Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birth Day!

Today was a long time in coming. 20 months in fact. That's quite a feat considering the gestation for alpacas is supposed to be 11 months. Our first dam, Melody, was bred and set to deliver in September 2006. Unfortunately, tragic events took her from us in December 2005. We acquired a replacement in August 2006 after confirming pregnancy. Her due date, according to her former breeder was May 21, 2007. As you can see, she was nearly a month overdue!

This last month has been incessantly nerve wracking for everyone. There was even a debate this last week as to whether or not she was even pregnant. Um, there's no doubt as of this evening - she's definitely not pregnant! Kissy Missy - aka Kay to us - delivered a 17 pound dark rose grey girl this morning. Textbook delivery; textbook postpartum; textbook newborn antics.

And now we have to give this precious creature a name. I may have mentioned in a previous (very previous) post that we use the alphabet as our naming structure. Our first cria was named with an "A" name (Aria - who sadly died at 29 days old back in 2005). So this one must be a "B" name. We first decided upon Beatrice. While the name does have some family significance, we picked it because my second most favorite 'paca at Foothill Llama and Alpaca Ranch was named Beatrice. She lived a long life and recently passed away. We also chose Baltane (bal'-tan-ah) which is Gaelic for the month of May. Although I'm not a fan of using names people can't easily pronounce let alone remember, I liked the idea of using a Gaelic word because our family has such an affinity for Ireland. But as the May 21st due date came and went, and then so did the entire month of May, Baltane had to be set aside for possible future use. Wanting to keep with the Irish theme, I looked up town names in Ireland. When I happened upon Belleek, I knew we'd have to add it to the list. Belleek is also the name of exquisite Irish Bone China. I have a few pieces from our trips to Ireland and simply love it. But Belleek china is light beige in color so a cria in any other color would have to use another name. As we were crossing our fingers and wishing very, very hard for a grey cria, I became less and less attached to the name Belleek and put it on our list for future possibilities. I also considered Bisbee Blue (a quaint town in southern Arizona - one of the VERY few that I actually liked in that state and "Blue" is another term for grey).

Then just as we passed the 11 month 2 week gestation point (nerve wracking for some; right on time for others - it just depends on how you calculate the due dates for Spring births), a friend of mine passed away suddenly. While I am thankful for the distraction, I'd like to point out to God that there are a million other things he could have chosen to distract me. My friend was a great mom to three wonderful kids ranging in age from 17 to 6. She was only five years older than me and the other day I realized that when I'm 46, I'll have a 17 year old child too. This whole event hit very very close to home for me. As I was thinking back on Kristine one day last week, I was remembering just how open-hearted she was and how happy she always made others feel. She was practically blissful. Blissy Krissy. Yes, I'm being silly - Kristine was fond of doing that too! Ah, but then that very pregnant dam 'o mine's name popped in my head - Kissy Missy. And Blissy does start with "B". (Starting to see the gears turn here?) How wonderfully silly it would be to have Kissy Missy give birth to Blissy Krissy! While I think Kristine would actually get a kick out of having a cria named after, I'm not sure her family would feel the same way.

So without further delay, let me introduce you to Bliss. She may at some point in the future get a more formal name, but she'll always be Bliss to us. In fact, we're quite blissful Bliss is with us and here to stay for a very, very, very long time.

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