Monday, October 15

A glimpse into my everyday




This is me, checking my email.

It's like they have a sixth sense... they can be anywhere in the house, occupied with books or toys or a movie.. the second I sit down with a coffee to check my email, after finishing the morning chores, they appear.

"I sit you, Mommy." says my big boy.

"Waaaaaaarrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh!!" says my cuddlebug. (Loosely translated, that means "Pick me up now!!!!" in Baby-speak.)

So I sigh, and smile, and find room on my lap for two little bums. Then I check my email, and play a quick game of Angry Birds, with my little cheerleader yelling "Get the piggies! The bad piggies!!"

Someday they will be too big to cuddle with Mommy. I'm going to get as many cuddles as I can before that happens. :)

Tuesday, October 9

Puppy Pictures!




 I'll be adding more pictures as the puppies get bigger. Aren't they cute?? Most of them are black, but some of them are brownish. I'm excited to see how they change as they get older! :)

A birth story! Part Three

Continued from Part Two, found here

"They have to give her a c-section."

Ty didn't even pause when the Vet told him. He said "I'm not losing her." He knew that c-sections are expensive, but he wasn't going to let Brady die. If we had said no, and taken Brady home to take her chances, she wouldn't have been able to give birth to the stuck puppy, and she would have likely gotten sepsis and died. For us, it was a no-brainer.

We debated on what to do, since we had both the kids with us. Ty had to work in the morning, so I said that he should just go home with the kids, and I would stay with Brady. Ty said that he wouldn't sleep anyways. I said I didn't want to wait out in the car with the kids the whole time, so we decided to drive home and see if Ty's Mom would take the boys overnight for us. The Vet had to wait for her assistant to arrive before she could get started, anyway, so we had a bit of time.

We were driving home, and we happened to take the route that leads by my sister's house. The lights were on! It was after one in the morning. I said "Maybe Adeena will take Deklan, and Reid can just stay with us. I'll go in with Brady and you can try to sleep in the car." Ty agreed, so we pulled in, and I ran up to her door and knocked. I said "It's just me! I'm not a stalker!" ;)

I explained the situation, and she graciously said that Deklan could stay the night. I ran back to the car, and brought Deklan in. He was upset because of the stressful situation with Brady (who he loves), and was not impressed to be left behind, even at his beloved Nah's house. Adeena tells me he eventually settled down, I hope so! ;)

I drove back to town, because Ty was falling asleep. I'm a much better driver while sleepy than he is, I don't fall asleep while driving. I just don't.

Reid and Ty slept in the car while I went inside to be with Brady.

The vet tech had arrived by then. They had Brady on a steel table, and were doing all sorts of medically necessary things, like giving her an I.V. and shaving the hair off of her belly. Brady was frightened, but true to her nature she was calm and gentle. I doubt it even crossed her mind to bite or growl. She was such a good girl! I was really, really proud of her.

The Vet was so kind, and so good with Brady. She told me that they would need an extra pair of hands with the puppies. I said "Sure, no problem."

I watched as they gave Brady the drug to make her fall asleep, and it didn't take very long for her to be out. They took her into the operating room, and laid her on her back. They intubated her, and swabbed her belly with disinfectant. It was hard to see her laying so still, and in such a weird position.

Ty came in, having been awakened by a protesting Baby Reid. By that time, Brady was covered with the sterile operating drapes, and only her head was visible. Ty couldn't bear to see her like that, so he stayed back from the door. I was able to compartmentalize what I was seeing, although I found it distressing that my sweet doggy was laying on the operating table, I also was fascinated by the procedure.

I watched the incision, watched the Vet gently draw Brady's uterus out of her body, and watched as she carefully cut an opening and pulled the first puppy out.

She broke open the sac, and pulled the puppy out. She handed the pup to the vet tech, who wrapped it in a towel, and handed it to me. There was a table set up outside of the operating room, and I took the puppy there and started working on it. The towel was dry and scratchy, and I rubbed it on the puppy's sides and back, cleaning out it's mouth with my finger. The vet tech brought me a suctioner to clean the mucous out of the puppy's throat, and after a tense 30 seconds, the puppy drew it's first breath! Success!

After that, three more puppies were brought out, each needing a different degree of stimulation to get them breathing. One was being exceptionally difficult, and the vet tech couldn't get him going. The Vet called her back into the operating room to assist with something, so she handed him to me, and I was able to get him breathing after a few scary moments.

The vet tech brought out poor puppy # 6. It was a sad moment. He was frozen in a horse-shoe shape, and it was obvious he had been dead for quite some time. The vet tech covered him in a towel, and took him away shortly after.

That was it! No more puppies. The four c-section babies were all squalling and crying on the table, crawling around, looking for their Momma. I put them in the basket with the 5 that we had brought from home. They had been kept under a nice warm electric blanket for the duration of the surgery, and there was a lot less room in the basket when we added the hatched babies to it! ;)

I washed my hands, and then Tyler and I went to the waiting room while they finished sewing Brady up.

It was a long wait, and eventually we went back to the other room, where they had Brady laying on her side, her puppies lined up on her teats. Eight of them were nursing happily, one of them was chilled and uninterested in nursing. It was little # 5. We gave him a bit of milk via tube feeding, but it didn't help. He lasted through the night, but died the next morning. :(

The other 8 were fine, healthy puppies! Brady slowly came out of the anasthetic, and she looked at all the puppies with a "Huh??" expression. When she went to sleep, she only had 5 puppies. Now she had 9, and they were all already dry and cleaned.

Once she stood up and walked, we were able to take her home. I held the puppies in the basket, and Ty sat in the back so he could have his hand on Brady to help her calm down, because she was still disoriented and nervous.

We got home, Ty let her walk around outside so she could go pee, while I went in and cleaned out her whelping bed and laid a fresh towel and clean papers down for her. I put the puppies under the heat lamp, and Ty brought Brady in and we got her settled down in her bed.

I sent Ty to bed (this was at 4:45 a.m., he had to wake up at 6:00) and I stayed up to watch Brady. Coffee was my nearest and dearest friend that morning, let me tell you.

Brady finally settled down, and sniffed each of her puppies. I was worried that she would reject the ones born by c-section, but no, she sniffed them and licked them and accepted them just fine. :)

It was a long, hard day, but seeing all those puppies lined up against Brady's belly was a lovely sight. I was so glad we made the decision to take her in to the Vet's. It would have been devastating if we had waited until morning, only to have to take her in and have a c-section anyway, and likely 4 more dead puppies.

Deklan absolutely *loves* the puppies. He adores them. And Brady is so good with him, Deklan sits in with her and watches the puppies, and she doesn't mind at all. She's never growled or snarled or acted at all aggressive, which can happen with some dogs. She's such a good girl. :)

I'll upload some pictures of the puppies later! :)

A birth story! Part Two :)

Part one can be found here. :)

Brady couldn't get comfortable. She wouldn't lay on her side, and when I would gently encourage her to lay down, she would pop right back up. Her breathing was heavy, which is expected during labour, but the quality of it was worrisome to me.

After the first puppy came, over the next four hours, three more puppies were born. Each one was in distress, and I had to stimulate them to get them to breathe. As more puppies started nursing, I expected Brady to get more comfortable, and start to lay on her side more. She wouldn't, and I got more concerned.

At 8 o'clock, she had stalled completely. The four puppies were doing well, but her belly was still huge. I knew there were more puppies in there.

At 9, I sent Ty to his Mom's to see if she had any oxytocin. I thought a little jolt would help rev her labour back up.

I decided to check and see if I could feel a puppy in the birth canal, to maybe help her out. Sure enough, there was a pup there, that she just wasn't pushing out on her own. I pulled him out, and he wasn't breathing, and didn't have a heartbeat.

I worked on him, and managed to resuscitate him, but I believe he was in a coma. He was breathing, but he wouldn't wake up.

An hour after I assisted Brady with #5, I checked her again. # 6 was there, but his chin was tucked down against his chest, and his shoulders were stuck against Brady's pelvis.

We tried to turn his head, but he was stuck fast. For those of you thinking "What the heck did they think they were doing!" Tyler and I both have years of experience working as pig farrowers, so we weren't out of our league attempting to help our dog with a difficult birth. This was something we couldn't help her with, though.

At 11:00 p.m., we called the emergency number at our local Vet's office. At midnight, we got a call back, and they told us to come in.

We were hopeful that the vet could assist Brady in delivering # 6, so we all went in together. Tyler and I had both been up since 5:00 a.m. the previous morning, and I had only had 5 hours sleep before Ty woke me up. We went together so that we could keep each other awake. Deklan & Reid slept in their carseats, and Ty took Brady into the clinic to be assessed.

When Ty came walking out, I knew what he was going to say. I could tell by the look on his face. "They have to give her a c-section."

To Be Continued in Part Three.

A birth story! Part One

Brady's birth story, to be precise!

For any newbies out there, Brady is our 4 year old chocolate lab. Tyler and I got her as a puppy when we were newlyweds. Before we were "we", Tyler and I bonded over our shared love of dogs, and specifically, chocolate labs. Our first Christmas together, we gave each other chocolate lab nick-nacks, coincidentally. After we were married, we had no real plans to get a dog right away, but I just happened to see an ad for chocolate lab puppies in the paper one day. I told Ty, and we went "just to see" the puppies. Ha! "Just to see." Riiiight. ;)

Of course, we fell in love with the teeny tiny little girl, one of two chocolate females in the litter. She was so sweet, and gentle.. she didn't try to bite our fingers like the other female did, she just looked at us with her big ol' puppy eyes, and we were done.

She was the cuddliest, sweetest, most lovable puppy in the world. She grew up to be the sweetest, gentlest, most laid back dog ever (except when it comes to food, she's crazy about her food!)

From the very first, Tyler talked about having a litter of pups from her one day. I wasn't that keen, but I wasn't so against it that I put my foot down. I figured, if Ty really wanted it, so be it.

Fast forward four years, and we adopted a big, beautiful Bouvier male. Who just happened to be intact.

Sigh.

Brady got pregnant, and we marked the date on the calendar, and life went on.

We built her a whelping bed as her due date crept close, and watched for signs of labour.

On Saturday, September 29th, her water broke. I had made plans to go to visit my brother and sister-in-law that day, and I reluctantly cancelled. I couldn't leave Brady alone after her water broke, in case she needed help.

All day long I watched her, but nothing happened. No puppies.

All day Sunday, we watched her. Nothing happened.

Monday morning, Ty was sure she was in labour. She was panting and nesting, she couldn't settled, she was definitely uncomfortable... he woke me up at 5:30 a.m, before he left for work. He was sure she would have puppies by 9:00.

I got up, I watched her... nothing. Nada.

All day long, I kept checking on her. I let her outside to walk around a few times, and she didn't seem to be in any distress. She moseyed around, laid in the sun on the deck for a while... she was fine, I thought.

Around 3:00 I let her back in the house, and she wanted to go to her whelping box.

At 4:00 I checked on her, and she was laying down. She seemed a bit uncomfortable, but fine, I thought.

Reid wanted to nurse, so I took him into the other room to try to get him to nap. Ty got home at 4:10, and he went to the kitchen to put his lunch pail down. I heard "Oh, Sarah, she's started! There's a puppy! It's face is covered!"

I thought "Oh crap!" and rushed to the kitchen. Sure enough, the pup was still covered in it's little pouch. I ripped it open and grabbed the puppy up. He wasn't breathing, so I rubbed his back and cleaned out his mouth with my finger, and blew air across his face. I held him upside down and scratched his back and belly, saying "C'mon, puppy! Breathe, puppy! Let's go!"

Finally, he took a breath. Relief! I held him up to Brady's nose, and said "Here, Brady! Here's your baby!" She looked at him with big eyes, sniffing him all over. Then she started licking him, which of course is the best thing to keep a pup stimulated. I worked on him a bit more, too, to keep him breathing. A few minutes later, he started whining. When he let out little cries, I knew he was resuscitated enough that he was going to be fine.

I put him against Brady's stomach, and he started nursing. She looked at me quizzically, but didn't push the baby away. She was still sitting up on her stomach, and I couldn't get her to lie down. That was my first clue that something was wrong.

Continued in Part Two

Tuesday, October 2

Happy Birthday Jared!

You share your birthday with four of Brady's puppies! :)

The rest of them were born October 1st. She delivered 5 of them herself, then unfortunately # 6 got stuck. We ended up taking her to the vet clinic, and the rest of her babies were born via c-section.

It has been a very, very long day. I have had 5 hours sleep since September 30th. Poor Brady was in labour for 25 hours, that's longer than both my labours combined.

She's doing okay, she pulled through the surgery, and hopefully she'll show a bit more interest in her puppies soon. I'll be up for a while longer until I make sure she's okay, then I'll probably go to bed once Ty gets up to go to work. He's just laying down on the couch in the living room, hoping to get an hour's rest. My poor man.

Coffee time!!

Have a great day, Jarity Jay! :)