The barn is reasonably quiet, except for an occasional grunt and an odd squeal. The heater fan turns on and drowns out the sound of the radio. It is tuned to some Country Station. Perhaps the inhabitants of the barn are soothed by the heartbreak that the latest cowboy with a black or white hat is singing about.
There is a grumpy old inhabitant on the end, she gets the whole place stirred up..what is her problem anyway…she is a troublemaker. She sounds mean.
The mama that I am watching is calm, she makes soft grunty noises to her babies. A baby escapes off toward her head..I hope she is as good of a mama as she seems..she is and the little one finds it’s way back.
My instructions are clear, use towel number one then towel number two to dry the newborn off..give them a good rub..and then put them in with their littermates.
In the meantime I wait..watching, looking for signs of straining and a baby in a sack. I watch the other babies..searching for a teat..then searching for one that might be better than the one they had. One hour old two at the most, they are clumsy and they fall over easily. They knock each other over and they step on each others umbilical cords. They are my source of entertainment while waiting. They make me smile.
Finally my wait is rewarded..I think a baby is on the way. Sure enough, a baby is coming..steaming..forced from it’s growing place in a nice warm womb into the warmth of the barn..but there is still about a 30 degree difference in temperatures. I grab the appropriate towel, one more push and it will be all the way out..it is delivered..I grab it in the towel and hold it to my chest..I clean around its mouth and nose..what a rude awakening. It is breathing!! I rub it all over to dry it off and I do the same thing with the next towel.. I say “ I think your name should be Wilbur or Babe. I would like to hold you for a long time..but you must go in with your Mama.”
I only got to be a pigwife for a little while..this Mama was all done..I helped to deliver her last little pig..she had ten. It was a fun time in the barn at the neighbors..birth..what an absolute miracle:)