I guess I should go ahead and update by saying that "Cricket" was born May 17th. He surprised us all by having a penis... and a labial frenulum which made him tongue tied... only the latter of which was snipped :) He was born into a blow up tub in our living room.
I had gone into labor a day and a half prior, after attending a kirtan with John deKadt at a friend's house. In between songs, you could hear the wilderness alive outside her open doors and windows: bull frogs, cicadas, crickets, etc. It was magical. I went home so energized by the music and chanting that I stayed up and "nested" before going into early labor, and getting only a few hours of sleep. From the wee hours of the 16th until the morning of the 17th I had contractions every 5 minutes, lasting about a minute.
The day of the 16th I still went about my business: went grocery shopping, went to the bank to close my evil Wells Fargo account, and went out to dinner with my parents and Justin--the chairs at Thai Spice couldn't have been harder... I drugged myself with Valerian capsules that night so I could get some sleep, knowing that the next day would probably bring tougher labor. I slept well until around 5am, when Justin and I awoke together and we cuddled and chatted. He had his leg between mine and could feel the contractions baring down through my body. Around 6am my water broke and I got into the bathtub to ease the discomfort, not knowing I was really in labor. I told Justin to go on to work, but thankfully he called Kathy (the midwife) instead, who told him to stay home.
Monica and Kathy arrived around 8 and checked me. I was 5-6cm. I spent most of the time vertical: sitting on the pot, squatting, or at least on hands and knees. At no point did I lie down. I could understand why women in the hospitals get epidurals...if I was forced to lie down or have a monitor strapped to me, I'd have said F natural childbirth too! But I'm so glad, SO GLAD, that I got to have him right at home so that I did get to experience his journey into the world and palpate my journey into motherhood. I was the first person to touch him and Justin the 2nd, and I never had to do anything that didn't make sense for my body. He ended up with an enormous cone head to the right side: a sign that he was in there wonky, which probably would have meant a very long labor if I would have been laying down. I felt like the fact that I could feel what was going on and move appropriately, helped him shift and do what he needed to do to navigate his way down the chute. He arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. I remember eyeing the clock and thinking, if I just get him out by 2, I can have Huevos Rancheros from the Wedge. Alas I just missed them. I remember more than anything from my labor, feeling extreme exhaustion. I just wanted to go to sleep...I mean: it hurt too, don't get me wrong, but I just remember being in the tub thinking: if I could just make it stop for a minute so I could rest.... Alas, he was born shortly after. I was kneeling and caught him myself, bringing him out of the water, and noticing several minutes later that he was in fact a he.
The best part was how normal it was...I mean: I woke up in my bed, 2 of my best friends came over (the midwives), I didn't want anyone to touch me and I barely spoke: I was like a cave woman who knew only "water" "coconut (water)" and "honey", and then when the baby came out, I snapped back into the world, and laid down on my couch, where they stitched me up and I hung out for the rest of the day, before sleeping in my own bed and showering in my own shower.
Well the last 3 months have flown by. We have friends who have a baby boy 2 weeks older than Aster, so we spend a lot of time with them and we breastfeed each others' babies so the parents can have dates. Aster is now sporting tricks such as holding his head up and flirting with sitting up and rolling over. He's pooping and peeing on a little potty (really!) and cooing/babbling/laughing. He has the greatest smile/laugh, and he is smiley from the moment he wakes up in the morning. His favorite things are my breasts, the ceiling fan, dad's songs, and falling asleep on one of us while we walk around. He was named for the prairie flowers in bloom at the time of his birth, which we saw at the Coralville Res a few days before he was born.
All is well here. We are all just tired... I've attended 3 births since his birth. Justin is working at the Coralville Co-op. And Aster is packing on the pounds. Lots of our friends have had babies recently and I have a whole new respect for parents... I thought being pregnant was supposed to be an ordeal, but it's sort of a joke compared to the immediate post-partum period, which for me entailed a lot of sweating and crying and curling my toes under from breastfeeding...thankfully only the fatigue remains, but it's just become a normal part of life... I just battle it with lots of sugar, which has varying results...mostly it just makes me crabbier than necessary, but what can I say? I'm still learning....
That's it for now, folks.
Love! Aster's mom