The night before last, Lucy was restless and panting. I let her sleep with me, as I normally do when my girls are close to delivering. It was a sleepless night. Seems I was up every couple of hours, for either Lucy or myself. LOL At 5:30a, when my alarm went off for work, I let Lucy out, turned on my pc and sent my boss and co-workers an email. I would not be in to work, Lucy was in labor. I fell back to sleep.
I was awaken by the squishy, licking sounds of Lucy cleaning her first born, in my bed, right by my face! It was 7:30a. I moved Lucy to the bedding area I had made for her, placing the puppy, a female, in the middle of the bed. Lucy is such a good ma' ma dog! She finished cleaning up the puppy and the puppy latched on and nursed. The next puppy, another female, was born at 9:30a. And another puppy, a male, was born at 11:45a.
Last Friday, I had taken Lucy in for an X-ray to see how many puppies she might have, to save me from guessing. The X-ray showed at least four, maybe five puppies. So, after the third pup was born, I knew there was at least one more! We waited and waited. A couple hours turned to three hours. I was worried there was something wrong. I could feel only one puppy still in her belly, and I felt it kick... a good sign!
It was after 2p, I called the Vet and explained the situation. He scheduled me in as a "walk-in" at 6:30p, if Lucy hadn't the pup by then. He said as long as she wasn't pushing, she was probably alright. Lucy was nursing and tending to her new puppies, acting like she was done giving birth. I fell asleep.
I woke up a couple hours later, about 4p. Still only three puppies! So, I called the Vet and said I was on my way. I didn't feel the unborn puppy kicking like I had, a couple of hours earlier. As soon as I could get my shoes on, we left... me, Lucy and three babies.
The minute we arrived at the Vet's office, I was ushered into a private room, given a large bed cushion and comforter, placed on the floor, for Lucy to labor on. The puppies were snug in my insulated, soft-sided, lunch pail, until I was able to get Lucy settled in. Then, the puppies came out to nurse. I was on the floor with them, encouraging Lucy, telling her what a good girl she was, until the Vet came in.
Lucy still hadn't pushed in hours. There was a definite mass still in her stomach. And, I hadn't felt the unborn puppy kick in a long, long time.
The Vet took Lucy back for an ultrasound, to see if the unborn puppy was still viable. I bundled the puppies back up in my lunch pail, and we were off to the ultrasound room. The ultrasound showed a very strong beating heart! We were all surprised! This was good news! Seems, when this much time has passed, normally there's a problem and the unborn pup rarely makes it.
Because we still weren't sure if there was a fifth puppy, they did an X-ray. The X-ray confirmed, there was just one unborn puppy, for a total of four puppies! The plan was to give Lucy a shot of Oxcitocin (sp?), the drug the induces labor, and let her try to deliver this puppy on her own.
With fingers crossed and all the prayers we could come up with, Lucy started pushing about 15 minutes after her shot. We were back in our private room, in the center of the floor on a comforter over a thick cushion. About 20 minutes later, puppy number four was born! Another male! Lucy did such a good job!
The Vet said it was common for people to think they are all done birthing puppies, go to bed, then wake up the next morning to find another puppy added to their litter. I was glad we didn't take any chances and Lucy delivered in good time. So, we have four, very healthy puppies, two girls, two boys!
Feelings and Grief
1 week ago