Stronger than one, Stronger than ten, Stronger than a thousand men!
I am talking about Nadia that is - (and all the mothers out there). In the night from Friday to Saturday, Nadia woke me up every hour to hour and a half, digging like crazy. I checked on her every time. Finally I woke up at around 11:30. And trust any time I took her out for potty I followed her with a towel in hand just in case.
She behaved same as the day before. Early in the afternoon she went to potty and clearly seemed to be having the milder contractions bitches often mistake for needing to pee. Around 2pm she lost her mucous plug so I knew the puppies would be coming soon! I was a bit concerned at first as I had been told if there is blood before the first pup to immediately call the vet. There was a bit of blood but it wasn't just blood. So I called one vet, who told me they were closed, then sent me off to another vet. It was really important to me to establish timing and make the vets aware because the nearest vets were about an hour away. They told me some bleeding was normal and nothing to be concerned with, but that from the moment she started pushing if more than 30 minutes passed without a puppy to get in the car.
This was the most nerve wracking part, having never whelped a litter before, not knowing what amount was normal and what wasn't. Finally Nadia started panting heavily and having mild contractions. She was resting up until about 15 minutes before she started delivering!
The first puppy was a struggle for her, but I sat there encouraging her and he was presenting head first so I knew she could do it. 4:45pm a healthy, vigorous black boy was born! Bruni weighed 14.2oz and got the blue collar. This was such an emotional moment, I cannot describe how moved I was and the tenderness I felt watching him move about and 'speak', watching Nadia immediately settle into motherhood. My girlfriend actually started crying from the cute as she was giggling in delight watching him.
40 minutes later, at 5:25pm we got a feisty black female, dubbed Elsa who weighed 15oz and got light blue. Both she and her brother had no trouble finding the teats and nursing. She was calmer than her brother when being held but omg was she vocal. She has opinions!
About on schedule, at 6:03pm the smallest of the bunch practically just slipped out. Anna was the smallest weighing in at 14.1oz and if I thought her sister was feisty... this one is a handful! She got pink collar like her mama was. Another black puppy.
Nadia was doing really well mothering them but was clearly exhausted and after she had fed and pottied everyone she laid her head down to rest a little. The job wasn't done.
An hour passed this time and at exactly 7:03pm we greeted another puppy, a blue girl whom we are calling the Secret Siren. Siren got white collar and she was the largest girl at 16.2oz! We were a bit concerned as she seemed a little more lethargic than the first three and had trouble finding a teat at first even with our help. She eventually livened up and is now just as healthy and vigorous as her other siblings.
Nadia was starting to tire but I knew I had to expect at least two more so we watched for contractions and more pushing. 8:15 this boy just slipped out... however something was wrong. His sac was filled with meconium (as had the Siren's). The others had come out wiggling or moving to some degree, he didn't. And Nadia's reaction was instantly different. We immediately helped him out of the sac and vigorously rubbed him but there was no reaction. Suctioned his airways. My girlfriend tried to administer cpr for almost an hour. Unfortunately it turns out he was stillborn. She cried and I sat there sadly with Nadia and the others, worried about the following pups, wondering what went wrong. Sharon - Tank's owner and breeder told me he likely died in the canal or a bit before. I know these things happen sometimes, sometimes we know the reason and sometimes we don't.
As for me, I am thankful he was stillborn, as even though I was sad I knew it was a possibility/reality of breeding. It might have been a lot more devastating to lose him after he was born if he had been alive. I suppose in some way it also tested my mettle. I kept a cool head knowing I had to tend to the ones already here and knowing that if he was gone before arriving the following pup(s) could be in distress and I had to prepare. I started having a massive headache too prbably from dehydration and lack of proper nutrition - my gf had insisted on feeding me at least a sandwich by that point, and when I felt the headache coming on I downed a gatorade... that's all I had consummed since the muffin I had when I woke up in the morning.
Nadia was getting exhausted too and there was a much longer break until the last one. Around 9:45 perhaps? When he arrived he was extremely lethargic, I can't recall if he even moved at first but I immediately ripped the sac open, aspirated his mouth and nose. Adrenaline rush from our lost boy perhaps, but I muttered to myself "no no no... not again" and started rubbing him like crazy. I know they can't hear us at his stage but I remember telling him "come on little guy, get pissed, get angry, you're alive!" he coughed and started making weak noises of protest to our relief. He was a lot more lethargic than even Siren had been and we had to pick him up a few times and rub/stimulate him more with Nadia's help of course. He finally started making his way to the milk bar but kept climbing too high or not opening his mouth for the nipple even with our help. I knew there wasn't an issue with his mouth as he'd opened it before and he didn't have a cleft palet. Eventually he figured it out. We later weighed him at a whopping 18.6oz! We call him the Nøkk.
I was sort of thinking there'd be a 7th but Nadia didn't push any more. Around midnight we thought she might be done. I can't help but fret a little and wonder if she should be getting an xray but it is Sunday and with COVID19 the vets in the region might not consider it urgent enough.
So, Themiscyra Doberman's first generation of Amazons are here, and for now the Frozen litter is doing well. Everyone is nursing, everyone is vigorous. Nadia is a really good mother which is a huge relief as well. All born on April 25th, and she had the courtesy of starting in the afternoon lol!
Have a few pictures:
Before the pups arrived... Nadia alert
Elsa, still brand new
Nadia, snuggling Anna
the Siren still wet!
Now the real fun begins! Making sure everyone survives the first week. Early Neurological Stimulation. Early Scent Introduction!
I took the last two weeks watching puppy culture videos and avidogs... let's raise some super dobes!