If Joe ever needs a Halloween costume...I'm looking at a potential prop, sitting right next to my sink: a seriously huge baby bottle.
Yes, I am in nesting mode for our newest arrival, but NO, we will NOT be utilizing this bottle...however, we were a little desperate the other night with friends who were over and needed a bottle, but they didn't think it would work.
Anyway, why do I have an enormous baby bottle? Am I planning for a big baby, one that rivals those in the pages of the National Enquirer? Is Joe truly going to be wearing a baby bonnet and carrying around this prop come October? No, it's just another perk of being a cattleman's wife! Not only do I have to wash the freshly "birthed" upon overalls, check the pockets for random syringes and chains and calving books, I also get to wash this monstrosity.
I lead one heck of a glamorous life, don't I?
Back to the bottle: the purpose of this bottle today was to help a calf that was born nearly 40 to 50 pounds over the normal birth weight of calves. Joe found this big/little guy this morning, and not only did he note that he was huge for a calf, he realized quickly that this "little" dude was in need of assistance. The calf couldn't maneuver his way to his mama and figure out how to eat. Thus, Joe became his own chapter of the Cow Le Leche League, and the big bottle came into use.
We're hopeful that this calf is going to make it, but the odds are against him. Tube feeding (just like it sounds...stick a tube down the calf's throat and feed him/her milk) can be a good thing, but one slight misplacement, and the fluid could run to the calf's lungs, and kill it. It's actually very nerve wracking, and if one factors in that Joe has a tender heart, and often feels responsible when a calf has trouble nursing or even dies, it's also very stressful.
Our hope is that we can just wash the bottle up and tease guests with small children about using it, and hope that our calves will be smart enough to nurse on their own. Here's to hoping.