Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

May went from due to impending in about 24 hours time.

She's bagged up, flaccid across the croup and pulling the strange nighttime behaviors that impending mares do.

Normally, I wouldn't be as worried, but it is my first production and its a large baby coming through.

It doesn't help that there's a tinge human drama surrounding the entire thing as well.

While I can hear the opinions of breeding a larger stallion to a small mare (I've been called inhumane to greedy to stupid this week), it was done purposefully and with consideration of the mare in mind.

I'm not going to defend my position here, and I'll let people think what they will think about the match. However, breeding large to small, small to large, or similar to similar is go guarantee on the outcome of the of the birth.

Complications occur in the very best and worst of facilities and with the best and worst of matches. A person can cite studies and experience until the cows have come home and been milked. But it boils down to this: birthing is a risky, not-for-faint-of-heart process. As my animal's steward, I signed on to that liability and knowingly took that chance.

Because of the risk, I authorized and went through the what ifs and possible scenarios, which were incredibly heartbreaking to do, but it needed to be done.

Truth is, I'm not in the right financial position to spend the amount of money it would need to take to do a cesarean. Nor do I want to. While cash plays an issue in it, it's not the entire issue. It comes down to what's fair. If May fails in labor, is in pain and there is no hope of getting out, then it's my job to end it.

It doesn't make me any less a horseman, nor human. I love the mare, and I care deeply for her, and the last thing I would want is to take away the quality of life that she would have otherwise.

Eventually we all come to this moment, we all hope that we never have to think about it.

But we have to. We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It's all we can do.

So, I ask anyone out there, irregardless of denomination, to please keep us in your thoughts for a successful, undramatic, uncomplicated birth, a healthy, conformationally exceptional foal, a swift recovery and a stiff drink.

Here's to the best, and may it be the best.


Andrea said...

Studies have been done that show that a fetus will only grow as large as the womb allows before parturition, and then once born will grow to its actual full genetic potential. That's not to say one should breed a Clydesdale to a mini, but for the most part, nature does what it needs to to survive. Large foals can and do happen, but the likelihood that it will be so large as to need a C-section is very small, unless there's a major dystocia.

You're in our thoughts. She'll be all right.

Karen said...

I agree with above ... plus she's not a maiden (right?) ... which will help her out. I am so excited for the baby! You are definately in my thoughts ... and you better post photos of the new bundle of joy!