So I have some good news – I finished the first draft of JESSE’S GIRL, a brand new contemporary romance yesterday! Woohoo!
No matter how many first drafts I finish in my life, I don’t think I’ll ever get over that Holy Crap I Just Wrote a Novel High (or novella, or short story, or what have you.) This one was especially sweet, though, because getting to those final words required me to hurdle over more than just the usual obstacles of balancing work and home.
The first half of this story pretty much fell onto the page. I was so into it and writing so quickly that I told John (my agent, for those of you who don’t know, whose patience and understanding I appreciate SO MUCH) I’d probably have a finished draft before the holidays.
Fast forward to November 29th. I take a home pregnancy test. AND IT’S POSITIVE!!!
I’ve blogged about my struggles with infertility before (including this one, where I likened it to seeking an agent), so many of you know that this has been a 4-year journey for me. I’ve had surgeries, procedures, tests, and bloodwork out the wazoo, not to mention two miscarriages. So when I saw those two pink lines, I felt a whole myriad of things in the moments and days that followed: disbelief, excitement, gratitude.
But most of all, I was nervous. Terrified, actually. I was so afraid to get my hopes up, only to be told once again that there’s no heartbeat, or worse, there’s nothing at all developing in the sac. My first ultrasound took place at 5 weeks, just to make sure the sac was growing in the right place (the uterus) and not in one of my fallopian tubes.
Well, it was in the right place all right. But it had nothing inside it.
The ultrasound technician assured me this was normal for a 5 week ultrasound. But I told her I’d heard that before, and I didn’t expect the next ultrasound to look any different. When she offered me a photo, I wouldn’t accept it. I was that convinced we were headed for disaster again, and I didn’t need another photo of a miscarriage-waiting-to-happen to add to my collection.
Eleven days later, I started to spot. I called out of work, spent the day crying on the sofa and torturing myself watching episodes of A Baby Story. I was scheduled for another ultrasound the next morning, and my husband I were hot messes when we walked into the doctor’s office.
Imagine my surprise when two seconds into the ultrasound, the technician announced, “There’s the yolk sac. And there’s the heartbeat.”
Peeps, I sobbed. I’m getting misty-eyed all over again just reliving it. But I wanted to share, because I know so many women go through similar struggles and think they have to do so in silence, or that there’s no hope. Not true at all.
Right now I’m 14 weeks along, and while I’m still a nervous wreck, I’m grateful for every single day that passes without event. I know there are still no guarantees, but I'm taking it one day at a time.
|OH HI! Look at me waving my little hand at you!|
The only bad thing:
That first trimester? Kicked. My. Ass.
I wasn’t nauseous or vomiting, thank God. But somewhere around the 6 week mark, my energy snuck out in the dead of night without so much as leaving a note.
And my brain? DEAD.
All of a sudden, I couldn’t sit down to write without falling asleep. When I did, I couldn’t concentrate. I’d had this great mental connection to my characters, and I couldn’t get it back. The words were bland and disjointed. It was like trying to eat without taste buds. My projected finish-by date came and went, and JESSE’S GIRL was only two-thirds done.
In the middle of all this, our possible move to Georgia became definite.
We put our house on the market. Within three days, we had an offer. They want us out by March 15th. I know – WHOA.
Since then, everything has been a whirlwind of preparations, trying to arrange for storage until we can find a place in GA, getting ready to live with my in-laws, signing paper after paper after paper, all while working full time, still trying to write, and also trying to maintain a healthy and stress-free (HA! HAHAHA!) pregnancy and figure out how I’m going to raise a baby with six or seven states separating me from my family, who has waited so long for me to have one.
So, you can see why the Holy Crap I Wrote A Novel High is a little sweeter this time around.
You can also see (I hope!) why I’ve been such a lousy CP/beta reader/human being in general lately. I want to extend a HUGE apology to anyone who gave me things to read before the onset of Brain Deaditis. You’ve been super understanding, and I appreciate it so much.
I also owe a gigantic thank you to my CP’s, Dahlia and Maggie, who never stopped cheering me on, even when I could only write 300 words at a clip, and when my brains resembled mashed potatoes and most of what I said was probably unintelligible anyway. A big thank you to Leigh Ann, too, for being among the select few who glimpsed my panic attacks long before I’d told anyone else about my pregnancy, and not only telling me I’d be fine, but meaning it. (Also, I love you guys for getting excited over the ultrasound pics, even if what you really wanted to do was kill me. For real. Thank you.)
So if I’ve been a bit absent, from the internet, from correspondence, from anything in general, this is why. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I apologize to anyone I’ve inconvenienced or upset.
The good news is, I’m slowly getting my energy back and regaining my focus. I can’t control the stress of the move to Georgia, but I’m plugging away and plan to keep doing so.
What’s new with all of you?