Updated: Jan 4
The anticipation of this litter was exciting but as always, nerve wrecking. Because dogs can't speak to us, all we can do is examine their every move, calculate the days and try to pick up the cues they leave us.
When we woke up on the morning of December 9, we weren't expecting Olive to go into labor. As she wasn't really exhibiting any "symptoms" the night before and she had just began her window of possible birth days.
She was acting a little strange the day before by not wanting to eat, but here tummy was rumbling so we assumed she ate something that wasn't agreeing with her tummy. She did eventually eat late that night, so we left it at that.
That morning though, she knew it was time. Like with her previous litter, she began nesting underneath our bed and then we knew, it was time...
We quickly set up her whelping area and grabbed everything we would need for the birth of at least 6+ pups. It took us about 10 minutes, but as soon as we finished she jumped in and started nesting while trying to get comfortable. Refusing food or water, the panting began and we knew it was happening very soon.
All eyes on her, we waited and waited....
Then finally, a pup! Olive quickly started to get her out of her placenta and clean her up (best momma award). We are always hands off unless we see Olive struggling. She continued to clean her pups face until she started breathing on her own. That's when we can take a breath of relief and wait for the next one.
We started to worry about an hour and some change after the first pup was born because Olive's last litter was quick. She had all of her pups within about 3 ½ hours. They were each back to back, while she cleaned one another was being born.
Finally she started contracting again about two hours after the first pup was born. We were relieved as she started to push another out. She suddenly just stopped pushing, so I jumped in to help her get the rest of the placenta out. I knelt down to help pull the pup out. But the second I put my hands in I knew something was wrong, so I called my husband over. He thought everything looked fine but I felt uneasy and concerned. I went back down again and did what I had to do. Finally the placenta was out! My husband and I quickly looked at each other, when we realized there was nothing in there. It was a bag of cells. "At least it wasn't a still birth pup right?" We said to each other.
After, we waited and waited and waited. But we noticed Olive didn't seem to be in labor anymore. She started breathing regularly, her temp had gone back up (it goes down during labor), she wanted to eat and drink again and she was in no distress whatsoever. We remained alert and concerned for hours, consulting with several industry professionals and trusted members of the Boston community.
Was it possible to have just ONE pup? Was she holding in my more pups? Does she need a C-section? Did we need to head to the vet? So many questions ran through our minds. Why did we we decide against not going to see a vet?
Well what you don't know is this pregnancy for Olive was rocky from the get go. Her and our stud just didn't "connect" like they had done in this past. Olive had to do the work this time around and we had to meet on two different occasions. It just didn't sit right, but we thought maybe we were overthinking it.
Her belly didn't grow as large as the last litter and her belly never dropped. But her hunger did pick up a bit at night and her nipples became larger than normal, so we knew she was pregnant. We thought, maybe because she has a mom bod now that she was carrying differently than before. We had no idea she was carrying just one baby girl.
Had Olive's symptoms been different or extreme we would have taken her to a veterinarian. But we are thankful for communities like ours who are supportive, informational and up at all hours of the night. Olive has blessed us with a gorgeous black and white singleton pup. The decision will be a tough one when deciding to keep her for our program or not, only time will tell.