Clay Findlay | Birth Story

Clay Findlay is here and we’re smitten! I’m currently writing this while he’s snoozing beside me and This Is Us is on TV. He’s eight weeks old today (an update on him and I thus far coming soon!) and is as sweet as can be. I did pretty good at writing down what was going on during the whole labor and delivery process, but at some point time didn’t really make much sense anymore, as you can imagine.

I’m mostly sharing this for myself, but if this can help someone out in any way, that’s great too! This will probably be pretty long, so settle in. Here’s Clay’s story.

November 9 | 40-week Appointment

My doctor checked me to see if I had dilated at all, but I still hadn’t. She suggested that we see what happens over the weekend since a lot can change quickly and meet again on Monday morning to make a plan. She mentioned that she is on call over the weekend and is scheduled to work Tuesday and Wednesday, so Monday night would be a good night to start an induction because then she’d be there when I am.

It made me feel really good to know that she cared about being there! I know that some doctors aren’t super concerned about that. Another reason why I love my doctor so much!

Over the weekend, nothing much happens. I don’t feel any signs of labor other than tightening in my belly once in a while. Nothing consistent or painful.

Last bump picture!

November 13

8:15am | Tyler came with me to my appointment this morning since he wasn’t working and we’d be deciding what to do next since nothing happened over the weekend. My doctor checked me again and my cervix had softened over the weekend, but I still wasn’t dilated.

Since I am overdue at this point, I had to do a non-stress test for about 20 minutes. There was nothing out of the ordinary for that. Before she left us to do the test, my doctor said she had saved us a spot that night for an induction just in case we decided on coming in. She explained the whole process to us and then left us to talk it over while I was doing the test.

We eventually decided on yes after talking over the pros and cons. I was a little apprehensive at first because it’s a scary prospect, but warmed up to the idea pretty quickly once Tyler and I talked about it. Our doctor said to come back in at 8pm  and then we wouldn’t leave until we had a baby!

10:00am | I go to work for one last day just to get everything squared away and set for my maternity leave. The rest of staff was out of town at a funeral, so it is a quiet day and I’m able to get all my stuff done with minimal interruptions.

4:00pm | I come home from work a little bit early and deposit my check at the bank on the way. My sister Allie comes over to watch the dog. She makes us dinner and I take a really long shower and clean up around the house so that everything is all set for when we come home from the hospital. I unpacked and repacked my hospital bag and the watch a little bit of TV until we have to leave at 7:40pm.

7:57pm | Since the doors to the birthplace close at 8pm, we decided to just go straight to the ER so they could let us in. The woman at the desk was really confused and originally started writing me out a visitor pass until I said that I was a patient, not a visitor. She said, “Oh! Are you in labor right now?!” I told her that I was a scheduled induction and then we got everything figured out and we headed upstairs to where we needed to be.

8:00pm | Once we made it upstairs, they got me into a gown and hooked me up to a monitor right away. Our first nurse who was going to be there for the night shift asked me a bunch of check-in questions, took my vitals, put in an IV, and then gave me the Cervidil pill. She commented that I had actually been contracting pretty regularly already, but it’s still just tightness and not painful. Just uncomfortable sometimes. The nurse says that I might not have to do Pitocin at all if I’m already contracting without Cervidil, so we’ll see!

9:15pm | All of the check-in stuff is done and the nurse suggests getting some sleep. Tyler has his pullout couch all set up and is watching Netflix while I scroll through my phone for awhile. I am pretty sleepy at this point and not really very nervous (surprisingly), so I don’t take the sleeping pill that they offer.

The nurse says they’ll leave the monitor on until 1am and then if everything looks fine I can leave it off for the rest of the night. I try to get some sleep until then.

11:00pm | Someone from the lab comes in to draw my blood and I wasn’t expecting them. And so it begins! For the last hour or so I’ve had pretty consistent contractions. They’re still bearable, but they’re making it a little hard to sleep. I’m fairly relaxed at least. I’ve got Cops on TV, so I’m all set!

November 14

1:00am | I’m still contracting consistently and they’re starting to get more uncomfortable. I haven’t dilated at all yet. I manage to get a handful of hours of sleep. Maybe 4 or 5 altogether. The bed is super uncomfortable, which doesn’t help. It’s like sleeping on the ground, so my hips are a pressure point if I’m lying on my side.

6:00am | The nurses come in to check me and I’m officially at 1cm! PRAISE HANDS. They called my doctor to see what to do about Pitocin and she said to start it at the lowest dose so that everything continues to stay consistent. They’re confident that I’ll have a baby today, so we’ll see what happens!

7:00am | Contractions are getting stronger and harder to breathe through, but they’re still bearable. My water breaks shortly after 7am spontaneously. I said to Tyler, “I’m not sure if my water broke or if I peed my pants, but I’m pretty sure it’s my water.” That was confirmed when any time I had a contraction more leaked out. We called the nurse in and she got everything cleaned up.

My mom texted me and said that she could come by anytime. Tyler ordered me some delicious chicken broth for breakfast since that’s pretty much all I can have. I didn’t really eat much of it.

8:00am | My mom comes and brings Tyler some McDonald’s breakfast because he is starving. 😉 She stays the rest of the day and I’m so happy that she was there pretty much the whole time! Right after she arrives, she walks the halls with me for a little while. I didn’t really like it that much. We asked one of the nurses to starts the Jacuzzi and I sat in there for about 20 minutes. It was nice, but not as helpful to me and others have said it is.

12:00pm | I ended up getting a shot (Nubain) for the pain twice and loved it. I could still feel everything, but it took the edge off and I was much more relaxed in between contractions. I felt kind of drunk, actually. At this point, a lot of things start blurring together because I was just focused on breathing through the more intense contractions.

There was only one point where I considered getting an epidural, but I was so far progressed at this point (about 8cm) that I just kept telling myself that if I made it to this point, I could do it without one.

1:40pm | I am at 10cm and start pushing! First, it’s just us and the nurses until he’s pretty far down and then they call the doctor in. I get the second shot of pain meds before pushing and was trying hard not to fall asleep between contractions! My eyes were closed pretty much the entire time because they were so sleepy.

Pushing was interesting. I didn’t like the feeling of pressure, but it still wasn’t easy to “push it away.” At one point, my doctor tried using the vacuum to help me out, but Clay wasn’t far down enough for it to work. She ended up giving me an episiotomy (4th degree, so the worst one you can get). I hadn’t asked her not to beforehand. Tyler said that watching her make the cut was super hard to watch. I’m glad I couldn’t see it! I could definitely feel when she did it, though. Ouch!

3:44pm | Shortly after the episiotomy, he’s born! Crowning and shoulders definitely hurt, but it didn’t last long. My mom, Tyler, the 3 nurses, and my doctor were all such great coaches throughout the whole pushing process. They were very encouraging, but not overbearing. One nurse was holding my leg and speaking right into my ear and telling me exactly what to do, which is just what I needed. I didn’t think I’d be like that. I thought that I would just want silence, but it was so great having them all there!

Tyler was holding back happy tears when he was finally born, but surprisingly I didn’t feel the urge to cry at all! Tyler cut the cord right away and then they took Clay over to the bassinet to get all his measurements and vitals. He is 7lbs 15oz and 20 1/2 inches long. He turned pink right away and was doing fine right off the bat!

Pushing out the placenta was super easy and happened very shortly after delivery. Then my doctor got started right away on stitching me up. Since I didn’t have an epidural, it was just local anesthesia, so I could pretty much feel everything. It hurt SO BADLY. Definitely worse than giving birth. She worked as quickly as possible, which was nice. It took about 20 minutes. Tyler came back over by me and had to keep me calm because of how badly it hurt. The same nurse that helped me during pushing came over too and helped out a ton. She was absolutely amazing. She’s definitely in the right line of work!

5:30pm | I’m all cleaned up and order room service (chicken tenders, fries, and a chocolate milkshake!) and hang out with our parents and Allie for a while. It was really relaxing, actually. The milkshake was to die for. I could have had 10 of them if they had let me. I was so hungry! It felt like much later in the day than it actually was between being exhausted and the sun going down so early this time of year. Plus, I always assume that babies are born in the middle of the night!

All of the cousins!

7:30pm | One of my aunts and a family friend come by and bring us food! They bring me mashed potatoes, which are my favorite food and sounded SO GOOD. It was super fun hanging out with them and I’m glad they came.

9:00pm | We’re relaxing alone, finally. I loved being around our families, but it was so nice to be alone for a little while. I got a little sleep. Tyler is the most helpful husband/dad ever!  He changes all the diapers and gets me anything that I need. I seriously could not have asked for anyone better as a partner.

Right before we went home. What a little nugget!

I ended up staying in the hospital for two nights after Clay was born. I could have left after the first night because it was a “normal” birth, but I decided to stay a second night because Tyler was working nights and then I wouldn’t be alone while still recovering. I’m so glad that I did. My nurses were amazing! I could not have asked for a better team taking care of me. They made it hard to leave, that’s for sure.

Overall, labor and delivery were not as bad as I thought they’d be. Mostly because I was expecting the worst. 😉 Definitely worth having a cutie as sweet as Clay is! Thanks for following along on this journey

About Leah Van Ert

Leah is newly wed to her high school sweetheart and is a church secretary by day and blogger by night. She firmly believes in spending a little extra on high-quality cuisine, sleeping in, and the healing power of a good cup of tea. She currently lives in central Wisconsin where she was born and raised (and, yes, the stereotype is true - we really do love cheese).