Raising livestock is a mix of joys and sorrows. Nothing always goes perfectly every time. Even when it does go perfectly, there is still the knowledge you are raising livestock for food. Still, it is good more than not good; and therefore worth doing far longer than I might have thought when I was younger.
The calf was born in the pasture and all seemed okay; but the mother loudly relayed through angry bellows that no it was not. So we looked more closely and definitely the calf was lying around too much. We gave it a strong dose of medication. About the time the poop observations said that the calf did have a problem (wrong color and consistency), the meds were on their way. It began to look healthy.
The weather has been frigid at night-- yes, I know not by Midwestern standards-- but definitely by ours. There are four new calves and this one seemed to find a happy community until the nighttime bellows began. Again, Mama was not happy. Time after time my husband would go outside at night-- at midnight (did I mention it was cold?)-- to find out what was wrong, walk the fence line, look for little frozen bodies and find nothing was wrong.
After watching her bellow, staring up toward the woods, I thought maybe a cougar had come down and gotten her calf-- except again there it was in the barn with the calf pile. Even though we have no immediate neighbors, there are four other homes in this little valley close enough to hear a cow capable of making that kind of racket.
To give ourselves and the neighbors a good night's sleep, she and calf were brought closer to the house and into the sheep's pasture (sheep were definitely not pleased with this arrangement). As best we can tell, she finally is at peace with her baby's health. They have bonded, calf is bouncing around, she is licking it, and (at least today) no longer staring up at the woods.
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, we thought possibly she was looking toward where her little heifer had been born and where she somehow felt it should have stayed. The workings of a cow's mind probably aren't worth expending too much time analyzing. The important thing is she relaxed and is much quieter-- for now-- but boy does she have a set of pipes when she wants to use them.