This is a story, less about my current litter and more about one very eventful evening I had a couple of nights ago......
As an NMC member, I breed toward exhibition standard.
Following a recent run of bad luck with my show lines (various things, irrelevant to this post) I had a VERY important Silver litter due this week.
At about 5pm on Wednesday evening, my Silver doe began to have her babies.
By 6:30pm I saw 3 very cold babies scattered round the cage, covered in Aubiose and other rubbish and certainly not being attended to, and 2 half eaten babies.
"This is not going well" I think to myself.
I discretely removed the 3 cold babs, cleaned them up and put them in to foster with another litter born the same day.
I checked my Silver doe again later on that evening and found that she'd not had any more babies at all. She looked ok and I could see babies wiggling away in her tummy, but I know that having babies does not take so long for my mice usually.
I checked again later on and found her looking less well. Babies still wiggling well inside her.
There were obvious complications so, rather than put the mother through a miserable night that would most probably result in a slow painful death, I did what needed to be done and culled her....it was the right thing to do.
She went quickly. The babies stopped wiggling
I'd already decided that after I'd culled her I would open her up to see what the complication was and to see if I could rescue any babies (though at this point I'd decided that they were dead as they'd stopped wiggling) and this is exactly what I did.
I opened her up and, indeed, found the babies......all looking very still and dead.
I could not ascertain exactly what the complication was but managed to deliver 6 dead looking babies, one of which was quite malformed so perhaps this was, at least in part, some explanation.
I don't know what made me do this, but I took one of the babies, removed the surrounding fluid sac and kind of massaged it all over. I'm not at all sure why because I was already sure that they were all dead!
After perhaps 3 minutes of massage, the little pinkie I was "poking" opened its mouth wide and took its first breath!! :shock: :shock:
I could not believe it.
My friend and I washed it in warm water, dried it off and ran it up to a foster cage (still looking quite dead by the way, even after it's first breath).
Between us, we delivered, massaged, saw the first breath, washed, dried and ran up to the foster cage, 5 babies (the 6th being the malformed one who was never alive) all in a race against time.
I was well aware that the foster parents might not accept these mice so prepared for the worst, but now, 2 days after, the babies are all alive, doing well and are being taken good care of by foster mothers.
I'm so very proud that I delivered those babies and managed to save them.
I didn't know I was capable of doing such intricate work (I didn't even scratch a baby with the scalpel) and that I had the stomach for doing an autopsy of this nature.
I didn't know that the babies could be saved after going so long not breathing.
I've learned a great deal from my own experience and the reason I'm posting the story is that perhaps it can help someone in a similar situation in the future.
So yes....I have a current litter of Silvers