Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birthing a Book

I was in labor with my second baby. Everything was progressing smoothly. I had decided to do this one naturally. No drugs, no doctors, all midwife. Then came the moment. If you have more than one child, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The moment when you remember.

There is in interesting phenomenon that happens after you birth a baby. It’s called birthing amnesia, and although I once read an article about it with some other type of medical sounding name, this is what I call it. Birthing amnesia, it’s what happens in the joy, and the hormones, and the subsequent effort of your first baby.

You forget the labor.

You forget the work.

You forget every heart stopping, agonizing, panic inducing, second of it.

The tears, the screams, the pain.

Oh! The pain.

Because once you have the perfect baby, with her tiny toes and little cries. His Daddy’s nose, and grandma’s lips.

A glorious, beautiful moment of holding your little bit of heaven.

You forget. The labor becomes something to laugh about. To groan over. To brag about.

The real agony is forgotten.

Until it’s time to birth your second baby, and it all rushes back in one terrifyingly scary rush of a millisecond.

“I don’t want to do this,” I whispered to my husband. Tears running lines down my red, red face. I could tell from his glance that he was more than worried about me. I gripped his hand to my chest and pulled him closer. Screamed into his shocked expression, “I don’t want to do this again!”

My midwife pushes him away, and begins in with the soothing noises. My mother bustles to the other side of the bed to whisper in my ear. Reassuring things, helpful tips to ease the pain. “We can get you some drugs,” she says.

“You don’t understand,” I sob. “I’ve decided I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t need another baby.”

“It’s too late now,” my husband says, as I begin begging them to let me go. To make the pain stop, to do something. A nurse nudges the midwife, “it’s time for her to push.”

They say producing a book is much like laboring a baby.

I say it’s much, much worse.

I am an indie author. Self published. I gave birth to my first book naturally, and am in the throes of the second.

I remember how hard it is. I have moments where I want to stop. Where I want to scream in frustration.

Rachel has asked us to write about our balance, our lives as Mommy authors. I believe we make the best kind of writers. My posts will be filled with the why’s. Why we do it, why it’s worth it, and why you need to keep going.

Why I decided to indie publish, over the more traditional route, and how I try to make it work.

My second book’s coming, I know it is. I can remember the joy of my first, and it will carry me through this. It has to carry me through this.

A great article on maintaining enthusiasm through the writing process.

And if you haven't seen this yet. The Writers Digest Competitions are great motivation.

Time to dust off one of those short stories. I'll be submitting in the YA category.


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