On puppies and babies…

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My goodness, was that an interesting weekend! A real baptism of fire, much harder than I ever expected. After 59 days of pregnancy, Coco went into labour on Friday night. I hardly slept a wink worrying about her and at about 4am I heard the yelps of the first puppy! The first two were out before I could get to her and the third appeared while I was with her. She seemed to know exactly what to do and cleaned them while she carried on with labour. I couldn’t imagine that there could be more… they are each about the size of my hand and she is not such a big dog so where did they all fit in?! An hour or two later another appeared and by mid-day another… then there were five! I thought surely that should be it. I made sure that they were all suckling and put them in a nice warm spot on the front veranda. She was so attentive and loving towards them that it made my heart burst with pride at my baby who has grown up to be a mommy! There are three girls and two boys. Perfect little tricolour Beagles – definitely Roger’s progeny!

2013-08-05_0001 2013-08-05_0002 2013-08-05_0003 2013-08-05_0004 2013-08-05_0005 2013-08-05_0006If that were the end of it, it would have been a breeze, but unfortunately there were some complications. Later in the day I realised that Coco was still in discomfort. I thought it might just be her uterus contracting or problems with the afterbirth coming out. I was alone at home and totally inexperienced so didn’t know what to do. On the whole she was not in bad spirits so I gave it more time. By the time I realised she needed help, it was already late and we could only see the vet the next morning. So she struggled through the night experiencing ongoing contractions and desperately trying to tend to the puppies. I was up with her the whole time and made puppy formula to help her keep the babies fed. By now she was severely dehydrated and not eating. My heart broke. First thing on Sunday morning we rushed to the vet who helped immediately to clear the blockage. Instant relief, but alas, we lost the 6th. We went home with a bag full of medicine and lots of advice on how to keep Coco healthy and producing optimal milk. I spent the rest of Sunday hand feeding her to get her strength back up. She didn’t leave the puppies once, except reluctantly to go outside to relieve herself. I also continued to supplementary feed the puppies their homemade formula to make sure they were getting enough food. By the evening she was eating greedily from my hands. I made her a special “super smoothie” packed full of goodness to disguise the dry puppy pellets that she didn’t want to eat.  We all had a peaceful night with mother and babies set warmly in front of the Aga. This morning the puppies don’t seem interested in the formula I offered them so that hopefully means she is producing enough. From now on my job is to make sure that Coco is healthy and happy so that she can get on with the business of looking after her extremely cute and adorable babies. I am so incredibly proud of her!

So, it’s been a weekend of intense bonding for me and Coco. Bonding on many levels, because I will be having my own baby in January 2014 and this just seemed like such a foretaste of what’s to come. Yes, that is correct, I am four months pregnant with a baby girl and finally able to share the news! It has been so hard not telling for such a long time, but we had to make sure that everything was fine. In February I wrote about the trouble we were having conceiving and our prayers were answered much sooner than we could have imagined (see Keep Calm and Be Patient). It has been a long road to here, but under the considered care of a doctor who really took the time to understand my issues and some small changes to my diet and lifestyle we have done it! I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s starting to feel more real and this past weekend was certainly a big eye opener. Bring it on, I say, but first I think I need some more sleep!

Hello world!

Hello world!

25 thoughts on “On puppies and babies…

  1. Wow Mris – Coco is a brave girl – well done to you both (sorry about the one pup). They look so cute and adorable and Coco defintiely looks like she was born to this. Take care of you both now.

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  2. Oh how fabulous: you made my day. Bella Coco. When you said you were quitting your job … I did wonder if there was a baby in the plan somewhere. So happy for you. Bet you never in a million years would have thought you would be writing this post – when you were career gal-ing it a few years ago. Isn’t live grand?

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  3. Wonderful Maris – on all fronts. So thrilled Coco’s doing well (she’s positively BEAMING in the 4th pic above – too sweet) and yes, make the most of sleep! It’s never the same but don’t fear because when it’s your own, you simply don’t mind :-)). Much love as always xx

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    • Thanks Lou! It’s amazing how one just will stay awake when you have to care for someone you love. After this weekend I’ve got a tiny inkling of what it must be like nursing a sick child through the night. Scary, but you just get on and do it.

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  4. Maris, what’s with the little necklaces? I am soooo proud of your Coco. My heart is brimming with excitement at your wonderful news. I am soooooo looking forward to be Aunty to a baby girl (in my circles girls are very few a far in between). Congrats and continue taking good care of yourself and your Coco dearest.

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    • Thank you SO much Lu! I tried putting different colored wool around their necks so that I could keep track if who is who, but then I took it off because I was scared they would get tangled up. The two boys had the blue and yellow collars. xx

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  5. This is the best news ever! I must say the news of your pregnancy has brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you. God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly and above all has come through for you and your husband. Congrats Marisa. I wish you nothing but the best.

    Congratulations are also in order for new mommy Coco :). Her puppies look so adorable.

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  6. Hey Maris – this is an awesome post. So pleased for you with all this good news. Soon vastrap will become a fertility haven 🙂

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  7. Hey Marisa,

    I am not yet there, I am still stuck behind my desk and the Joburg traffic. I must say, I have had it with the city though.

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  8. Lovely pups.I would have a problem leaving them alone.Would love to cuddle them.Congratulations on your own news. You will be a very capable Mum with all the experience under your belt with your 4 legged babies.Well done Quentin.He did have a share in this somewhere!!

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