Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Waiting Game

Late Monday morning I got a call at work from the Big Man -- Scar was producing milk.


Of late, we have been occasionally googling "signs of farrowing" and phrases similar, somewhat lazily. We knew that producing milk was a "24 hour, 48 hour max!!" sign. An "imminent farrowing!" sign. Blood pressures rose. Close family and friends were informed. Scar was immediately moved to an abandoned horse stall that we filled with fresh hay, a piglet creep was built and installed, a heat lamp plugged in, and mandatory every-3-hour checks were instituted.

For good measure, we moved the gigantic Spot into the neighboring stall as well. Shortly after the move, she began to exhibit a "discharge", which is often referred to as a "few days" sign. Scar had been exhibiting the same for a couple days.

And, 50+ hours later, we are still waiting.


"Signs of farrowing!!!!" has become an obsessive google. Leg position and breathing patterns have become notable. Water and food consumption is discussed and dissected.

At the 7:30 PM check, all is quiet. No agitation, no stretched back legs, no huffing. "Narf" Scar grunts softly to Spot, through the wall. "Narfnarf" replies Spot, through the wall. At the pre-bedtime check, huffing! from Scar. Curious grunting from Spot. At the 1:00 AM check, only the placid sonata of "narfs". At the 4:00 AM check, restlessness, stretched out back legs and barking!! from Scar. But at the 7:00 AM check, only regular, hungry piggos.

So, we obsessively google, and we annoyingly recite to ourselves that "every pregnancy is different" when the googling continues to point to "imminent piglets!!!" about 36 hours ago, and we keep with the 3-hour checks. We hypothesize that perhaps the extreme cold of the last couple nights, combined with the stress of being separated from one's sister and sleeping buddy for the first time ever may have (fortuitously, as far as the weather goes) pushed actual labor back a couple days.

All googling aside, the fact is that we are now at 112 days from their first exposure to the boar, and 112 days is the magic number threshold for Extremely Possible Piglets, the spread being 112-115 days in the vast majority of pregnancies. With first time moms (gilts) tending toward the lower end.

The three-hour checks will continue....

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