next to her mama.  Fanny just looked at me with an expression that seemed to say “Look what I did and I didn’t even need your help.” 

So, for all my preparing, the foal alert didn’t work and Fanny chose to deliver in the only corner of the whole 12X16 stall that was not covered by the camera.  As I was taking my sweet time walking out to the barn (cursing the fact that my stupid mare had not had her baby yet) Fanny was pushing with all her might, alone, just as nature had originally intended. 

Fanny’s due date this year is March 27 and guess what?  Three weeks ago I started getting “udder obsessed”.  Two weeks ago I put down nice fluffy straw and my husband, once again, hung from the rafters to hook up the camera.  And, although my mare has proven that, with Mother Nature’s help, she can handle this delivery thing, I, once again, am staring at a TV screen all night and getting very little sleep. 

(By the way the camera still doesn’t cover that particular corner of her stall.  But she won’t deliver there again…RIGHT???)

3 Responses to My “Shout It Out!” for Tonight; Just Have It Already!

  1. Black Eye Beth says:

    Okay…so last night I got this post up because I was SURE she was going to have it. I even went to Wal-Mart to get video camera disks, batteries for the regular camera and set my alarm for every 2 hours so I could “help”. Guess what… no baby! Damn!

  2. erikarose says:

    I love this story! I sooo can relate.
    2005 our mare delivered her 1st foal with us (she had 3 before). It was about 6 weeks before she delivered (and she went almost a full year) that she started to look huge and bag up. Since my parents had zero experience, we decided she should foal out at my trainers who I was living with and working for. They had to leave for a show so I was the only one on the farm. I checked her at oooh 9pm the 2nd night they were gone and no wax nothing. I went to bed, and woke up at midnight so decided to just go have a peek….I walked into the barn and bolted to her stall, I had the biggest scariest gut feeling I have ever experience. Sure enough when I stopped in from of her stall there was our filly already standing looking straight at me. I freaked out, dipped her belly button and called my trainers. I didn’t even bother to see what sex she was! We bred our mare again for an ’07 foal. This time I was living at home, and decided she could have it here with me & I was not going to miss it. She was bred really late (the end of July) so we figured it would be a summer baby. This pregnancy was completely different. The begining of May she began to bag up and her belly started really growing. I knew my mare, and though the last foal was late, there was a 6 week process and I knew she was in it. I started doing nightly checks on her, and really started to worry because I was leaving the 2nd week of June to go to a show. I printed out check lists, and things to watch for to ease my mind that my step father would be prepared if she did foal, and kept my fingers crossed. When I left for the show she was on her 6th week of the process. I think I called home every 2 hours lol. We left Saturday the 9th to come home, even though my trainers asked me to stay and show the horse I catch rode in the championship, but I had to get home to my mare. We got home at Noon, and I went straight down to check on her. We have a mini barn for her (1 stall w/ a tack room) so she could be away from the other horses w/ easy access to her field, and it was pretty much in our front yard. So I did stalls and my step dad hooked up the camera in her stall. We got back up to the house at like 5pm ate supper, and by 6pm I was going to get in the shower because I wanted to go to the local carnival when my mom yelled “is Missy supposed to be laying down outside?” as nonchalantly as she could. I ran faster then I thought I possibly could in my bare feet to check on her, and sure enough 2 little feet were poking out. I ran back to the house screaming “Omg! Omg! Omg!” threw on my shoes grabbed her halter got her in the stall and 10 mins. later we had my colt. Once I knew this pregnancy was compltely different, I decided she was going to have a colt and it would be early, no one believed me. Everyone thought I was crazy, including the Vet who came out 10 days before she delived and said there was no way she was going to have it, atleast in the next few weeks. She isn’t a “lovey” kind of girl, but this pregnancy she became super lovey & only with me. I still believe she waited for me to come home to have that colt.
    We are waiting for a foal too. She’s technically “due” now, though it would be early. This is her first one and we think it will be late. I don’t have to worry though, she is at my trainers so no night checks for me :) My trainer owns her, but we leased her for this foal.

  3. Black Eye Beth says:

    Just in case anybody is wondering…I am STILL waiting!! Her due date was March 27 and she is as big as a house. If she doesn’t have it soon her udders will be dragging the ground like those old milk cow’s. I am going nuts from waiting and sleep deprivation…

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