GIVING birth can be a difficult time for new mothers – especially when there are 20 babies on the way.

The surprised owners of bulldog Callie expected a litter of no more than eight puppies when their two-year-old pet became pregnant.

But they got far more than they bargained for when welcoming one newborn pup after the other into the world last week.

Amber Rees and her partner are getting used to looking after a big batch of adorable new arrivals while Cali rests and recovers from an exhausting three days in labour.

Amber said: “It’s been chaotic and crazy but quite fun. Seeing all those puppies together has been really heartwarming and sweet – but it does test your patience sometimes.

“This could be a record litter for Swindon and they can be quite a handful. I think Cali’s handled this better than I have.

“We are so proud of Cali, she’s done so well, all things considered. This was her first litter and it was tough to see her go through so much effort but she’s been such a good mother.

“She was very tired for a few days but she’s started wagging her tail again and is back to her funny, ditzy old self.

“At first, we were a bit nervous because we were not sure how well she would look after the puppies but she responds whenever one of them makes a noise and is always on her guard immediately if anyone comes near them.

“When we first took her for a scan, the vet told us to expect six or at most eight puppies, but they just kept on coming, I was shocked but delighted.

“After the first 14, she slowed down a bit so the vet gave her an injection to help give her contractions and push the last six out.”

Amber has just started a new dog-breeding business, Blue Blood Empire, for rare breeds like the Alapaha blue blood bulldog.

Sadly, not every puppy made it to their first week. Nine of them were born too prematurely and did not survive more than a few days.

Amber added: “It was a bit of a traumatic birth and Cali’s water broke before some of them were ready to come out.

“The others are happy and healthy, fortunately, and we’ve stocked up on beds and dog food for them.

“Now we just need to think of 11 names to officially register each puppy. I thought about going with Disney princesses for the females but after calling one of them Ariel, I decided that it didn’t really suit her.

“When a new owner buys them, they can rename them. Callie was originally called Gabana."