WARNING: Below are some graphic photos of the delivery that include some blood, birthing and other items you may not find pleasant to see.
10:32 a.m. - Josie is having contractions. At this point, I'm panicking. We've spent a couple of weeks preparing, I have all the supplies and information we need, the Vet has given Josie the all clear - she shouldn't need a Cesarean Section and her birth canal is plenty large enough to deliver these pups.
But people (experienced in whelping smaller dogs) kept telling me horror stories - about how I might lose Josie. I might lose puppies. I might have to deal with a lot of blood and perform medical tasks that I don't know if I'm capable of.
While yet others (not necessarily experienced) told me it all happens naturally and I won't need to do a thing. I'd prepared as much as I could - but the unknown was looming over us - as Josie's water broke. And bam - Spotty Butt was born at 11:02 a.m. weighing 3.65 ounces. Josie needed help - and I was her only choice (poor girl.) But we did okay.
Shortly after, at 11:16 a.m., Polka Dot was born. This photo shows Polka Dot just after I broke the sac, cleared out her airway, and she took her first breath. You can see that she is still attached to the umbilical cord and that Josie is still delivering the placenta.
The first two pups seem to take Josie by surprise. She didn't do anything after they were born - just laid there, undoubtedly uncomfortable and bewildered.
I was told you've got about six minutes to get the newborn pup out of the sac of amniotic fluid and breathing air - so I didn't wait very long to see if Josie would figure out what to do.
Once out of their sacs, breathing and toweled off, there was the umbilical cord and placenta to deal with. Again, Josie ignored the situation, ignored her pups. But she was still having contractions. Typically, there is more time in between pups - two hours is not uncommon. Josie needed help.
I clamped, tied off and cut the umbilical cords and disposed of the placenta for those first two pups. Then nestled them close to momma and she began licking them.
It wasn't long before Josie delivered her third Chihuahua puppy. Trinity was born at 11:51 a.m. If there was to be a "Runt" in this litter - I thought Trinity was it. She was tiny, fragile, weighing only 2.80 ounces. But over the next few days, she grew quickly and caught up to her siblings.
At this point in the whelping - Josie took over. She is a great momma and I am so proud of her!
In the images above, you can see Chihuahua puppy number four still in its sac of fluid, just delivered. Clover was born at 12:19 p.m. The other three puppies have already started nursing. Josie is busy licking them clean and dry as I help her with Clover. Josie bit open the sac, we revived Clover, and then she began chewing at the umbilical cord and placenta all on her own.
In these images, Josie's fifth and last Chihuahua puppy, Sunny, is born at 2:08 p.m. Although not the smallest of the pups when first born, Sunny was more delicate and has become the smallest pup of the litter. She gets tender loving care and she is growing steadily.
In summary, Josie went into labor at approximately 10:32 a.m. --- hard labor began at 10:50 a.m. --- her water broke at 10:58 a.m. --- and her first pup entered the world at 11:02 a.m.
Spotty Butt was first born - the tallest puppy in the photo above and bottom of the pile left pictured here).
Josie went on to have three more pups over the next hour or so with Clover (third from the left above and on the top left pictured here) fourth-born at 12:19 p.m.
We thought she was done as the x-ray from the Vet showed four pups, with the possibility of a fifth though very unlikely. Now with both Josie and I calmed and relieved, I went about the task of cleaning up and caring for Josie.
But surprise! She began having contractions again an hour and a half later ... and Chihuahua puppy number five arrived. Sunny - not seen as she is buried beneath the other pups above -as usual - and not born yet in this photo - was born at 2:08 p.m.
In this photo, the puppies are four days old. They are white with black and brown markings. Amazingly, they are ALL girls!
These pups are a mix of three-quarters Chihuahua / one-quarter Toy Poodle. Chihuahua puppies are born with their eyes closed and their ears sealed for about the first two weeks of life. They also cannot defecate on their own for a couple of weeks. Josie licks and massages their bottoms frequently.