If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen a bit of our 12th anniversary story. But I wanted to give the whole story to you all.
It all started with us getting up at 5:30 am to make sure the triplet kids that were born the Thursday before were fed. Their mama did not produce much milk at all….like not even enough for one kid, let alone triplets. So from the beginning, they were in our house and being bottle fed. And because it was a Sunday, we had to leave for church by 7 am to get ready for the day. (We’re worship pastors at our church, so we start bright and early with one last run through of our set for the morning before our 2 services begin.)
Knowing our anniversary was going to fall on a Sunday, I didn’t anticipate a day of celebration, but I wasn’t anticipating the crazy that came after church.
At about 3 o’clock, we got back home. You see, we have life groups after church, and this was our second week since we started one immediately following our second service. And because we did want to celebrate a little bit, after life group, we went to the store to get a few little snacks. We probably took a little too much time just browsing, but we also knew we had to get back to feed those goat kids, so we did our best to hurry through to make our anniversary a little special.
Oh, back-tracking a bit, Dave, being the amazing and thoughtful husband that he is, arranged for our oldest 4 kids to spend the night with my dad and step-mom. Isn’t that so sweet? He knew that, even though Sunday is a work day for us and there’s always a lot going on, it is so important it is for me to have special days set aside to celebrate. So that little grocery store trip was exciting, because it was just us and Franklin for the rest of the day…and night!
As soon as we got out of the car and started walking into the house, we heard a small little “meh”. We both stopped, looked at each other, and looked at the shed. “Did that come from inside?” Dave asked me? “Nope…pretty sure that was from the shed,” I replied.
Because I was holding the grocery bags, and Dave, Franklin, we rushed inside, he put Franklin down and ran back outside to the shed. I was putting the groceries away, and trying to get Franklin to stop crying (as he was pretty abruptly awakened), when Dave came back into the house holding 2 brand new baby goats. And there were 2 more still in the shed! The 2 that he had brought in, however, were not doing very well. Winter in Wisconsin can be pretty bitterly cold, and that day was no different. So when these sweet little babies were born, their mama, Martha, cleaned them off so very well, but because she had 4, she needed to focus on the next birth while the first ones born laid there. Which meant, they got cold. So cold in fact, that one was looking like she was not going to make it. She was stiff, and had the weakest cry.
We’ve been here before, saving goat kids lives, so we immediately started filling up the kitchen sink with hot water. As it was filling, Dave gave me both of the babies, and I had to stand there, making sure their floppy heads didn’t get under water. Within minutes, the one (I think it was a buckling) baby started to get lively. He started rooting and trying to suck on my hand. The other, the doeling, was getting better, but she was still incredibly stiff and very weak. It’s heartbreaking watching an animal fight for their life….and stressful! I don’t do well with death, so I started praying over that baby. I looked her in the eyes and told her that she couldn’t give up, and that she was going to live and be healthy!
It took another 5-10 minutes for her body temperature to rise, but it did, and she started trying to stand up in the water. Seriously….watching a miracle like that (because seriously, she looked sooooo poor at first)….I just can’t even put words to how relived and joyful I was!
Martha was still outside with one of the other kids (the third was inside getting a hot bath just to be on the safe side), so we dried them off and got some colostrum into their bellies. All 3 that were inside were thriving! And the one outside had already stood up and nursed on his own. All was going well, except for our anniversary celebration. By that time, it was already almost 6 o’clock, and we were both exhausted with feeding now 7 goat kids, keeping them alive and warm, trying to make sure the 4 new babies could bond with their mom outside, and also stand up on their own and find their food source on their own as well. Those first few hours after a baby goat is born, especially when it’s so cold, are critical for the health of the kid.
All while that was happening, Franklin was not a happy camper either. He wanted me to hold him while I was holding 2 kids in the water, and when I was trying to dry them off and when I needed to feed them and warm milk and do all the things to save these kids lives. So not only was it stressful not knowing whether or not those new kids were going to make it, but also that my sweet little toddler was heartbroken that I wasn’t holding him or giving him milk. But in the end, we snuggled, he nursed while I fed the triplets (talk about multi-tasking!), and then we got to share in the excitement that we had more goat kids. Side note: If you’ve never seen a one-year-old with a goat kid….you should. It’s probably the cutest thing you’ll ever see.
When all 7 of the kids were fed and sleeping, Dave and I finally got to sit together and just be. I think by that time Franklin was probably sleeping too, so it really was just the 2 of us…for a minute. I don’t even really remember the rest of that night, but I do know that it was a lot of waking up to feed goat kids, and waking up with a Franklin.
All in all, I wouldn’t change our anniversary celebration for anything. Yes, it would be so nice to be able to travel, (man I LOVE other cultures and food and landscape…sigh….), but we will get that time at some point in our lives. Right now, though, we are in the trenches of rearing children and kids (goat kids I mean 😉 ), balancing life and work and the homestead, and dreaming big dreams that we feel like God continues to lay on our hearts. From the outside, our life may look idyllic or romantic in a way, but there is so much raw life that is lived. We very much love our life on Liederstedt Farm, but sometimes…it’s exhausting. 🙂
And because, who doesn’t love seeing and hearing baby goats…