Category Archives: Motherhood

Life / Motherhood

Jack Finley’s Birth Story


Introducing Jack Finley McClelland.

He made his swift, unexpected, and early arrival on December 28, 2017 at 9:37am.

He came in at 7lb 3 oz and 19.5 inches long.

I wanted to document his birth story so I wouldn’t forget a single detail. Tomorrow he’s two weeks old (and just shy of his due date, 1/13/18) and I already can’t believe how time is flying. Can he stay this little forever?

I went into labor Wednesday night (12/27) around 11pm, I woke up from watching the Iowa Bowl game to go to the bathroom, after a few trips, I noticed that my back was starting to hurt and that more of my mucus plug (TMI – sorry not sorry) had come out (it had come out earlier that morning and I had called the nurse’s line – they said it could be labor was happening soon or could be happening in two weeks – not very helpful). I hadn’t had pain like this throughout my entire pregnancy and thought to myself, “Could these be real contractions?”

To distract myself, I turned on Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightly version, of course). About an hour or so later, I decided to wake up Cody and told him that I thought that I was in labor. I had been timing the contractions and sitting on an exercise ball as the contractions came and went. We ended up calling the after hours nurses line and told them we were going to come in, my contractions were following the 5-1-1 guideline, plus I had noticed some spotting.

We made it to the hospital around 3 am, after the first snowfall, of course, but thankfully the roads were cleared just in time. I had 3 or so contractions in the car and tried to breathe through them while still tracking them on my app. Cody parked the car and I had another couple of contractions in the waiting room.

We checked into triage and I was only dilated to 1.5cm but was now around 80% effaced (one of those disappointing moments where you think you are a lot further along then you actually are). Instead of sending me home, they had me walk around and labor for another hour to see if I progressed any further. My contractions were getting closer together and started in my back and would radiate around. All I could think of so this is the ‘back labor’ that they speak of. I had Cody put pressure on my sitz bones/lower back area during every contraction.

The nurse came back in and I had progressed to about 4cm and said the doctor would be admitting us. I know Cody and I both had sighs of relief, we really didn’t want to drive all the way back home only to drive all the way back to the hospital a few hours later.

I had no birth plan other than getting baby and me here safe and healthy. I knew if the time came, I would ask for drugs if I needed them. So trust me, I asked for them once we got settled into our room. Once they got the epidural in place (much scarier process in my head then in reality), the doctor on call broke my water (he had noted some blood when he did it, but didn’t seem any cause for alarm) and said that he could see this baby being born by 5pm. My nurse said let’s try for 1pm, before the shift change. Not finding out the gender of the baby really gets people excited!

With the epidural in place, Anne recommended trying to get some rest. I remember being in a state between sleep and awake when Anne came back in and said she wanted to adjust how I was laying and put a monitor on the baby’s head vs. on my stomach. I hadn’t started to panic even though she came back a couple more times to adjust me and said that during my contractions Baby Mack’s heart rate was going down. She left the room briefly and I had another contraction, it was when I could hear the heartbeat slowing down and I started to have a bit of anxiety, but was out of it enough that I wasn’t sure how serious things could get or were getting with every contraction.

Nurse Anne came back in and said if we couldn’t find a good spot/side for me to lay on to get Baby Mack’s heart rate back up, there would be a chance for an emergency c-section. With one last check of our vitals and contractions, she called our doctor. They made the call and soon I was signing papers for an emergency c-section. Our doctor even had to bump someone’s scheduled c-section for me. It felt like it happened in a blink of an eye and there was little time to process what was happening in the moment.

Within fifteen or so minutes, Cody was dressed in scrubs and we headed into the OR. I’m not sure how much time passed, I was awake during the c-section but in a really foggy state of mind due to the drugs. They pulled out Baby Mack and Cody was able to call out that it was a BOY! I remember my doctor telling me all the reasons why we ended up needing a c-section, but I couldn’t really comprehend what she was saying. I could hear crying and saw him get taken over to the warmer to have his umbilical cord cut. They brought him closer to me so I could see him get weighed, I couldn’t help but cry as I finally got to see him. So we went into the hospital around 3am and Jack arrived by 9:37am.

As it turns out, our little one who had been heads down for months, was sunny side up. His cord was also wrapped around his shoulders and my placenta had started to pull away from the uterine wall. Despite all of those things, he arrived healthy, safe, and sound, which at the end of the day was all we wanted.

Cody and I were able to go back to our room and spend a few hours doing skin-to-skin, feeding, and snuggling Baby Boy McClelland. We admired his tiny fingers, toes, and how much hair he had already. We waited until the afternoon to call our immediate family to tell them the good news. Cody and I were torn between two names and ended up flipping a coin to come to a decision, and that is how we landed on Jack Finley.

We are so over the moon with his arrival and he is practically perfect in every way. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Mom, sleepless nights, and endless cuddles as we figure out life as parents and Lola adjusts to her baby brother.

Life / Motherhood

36 Weeks


Well, here it is. The final countdown. We have our 37 week appointment this Thursday and as of last week I’m 1cm dilated and around 70% effaced (TMI, whatevs). I know there is a good chance I can stay like this for a couple of weeks, but I am personally feeling that I’m going to have this little one sooner rather than later.

There’s been a lot going on since my last pregnancy update. We finished the nursery and after a brief health scare with the baby that resulted in a few extra ultrasounds, we were able to breathe a sigh of relief after our last ultrasound came back normal (we were even blessed with a 3D image of our little one).

Work has been keeping me very preoccupied but as I transition my workload to my fabulous co-workers, I’m getting very anxious for Baby Mack’s impending arrival. Nesting has kicked in full force at our house, though I wish it would have kicked in more with my own stuff (putting shoes and clean laundry away will never be a top priority…but maybe that will change with baby’s arrival…one can only hope).

Since my last update, we’ve had three baby showers. My co-workers threw me a shower, as did my side (a brunch theme) and then another shower hosted by Cody’s side of the family (a skating theme). Baby Mack is a very loved baby and we are very blessed!

My aunt and mom hosted my baby shower, they were able to pull my Pinterest board to life and my love of any and all breakfast food. I’m just slightly bummed I missed out on the mimosa bar!

Cody comes from a hockey background, so his family threw us a skating themed baby shower! They even recreated a cake he had at his baptism almost 30 years ago!

Last, but not least, my co-workers threw me and my fellow pregnant co-worker the cutest shower at our office!

Here’s a quick update on my pregnancy right now:

What I’m Wearing:

Here are a few iPhone snaps from the past few weeks. I’ve been documenting the bump every week, but here’s a snippet of some of my day-to-day outfits.

31 Weeks:

35 Weeks:

As of the last two weeks and for the foreseeable future, leggings, t-shirts, and tunic sweaters. The thought of putting on maternity jeans makes me cringe. Just within the last few days I’ve started to swell, so I’ll be living in my slippers and slip-on flats. I ended up picking up a maternity sweater dress from Old Navy and wore it to all of my showers!

Throughout this pregnancy, my favorite (affordable) maternity brands I kept turning to were Ingrid and Isabel (both the regular label and the line for Target), Old Navy, and a few essentials off of Poshmark that were in good condition. I picked up multiple styles of jeans (dark wash, a distressed pair, a black pair, and boyfriend jeans) that I wore towards the end of my first trimester, all second trimester, and into my third trimester. Most tops came from Target, I picked up a few sweaters and then some basic maternity crew neck tees that were much longer than what I currently had in my closet.

What I’m Loving:

Baby Kicks: I think I’ll miss Baby Mack moving around the most once they are on the outside. Though it’s rather odd at times, seeing them stick out their foot or bottom is entertaining to say the least. I will be happy once that bottom is slightly lower and not digging into my rib cage.

Cravings: The past few weeks I’ve been on a cinnamon roll kick followed up with celery with peanut butter. The Christmas sugar cookies sure seem to hit the spot these days as well.

The Bump: The bump is here and is only getting bigger. I feel like I’ve dropped, the baby has been heads down since my 28 week appointment. I officially need help getting out of bed and off the couch. Putting shoes, pants, etc. on is a challenge.

Prepping for Baby: 

The nursery is complete (see the full tour here)! Our chair FINALLY arrived last week and I can’t wait to put it to use.  We’ve installed the car seats, the hospital bags have been packed, and now we wait!

I’ve finished ZERO pregnancy books and I don’t feel bad about it at all. I’ll read up on sleep training when the time comes, but for now, we will figure it out as we go.

What I’m Struggling With:

Heartburn: As I said previously, I’ve never experienced heartburn before in my life until the end of my second trimester. There have been some nights where I can’t sleep or wake up because of it. I hope it goes away with Baby’s arrival.

Sleep: HA. I’ve been consistently getting up at least once a night to go to the bathroom. Typically around 2:30am and again around 4am. If that’s the baby’s schedule once they are here, at least I’ll be prepared. It usually takes me awhile to get back to sleep. I’ve been trying not to check my phone at those times, because it just keeps me awake longer.

Emotional: Watching any video related to birth, birth stories, moms or dads talking about their little ones will turn on the tears. I know I’ll only get more emotional as we inch closer to our due date and once baby is finally here in our arms!

We are less than three weeks away from our due date and I can’t wait until he or she makes their appearance! If I don’t post until after baby, I’m wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!