Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Loss and light

Rosa lost her two lambs. While I remained calm and fulfilled my role as helper, nurse, confidant and mother, I failed to be able to help her fully and had to finally call a vet around noon yesterday.

She went into visible labor around 7 am and the lamb's mouth and toe were visible. A half hour later she had made little progress. I've learned not to jump in too soon, as more damage can be done [I learned this the hard way a few years ago]. I felt as a new mom she might not have known what to do, so gave her an hour. Then I stepped in, but she was so tight, and my small lubricated hand could hardly feel my way around. I did manage to get the whole head out, but it was clearly a dead lamb, and a big one. I tried my best, and so did Rosa.

He gave her an epidermal and had to tube lubricant into her. He got the first lamb out - a huge ram lamb of 15# [about twice the normal size for us]. The twin had never fully formed and was about a pound, a little girl. I felt better when the vet assured me I never would have gotten the ram out on my own, nor would Rosa, mainly due to the size but also because she was bone dry inside - probably because the lambs might have been dead awhile [he could tell from the fluid, I guess].

It was a traumatic day, mainly because Rosa was suffering. I did notice that each time I came in the stall, she tried so hard to push it out, as if I could help her. No pulling worked, we both needed help.

I was dead tired yesterday afternoon after all the chores but felt compelled to put something, anything on paper to honor the lambs, and me. I thought what a gift to have the ability to purge, heal and emote through a drawing to myself - and then turn around a day later and share it with others.

Rosa is in the sun today, letting the earth and medicines help her heal. I have other mothers to be to help and reassure. And a beautiful big chocolate lamb is in the pumpkin patch, with a tiny little sister nestled at his side.


kelli may-krenz said...

You are such a gifted writer. The story breaks my heart but, also makes me feel such love for everything you mention.
Thanks. The painting is the perfect reflection of your day. so pure.

My favorite is picturing sweet Rosa in the sunshine healing.


Someday soon when we are financially on our feet again I am buying an original of yours. I just am so moved by your work. Wow.

Love to you and your farm.

Kathy said...

I am sorry for the loss of two lambs Katherine. I know it must be terribly sad for you being there and witnessing the whole thing. Thank you for sharing the experience through your writing and paintings. I hope Rosa is feeling better today.

Carole said...

Sad day for both you and Rosa. I hope her sadness will melt away in the sun.

Carol Attwell said...

All I know, Katherine, is that you are exactly where you are supposed to be..... with these precious animals, doing what you know to do, feeling deeply for them all the while. It's just so full of beauty and sadness and triumph and peace! God bless you always.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~