This is part two of a multi-part series. Read part one Here.
When I wrote part one of this series, I promised there would be a part two explaining the next steps of the process. Well, part two is here, but it’s not at all what I imagined it to be.
Here’s a not so fun reality of artificial insemination: unless you’re a trained AI tech (I’m not. . . yet), you are forced to rely on other people to complete the process for you. You have to trust that they will keep their word and be reliable when you need them. When it comes to the final step — inseminating — it’s time sensitive and if it’s not done when it’s supposed to be, too bad so sad. You’re out of luck. The situation we ran into is precisely why I hate having to rely on others to do important, time sensitive things.
I think you can probably see where this is going.
Sunday was the day Elsie was supposed to be artificially inseminated. Sunday at 11 am. I was out few nights earlier at 1 o’clock in the morning giving her the last hormone shot, her deworming shot, and removing the CIDR in the dark by headlamp to ensure that she’d be ready 58 hours later at 11.
11 am came and went with no word from our AI tech who had promised to be there.
Several calls and texts later, we finally heard from the tech around noon. He was on his way to get his supplies and then would be on his way to our house.
More calls, texts, trying to find another AI tech (we couldn’t), and five hours after he was supposed to have initially been at our house, he finally contacts us again telling us that a situation came up and he couldn’t make it. (Never mind the fact that if he’d come on time when he said he would, or even if he’d left immediately to come to our house after he contacted us the first time, the whole thing would have been done before the situation ever arose.)
I can’t begin to explain the level of frustration and discouragement. I wasted hours of my time and hundreds of dollars of my money. All of it sent right down the drain all because of one person who didn’t show up on time.
I get it, sometimes AI fails anyway. We may have done everything perfectly on time only to find out that she didn’t take and wasn’t pregnant. And I get that there are people out there who AI hundreds of cows each year and probably would think I’m being a whiny baby for being upset that I had to postpone. But here’s the thing. I don’t have hundreds of cows. I have Elsie and Mille, and Elsie is the only one old enough to be bred right now. I don’t have a semen tank to store my straws indefinitely — I’m paying to rent the one my semen was shipped to me in. I don’t have all the supplies I need on hand, or the knowledge, to just have an easy re-do. Although I can give the shots myself, I have to get the medicine from my vet, and I don’t know how to insert the CIDR myself, either, so that’s another vet visit. I was also already months behind due to my mother being sick over the summer.
This was not just another one cow of a hundred. This was a big deal to me. This was something I’d spent a lot of time, money, and effort on and had been literally months in the making due to all the delays and complications this summer sent my way.
It would be one thing to go through the process and find that the cow was not pregnant. It’s another to not even get the chance to try.
Farming require a lot of hoping. Hoping that the seeds sprout, that the weather is good, that the eggs hatch, that births go smoothly, that the cow gets pregnant, and on and on. And sometimes those hopes are dashed. It’s just a part of life. So in addition to a lot of “I hope. . .” there’s also a lot of “maybe next time. . .”
I’m not sure when “next time” will be for Elsie. It seems too daunting and discouraging to try to re-do the whole thing next month. It kind of took the wind out of my sails, if you know what I mean. So I may wait until next year and try again then. That’s a lot of wasted time for sure, but it is what it is. We’ll see.
I don’t know what the moral of this story is, really. But I do know that when I can, I’m going to take the course to be trained in AI. Then I can do it myself without relying on multiple others to determine whether we have success or failure.
Stay tuned for part three, whenever that finally comes around, and I’ll tell you those final steps that should have taken place, but didn’t.