I awoke suddenly and thumped into the bathroom across the hall. It was well after midnight, and I needed to go, a common situation as a past-due pregnant woman. I sat on the toilet, not fully awake. I had a cramp. And then another. And then another. That was no cramp. It was a full-on contraction. There it went again! Time to wake my husband.
“I’m in labor. We’ve gotta go.” Mark was always such a deep sleeper. He stumbled about, looking for his camera.
It was our second child, and she was 11 days past my expected due date. My brother and his wife had flown in for Christmas, but Daughter #2 didn’t make her appearance. Here we were, just the two of us and our 2-and-a-half-year-old, who we’d drop off at our friends’ apartment before driving to Group Health on Capitol Hill.
I scurried about. We’d scheduled an induction for the following day, and I wasn’t looking forward to that! This baby was expected mid-December, and yet here we were two days before the new year. We’d prepped, we’d planned, we’d done everything possible to prepare ourselves for this baby’s arrival, but she arrived on her own schedule in the middle of the night with the full moon shining and Venus dangling like a jewel in the sky.
It all turned out well. We left our home in the Renton Highlands, dropped off our 2-year-old, and sped across I-90. I thought I might have an interstate baby. We arrived at Group Health, and I told Mark to drop me off at the elevator and park the car. The midwives were expecting me and asked where Mark was, surprised he wasn’t there.
They helped me undress and get on the table. Five pushes, and my new baby was born. Mark did get there in time! It’s all pretty comical looking back on it now.
Recently, I’ve had similar feelings of expectation regarding my book.
I had grand plans about just sitting down and publishing my masterpiece, easy-peasy. I didn’t know there’d be complications and emotions.
The first time I thought my book was finished, I got sick with a migraine that laid me up for an entire weekend. I was not just sick. I was SICK. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, could not move. Was that related to my book? I don’t know.
I published proof #1 and asked Mark to read it straight through. He did, and he had only three minor changes for me. So, the following weekend, I input the changes. And then I noticed a problem with the font. About 25% of my book had the wrong font, and it appeared lighter than the rest of the text. OK, no problem. I’m just making this one little change…
And then the headers got messed up. Oh, and the page numbers too. Suddenly they didn’t match the table of contents. Oh, and there’s some strange spacing under a couple of photo captions. I’ll tweak that while I’m at it.
Boom! More changes created more problems.
Writing this book was so much fun. Why was publishing it so much trouble?
On my last round of revisions, I’m pretty sure I caught everything. Friends and family have asked, “How’s the book coming?” or “When can I buy it?” Those simple questions make me feel anxious like I’m holding up the show.
But I remember when my daughter was expected, almost 20 years ago, and people would email and call to ask if I’d delivered yet. They weren’t doing it to be mean. They were excited for us and wanted to celebrate this happy occasion.
So, I’ve decided that the same is true for my upcoming book. People are happy for me. They want to celebrate my new Book Baby with me.
I’ve learned so much through this journey. I’ve learned to be patient with myself, and I’m allowing myself to get excited for my book’s date of arrival. She’ll arrive when she’s good and ready.
And just when I think I’m done, someone will ask, “Will you do it again?”
Yes, most definitely!