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Lola’s Kittens have finally arrived!!

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I wanted to post this update sooner but honestly my brain was just fried as a result of this whole delivery process. I’ve got quite the story to tell so if you’re impatient like me you’ll just want to scroll right down to the picture

Monday evening, around 2 am, Lola expelled her mucous plug and stage 1 labor began. As I mentioned in my other thread she was adamant about me rubbing her belly and she wasn’t afraid to speak up about it. She concentrated her efforts on meticulously cleaning every inch of her body and poking around the nursery looking for a place to nest. I sat with her until about 6:30 am when I was beyond exhausted and had to get some sleep.

Yesterday afternoon Lola was experiencing discharge and restlessness so I knew the babies were on their way. She looked beyond miserable (and I’m sure I wasn’t far behind her hehe but at least I was down to one spot on my tonsil ). It was about 4:45 pm that stage 2 labor started. She began panting, and meowing and I could see actual contractions, about 5-6 squeezes each time. I felt so bad for her as she helplessly whimpered and whined. I promised her I’d get her spayed as soon as I could and that this would be the first and last litter she would ever have to carry and deliver. While I’m not sure she understood me, it sure made me feel better!

By 5:45 pm she’d been in stage 2 for about an hour and I had yet to even see a kitten present itself at the vulva. I was beginning to panic a bit so I called my vet before they closed at 6 for some advice. The woman that I spoke with consulted the vet on duty and it was recommended that I give Lola another hour before heading to an Emergency Vet Clinic. I was told that stage 2 labor essentially occurs in 2 distinct parts and that while she had been experiencing contractions for about an hour, I shouldn’t worry because it was just her body’s way of getting the babies all into position for delivery. She was only pushing on about 1 out of every 6 contractions or so and the Vet was pretty sure she’d be able to deliver just fine once her body was all prepared. Ever the worrier I asked them for directions to the nearest clinic just in case and thanked them for all of their help.

The next hour was so stressful for both Lola and me. She couldn’t seem to get comfortable anywhere and wandered from box to box trying to find one that was just right. About 45 minutes after my call to the vet (and about 15 minutes from me packaging her up and rushing to Austin) I saw the first sac make its appearance. I was beyond ecstatic! Apparently God heard the 45 minutes worth of prayers I’d been saying I felt sure the baby would be delivered within a matter of minutes, but I was wrong.

Lola seemed quite disconcerted by the activities going on in her body and so she proceeded to the litter box in an effort to remove whatever it was that had surfaced in her nether region. I had previously read on TCS that cats in labor will sometimes do that, especially if it’s their first litter, so I was less surprised than I could have been (Thank God for TCS!) By this time Nate had arrived home from work so he was able to help me remove her from the litter box (which was no easy task!) I didn’t want to have to disturb her but I certainly didn’t want her to give birth in a box of litter and cat waste. I think she was a bit annoyed by my actions but she quickly forgot about it as the next round of contractions hit.

By this point it was about 7:00 pm…2 hrs and 15 minutes since stage 2 labor had started and about 30 minutes since I saw the first glimpse of the amniotic sac. In everything that I had read, a queen is considered to be in distress if she’s in active labor for more than 20 minutes without producing a kitten. Once again, I was worried!

She finally came out from her hiding place and I could see her straining to push out the first kitten. Every time that she’d bear down, I’d see this little face appear, and quickly disappear. It had a shock of egg yolk yellow hair, a pink nose, and its tongue sticking out. At this point I really started remembering all of the horror stories I’d read, about large stillborn babies becoming lodged in the birth canal and needing to be removed surgically. Of course I was thinking the worst.

When it became obvious that she was bound and determined to deliver the baby but that she was going to need some help, I got in there and offered my services. She promptly inserted all of the claws on her back feet into the palm of my hand and pushed against me with all of her might. The head was finally delivered but she just couldn’t seem to get the rest of him out. As a last resort I gently reached for his little head and pulled. At 7:15 pm he came out as smooth as butter (directly onto our beige carpet *eek*) and my heart was finally able to start beating again. I don’t think I’ve had such an adrenaline rush in quite some time.

I was sure he was stillborn but miracle of miracles he started moving while she cleaned him off. In a matter of minutes he was wriggling around crying and I knew we were very lucky that he had survived. Lola and I were both so relieved…until I remembered that there were more kittens to come!

The first baby, a buff colored tabby by my best guess, was the hardest of the litter to deliver but the rest weren’t that much easier! About an hour after his delivery I saw not one, but two amniotic sacs peaking out from Lola’s vulva at the same time! Within 15 minutes the second kitten, an orange tabby, arrived (~8:30 pm). Within the next 30 minutes Lola’s 3rd kitten, yet another orange tabby, arrived (~9:00 pm) in the breech position. An hour and 37 minutes later Lola’s final baby, a gray/brown tabby, arrived (10:37 pm), also in the breech position.

If this isn’t a perfect example of why to spay/neuter then I don’t know what is. There was no benefit to Lola to become pregnant and deliver a litter of kittens. It was painful, it was stressful, and it all could have gone horribly wrong. During the entire process I thanked my lucky stars that all of my animals have been altered and that I don’t need to worry about this same fate for them. For anyone that wants to experience the miracle of birth, I’d recommend watching “That’s my Baby†on the Learning Channel or visit the website that I made the last time I took in a pregnant stray cat: http://www.digitaldreamin.com/Thebirth/birth.htm You can enjoy the process so much more if you aren’t caught up in the fear and worry that goes along with this whole experience. Please spay or neuter to prevent more innocent animals from going through this painful process which at the very least produces more unwanted animals needing homes.

*Getting back off my soapbox* With that being said, Lola and her kittens all seem to be doing very well. While I was never a big orange tabby lover (I think it has something to do with a mean orange cat my grandparents used to have that scratched me a lot) these little guys are pretty darn cute! I was expecting maybe one orange tabby once I saw the small patch of orange fur that Lola was sporting, but I didn’t expect her to have them like they were going out of style! hehe If there are any orange tabby lovers in the TX area, now’s the time to contact me if you want a new sherbet colored addition to your family

Whew, thanks for letting me share this story. It was quite an emotional 24 hours and I am so thankful that everything turned out so well. I appreciate everyone keeping me company during this long (almost 4 week!) wait. As far as I’m concerned you’re all honorary aunts and uncles


post #2 of 43
Congratulations Grandma! You and Lola both done good. With the difficulties she had with the births, I hate to think what *might* have been if you hadn't come into her life.

Those are some beautiful babies!!
post #3 of 43
wow, a bit too graphic for me!
Congratulations on the new kitties! They sure are cute. Have you though of any names yet?
I absolutely love orange tabbys!!! Thats what my first cat was (RIP) I want one sooo bad

post #4 of 43
Outstanding post! And so true in every aspect. I am so glad the kittens arrived okay. 24 hours after the last kitten, please take the entire family to the vet as a safety and health precaution.

They are beautiful- and when you catch your breath again and your heart starts, if you want to write about this is an article and send it my way, we would sure consider it for publication here-

How is she in in the Mom department now? She keeping them warm and fed?
post #5 of 43
Ohhh YEAAAAA! Welcome lil babies! They are so adorable!
post #6 of 43
well done Lola!!! So glad you had Grandma there to help you. You surely are one terrific girl!! your babies are gorgeous!!

Thanks Heidi for the updates over the last weeks - its been great following the story and I am so glad that everything turned out well!!

sending lots of "well done" vibes
post #7 of 43
Congratulations...they are truly beautiful, and Lola did well, as did you. It's not the easiest thing to do coaching a cat through labor or dealing with deliveries that don't go smoothly...well done!
post #8 of 43
Congratulations, what little cuties. Clever Lola
post #9 of 43
post #10 of 43
AWWWWW They are so cute Congratulations!!!!!
post #11 of 43
Great job Lola!! OMG 2 breech kittens! That had to be hard on her. I'm so glad that everything went (relatively) well and you have this phase behind you!

Sorry, love orange tabbies but house is full!!
post #12 of 43
Aww. They are so big compared to my kittens (born 04/25/04). So adorable. Love new kittens
post #13 of 43
CONGRATS! CONGRATS! CONGRATS! You have made one heck of a grandma so far (yup, can you believe it - GRANDMA! foster grandma or not, that's the generation we're talking here ).

I was able to actually WAIT and read through your entire wonderful post before getting to that INCREDIBLE pick of Lola's kitties! Thank you so much for sharing that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We saw a two-day old kitty at the vet's the other day, and I could NOT believe how tiny they are!!!!!

Way to go Lola!!!!!!!!

Way to go Heidi!!!!!!!!!!
post #14 of 43
If you even think she has another kitten inside of her and after 48 hours nothing happens, please get her to the vet. She doesn't sound like she has it in her to deliver kittens on her own, and trust me, you do not want one dying in-utero and compromising her health and that of her surviving kittens. You did a great job with her, but please get her to the vet to play it safe.

BTW I want that beige one!
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
I've already planned on a vet visit for the whole family tomorrow. When I first took Lola to the vet a few weeks ago I noticed she had some gunk in her eye and I was concerned that she might have some sort of sickness. The vet said she looked fine at the time but I noticed it again today and I want to make absolutely sure that she's healthy. Charity showed no signs of illness in the fall but she managed to transmit a URI to the kittens and that lead to all sorts of troubles. I want to play it safe and make sure that she and the kittens are healthy and that they stay that way. I have a feeling it's easier to get things cleared up now rather than once everyone is ailing.

To answer your other question she is being an amazing mommy. She is very protective of her offspring and meowed at me when I moved them today in an attempt to put a fresh towel in her favorite box. She finally left them just a couple of hours ago for food, water, and some petting, but she was back in the box within minutes. The kittens all seem to be active and nursing quite happily.

Things are looking good so far


post #16 of 43
I am so pleased Heidi that all is going smoothly after their not so smooth introduction into the world.
Lola looks like such a proud mum...

hows Nate going with the new kitties?
post #17 of 43
My congrats again to Lola and you . My goodness those baby's are just to cute and I just love red and red tabby cats , gorgeous .
I am also glad everything is over for her and for you and sure that it was stress for you . That is wonderfull that you take mom and the kittens to the vet tommorow , better save then sorry .
post #18 of 43
They are so sweet! #4 looks just like my Sam did when he was born. Poor Lola for such a long labor but Im glad she came thru a-okay, she looks like a proud momma . All the babies are precious!

Congratulations Grandma!!!
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
Nate is keeping up the whole tough guy facade and telling me not to name them so I won't get attached but I know in my heart of hearts that he honestly thinks they are pretty darn cute (he’s already been in to peak at them a couple of times and he was there by my side during the scary delivery of the first kitten). I think he has a hard time admitting that he likes cats because his dad was anything but a cat lover. I've heard snippets about his dad killing a cat as a child and while he regrets it wholeheartedly now I think it really speaks volumes about him.

His parents were here visiting us in TX last year when Charity and her babies were staying with us and when we had some friends over for a picnic his dad made the comment to them "Cats, 4 for a dollar, and I'll give you the dollar." It was hard to keep my polite smile at that point because I was already attached to the brood and knew I was going to be heartbroken when they left. I thought his comment was kind of mean but I've become accustomed to that sort of thing from his parents.

Nate's family only had dogs while he was growing up and since they lived on a dairy farm there were always "Barn Cats" running around. I get the impression that these kitties were looked at as inferior to dogs because they were stupid interchangeable animals that were meant to kill mice and stay out of the way while dogs were housepets. I don't dislike dogs (love the two we have) but it really ticks me off when "dog" people look down on and insult cats.

Luckily I think Nate is coming to appreciate the feline persuasion. While he'll probably never become a cat enthusiast like me, as long as he can tolerate them, and continues to allow me to have them and help them, we'll get along just fine

post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments!

The kittens are just too precious for words I am already trying so hard not to let myself get attached. I keep reminding myself that I'm lucky to be able to care for them and watch them grow until they can go to their forever homes.

Our cats, Cali and Chase turned 2 this past Saturday. While I was sitting with Lola I was imagining that some kind woman was probably doing the same thing with Cali and Chase's mom 2 years ago when they were being born. I think about all of the laughs and cuddles I've gotten from my kitties and I know that no matter how much it will hurt to let these new kittens go, some families will have the same sort of experience with these new babies that I'm helping to raise. It's kind of like paying it forward but with a lot more tears

post #21 of 43
Thank you, Heidi for the perfectly vivid account of Heidi's delivery of these four adorable babies! I almost feel as if I was there! Thanks for the honorary aunt status! You're showing such love in imagining the joy that will be brought into the lives of the fortunate future families of the kittens.
post #22 of 43
Congrats!! they are simply adorable
post #23 of 43
The babies are awesome, the mommie is awesome, and the gramma ain't too shabby either

Just lovely!
post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Sorry if anyone was too grossed out by my description of the birth hehe Nobody said the miracle of life wasn't a little yucky

Nate helped me snap a few pictures of the kittens today as I was changing the bedding. I also tried to sex them before our vet visit tomorrow to see if I can guess correctly or not.

Here are the closeups. I think I got them in the right order heheh the middle two are confusing, one is just slightly darker than the other The photos are a little blurry but it was the best I could do with <24 hour old kittens and a protective mommy.

1st born - cream tabby (buff/beige) - boy

2nd born - red tabby (medium orange) - boy

3rd born - red tabby (darker orange) - boy

4th born - black tabby (gray/brown) - girl

post #25 of 43
Too beautiful!
post #26 of 43
Aaaaww! I want them all! They're so adorable, you must just be beaming!
post #27 of 43
they are so sweet!!!! I like the grey tabby
post #28 of 43

They are soooo gorgeous What a nerve wracking time for you both.

Hugs and headbutts from myself, Rosie and baby Sophie
post #29 of 43
Congrats Heidi! Your little beige guy looks just like my little beige girl! They are cute aren't they? I am trying not to get attached to my babies either, but I know it's going to happen. I think we might keep one or two to keep mommy company
post #30 of 43
Congrats on the beautiful new additional if temprorary additions to your homes.

Good to know that everything went okay after that scary start...this story makes me so glad that I've always had fixed cats cause I can only imagine what a nervous wreck I'd be if it was my kitty going through that.

I really do need to stay away from the kitten threads...everytime I see one I want one.
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