• Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. @biltmoreestate
  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
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The Final Countdown

I never was a metal head. Not even close. I adored a whole host of pop icons in the 80′s, transitioning later to an abiding passion for the Cure and other sullen, make-up clad introspectives, moving later to pining for a rotating roster of flannel-wearing west coast denizens.

Still, that said, as we approach Nugget’s due date, I can’t stop thinking about Europe. Not the continent, but the band, witnessed above, and their hit “The Final Countdown.” Who else thinks of their impending wiggler and immediately hears the tell-tale opening synthesizer notes of these long-haired Swedish dudes? Watch it for the leather pants and bad perms, if not for the occasional bits of scenery from their motherland.

We had a great nugget warming. It was full of good friends, beloved family members, raucous dogs, and spirited children. In another post, I’ll list what we ate, along with a few photos my sister Devan took. Suffice to say, it was tasty and I think our guests enjoyed gorging on the feast just as much as we enjoyed preparing it.

It threw me for a loop, though. I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever and carrying around a little dude on my stomach hasn’t seemed to put a dent in that. Of course, my body has a way of slowing me down. Completely. The day after the warming, I was nursing seriously swollen ankles, feet, and the ever-present, and worsening, carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. Since Monday, I’ve had a chiropractic session, been given a complimentary rolfing session by the extraordinarly gifted Kate Vermeer Wilson (a momma-to-be herself!), and started having contractions. That’s right, folks. I’ve been scarce around these here Small Measures parts because Nugget started getting wily.

I had horrific pain on the right side of my back all night Tuesday. Realizing that might be indicative of early labor, I called my midwife, who encouraged me to come to the hospital early yesterday morning, where she’d been up all night delivering two babies. I arrived, they took a urine specimen (to rule out kidney issues, since the pain was localized specifically on one side of my upper back), and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. Turns out I was having contractions.

After confirming I wasn’t dilating, however, they gave me an IV and sent me home with a prescription for a muscle relaxant to take and get some sleep with, in the event that “true labor” should set in (I’d need to be refreshed and well-slept to handle labor after having been up all night the evening prior). I returned home, ate some food, took a bath, swallowed the pills, and hit the hay, for hours. After a little dinner and some Q.T. with Hubs, I went back to bed.

I was able to sleep overnight, waking every one to two hours, still with the lingering back pain. On my way out to the chicken coop this morning, I had a massive contraction, still on that back right side only. Turns out, that’s my uterus expanding and contracting, getting me ready for the big event.

Nugget’s due date is November 3rd. I’ll be considered “to term,” however, on October 12th (I’ll be 37 weeks then). We’re really, sincerely, truly hoping he’ll keep on cooking until that time, as home births aren’t permitted to occur if you go into labor before 37 weeks. I know you’re all busy out there, cooking food, caring for your friends and families, working your jobs, and more, but if you think of it, if you have a free moment, I’d love some “Keep On Cooking, Nugget!” thoughts sent this way. He’ll be fine at this point, should he come, but it would be best for him physically to hold on a wee bit longer.

‘Til then, cue the synthesizer.

30 Responses to The Final Countdown

  • Nicole says:

    He's just anxious to meet his awesome mom! But you stay in there, nugget! We need you to bake a little longer before you join the outside world.

  • Kathleen says:

    Thinking of you and sending lots of “Stay inside, little baby” thoughts your way. Put your feet up and rest, mama. I know it's hard, especially when you probably have a long to-do list of things you want to get done before he arrives, but if it helps slow down those contractions, it's worth it!

  • Christine says:

    Keep on cooking, Nugget!

  • Meg says:

    Good luck! I hope Nugget keeps cooking well into October :)

  • robin says:

    Aww man. Stay in there nugget! Wishing you all the best!!!

  • Bridget says:

    Marinate a little longer little guy & hang in there mama! ;)

  • natashia says:

    rest, rest, rest mama-to-be!

  • DarcC says:

    Hold on Nugget! It doesn't get any better than the womb, so stay there as long as you possibly can!

  • El Gaucho says:

    Thanks for the awesome video. This song always conjures up memories of the “Arrested Development” sit-com (fantastic and very Netflix worthy) and Will Arnett's character Gob who would play it at during every terrible magic show. Good luck with the new addition to the family.

  • Anonymous says:

    I feel confident that Nugs will arrive well done and sunny side up. Or down. Whichever is better. xox

  • Um…that last comment was mine. I got a little trigger happy and clicked anon by mistake.

  • Shannon Mac says:

    lots of keep-that-nugget-in-the-toasty-mom-oven thoughts headed your way!

  • Sarah says:

    my astrologer once told me that babies choose when to be born. isn't that interesting, the idea that we come into the world with our attunement to planetary allignments?! BUT HOLD ON THERE NUGGS Scorpio's got a lot to offer

  • Aw, he can't wait to meet his beautiful family and this amazing world! But yes– much better for him to cuddle up inside for just a bit longer. Patience, Nugget! Enjoy your warm hidey hole!

  • Sarah says:

    Keep on cookin', Nugget! You want the cheese nicely browned before coming out of the oven!

  • Grow, baby, grow!

  • i love the kitsch of that song- i always remember to play it around new years to make it feel more epic.
    and i hope your little 'nugget' hangs in the cozy confines of your womb just a tad longer :)

  • I had LOTS of contractions with my last baby…from VERY early on…rest with your feet up as often as you can and make sure you are drinking plenty of water – I understand that if you are dehydrated at all your body can start to contract. But just make sure you take some chill time – you'll need to keep the baby in and once the baby is out :-)

  • Wendy says:

    Thinking of you and nugget and visualizing Halloween delivery! Just imagine all of the happy goblins welcoming your little guy. Rest up while you can!

  • Jessica says:

    I read your blog all the time and have never commented before (I'm a little shy) but just had to send my own positive “Keep cooking, Nugget” vibes your way. My little butternut squash is due December 13th and I tell her all the time to just keep cooking. Please remember to rest and put your feet up, regardless of how much you think need to get done. It's something I'm having trouble remembering myself!

  • Lisa says:

    Stay put for a bit longer, little babe!

  • Mamawolf says:

    I went into labor at 34 weeks. After one night in the hospital utilizing IV drugs, labor slowed and eventually stopped. Four centimeters dilated and 50% effaced, my little sweet pea managed to hang inside until 10 days PAST HER DUE DATE. It took bed rest, lots of water and a conscious effort to stay relaxed, but we made it (and then some) to a beautiful and gentle homebirth! I am confident that you and Nugget will make it too! Lots of warm wishes to you….

  • Courtney says:

    Best wishes for a patient nugget, Ashley! We are in the midst of the best time of year – I can see why he's anxious to meet the world.

  • Elle Ross says:

    Keep cooking nugget, and take it easy, Mama! Take this as a warning to Slow Down and let someone else pamper you!

  • Michelle says:

    Hang in there! I can relate, I am due at the end of November and am 2cm dilated with contractions. Positive vibes out in the universe to let our babies bake!

  • I agree with the poster who suggested drinking a lot of water–you can never have too much when you are pregnant!

    My homebirth friends who experienced a lot of prodomal labor ended up with very fast births; hope this is a sign that your body is getting some work underway now for a shorter period of active labor. : )

  • Hi Ashley,
    I've been enjoying your blog and your canning book and just wanted to give you a shout out from the NW. I have my own (2nd) Nugget due on November 3rd! I'm keeping my fingers crossed your Nugget will at least make it to October 12th, so you can labor at home, so here it goes “Keep on cooking Little Nugget, it's too soon for you to come right now!”

  • Anna says:

    Keep baking away in the mama oven, Nugget! He's just so excited to meet you that he's getting a little ahead of himself, hmm?

    I had contractions for three weeks before my home birth, and had an extremely healthy, full-term daughter after an uneventful and short(-ish) labor.

    It's going to be fine and wonderful and just exactly right for all of you at the right time.

    Best to the three of you!

  • Rosanne says:

    Praying for you and Nugget, Ashley!

  • Trina says:

    definitely will send you and Nugget those thoughts

    great song, too!