Friday was a hard day to be a farmer. If you have followed my Instagram account you know that our livelihood depends upon our farm which includes cattle and our crops. You also know that our cows not only help support our family, but they are part of our family so when things go wrong, it is not only stressful financially but emotionally, too.
On Friday, I went over to check our cows as I do multiple times every day. Calving season is slowly winding down but we still have around 25 to have babies.
One of our heifers (a to-be first-time momma) was lying on the hill, trying to have her first baby. She had gotten herself into in an awkward position where she was bloating and unable to get up or have the baby on her own.
l knew that I would need to act fast or we would lose the heifer and the baby. Jason needed to come over right away (he was in the field because planting season is quickly approaching). I also knew that we were going to need the help of a veterinarian because it didn’t appear there was anyway that baby was going to be born without help.
By the time the vet arrived, we successfully pulled the calf but the heifer had prolapsed (her uterus, muscles, etc were now on the outside of her body). Luckily we have a great veterinarian and he was able to get her put back together, but she still couldn’t stand up because she was dealing with some temporary (hopefully) paralysis in her back legs. The calf survived but was struggling due to the stress of its birth, some swelling, and fluid in its lungs.
3 hours later, we headed home to clean up, get some milk replacer to feed the baby and grab a snack because we needed to head back and feed the baby. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted I started crying on the way home. I felt guilty that I hadn’t been there sooner to check on her and save her from the paralysis (I had made a quick trip into town and it took longer than expected).
It is heartbreaking watching not only one animal but two struggle to survive. I was quickly reminded of Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) which I just finished reading this week.
In this book, Elrod explains how “Can’t Change It” has become a motto for his life. (He’d been in a very serious car accident where he actually died for 6 minutes, the doctors didn’t expect him to ever walk again, etcetera.)
No I couldn’t change what had happened, I could only accept that it had and do my best with the situation in front of me.
There is a very freeing feeling of accepting what you can’t change.
Throughout the rest of the weekend we took care of the baby calf (which we also saved) and the heifer. Both of us were physically and emotionally exhausted as we coaxed the baby to take a bottle, coached the heifer to try to stand up, and nursed them both back to better help.
The heifer grew stronger throughout the weekend and is starting to get feeling back into her one leg that’s still paralyzed.
We were able to get her into a pen that connects to the pen with her baby so they can smell and see each other (it’s not safe to put the baby in with her because she could fall and kill him as she tries to balance).
Last night after a full day of soccer and volleyball we went to check on Sally and LeRoy. (They both got named after this ordeal!) My father-in-law had given us the afternoon off to attend the kids’ activities and when we went to check them at 8:30 P.M. we arrived to find that Rob had Sally in the pen with LeRoy (accomplishment #1) and LeRoy was eating from his mommy while she was standing up. (accomplishment #2).
I don’t know what today will bring when we go over to check on Sally and LeRoy. I do know that no matter what I can’t change it. However, I’m going to embrace the beauty of life and enjoy the blessings God’s bestowed on me. I’m going to do the best I can to make other’s happy, be a nurturer, and love my family.
What are you doing to do today to embrace the beauty of life? Do you need to look at an area of your life and tell yourself that you can’t change it, accept what it is and do the best you can with what is in front of you?
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