Of Books and Babies

by Yvonne deSousa

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Posted by YdeSousa

When I was a kid if you had asked me what kinds of things I loved I would have said books and babies; after family, God, dogs and Elvis of course.
I liked babies so much that I even tried to kidnap one once.
Before you panic, I was only 8 and a careless mom left the baby sleeping in his carriage outside of a store on my little street. The mom was watching the carriage from inside and watching me play with the newly awake and confused baby.
For my part, I didn’t see a mom anywhere. I was just going to wheel the baby to my house to ask my mom if we could keep him when the baby’s mom came outside. To this day, I still think I was more responsible than the real mom. I was the one with the baby when he woke up.
Anyway, babies just rocked. They were so much fun that I always thought I would have a ton of them when I grew up. But things didn’t turn out that way. Fortunately, I also loved books. Ironically, one of my favorite books was called Baby Island, about two young girls stranded on a deserted island with four babies.
I grew up a bookworm and wherever I went in my world I always carted a ton of books with me. I even remember bringing a book on a sleepover, which the friend I was visiting found very odd and rude. But what if I couldn’t sleep? What else would I do while my friend slept?
Between my own books that I had forever and my frequent flyer miles at local libraries, I was surrounded by books.
So when age, MS and being single found me giving up on the whole producing a baby thing, I thought I would produce a book instead.
Now moms please don’t get insulted, (except careless mom of the baby in my childhood story. I’m still mad at you so you can be insulted if you want.) I do know that there’s no comparison between books and babies.
A baby is a lifetime of joy that takes a ton of work, even before it is born and who you will always love unconditionally and who you will always believe is the cutest, smartest, bestest baby in the whole wide world.
No one could possibly create a baby more fascinating than yours. You will spend your life nurturing and protecting that baby and helping it to grow and thrive…..
No, nothing like writing a book at all.
Except oddly, I started noticing some comparisons as my book grew from an idea, to pages and pages and then to a real thing.
First, I told people about my book right away. Kind of like when a woman makes an announcement across the world as soon as the pee stick shows a positive sign. (In my defense, all the books about making a book said to tell people right away, as that stirs up interest. Unfortunately the people who were interested 9 months ago have just about given up hope of ever seeing this little critter.)
Writing takes discipline. Luckily, I could still drink. Unlike pregnancy where alcohol and caffeine are not recommended, it is so acceptable while writing a book that it is almost required. BUT, I had to make a commitment to change my lifestyle in order to take better care of myself and the book every day, writing constantly whether I felt up to it or not.
Pregnancy can be difficult: exhaustion, morning sickness, extreme spaciness, stress, nausea, weight gain, weird food cravings, etc are common symptoms. Writing a book can be difficult too. Some common symptoms are exhaustion, morning sickness (when you sit at your computer and your lack of ideas makes you sick), extreme spaciness, stress, nausea, weight gain, weird food cravings, etc.
Being pregnant requires regular and sometimes concerning check ins with professionals who are trying to help you deliver a perfect baby, ie obstetrician, birthing coach, nutritionist, etc. Writing a book requires regular and sometimes concerning check ins with professionals who are trying to help you deliver a perfect manuscript, ie publisher, editor, proofreader, etc.
When you are pregnant you get sooooo excited about your baby’s progress that you show everyone your ultrasound pictures even if those people cannot see what is so clear to you. When you are writing a book, you get sooooo excited about your book’s progress that you show everyone every little email from your publisher. “See, they decided to change that word in the second paragraph- don’t you see how HUGE that is?”
Pregnant women ask opinions on baby names. Don’t even get me started on what I went through to try to come up with a name for my book. I’m still not 100% convinced it fits until I meet my book’s personality.
My friend just gave birth to a baby girl but about a week before she did she went to the hospital in false labor. I had a false release date of my book. It was released and then a printing error forced it to be unreleased just as it was released!
Expectant moms start to lose patience after about 36-37 weeks. They’re sick of waiting and want to see their baby NOW! Hmmmm…..
And babies have a mind of their own. Doctors can give pregnant women an expected due date but the baby is arriving when the baby decides it’s ready to arrive. Surprisingly, I have discovered this is the case with books too. While it could be any day now, I have no exact idea. I guess it will show up when it is ready to show up.
At this point, I feel like I am at least a week overdo. When another friend was overdue with her baby she jumped up and down to induce labor (although I do not believe this is recommended.) I have been jumping up and down for days yet still no baby! Ooops, I mean book.
But don’t worry friends. My book will arrive soon and from the looks of things, it will be super healthy. And just so you can all agree on how amazing it is, I will make announcement after announcement about its birth and development.
And I will eagerly await to see what you all think of it. And after all of this hard work, love and affection, I’m sure you’ll all agree that my book is absolute perfection, the best book in the whole wide world. The best book ever delivered.
No, writing a book is not like having a baby at all………
PS- All tongue in cheek mom friends… Books are not as cuddly as babies. Come to think of it, they don’t spit up or have messy diapers either….

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