... This one took some effort -- my effort and his mom's. Mom (Glacier Rock's Allison) is a seven year-old first-timer. Because of this, her lady-bits* were not particularly stretchy, and she needed a little bit of assistance to bring the baby into the world. (*This is the technical term for "vulva.") I found her at 3:30 PM with a nose and two silver grey legs sticking out of her nether regions (also a technical term). I was thrilled at the coloring, but a little bit nervous, because 1. It was late in the day, and late afternoon births are often a bad sign in alpacas, and 2. I had just checked on said vulva in the morning, and it didn't look nearly big enough to pass a baby alpaca through.
But, out he came, with a little bit of help. He then needed time to stand ... A lot of time. Most cria should stand within 45 minutes. This one took about three hours, and a lot of human help. During this time, a thunderstorm erupted, so he was whisked away to a barn along with mom, where we sat, waiting for him to figure out the standing thing. Once he did stand, he needed another hour, plus a lot more human help, to figure out what nursing was all about. Luckily, by then the rain had stopped, so I was able to escort mom and baby outside. Alpaca cria instinctively seek dark corners (that's where the milk is!), so in a dark barn, a baby like this one, who isn't quite all there, is going to try to nurse on the wall. That wall looks really appealing to a slightly out-of-it newborn cria.
Oh, also, mom's placenta broke open while she was trying to pass it about 20 minutes after birth -- the usual time for alpacas, in my experience thus far -- so I was really afraid we were going to have a retained placenta on our hands. She tried to pass it at 7:30, after an oxytocin shot, and failed. I went out to check on them at around 8:30 PM, and I have never been so happy to see a placenta as I was at that moment.
I won't say we are entirely out of the woods yet -- cria from births such as this should always be considered high-risk. However, I'm a lot more optimistic now -- enough so to post pictures of the little dude. Yes, he is a dude, but I am not sad about this. Did I mention that he's grey? I think I did, but I don't think I mentioned that I believe he shall grow up to be freaking awesome. Yeah. Glad he's a dude.