Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bella's First Litter

Saturday was supposed to be Mom’s Day Off. Well, not really, but I was hoping to be able to get caught up on all my housework while the kids were at Grandma’s, and Jesse was at work. I woke up with Jesse, sent him off; the kids woke up, and then guess what happened.
Bella’s water broke. My dog was in labor.
What is it they say about the best laid plans? Yeah, there was a major monkey wrench in my day. Her water broke at nine o’clock, and for the next seven and a half hours I sat on the hard floor next to the whelping box. Alone.
It was not an easy delivery, by far. The first two puppies were breach. My poor baby, I felt so bad that her first experience delivering babies was starting out so painfully. It took such a long time to get the first little boy out, I was certain he was going to be a still born. My heart was aching, and my fingers were trembling, when Bella finally pushed him all the way out. When he started wiggling in my hands, and made his first tiny whimpers, I cried out with joy.
The second pup was just as difficult. Also breach, she kept coming out one foot first. I pushed her itty-bitty paw up, but it just popped right back out. After much discomfort for Bella, I was able to get both feeties out together.
Luckily, the third pup came out head first, and was a good size. She couldn’t have been more wonderful. Minimal pushing, minimal pain for momma. After she was out, Bella became so relaxed that I just assumed we would only have three little ones. But, you know what they say when you “assume” things.
An hour after the third puppy, Bella started having contractions again. By now, it had been more than six hours since her first water broke. And, it was three hours after her first delivery. My baby was tired. She didn’t have much left in her. And to make matters worse, puppy number four was bigger than the first three. It took an hour for her to push him out.
When everyone was here, I couldn’t have been more proud of my girl. She put up with all of my poking and prodding. She dealt with me handling her babies right away. She handled all the pain like a champ. She is a momma, and momma’s little princess.
I’ve been watching Bella’s, and the puppies’, progress over the last few days. Nature is fascinating. She tends to all of the puppies’ needs. She feeds them, regulates their temperature, lets them know when it’s time to tinkle, and even cleans up the mess afterwards (ew!).
I could never be an animal giving birth in the wild. The pain factor alone gets me. I had some sort of painkiller with all three of my children. And, I had so much help from my parents with my first daughter. It’s amazing how much animals know to do on their own.
There is a lot to be said for human, maternal instinct. But we have nothing on animals. They have no one around telling them what they should be doing. They can’t read books. There is no internet to search. They just do. And they “do” well.

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