Thursday, August 16, 2012

last LMP...

Wow, today marks the day of my LMP...which in the midwifery/obgyn world, means 40weeks until a due date...which in my case was 5 days off.  In any case, it's been a whole year since I've had a period, and that's sure been exciting!  :)  This means that in 2's been a year since little Aster was conceived into this world... from a tiny bundle of cells, to a huge 3 month old, 15lb, smiling, laughing, getting poop in his tiny perfect ear, person.

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

Aster with some Asters

Aster with his big bro, Fen

Look, a milipede!

 a couple days

 a couple weeks

12 weeks

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just a week to go until baby "Cricket" arrives...which basically means it could be at any moment... I'm getting anxious for him/her to come already, though I have moments of clarity when I realize oh yes...but then she'll be here forever, which will surely be wonderful, but let's enjoy this time now when I can be a little more frivolous...
And truly I get so much done each day (between periods of utter fogginess/sleepiness) that I am so thankful to have gotten done before she acquire a bookshelf for all the kids books she already owns and go grocery shopping!

The other day I had to take Justin's truck in to get the door handle fixed (which until I realized I could roll down the window to free myself, meant crawling out the passenger side).  I felt like such a badass, driving around in his manual pickup with my belly riding up against the wheel.... Later I walked downtown to the co-op to pick up some groceries.  On the walk back my flip flops broke, so I kicked them aside and walked home: barefoot and 9 months pregnant with a carton of eggs under my arm... it felt like I was auditioning for different movies starring redneck pregnant women that day. 

Justin is busy busy busy with bees and farm work in addition to working 30hrs/wk at the Montessori school.  We are really looking forward to our babymoon, wherein he will take a week off and we can just be home. the three of us, enjoying nothing but each others' presence.

at the Coralville Res

Sunday, April 8, 2012


April showers bring May flowers--and babies! I'm 34weeks now, so only 6 more weeks to go in theory. I secretly hope for a little Taurus babe, though I feel it wrong to try to sway anything in a certain direction. So we'll see! That'll be the way of it if she comes early.

March brought a lot of action and change. In the final days of February we were able to move into our new place, which we adore. I left on leap year day to the Illinois Vipassana Center for a 10-day meditation sit in Pecatonica, Illiniois. This was a much needed retreat from the huge hustle and bustle of daily life, which had felt like a continual grasp for grounding. For 10 days, I was more or less in complete silence, took naps, meditated of course, and didn't have to cook or clean. Ahhh it was great! Then back to reality. I returned March 11th and continued nesting into our new place and prepared for house guests.

My sister Kristen and her husband Dave had plans to come into town for business, and so Justin and I decided to go ahead and rather secretly wed. Yep, you read that right. This was something we had been talking about doing, and the idea of planning a big wedding for my huge families and so many friends who I'd want to include was more than daunting. Ideally, we would have had a barnyard party on the fall solstice with live music, a puppet show, dancing, a feast of local food, and our closest 400 friends and family members :) But who has the time to plan (or pay) for that?! Soooo our friend Kristin became a minister online. Justin's mom and aunt drove up from Texas. My parents and bro came from Des Moines for the afternoon. And basically right after Justin got off work on a Tuesday afternoon, we walked through Oakland Cemetary to Hickory Hills Park, climbed up on a rock, and said our vows. We then walked back to our house, ate some chocolate cake, the ladies casted my belly in plaster while the men turned in the marriage license to the county recorder's office and had a beer, and then we went for dinner.
So we three are now the Cornett-Olssons :)

And so now, I am continuing to nest and get our home ready. I am still doing some low-key midwifery work, mostly chart work and organizing for the midwives with whom I will be working full-time starting in July/August. I hope to attend a couple births as well before Cricket comes in May. Justin is starting to work a ton now as the farm work is picking up and he just got his bees hived. He's working 30hrs a week at the Montessori school still and then going up to Salt Fork farms in Solon in the afternoons/evenings, where he's starting planting and caring for little chicks, and of course keeping his bees, which we are both so excited for! When the school closes for the summer he'll be working full-time on the farm.

Well that's enough excitement for now! Love! Rachel and Cricket Cornett-Olsson


our home

belly cast!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

February. Wow.

Well as it seems to go, so much has been happening that I just haven’t had time to update, which means I’ll only be skimming the surface here.
We moved to Iowa City a couple days before New Years. Days later, we decided to move out of the rather dumpy place we had chosen from a distance, which entailed a lot of headaches and stress, but thankfully we were able to pay to get out of the lease and found a temporary place. Now we are moving again, and we sure hope it’s the last time for a couple years….lease signed until August 2013! This is where Cricket will be born, and we couldn’t be more excited about that. The one bedroom house on a gravel road in town backs up to a beautiful cemetery and park, and was actually featured in a painting by Grant Wood. It was built in 1848!

Between Texas and here we had quite the adventures...first selling our car in one day on Craigslist after having packed it up, upon realizing it might not make the journey (which was nice in the end, because we got to come up together in Justin's truck, but with less stuff than anticipated). Kansas City for the holidays and my grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary. Then Des Moines for a few days. And finally to Iowa City...with all our crap.

Here in Iowa City, Justin is working as an assistant-teacher at the Montessori School of Iowa City and I am doing some office work for my midwife and the midwife who I will very soon be doing births with. I was nannying for a 6mth old, but I started having a lot of contractions and wound up in the hospital overnight being treated for preterm labor, so I promptly stopped that work. The hospital experience was pretty icky, but ultimately good for me as a midwife…it’s all part of my journey in learning and experiencing different aspects of pregnancy and birth. I just thank God, Allah, the Devine, Universe, etc that I am not going to have to have the baby in the hospital… a few hours of being strapped to the monitor and I understood on a bodily level why so many women end up with C-Sections and epidurals in the hospital—you just become so disconnected from your body, not to mention become so physically uncomfortable and agitated! I was on bedrest for awhile and am just now getting back to normalish activity. I really miss going for nice long walks and yoga classes though! Soon enough I’ll be back to it, but I am still having a lot of contractions (several an hour), so I try to take it easy.

Other than that, Justin and I have been fighting lots of colds due to lack of sleep (from last week’s events), stress, and bugs from the Montessori school making their way home. Justin is also getting more and more involved with a farm 10 miles north of Iowa City, where he will be working full-time this summer, and hopes to get a little bee/honey operation going there as well asap.

The weather here is beautiful. I can’t help but delight in the sunshine, but Justin keeps reminding me that this is not normal weather and the prairie is suffering… yeaahhh but... :(

That’s it for now! I’ll be doing a 10-day meditation sit the first week and a half of March, so I shall be incommunicado.


Our little Cricket (this was almost 5 weeks ago at 22wks)