I'm sitting in the yellow chair. The one that sits by the dog crate when we have puppies. I'm exhausted, my eyes are heavy, and I have no control over the involuntary smile that happens every time I see a puppy do something cute. Like breathing.
Jill started in labor yesterday morning shortly after the kids got on the bus. I love when this happens. Dogs that deliver in daylight hours are so much nicer than dogs that deliver into the wee smalls of the night. But Jill took a long time deciding she was going to labor; like all day. I sat by her all day, stressing as much as she was, because bringing babies into the world is a stressful thing for all involved. At 10pm when she finally decided that the labor part of laboring would be a good thing to get going, I mentally counted out the hours. Giving a very generous hour between pups, she should be done by 2AM (we knew there were 4 babies) and I could get to bed late, but rather early-ish for a midwife on-call night. And then nothing happened except for a few random pushes here and there. Which produced nothing. And two and a half hours went by and experience reared its head and said INTERVENE. That was also the voice of my husband, who handed me the phone and said, "call the vet," because he doesn't like watching me sit on the edge of my yellow chair, rocking back and forth, stressing over the dog who is stressing over a non-labor.
It was at this point that I decided I would just schedule C-sections for my dogs in the future. The french dogs. The corgis have proven themselves to be capable of delivering on most occasions but the french people aren't that skilled. Apparently. We are 0 for 2 and I do not like those odds.
So I met the vet and the other vet at the clinic at 1AM and we delivered those 4 babies through a hole in Jill's very large tummy. The window into the operating room is a super fun feature. I love things like that. I seriously could have been a vet. But I didn't have much time to watch because once those babies were out we had work to do. The vet and I were in charge of reviving babies while the other vet took care of Poor Jill.
Turns out, anesthetized dogs give birth to anesthetized babies. I have been involved in C-sections before and have never experienced this. Again, its the difference between my robust corgis and the pampered french breed. (Fact: the french bulldog was bred to be a lap dog. That's it. It has no other purpose in life.) We worked for an hour to get those babies to the point where they were breathing well on their own and actually living. I think the most hilarious part (I always manage to find something to laugh about, no matter the situation) was the oxygen tent. This was a large Ziploc bag with a hole torn in the bottom and a pipe streaming oxygen shoved into it. Puppies were placed inside the bag so they could benefit from the awesome air. I mentioned that it seemed counterproductive to place puppies in a plastic bag when we were trying to save their wee lives, but the vet said, "Trust me. I'm a doctor." Humor. It's a good thing.
I ended up getting home at 3:30AM and sat by my babies and new mama until 5AM to be sure she knew what she was doing and was coherent enough to care for her children without laying on them in her exhausted state. Canine midwifery is never a profession that will allow me to get to bed at any kind of a decent hour.
But I have puppies. I can't control the involuntary smile that happens every time I glance over at them from the comfort of my yellow chair.