Monday, February 11, 2013

Update: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (But At Least Two Really Good Things, I Promise)

Hi Peeps!


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?



35 comments:

  1. Orrrr maybe getting those ultrasound pics were the highlights of numerous mornings? So, so, SO excited for you and Dom, and to read JESSE'S GIRL, and ALL THE THINGS!!! xoxoxoxo So much love to you, G!! You are a trooper like no other!

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    1. You're basically one of my favorite people of ever. That's all I have to say about that. <3

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  2. Congratulations on both accounts! And, take care of yourself. That whole falling-asleep thing may have been trying to tell you something. Give yourself (and your baby) a break! <3

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  3. Omg! GINA!!! Congratulations!!!! on finishing another book, and especially on the pregnancy!!!!!!! I haven't dealt with fertility problems, but I know the heartache of going for an ultrasound and not finding a heartbeat all too well. And then spotting with following pregnancies and the fear. Oh the fear. ((Hugs)) So happy for you!

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  4. I am so excited for you! Congrats! My DH and I have struggled with infertility for nine years, so I can only imagine the fear/joy/hope/elation you went through. Thanks for sharing your story, and way to go on dealing with the stress of pregnancy and impending move and still cranking out a rough draft.

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  5. Yay! I'm so very happy for you, and I hope the move to Georgia works out. It was great to meet you in person and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all sorts of good things to happen for you!

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    1. It was great to meet you too! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that lots of good things happen for both of us!

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  6. We LOVE ultrasound pics!! I still remember screaming loud enough my hubby had to come in from the next room and see if I was okay when I first heard the news. :) SO, so happy for you (on all fronts--woohoo JG!!). <3333

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    1. You are the cutest. I love you guys so much!

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  7. Wonderful, wonderful news, Gina. Babies make everything a million times harder--but they make everything a million times more worthwhile, too (as I'm sure you know).

    P.S. My first trimesters are the exact same way. I just want to curl up on the couch and sleep for three months!

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  8. Having gone through infertility and two miscarriages myself I share your joy 100%. After years of treatments (any and all: you name it) I have boy/girl IVF twins. I'm sorry for the spotting scare but hearing that heartbeat is amazing, I'm extremely happy for you. The baby is rocking that ultrasound!

    Congrats on the offer and good luck with all the moving and packing. And big YAY for finishing the first draft! ;)

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  9. Gina, after all those struggles, holding your baby after you give birth is going to be the most indescribably amazing moment of your life. Believe me, I've been in your shoes. I can't wait to hear all about it when your little one arrives. Best of luck!

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  10. WOOO, SO happy for you!!! That second ultrasound pic is so perfect <3

    YAAY for JG as well! :D

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  11. I teared up reading this! *sniff* I didn't have nearly the journey to motherhood you've had, but I had several miscarriages myself before Sam. So, seriously, this is amazing and I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU. <3 <3

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  12. This post makes my heart happy. Congrats!!!!

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  13. Oh Gina...congratulations!!!! Like Andee above me, I was crying while reading this. I am so so happy for you and your husband and no matter what happens <3

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  14. Oh, congratulations, Gina! What wonderful news!
    Exhaustion during the first trimester is normal. I'm sure you've been told that. I think I read somewhere that the woman's body is working hard enough to run a marathon during that first trimester.

    The third trimester is, of course, all about indigestion. And the second trimester -- ladies, am I the only one who had a spike in interest in, um *bedroom activities* during that second tri?

    Congrats on finishing your first draft, too. I hope there's no more bad and ugly for you. Just good, good, and good.

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    1. I just started the second trimester, so I can't say I've had a spiked interest in much of anything lately - but here's hoping!

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  15. Oh Gina, I can't even tell you how happy I am for you. I still get all teary eyed for you. I'm SOO excited for you and Dom. For you finishing your draft. For moving. For doing it ALL AT ONCE! o_O

    You are so amazing! I honestly think you're my hero.

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    1. I honestly think you are the sweetest. Thanks Jamie :)

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  16. NBD, Just been crying my eyes out and alternately jumping up and down and grinning for you. For the last ten weeks.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

    I've said it once and I'll say it a million more times. You are a FORCE, woman.

    I'm so glad to be your friend.

    <3

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    1. Thank you for all your reassurance! March 18th we get to find out if you predicted correctly... :))))

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  17. Congratulations on your pregnancy! That's so exciting! And congratulations on finishing your draft too, because it's always a big accomplishment to complete a novel.

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  18. Oh my Gosh!! I don't even really know you but I pop by your blog occasionally and I teared up reading this.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This is an amazing thing to hear and I'm truly happy for you. You must be so crazy excited!!

    And, don't worry. the second trimester is generally way easier. :)

    Also, huge congrats on finishing the book too!! Sounds like you're having a crazy few months. What part of GA are you moving to? I moved down here about six years ago--to a little town in SE coastal GA--Brunswick. We're like forty minutes out of FLorida. Your probably moving up by Atlanta though, right? that's where everyone goes. sigh. I need a writer friend down here. haha

    Anyway, double-triple congrats again and keep us all posted!! If you happen to be moving to coastal GA, make sure to let me know. :)

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  19. I'm not surprised you were crying, I'm almost in tears from just reading that! I'm so happy for you, I remember reading about your struggles last year and it broke my heart. Congratulations, and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes amazingly well!
    And congratulations on finishing your first draft, I'm sure nobody minds that it took a little longer than you wanted it to :)

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  20. Congratulations, Gina!!! What incredible news (on both counts, but especially the pregnancy)! My sister had similar issues conceiving my niece and nephew, it's so hard to watch people close to you struggle with that - what an amazing feeling it must be when it finally happens. And that last ultrasound with the hand waving is so freaking adorable!:)

    I believe you were at NY SCBWI the other weekend, yes? Sorry we didn't bump into each other, but maybe next time!

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    1. Thanks MarcyKate! I was at SCBWI - Dahl pointed you out from a distance as you were leaving our second workshop, but we didn't get to say hello. Maybe next time!

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  21. I started replying to comments and now I unfortunately ran out of time and have to go to work - but every single kind word and good wish you've all left for me is SO appreciated! Thank you all so much!

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  22. Wow. So I only know you by reputation through some of the other YA Misfits, but on a whim I clicked on this link from Jamie's retweet of your post. I'm so glad I did. I am relating SO WELL to all of this right now. After a frustrating struggle myself I am now finally 17 weeks pregnant. And yes, the first trimester made me into a complete mess, and writing/revising is suddenly 10 times harder. Oh, and yes, I'm also trying to find a house and hoping we can move in sometime before this precious little monster arrives. Solidarity!

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  23. Even though I knew the news, I still cried when I read this. I'm so happy for you! I wish you the least amount of stress, the greatest success with JESSE'S GIRL, and all the blessings that is motherhood.
    You're such an incredible woman, I'm sure you've got this in the bag. But don't forget, GA is less than a day's road trip from here. You still have people close!
    AHHHHHHH! Congratulations!!!!!!!

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  24. A baby! How wonderful!!! So happy for you, and good luck with everything! :)

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  25. Congratulations! What great news!

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  26. Aww,congratulations! Don't worry about anything, but taking care of that baby and yourself. I'm so happy for you! <3

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  27. So many happy things! Congratulations on your pregnancy!!! And finishing your book!!! :D

    I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well, as well as the move!

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  28. Wow! What a journey you've taken to get to this point. Congratulations on the baby and JESSE'S GIRL and your new Georgia Adventure. This is going to be a huge year for you. :) All best wishes!

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