First Dan got sick. Really sick. Then Nathan got a slight fever. Then Natalie got a fever. I was the last man standing. I took care of everyone Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Nathan helped me do the chores, collecting eggs, feeding chickens, giving the cats food, taking hay to the goats and filling up their water. Nathan would walk into the barn like he owned the place and yell “Hi goats!” Every. Time. It was quite comical.
Saturday was calm, so while Natalie and Dan slept, Nathan and I loaded up the back of the truck with trash and backed it up to the burn pit. The fire started easy. We hopped in, trying to straddle a pile of snow and thick, sticky mud. No such luck. The truck got stuck, and it’s all Nathan could talk about.
Sunday Dan’s parents came to help with the kids and chores, and to set up a new bed, which we thought would help Dan sleep better at night.
Then Monday morning I woke up feeling ugh. By Tuesday I couldn’t manage doing chores for Dan and taking care of the kids. We called my parents for reinforcements. They came and did chores, dishes, childcare, laundry, and any other odd jobs that needed doing! We rescheduled everything we had planned. The whole family was sick. Fevers all around.
I walked Dad around to show him the ropes for chores. He did the heavy lifting, carrying the hay bales and buckets of water. Nathan tagged along. He needed some fresh air to lift his spirits and keep him from going to “whiny town.” The next day when Dad did chores in the late afternoon, he noticed one of the goats showing unmistakable signs of labor. What?! The first goat wasn’t due until April 25th!
Dan could barely move one leg in front of the other. Once Dad and Nathan confirmed the event of birth, and that the premature kid was alive, Dan conjured up monumental strength to help set up a private, warm stall for the mother and baby. It was a tiny, hairy, mostly white female. She opened her mouth to cry and call for mom, but no sound escaped. The first time mother rejected her completely. It is heartbreaking to watch when that happens.
I took my crying-from-no-nap kid inside while Dad and Dan fed the baby with a tube and set up a warming lamp above. The combination of our sickness, the nanny’s rejection and the weather led to the death of the premature baby over night.
By Thursday Dan felt he could start doing chores and taking over kid duty so I could rest. He took Nathan through the whole process of making popcorn. They shelled a few ears, then popped it on the stove. Nathan got to turn the handle and loved every minute, especially when it ended with a delicious snack! It seemed things were improving by Saturday, but that evening Nathan spiked a fever of 102F and was pretty lethargic. I had my own 100F fever. We flip-flopped by evening. I had a 101F and Nathan’s was 100F. We stayed home from church, while the two healthy people went to Palm Sunday service.
Monday Dan returned to work and I took over, even though I still felt pretty wiped. I took a nap when they did and that helped me get through the day. Today, is the second day we haven’t had fevers, although Dan and I have a lingering cough, the worst is past. It’s so good to get back to normal life!!
Not too much exciting these last two weeks, mostly just riding the waves of fever and trying to get healthy as quickly as possible! Is it Spring yet?! I think Mother Nature didn’t get the notice, since our norm is 50s this time of year and we’re still getting snow and ice. There certainly won’t be any planting of potatoes by Good Friday, that is for sure!
And that’s the news from this fever-and-ice week on the farm!