Mommy Update

For those of you who’ve missed the Auntie posts, Barbie is due with a Popeye K baby on April 28th.  Fortunately, Daisy is boarding her at a very active breeding barn. They know pregnant mares, and will know to call Daisy when Barbie looks ready. It’s a nice, safe feeling, speaking as the foal god-mother.

I went out to groom Barbie during the day. My primary reason was not about cleaning her up: Barbie needs some distraction, some love from her Auntie Jane, and lots of handling.  She’s getting all that, but it can’t hurt to add to it during the hours that are difficult for everyone else.

Barbie’s main complaints:

  1. Food. I need more FOOD.
  2. Itch.  Make it stop.
  3. Does this belly make me look fat?
  4. My lower back is KILLING me.
  5. I think I have a tumor.  Stomach. Huge. Get it checked.  K?
  6. It’s on my bladder.  No.  It’s on my stomach. I have indigestion. It’s on my bag. My bag is sore. Just FIX it, okay?
  7. I’m SO itchy.

It has to be hard to be a maiden mare.  Not know what’s happening to your body, hormones raging and some damn tumor kicking you from the inside. Who knew tumors kicked?

Itchy from shedding, itchy from hormones, itchy from dried sweat from the dang hot flashes.

Below, an invisible Jane scratches Barbies tummy.


(Photo quality: I was scratching, shooting with my cell, and making sure I was out of kicking range.  She’s a pregnant mare.  She doesn’t need a reason.)

Once the tummy itches were vanquished, she presented the next pressing problem:

I grab the best itch scratcher in the box:

She wasn’t a heck of a lot cleaner an hour later, but she was happier.

I very carefully did what all her handlers are doing: rubbing her belly, inside her back legs from the nursing side and behind (newborns get confused), and  – gasp – she let me gently massage her bag.

Trust me.  My eyes never left her back hooves.

For full cuteness overload, these are the babies and mares in the stalls next to her:

Look at those faces!

A (brand spanking) newborn:

I’m crazy for the palomino.  He’s very precocious. Mom is beautiful, and a doll.


Almost time for our baby to pop out.  Pun intended.  There’s a baby pool.  (Not the splashing kind.) Think football. All the squares for April are filled. Everyone bought some for her due date. I decided she was going to be Barbie to the end, and make us wait. Therefore, she’s having her baby on April 30th, not the 28th.

(This also means I win the pool, since that’s the square I picked.  Which, as the baby’s godmother, I will responsibly put into it’s college education fund. Or toward the Vet’s new truck fund, whichever comes first.)

Important PSA: via Barbie’s farrier.  Should you find the barn bathroom out of order, and yourself in urgent need of relief, make certain the stall you pick is not equipped with a Mare Stare camera. Yup. It happened.  To some poor boarder who didn’t know she was being broadcast on the internet.

9 thoughts on “Mommy Update

  1. Re: udder desensitization

    In my limited (all of three preggo mares I’ve known) experience, udder desensitization goes much more smoothly if you have a warm, wet washcloth in hand.

    As in – even the mare I handled with a dressage whip in hand at all times would spread her legs and lean into the washcloth while I cleaned her udder. If she thought I wasn’t scrubbing right, she’d lift a leg — not to kick, just to make sure I had plenty of access.

    It’s, uh, best not to try this when small children are around.

    You might not want to start this with Barbie now — we stopped cleaning the mares’ udders when their bags started filling up, because we didn’t want to encourage them to stream milk early with too much stimulus — but it might be worth keeping in mind for the future.

  2. Well I will admit that months ago when I touched her in the wrong place she nailed me on the knee. Totally unexpected. But now her main interest is food, not what we are looking at or touching.

    1. Lucky you, your bruise was one of the photos my Android “accidentally” undeleted, leaving Micah scratching his head at all the photos of bruises on my phone (NO others) and wondering what kind of sicko I was.

      (Daisy got nailed on the knee….OWowowowowow.)

  3. It’s funny, when I see a human baby, I stare awkwardly and pray no one asks me to hold it. But I scroll through foal baby pics and I’m cooing and ooohing and giggling and talking baby talk.

    Hopefully maiden mares have some kind of intuition about what’s going on? If not, it would be just awful. Although Julie’s mom (who later turned into supermom-extraordinaire and becomes downright cheerful three days before she is due), had a total panic attack the first time she went into labor…. because she was COLICKING and no one was DOING ANYTHING! Poor mares.

  4. Barbie is being VERY good. I had a maiden once that would SCREAM and kick if you looked at her bag from 30 feet away …

    (OTOH, a few days later when she delivered unexpected twins –this was long before untrasound for horses — with one lost due to placenta previa — she allowed me to milk her hot, sore bag while visibly restraining HERSELF from making any move to hurt me. It was clearly painful, but she held her hindleg stiffly back out of the way and just made little “ouch ouch ouchie” noises … Arabians. Brains. :D)

  5. My mare is an itchy hormonal mess and she’s NOT pregnant. Poor Barbie. Mares get so huge toward their due date that it’s a wonder they can move at all.

  6. I can’t wait for her baby to be born!!! I’m living vicariously through you guys 🙂 We’ll need lots and lots of updates, especially when the baby’s born!

    1. Lots of updates? Ha! A few thousand photos, a million details about the baby’s adorableness and Barbie’s incredible mothering skills. This blog will be a “new baby: we-can’t-talk-about-anything-else blog.”
      (Please don’t cross the street when you see us coming?) 😉

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