by Tina K (Mia's Breeder)
After running up to the house and waking me, we went out to watch the birth. We kneeled outside the stall, peeking over whenever we thought it was safe. Suddenly, I looked over the edge of the stall to see a very tiny baby curled up in the straw. I scrambled into the stall to see a foal the size of a medium-sized dog, weighing around 25 pounds. The first thing I noticed other than its tiny stature was that it wasn't breathing, and appeared dead. By this time I realized that Khallie was having twins, and that there was a good chance neither one would live. I started to administer CPR; breathing through its nostrils and compressing the heart. Occasionally I felt a heartbeat as I rubbed, and suddenly the foal took a little gasp and started breathing on its own.
For the next hour, my daughter and I just cried because of how much we had wanted Khallie's baby, and just how perfect it was. It was a filly, and she was pitch black with a stripe down her perfect Arab face and three white socks. Just what I wanted, but she was far too small. Khallie's other babies had been four times the size of this one. Almost exactly an hour after the first one, the second baby came. This was a bay filly with a small star on her forehead who was three times larger than her sister. I gave her the same treatment as the first, but even after fifteen minutes I hadn't felt so much as a heartbeat. In the end, we removed the foal from the stall and sat down to just stare at the living one. She was still breathing just fine and would even make an attempt to get up every now and then, but her muscles weren't nearly strong enough. Erin finally suggested that perhaps she should hold Khallie still and I would lift the filly up to get a drink. We both knew there was almost no way she would live, but we wanted to at least give her a fighting chance.
Khallie knew something was wrong this entire time, because she was acting more distant than usual, but she allowed us to get the filly to nurse. It didn't take long for her to figure out how because she was so hungry, and she managed to fill her tiny stomach pretty well. For the next few hours we just sat in the stall, getting her to nurse a few more times before I sent my daughter to bed. I had already gotten some sleep, after all; she had been up all night.
The next morning I ran in to wake Erin up and send her to the veterinarian's office in town. The filly had stopped drinking now and I wanted Erin to get a bottle. When she returned with it, I started to try and milk Khallie. Luckily, she stood still for this and I managed to get a couple inches of milk into the bottle. This had to happen for the next few feedings, until she could drink off her mother again.
Improvements started coming quickly after this. If we stood her up and let go, she could stay standing for a few moments, but she sank very low on her back legs because of the lack of muscle. It wasn't until the second day that she managed to get up on her own, but the process wore her out so much that she didn't stay up long. Erin and I had to do the work of holding Khallie still and nudging the filly in the right direction, and even hold her up if she got too tired but hadn't gotten enough to drink. We also had to give her an enema because it was so hard for her to go to the bathroom the first time. On the third night, Erin watched her stand up and get a drink on her own for the very first time.
The following day we led Khallie out into an empty pasture and carried the filly out after her. We figured it was best to let her move around and get some exercise, but we only stayed out for twenty minutes at a time. That was more than enough for her, she was exhausted by the time we carried her back to the stall.
Her personality probably had a lot to do with her survival, because she has been a fighter since the day of her birth. After a couple weeks, we placed her in a tiny pen with the other three babies born that year for a comparison. She could have easily walked under her oldest brother, Spirit, but she seemed to like him the most. The funniest part was that she kept flattening her ears towards them, and I could just imagine her saying, "What are you looking at?"
The best part was coming up with her name. We wanted it to be something special to signify the struggle she had lived through, so we finally decided on BL Khemos Miracle. Khallie is a Khemosabi granddaughter, so we wanted his name somewhere in our baby's, and Miracle is self-explanatory. For short, we call her Mia, which we loved the moment we said it. All in all, Mia really is a miracle and even if I live to be 300 years old, I will never forget her.