First, Missy, thank you for filling everyone in! and thank you to all of you for all your continued good thoughts.
To start from the beginning...after seeing the other vet the other night, something kept nagging me. I did specifically ask the other vet if he would do a c-section and fix her belly at the same time. It seemed to be the perfect answer. He wouldn't do it. He also insisted that she did not have an infection and that the dead tissue was due to the lack of blood supply to the area where the puppies were laying.
Well, something wasn't sitting right...so I called our regular vet yesterday morning, and he set up to have the other vet come in (it was supposed to be her day off) and he had 5 vet techs, and still ended up shutting down the hospital - they actually locked the doors and turned off the phones...they really needed all available hands on deck, so to speak.
Dr. Parrish did the c-section first...and there were 12 puppies in there...all 12 were born alive, however, they very quickly lost 3, and they spent the next half hour trying to revive the 3, using shots, etc...but they couldn't do it. And, before the surgery, I told Dr. Jaffe that as much as I cared about the pups, if it came down to it, make my girl better. They had boxed up the 3 for me, but I forgot them...the one receptionists son, who is a vet tech there, took the box home and buried it for me and put a stone marker (she was telling me he was in tears when Dr. Jaffe said they would just dispose of the puppies)...so, 9 puppies: 2 are almost completely black, 3 brindle, and 4 fawn...
Then, Dr. Jaffe dove in to her belly. When he peeled back the top layer of skin, he smelled the sickeningly sweet/putrid smell of rotting meat. Directly under that dead layer of blackened skin she was filled with pus and blood. No infection, my a$$.
(Dr. Jaffe said it was a very good thing we went in there and took care of this now...if we had waited, she could've gone septic). Well, unfortunately he couldn't tell what it was so he did have to send out a culture. He said there was a lot of dead skin on top, and a good amount of dead tissue underneath. He cleaned everything, and was sure to actually take a little extra tissue in case that tissue directly touching what was already dead was starting to turn. Then, he put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I say that b/c if you look at her stomach, it's like puzzle pieces. She has one long line of stitches going from about mid-sternum all the way down, then she has lines of stitches coming out all over. He also put in several drains in all different spots.
While Dr. Jaffe and Stacie (vet tech) were doing that, everyone else was getting Karo syrup for the puppies, and started to feed them, then got them under a heat lamp, etc...
I got there and also did a hand-feeding, and went to see Dru...she was very happy to see me, and started to kiss my face and everything. Dr. Jaffe double and triple checked on all the meds he wanted to give her for pain, and gave her a very puppy-safe antibiotic injection. However, pending the results of the culture, he may have to change that, which could make it impossible for her to nurse.
I brought everyone home last night, and the real work began. Dru was very sore, and they had given her pain meds before she left. So, she was pretty out of it for a while. So, we started to hand feed, take weights, etc. Around midnight she finally got up, and we brought her out...she wanted to take care of the puppies, licking them all, stimulating them to go to the bathroom, etc, but you could also tell that every time they grabbed a nipple, she would just "grin and bear it" per se. She is much less painful on the two lower nipples, and those are the ones we're trying to use...We're feeding every 2 hours, but only using her every 4.
We also decided that putting the puppies in the same room with Dru would likely be very stressful for her.
Based on something I saw last night, I made a suggestion. We put the puppies in the back bedroom, where Asja is crated. When we brought them, they made little noises, and she started to whimper. So, this morning, we got Asja out, and told her to down, and one by one, we gave her the puppies. She stimulated and cleaned each and every one of those puppies (if only she'd start producing milk, we'd be golden!) And, she does a much better job with it. I mean, we weren't awful...but she was 100x's better!
Anyway, that's where we are now. They are due for another feeding in a few minutes, and this one will be with Dru...but in the meantime, here are some pics of the munchkins (sorry the coloring is off on a couple, I was taking these pics late last night and we had the heat lamp on, then off, then on)!