Well - they're here - 6 members of the "E Litter" made their entrance in the wee hours of the morning of Mother's Day.  Stage 1 labor started Saturday morning....my thought was - great, pups will be born during the day.  Hour after hour went by - lots of panting...glazed eyes...bathroom breaks....labor just didn't progress -sat with Gloria for most of the evening, waiting for the contractions to start.  By  11 pm I was very concerned...she should have been pushing by that time...I called the vet on call and asked for advice.  I was told to bring her in - got to the vet clinic at midnight - c section was done by 12:30 am.  6 puppies were lifted out of her...my job was to rub them vigorously to get them moving and suctioning them for fluids.  One of the girls literally came out green.  Green represents stress...had I waited till morning like I was going to, I may not have had any live pups to talk about.  The vet thought her uterus did not have inertia to move the puppies down into position in the birth canal - she would not have been able to have the puppies naturally.  Gloria was spayed during the c section - after 3 great litters it was time to retire her.  She is 7 1/2 years old.

I got home by 2:30 am - settled everyone in and stayed in the whelping box till 6 am.  Gloria was drugged up and it was obvious that nothing was registering with her.  She didn't seem to notice the puppies I put on her to nurse..my fear was that she would lie on them not realizing they were there.  She became more coherent as the night passed...because of her lack of comprehension I used a cloth to stimulate the puppies' bodily functions.  Finally at 6 am she licked a puppy and I knew that she understood and accepted the puppies.  When she first saw the puppies at home she started at them as though they were aliens. 

Birth weights were:  Ms Orange 440 g; Ms Blue  410 g; Ms Red  282 g; Ms Pink  456 g; Mr Green 368 g; Mr Brown 416 g
The puppies felt strong and vigorous and were a threat to crawl out of their basket at the vet office.  Even Ms Red, as petite as she is, is strong - she is a perfect little package.  I take the week off from work after a litter is born - the first week is so crucial for weight gain and the mother gaining the strength needed to feed the newborns.  The mother often does not want to leave the whelping box - so I have to make sure she is eating and drinking.  I cooked up some plain chicken broth and that always is greeted with great enthusiasm...the c section will have delayed a good milk supply so the quicker it is flowing the better.  4 out of 6 puppies have lost a bit of weight, which is normal.  I will supplement with formula where needed.  We are feeling blessed to have these 6 puppies to look after.