Price Carlton Eisenstein
Born Feb 1, 2016 2:25am
8lbs 8oz 21in
Price’s Birth Story as remembered by Mommy and Daddy
Mommy woke up on Sunday morning, the day before you were born, at 6:30am. She could not go back to sleep so she got out of bed and started doing things around the house. She also started to have minor contractions that felt like “cramps.” Daddy got up around 9am to get ready to go to work, but by this time Mommy’s cramps had turned into more defined contractions. Even though every time Daddy asked Mommy if she was having a contraction she would say, “I don’t know, I don’t know,” she did know that she didn’t want Daddy to go to work, so Daddy stayed home.
Mommy continued to labor on the couch while building the wig she had been working on for the past week. When a contraction would start she would say, “okay,” and Daddy would come over, take the scissors out of her hand, and start the timer. The contractions were only lasting around 45 seconds and Mommy would go back to work on the wig after while Daddy went back to playing on the computer.
Carol showed up for our scheduled appointment (we were at 41 weeks and 4 days at this point) at 10:30am and we agreed to have her check Mommy and strip her membranes for a third time. Mommy was still dilated to three centimeters, which she had been for the last week, but her cervix was “like butter” and had shortened significantly. Carol asked us if we wanted to try taking the Castor Oil we had bought on Friday. We agreed that we were ready and so Mommy mixed the Castor Oil with orange juice and drank it down. This was at 11:10am. Carol then said good-bye and that we should keep her posted on how Mommy was feeling.
By 11:17am Mommy was having significant contractions that were lasting a full minute. They were also much closer together now. Mommy realized at this point that she needed to sleep because she had been up since 6:30am, so she laid down on the couch while listening to Celtic Woman and Loreena McKennitt. She would wake up for each contraction and then fall back asleep after it had finished. This continued for the next three hours until the contractions got to the point where Mommy could not fall back asleep anymore after they had finished. Daddy called your phenomenal doula Laura at 2:07pm and let her listen to Mommy have a contraction. Laura and Daddy decided it was time for Laura to make her way over.
Laura arrived around 3pm while Mommy was in the middle of a big Castor Oil poop. Laura placed her hand on Mommy’s forehead and she instantly felt better. Later, after you were born, Mommy told Daddy and Laura that she was laughing on the inside because she was thinking, “I didn’t even have time to use the Poo-pourri before going” and, “What a way to welcome someone into your home.” The contractions continued to intensify and on the next contraction after Laura arrived, Mommy began to cry. Not from pain, but because she was so glad Laura was there now, too.
So it continued…Mommy would say, “Okay…Okay…,” Daddy or Laura would start the timer, apply pressure to Mommy’s hips or sacrum, and Mommy would sway back and forth. Mommy moved all over the apartment: from the bed where she would face plant in a bunch of pillows with her butt in the air, to the shower, to the couch where she would sit on Daddy’s lap in-between contractions, to the hallway and kitchen (but only once, she didn’t like it there) and back to the bath. She took showers and baths and baths with the shower hose on so Daddy could “water her.” Most of the time was spent in the bathroom where Mommy had put up her affirmations on the wall and Daddy had set up the diffuser with Lavender and “Breathe.” The diffuser had a glowing light that Mommy and Daddy left on. It provided all the light in the bathroom they needed. Mommy continued to labor in the beautiful glow.
Mommy was so incredible. She never got negative. She never said anything like they do in the movies. There was no, “I can’t do it,” “It’s too hard,” “It hurts too much.” Instead, Mommy would chant through every contraction. She would say, “I can do it,” “Ooouuuuutttttt,” “It’s okay, it’s okay,” and “Little head, Little head.” Sometimes Daddy would read Mommy’s affirmations to her off the wall. “Fear and doubt, I reject you,” “I am strong and peacefully surrendering,” (At one point when Mommy was having a difficult Castor Oil poop, Daddy added “…to my poop” at the end of this last affirmation which made Mommy laugh, but laughing made the poop hurt more, so Daddy stopped.) “I am calm and trusting,” “I breathe you into the world,” “I am open and letting my body lead,” “I sing through contractions and dance away pain.” These are the sayings that helped bring you into the world. Well, there was one moment, just one, where Mommy deviated from everything and said, “F%@$ you baby.” This made Daddy and Laura look at each other and laugh.
Occasionally, Laura would call Carol so Carol could listen to Mommy have a contraction. Mommy was so even throughout that it was hard for Laura to know when to tell Carol to come. Eventually, after a particularly intense contraction where Mommy was kneeling on the couch with her head resting on the back of it and Carol was listening on the phone, Laura asked us if we were ready for Carol to come. We said we were.
By 11pm Carol arrived and checked Mommy again. She was now 6cm and could be stretched easily to 7cm. We continued to labor for another hour. Mommy had no appetite, but Daddy was starving. However, it seemed like the smell of everything Daddy tried to eat made Mommy nauseous. At one point, Daddy grabbed a handful of cashews, Mommy pushed his face out of the way. Then, later Daddy tried to eat a protein bar, but it had cherries in it and Mommy didn’t like the smell of those, so she pushed Daddy’s face out of the way again. Laura was amazing at telling Daddy to go take a break and eat. Mommy would be okay. Daddy did and felt much better.
At midnight Carol came into the bathroom and told Mommy she thought if she broke Mommy’s water, which still had not broken, things would progress faster. She asked Mommy if she thought that was something she might want to try. Mommy said yes. Laura told us to take a minute to discuss it and went back into the living room with Carol. Daddy asked again if this was something Mommy wanted to do and she said yes for sure. So, Mommy laid down on the bed and Carol checked her again. She was now 9cm. Carol broke her water which Mommy said felt like a warm bath. This almost immediately sent Mommy into transition.
After Carol broke her water, Mommy got back in the bath tub and really went into her zone. The contractions were coming so fast and were lasting the full minute if not a little longer. Mommy later told Daddy she used a visualization of the ski lift to help her get through these really intense contractions. When she could feel the most intense part of the contraction coming on she would tell herself “tips up” just like we will tell you when we are three chairs away from the top and about to get off the ski lift. She would then “ski down the mountain” for the rest of the contraction.
Mommy then got out of the bath around 1am and buried her head in to Daddy’s neck. This was the only other time Mommy cried. She started to push without telling anyone or even realizing that was what she was doing. She hung from Daddy’s neck and bore down. Daddy held her up and looked to Laura, “Is she pushing?!?!?” Laura nodded yes. Mommy continued to push in the bathroom, squatting a little each time and either hanging on Daddy or leaning on the sink. Laura, knowing Mommy was about to need all her strength, got her another coconut popsicle and Daddy fed her bites in-between contractions. Then, without warning Mommy left the bathroom and waddled into the bedroom where she got into child’s pose on Daddy’s side of the bed. She buried her face in pillows, squeezed Daddy’s hand so hard he had nail marks in his hand and continued to push.
Everyone was so impressed with Mommy’s ability to push. By this time Nicole, the wonderful birth assistant, had arrived and everyone was in the bedroom. Carol was keeping a careful watch on your heart rate which never wavered. You were so Zen through your entire delivery. You started to crown and Carol told Daddy to come look at your head. Daddy had to pry his hand out of Mommy’s grasp which wasn’t too hard to do considering between every contraction and push Mommy would practically fall asleep. When Daddy first looked all he could see was about a quarters worth of your head. There was so much black hair that he was not expecting to see. Daddy immediately leaned back up to Mommy and told her, “He has so much black hair!” Mommy immediately burst into a smile. After a couple more pushes Carol said, “Okay Nora, reach back and feel his head.” Mommy said something, but really only remembers how squishy your head felt. Carol then told Mommy that she thought you would come out in a couple more pushes if we moved her to her back. So after the next contraction and push, Mommy switched positions and laid on her back and held back her own legs. Daddy and Laura each held back a foot. Sure enough, one more push and out came your head. Carol expertly turned you and out came your shoulders and the rest of your body. Swoosh! It was 2:25am. Daddy had wanted to catch you, but you came out so quickly and Mommy wouldn’t let got of his hand.
Carol put you on Mommy’s chest right away and you proceeded to poop everywhere, all over Mommy. You didn’t cry right away. Carol gave you two rescue breaths with her mouth right in front of us to get the mucus out which was so cool to see and then put you back on Mommy’s chest. You let out a big cry. Daddy burst into tears. Mommy gazed at you entranced. Then Mommy and Daddy sang you your three bedtime songs we had sung to you every night during pregnancy. You calmed down and gazed up at us. Daddy’s heart exploded. Mommy said, “I could do that again.” Everyone laughed and Laura and I encouraged her that there was no rush and we could take some time.
Your placenta was born about three minutes after you and was about 6 pounds! No wonder you stayed in Mommy so long, you had a plentiful supply of everything you could need. We placed it in a bowl and set it next to Mommy with you still attached. Carol had Mommy and Daddy touch the cord so we could feel it still pulsing. We left you attached and on Mommy’s chest until it stopped pulsing so you could get every last bit of nutrients from the placenta. Carol sewed up Mommy because there was a shallow but wide first degree tear. Mommy said she didn’t even feel the stitches and just kept looking at you. After the cord stopped pulsing and Mommy had been stitched up, Daddy cut the cord. Then, you pooped on Mommy again.
There was so much poop, Carol kept saying, “I’ve never seen so much poop before!” She wanted to clean you and Mommy up before trying to establish breast feeding, so Mommy gave you to Daddy and went to take a shower. Her legs were so shaky from the hormones and from having done squats for 15 hours that Nicole stayed with Mommy to make sure she didn’t fall while Carol and Laura cleaned up the bed and Daddy took you to the living room.
Mommy was still pretty shaky after the shower and had lost all of the color in her face, so Carol had her lay back down and brought the fan into the room. Her appetite resumed and she drank a lot of coconut water and ate sweet potato chips, another coconut popsicle, a peanut butter, banana and vanilla protein shake and of course cinnamon raisin toast. Soon Mommy’s color came back and her legs stopped shaking, so Daddy brought you back in for Mommy to nurse. You latched pretty quickly which was so exciting.
Confident that you were feeding and that Mommy was feeling better, Laura, Carol and Nicole began to pack up everything to leave. By 5:30am Monday morning on February 1st, you, your Mommy and I were alone in bed. By 6:30am we were all asleep with you on Mommy’s chest. You slept so well and let us sleep until 10:30am that morning.
This is how you came into our world, surrounded by love and music and poop. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mommy and Daddy
photos courtesy of birth photographer Laura Vladimirova www.nycdoulalove.com