This is a story from our terribly cold and frigid winter of 2014. It’s life on the other side of the farm!
Last night, just when I thought I’d earned my rest, and before all my work that is never done was done, my husband blasted through the back door with a listless baby pig. He threw it at me and bolted back out the door. Knowing the usual routine, I filled the sink with really warm water and plunged the little pig in it. He wasn’t breathing except for one little intake about every minute. When his mouth opened, I blew into it and massaged his whole little body keeping it up for at least what seemed like half of an hour. He started to take breaths more often.
I’d been washing fleeces all day, so when I went to add more hot water, there wasn’t any. My daughter quickly filled the kettle. You can’t believe when the pigs are cold, just how cold they are. Even after 20 minutes of warmth, I would lift his little body out of the water and he was still icey cold. All of a sudden, my husband flew into the kitchen with another baby pig saying, “Now the other sow is delivering!” This pig was a big baby and breathing fine, even squealing, but he was colder than death! I plunged him in and called for my daughter. She came running and after seeing this routine winter upon winter, I knew she would know just what to do. She looked at the pigs and said, “Oh, so cute!” I said, “HONEY, hold this one while I do this one!” She said, “Do I put his head under water too?” ‘Really?’ … I thought but did not say!
So, the two of us bathed and kept the water very warm and the little pigs worked so hard just to breath. I was still blowing in the mouth of the little one. When my son would do this, he actually would put his whole mouth around the pig’s nose and mouth and do a sort of swine CPR ~ I just couldn’t bring myself to do this … It wasn’t long after this that they began to squeal a little. Whew, I knew they would live and I was very proud that my husband could throw things at me like this without a word and depend on me to save the lives of his pigs.
At last, me and my proud took the baby pigs and rolled them in a terry towel. Then I plugged in an electric blanket and rolled it around the towel with just their snouts showing. I plopped down with my two little pigs in a blanket and rocked ~ my how rocking the baby, doesn’t matter what kind of baby, makes those endorphins flow! It took a good half hour before they finally fell asleep warmed to the bone. One of them was a “bobble” head (head that doesn’t stop shaking), he kept waking the other one up. Eventually, they both nodded off.
I thought I deserved a treat for my fine farmer’s wife deed. So, I wrapped the blanket one more time around them and snuggled them into the chair. Just then my husband came in and was talking so fast about this sow and babies all over and … “What did you do with them?” he wondered. I pointed to the quiet, peaceful two little snouts in a blanket, my chest showing off an imaginary purple heart! His face paled and he said, “MY electric blanket?” When he realized I had them double wrapped in a towel he looked surprised. He unwrapped the blanket and looked at his pigs with that grateful, happy twinkle in his eye. I could read that familiar twinkle. Filled my heart to overflowing …