It's already 6 days after the arrival of the much awaited Glitter Litter.  I thought Juno had started the labor process on Sunday...but Monday came around and there was no progress in the labor.  Just heavy panting on and off and so very uncomfortable - couldn't sit it one place for more than 2 seconds...she was also fairly whiney which was not like her.  I stayed home from work to observe her and as the day grew longer i was getting concerned that we may have to make a trip to the vet.  At 8 pm i called the on call vet for a consult.  She offered that I could come in for an xray to rule out any blockage.  I thought I would give her another hour....the intensity of her panting seemed to increase and she kept looking at her back end....there also seemed to be more discharge, possibly her water breaking.  At 9:07 pm was the first visible game on...i would not need to go to the vet.  She had quite a few big contractions and at 9:50 the first boy was born...he was the biggest of the litter at 446 grams - he was also the toughest to deliver.  Two more boys followed at 10:15 pm and 10:50 pm...first girl born at 11:45 pm at 340 grams.  Four more boys - 12:02 am, 12:24 am, 1:05 am, 2:13 am;   At this rate I thought I'd be in bed by 4 am.  A longer whelping pause and the next pup was a girl at 360 grams at 3:40 am; two more boys arrived at 4:53 am and 6:55 am.  11 in total   9 males and 2 females.  The average birth weight was 397 grams which is very good.  Lightest was 340 grams and heaviest 446 grams.  Juno did well throughout the whole process...after it was all said and done she lay down on a blanket outside the box...she looked at her pups...her look said...I've done my part.   I had to coax her back in the box to let them nurse.  Thankfully after each pup was born, I was able to get it to latch on to get that every important first milk - colostrium.  I was pretty sure she was done so went to bed at 7:30 am setting my alarm for 9:30 am.  

So, now started the constant counting to 11.  Also started was the checking of every pup to make sure it was breathing.  I've whelped enough litters to realize that anything can happen with any litter...mother unknowingly lies on a puppy...puppy gets squished...since I changed to a new whelping box with "roll bars"  I know I have decreased the chances of that happening.

Here we are on day 6 and feeling much more comfortable with the chances of all 11 making it...not out of the woods yet but feeling pretty good.  The puppies gained really well.  I handle them at least once a day as well as weigh them every evening.  The puppies are solid and I can feel the chunkiness setting in.  Juno must have super milk.  11 pups are alot of mouths to seems like she is always feeding a few.  Calcium depletion is a concern for a nursing mom so she has been served a special concoction of mashed potatoes with whipping cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and cheese.  I add extra protein to her kibble - chicken or ground beef or scrambled eggs - she is very appreciative of the special food and the other dogs are very jealous!  

It struck me yesterday that I have enough boys for a baseball team so I am going to do a combined theme litter.  The girls will still have glitter in their registered name and the boys will take on my beloved Blue Jays names.  It doesn't happen very often that you have 9 boys so this is my chance to commemorate the Blue Jays.