First things first: Elsie is still fine. Puppies are still kicking.
Elsie is still in active, continues Stage One, and has been since 11:30 p.m. last night (she's been doing intermittent Stage One since Saturday afternoon - start/stop/start/stop). We're at 22 hours of continues Stage One for her at the time of this writing.
Though taking that long in Stage One is unusual for Elsie, it's not unusual for other dams. Apparently Stage One, though it's not been our experience, can go continuously for 36 hours (let's hope not - egad!). The fact that it's been continuous bodes well for Stage Two to develop soon.
Lest you worry; Elsie has not had any hard contractions nor any hard labor at all, nor has her water broken, all of which bode well for Elsie still having an uneventful whelping. It's all good.
Here's why we're not panicking yet:
1. Tonight is the end of Day 62 from Elsie's first tie with Tuc. Normally you count days from the first tie so you have an idea of when the earliest date for whelping might be. It is possible, however, that no conceptions occurred from the first tie, and that all of the puppies she's carrying were produced from her second tie (she mated twice, two days apart, as is the norm). If that's the case, we'd only be at Day 60 from that date of conception, not 62, so we're in good shape on gestational day count (normal gestation is 63 days, though again that's not been the case with Elsie in the past).
2. Elsie's water has not broken, nor has she had any discharge (meaning no sign of puppy distress).
3. Elsie has not attempted to push at all (no contractions like that yet). If she were having contractions and pushing, then we'd be really worried. As it is now, it just appears that she's taking longer to get to Stage Two, which happens with some dams (just hasn't with Elsie before).
4. Elsie's vitals are all strong and healthy. She looks good; she's happy; she's alert, her eyes are bright, her gums are pink, etc. She seems undisturbed. We're trying to take our cues from her.
5. Neither Elsie, nor the puppies, show any sign of distress (just the normal Stage One discomfort for Elsie, and the normal pre-whelping slow down in activity of the pups).
6. Elsie is drinking and pottying just fine (though she hasn't eaten in 36 hours -- normal during Stage One and Stage Two.
To keep my sanity, however, we're talking with our vet a couple times a day, and we're watching Elsie's vitals closely. We know who to call overnight if anything comes up, and we'll check in with the vet again first thing in the morning (I just got off the phone with our doc now).
So, that's where we stand. Amazing, isn't it, how every labor/delivery is different even within the same species (not just same species, but same mom!)?
This kind of process is as new for us as I suspect it is for you, so I guess we can learn together. I'm just thankful this isn't our first time at bat; I'd be crazy with worry if it were (I'm having a difficult enough time keeping worry at bay even with our experience and Elsie's proven track record!).
So there it is.
And for you who follow on FB, I promise I'll swap my profile picture as soon as we have puppy launch!
Try not to worry, and get some sleep. You may as well, since it will be another sleepless night on this homefront!