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Best Laid Schemes

I’ve been accused of being stubborn. Just ask my mother. Or my husband. I prefer “resolute”, “impassioned” and “determined.” Furthermore, I’m a perpetual, life-long planner. I like lists, I like to schedule things in advance, I like knowing what’s coming.

Well, forget all that! Nugget is here to teach me the art of letting go. Turns out I have mild preeclampsia. My mother and maternal grandmother both had it, and mine has evidenced in the past week. In light of this development, the option of a home birth no longer exists. We’re scheduled to be induced this coming Sunday evening, when I’ll be at 39 weeks.

Fortunately, nothing but rhapsodic praise exists for the labor & delivery ward at Mission, my nearest hospital. It’s so good, in fact, that my midwives claim it’s the reason there are no alternative birthing facilities in Asheville to date. There’s just no demand for one. They have a water birth area (lovingly dubbed “Waterworld”) and, according to one of my midwives today, they just changed their standards in August to allow women to labor in water even if they’ve been given pharmacological inductions (they have wireless monitors to keep check on momma and baby without being rigged up continuously to a machine).

So, faced with the reality of no longer being able to birth at home, this planned, precise, “resolute” mom-to-be could have freaked out. Could have sobbed. Could have pouted and whined and protested and felt that it’s just not fair. And I did feel some fear about the whole situation. But, after talking it out with Hubs, and my folks, and three trusted lady friends, that path seemed utterly pointless. Instead, I’m opting to embrace what my dear friend Jen wrote: “You are given the birth you are meant to have, for your growth.” For me, that means a hospital birth.

My Pop assures me that this is simply preparation for parenthood, when “letting go” is the order of the day. Fortunately, Hubs is an absolute ninja in all things related to letting go. He’s been practicing non-attachment, specifically as it applies to outcomes, for decades. He’s quite good for me that way. And, I have to say, given all that’s transpired over the past few days, I’ve surprised myself at just how willing to let go of my hopes, plans, schemes, and attachments I’ve been. The prospect of the incredible gift we’ll receive in the final analysis makes it all worth while. In this case, the end truly justifies the means.

I’ve packed a bag for the hospital. A kind soul, a new friend with a heart of gold, is primed and ready to take care of our furry friends chez English when the time comes. We’re employing several means of inducing ourselves, to see if we can’t get the party started without intervention. Otherwise, Hubs is making “Mushroom Mac’ N Cheese” (with a hint of truffle oil-ooh wee!!!) and collard greens for dinner, I plan to watch “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” on Planet Green at 9:30, the chickens will go to bed at 7, the dogs will be fed shortly thereafter, and all is just as it’s meant to be.

Steinbeck sure knew what he was talking about (by way of Robert Burns). The best laid schemes of mice and men do often go awry. Time to do away with scheming and planning and all that. Time to step into the river and be moved by the current.

23 Responses to Best Laid Schemes

  • Courtney says:

    This is a beautiful post, Ashley! I just keep thinking that Nugget is so lucky to be born into such a wonderful home and family. I'll be thinking happy thoughts for you come Sunday.

  • Leanne Coppola says:

    Ashley, you don't know me but I have been following you on this blog ever since I fell in love with your Keeping Chickens book. I just want to wish you good thoughts for a happy, healthy little boy. I spent 10 weeks on bedrest with my first boy and I know how scary it was to let go and let nature do it's thing. Plans go right out the window and when I look back (9 years ago) all I remember is that perfect little round boy in my arms. I hope you have a wonderful experience and a safe delivery. Becoming a mom is the most amazing moment in life. Congrats and good luck…Leanne in NJ

  • Home Growed says:

    When I was asked if I had a birth plan, I said “Leave hospital not pregnant, hopefully with child.” Regardless of the road, there is a baby at the end of it. You can do anything for the day+ it takes, no matter the scenery. Here's wishing you a good birth and knowing you won't care much one way or the other once you are on the other side of it…

  • Lauren says:

    I was born at Mission on October 31, 1985 to a great wonder of a mother who labored for 16 hours without ANYTHING for the pain. I am reminded of this a lot. Mission: it's the place to be born.

    I will think of you often on Sunday. DO IT.

  • annemarie says:

    I really hope that you can stay positive about your birth experience – I'm sorry it can't be at home, but it sounds like the facility is a good one! Induction can be hard, but you will have a baby at the end of it!

  • Stay strong…I'm a planner too and when I went into the hospital on full time bed rest for the last couple of weeks – I had a complete previa (undetected) and already had a 2 year old that had to stay home with daddy, mimi and papa – it threw all my plans out the window.
    Soon you'll be holding a sweet new baby…YAY!

  • Renai says:

    I am so so so excited for you! Little nuggets birth will be beautiful no matter where it takes place.

  • Good luck with everything on Sunday – although it may not be what you planned, I'm sure it will all turn out as it's supposed to, and as long as there's a baby as the end result, that's what counts.

  • Mom says:

    I'm sure it will go great – both my cherubs were born in a hospital with a midwife, and it was just us and her….it didn't even seem like I was in a hospital at all. My youngest was to be a water birth, but he decided to arrive before the tub was full! I was trying to have a calm Bradley inspired birth and instead what worked was standing up, rocking back and forth and swearing like a sailor. So much for my plans…but you are right to go with whatever happens. I'll be thinking of you on Friday.

  • sk says:

    Oh wow! I know it's not what you expected, but I'm so happy to hear that you're going with the flow. Sunday is coming up soon! Hope your self-inducing plans work out, but even if they don't it sounds like you are headed for a very nice place to give birth. Best wishes!!!
    I am heading out for a camping trip (yay!) and I will be excited to check back in to your blog early next week for updates!

  • Christine says:

    It sounds funny for me to say, not knowing you at all, but we'll all be cheering for you & the hubs & nugget this Sunday!

  • Liane says:

    i've had three kids three different ways. first was induced. you will be ok. i liked being in water too, for what it's worth. and for lord's sakes your pop is right…letting go is an essential for being a parent.
    and i recommend blue cohosh for getting things going. worked for my third.
    i'll think of you on sunday and sends lots of good birth momma vibes.

  • DarcC says:

    Best wishes for your safe delivery! Nugget will be perfection no matter where he comes into the world. Can't wait to be introduced to the newest English!

  • Anonymous says:

    The best advice ever given in life is exactly what you and other loved ones have said. Letting go and embracing make for a more fun and surprising outcome!! And your Pop definitely said it, this will prime you perfectly for parenting. Oh my, parenting…
    Home Growed said it the best!
    Plus, the best quote from a dear midwife on my birthing team was, “Labor is about 4-48 hours. Parenting is the rest of your life.” Embrace the journey. I love you Ashley, Glenn, Nugs, chickens, puppies and kitties! much love-greyson

  • Cannot WAIT to hear all about your birthing experience! Breathe in and breathe out the fear– you're going to be amazing parents. :)

  • Wow – this is so exciting! I know you are disappointed not have your original birth plan in place, but it sounds as though you will be in excellent hands. I will be thinking of you and can't wait to see pictures of the Nugs.

  • Melanie J. says:

    You're so lucky that water could still be an option…so many hospitals haven't gone that route. Thinking good thoughts and sending healing strength for you and Nugget this Sunday!

  • melissa says:

    I wish you the very best birth with NO complications. It sounds like you are going to be in a really good situation, in the best hands, and you have a GREAT support team. Everyone should be so blessed.

    Go, Nugget, go!

  • Anonymous says:

    i'm so glad you are surrounded by supportive family, and what sounds like a wonderful hospital. trust me, the experience will not be any less amazing just because your venue has changed… you've been preparing for this birth for months, remember what you know and go with the flow!

  • Anonymous says:

    I will say a prayer for Nugget, You and your “Hubs.” Blessings from Tennessee.

  • Beth says:

    Will be thinking of you on Sunday. This is an introduciton to the world of children: plans, but lots of changes along the way. I'm so sorry that you will not have the home-birth you planned. I had two inductions, and any way you plan it, there's a baby in the end. Rest, rest and look forward to your little boy.

  • Isabella says:

    Hi, Ashley! I've been following you through D*S. Love your posts and approach to life. I just wanna wish you a happy and peaceful delivery! I also was induced at 42 weeks after planning and hoping for a natural birth. In the end of my preg. I was so disappointed that I tried accupuncture, blue cohosh, teas, massage, you name it! The baby just wasn't ready to come. And unfortunatelly my doc wouldn't allow us to wait two more weeks (44weeks). Ahh, life…
    All the best,

  • Sue says:

    What a wise Pop you have!

    Parenting is all about letting go, and I love that you had to let go of the homebirth idea just as much as I love the idea of homebirth.

    It's all good. It's always good. And we're never really in control of it.

    Congratulations and much love, light, rest, recuperation, equanimity, peace, joy, wonder, wisdom and spaciousness for you both to enjoy your new little one! (I'm trying to read the posts chronologically, but I did peek at the top one!)