All of you folks out there are probably starting to think that Emma is never going to have a baby. I know I thought I'd be posting baby pictures by now, but Emma is taking her own sweet time. Her udder really filled up more than a week ago, but then stopped right where it is was. She still has no milk. The thing that has been keeping me up at nights is that the ligaments along her tail have turned into marshmallows left in the sun. They are so squishy that I almost can't find them at all anymore. This is usually an indication that birth is not far off, but....no baby.
Given her age, (21 months) I shouldn't be surprised. Young mares often show crazy signs before giving birth and the younger they are the crazier things get. There is no way of knowing how Emma's own growth hormones are reacting with or effecting the pregnancy hormones and the baby hormones. I like to think that Emma is just taking her time, making sure that this baby is fully "cooked" before letting him or her out into the world.
I do hope for Emma's sake that this doesn't drag out too much longer though. She is definitely at the uncomfortable and awkward stage. A few days ago, I watched her stand up after laying down for a nap and just as she got up, the belly shifted and threw her off balance. Poor Emma staggered sideways and nearly fell over. Today, it got really warm and she was terribly hot and uncomfortable. I hosed her down and sat in the shade with her for a while and that did cheer her up. She was napping when I left.
The hardest part for me is trying to balance my work schedule and being there for Emma. I think it is very important that I be home when she foals because she is at such a high risk of dystocia (problems giving birth) due to her age. I can take time off when the baby comes, but I have to get the timing right. That is making me crazy.
What the udder has looked like for the last week...