Clay's Story | Personal Musings

Clay's Story
Personal Musings

This is a story may be a trigger.
Please read this with caution if you believe this may cause you any heartache. 

After being diagnosed with secondary infertility, and suffering five miscarriages, I became pregnant. And on the full moon of March 2014, my water spontaneously broke. My water breaking is one of my favorite memories I have. I was 41 weeks pregnant. At 12:30am, I had just kicked my husband out because he was snoring and instantly called him back into the room because my water had broken. 21 hours late, Clayton Cole entered the world. 

I just spent 45 minutes looking for pictures of Clayton's birth, and gave up (shout out to my MIL who prints images and sends them to us, because without her, I'd have nothing!) Pretend this is an image of him being born.

Fast forward to about 6 weeks post birth.

As I was heading to the bedroom to rest and feed Clay, I felt this insane rush of negative energy. I told my husband that there was something wrong, that we should rush to the hospital to get help. He, rightfully so, wanted a concrete reason as to why we should go to the hospital. I had no answers. This was all intuition. Of course a hospital would question why I was there without a reason, so I accepted that and crawled into bed. Maybe this was postpartum anxiety. I have a history of both postpartum depression and generalized anxiety disorder, so that must be what was creeping in.

But intuition is real. It is worthy of your trust. 

I fed my baby until he slept. Instead of leaving the room, I wouldn't leave his side. I couldn't leave his side. Something was screaming at me to stay. I dozed off.

And within minutes, I woke up in a panic. I was sweating, my heart was racing. I had already known. I knew. I just knew.

My son was laying beside me in the co sleeper, lifeless. He was pale, grey, and foam was seeping out of him mouth. Yes, I'm crying as I'm writing this. I could never forget the weight of his lifeless body in my arms, the coldness. A mother's terrors had come true. 

I resuscitated him as my husband called 911. If you aren't trained in neonatal resuscitation, please do so. This saved my son's life, and you just never know when you will need to use it. 

We spent almost a month in ICU, and it was made it clear we wouldn't be released due to them not having the required breathing specialists available to care for him outside of the hospital. Our only way to graduate out of ICU was to move to a hospital who had an out-patient team that was equipped with what Clay needed. We were recommended to move to Cincinnati, so to Cincinnati we went. 

I don't remember a lot about his first year. During that time, I gave birth to another baby (they're 11 months apart). I definitely suffered with PTS and depression, understandably so. Clay is now 3 years old, and you'd never know he had special medical needs. But there's something quiet about him, like his soul is holding on to the trauma. I don't blame you, baby boy. 

clayton cole's story, cincinnati and dayton doula