Accouchement: the confinement of child-birth; lying-in
We are quickly approaching *UB Raggae Babe's accouchment. I thought that, since I tend to take a more scientific approach, toward this lovely event, I would share some of it with my readers.
The estimated due date was January 28th, 2009. We are now some 7 days past that date, but I'm not surprised. I've never had a mare birth during the winter, but I have heard that many of them will "hold" the birth off until the weather is right.
I have been assessing her each day checking: her profile for the shape of her belly, her tailhead for "jelly"ness, her udder development.
Two weeks back I noted that she had less of a round underline to her belly and more "V" shaped. This indicates that the foal should be in the correct diving position and typically occurs about 2 weeks before birth. I also noted that her vulva was beginning to swell some, and sag a bit. Last week I noted that she appeared to have been rubbing her butt against a hard surface, most likely the board fence. Until yesterday, her teats had been "kissing" (the nipples touching each other), but then yesterday they were pointed straight down. Advancement!
I have been daily rubbing her nipples using approach and retreat as she takes HIGH offense to having this done. But yesterday she was much easier going about it and my fingers game a way with a bit of dampness, which once dried made them sticky. PRE-MILK!!
Last night, this morning, and this evening we tried to milk a bit of fluid from her so I could test it, but could only get a drop or two. Enough to see that the fluid is a pale amber color, not enough to do the hardness test.
By refering back to my notes on *Glory and *Walker, I'm guessing that birth will take place in 15 days or less.
I guess we'll see! Check back for updates!