So they say every litter is different, and we can now attest that it is very true. After a natural mating, we were all prepared to settle down into a natural delivery. After all Maggie is young and in excellent health.
What we didn't count on was these puppies were huge!
Maggie pushed and pushed. She would rest for a while and then she would push and push again. While I am not an expert on this, even I could tell after a few hours that this was not going as we expected. Rather than risk Maggie's life and that of her puppies, we decided to take her in to the vet. After a couple of hours there with no better results, we elected to have the puppies by c-section.
And so we have learned something else about deliveries. Despite all the best preparation, there can still be complications. Because this was Maggie's first litter and she was a bit dazed from surgery, she was not really happy for those first few hours at home with all those frantic puppies around her. So we stayed close beside her and kennelled her close beside the pen for the first 24 hrs. And then a slow, but amazing tranformation took place. Maggie began to clean her puppies, a bit roughly, just like she would have if they were just delivered. And then when she was away from them she would be allert to their little cries. And then she was a bit stressed if we handled her puppies. Motherhood had begun!
Now this is a big relief for us. Cleaning puppies is a big chore. You have to stimulate them to pee and poo. The mom's licking does this naturally. And we don't have to worry about leaving Maggie alone with them. She is pretty protective right now. And the stress is now from us interferring too much. Give her food and water. Let her out every once in awhile (and even that she is reluctant to do). She has settled in to motherhood.