This is a long story so you may want to grab a hot drink, sit in your favorite chair and get comfortable.
It actually all started Saturday night as I noticed Mercy getting more restless. I lined her crate with paper and she immediately started nesting; digging and shredding the paper in anticipation of the birthing process.
I got all the other dogs settled in for bed and then hit the sack myself (on the couch of course) with one ear open. Mercy continued with the pre-labor stage and then entered active labor which finally produced the first pup around 1:00 am in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Things slowed down after that. I dozed on and off checking on her intermittently wishing things were progressing faster. Finally I rolled off the couch to see back legs hanging out of mama! Oh, no! My mind scrambled back to her previous litter with similar issues. Not again….
I woke up hubby to come help hold Mercy while I did the disagreeable task of trying to help the puppy out. I’m sure it was not comfortable for the poor girl but I had to get the large puppy out. It was really stuck. But finally it managed to slip free from its wedged position. Unfortunately, I was not able to revive it. 🙁
By then it was morning and time to start chores, let dogs out, feed the horses and take morning temperatures on our other expectant mothers. I kept peeking in on Mercy hoping the labor was progressing but as time passed and nothing was happening I knew it was time for some professional help. Sometimes the labor process just shuts down before they finish.
I waited as long as I could to call my vet since it was Sunday morning. As she sleepily answered the phone I explained the situation and told her I’d meet her in about an hour and a half.
I loaded Mercy and her pup into my warmed-up truck, grabbed my whelping gear (just in case she decided to deliver a pup on the way) and left the other resting moms with my family to watch over them (all of their temperatures had been pretty normal that morning so I wasn’t too worried about anything happening while I was gone).
But true to form, “Murphy’s Law” kicked in when I was about halfway to the vet.
My phone rang and I heard a frantic, almost unintelligible voice say something about “puppies”, “Treasure” and “suction”.
Are you kidding me?! Was this really happening?
Grateful for modern devices where I was still able to drive and talk with the family back home. And thankful that my son and daughter-in-law were still at the house. My daughter-in-law turned from human cardiac ICU nurse to canine mid-wife and hubby turned into professional “suction the puppy’s mouth out and rub it dry” guy!
I finally arrived at the vet’s office and got Mercy and her singleton inside. The incubator was already warmed up in anticipation of its little visitor, so puppy went straight into the cozy bed to sleep while mom was looked over. The next step was an x-ray to see how many puppies were still inside (I suspected two) and what positions they were in. If they were lined up right, a shot of oxytocin might get mom’s labor started again and produce the other puppies still inside.
But surprise, surprise! “Murphy” had showed up again and the x-ray showed that instead of the puppy being lined up and positioned to shoot out the birth canal, it had decided to curl into a little ball and block the exit!
There was nothing that could be done but to prepare her for a c-section. Thankfully, surgery went well and the final two pups were retrieved. The tech and I worked on them while the doctor finished putting Mercy back together. After the pups were sufficiently dried, suctioned out and starting to get more vigorous we added them to the incubator.
About that time I was starting to receive messages from home that Treasure’s labor progressed and more puppies were arriving. The home team was on top of things and managing without me.
I had to stay at the hospital a bit longer while Mercy woke up from the anesthesia. But as soon as she was able we loaded her up and the pups (in a separate box) and started the hour + drive back home.
And back home, the pups continued to make their appearance into the world.
When I got home, hubby had a nice warm crate set up for Mercy and her new babes next to the wood stove and neighboring to Treasure’s crate.
I touched bases with my “interim” mid-wife to see how things were going. She had done a fabulous job with the pups and like the excellent nurse she is, had charted everything for me (time, weights, descriptions) and added ribbons to the puppies.
Then not long after I arrived home, Treasure delivered her final puppy!
Whew! What a day!
Treasure’s mess was cleaned up and she was settled in with the pups on a clean bed. I made sure she and Mercy had water and food, covered their crates to keep them warm and give them their privacy and they settled in with the new babies.
The kids were planning on leaving for home that morning, but had graciously stayed on to help their poor dad deal with Treasure and her puppies. They were now able to pack up and we said, “good-bye”. By now it was later in the afternoon and I was bushed.
As with any new litter, I like to stay close by to make sure puppies don’t get pushed under a bed or squished behind or under mom as she settles in. This gave me the opportunity to rest and relax a bit on the nearby couch for most of the remainder of the day.
Evening settled in and it was time to get everyone ready for bed. I let Lyric, Hope, Reba and Asher out then headed into the living room to get the new moms and other expectant moms so they could go out to potty.
But when I opened Lucy’s crate she didn’t pop out as usual. Hmmm…..I slowly leaned down and peered inside. No way! Even in the darkness of the early evening I could see little “lumps” inside her crate. Lucy had quietly had her babies while hubby and I were sitting nearby and never.heard.a.thing.
This was a first for sure! Three litters born on the very same day.
But wait, there’s more……
Everybody is finally tucked in for the night and I crash on my couch-bed, late. I plan on getting up throughout the night to check on all the babies as needed. So I roll off the couch a little after midnight to check on everyone, peek in Lucy’s crate and there are TWO MORE PUPPIES!
Folks, we added sixteen puppies into our household within a twenty-four hour period!
And there are still two pregnant moms here ready to burst any day.
Yep, life just got crazy again! In a good way <3
Mercy’s blenheim Cavapoo babies; two boys, one girl.
Treasure’s Cavapoo babies; four boys, three girls.
Lucy’s Poodle babies; two brown and white parti, one cream, one sable, one brown merle, one brown phantom, all boys except the larger parti in the middle!