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The average gestational period for a chipmunk is 21 days. No wonder they speak with such squeaky little voices.
For a kangaroo it's 42, though the joey moves into the mother's pouch for another two to three hundred days.
For a lion cub, it's 108.
For a woolly little lamb, it's 150.
Gorillas and hippos and moose (meese?) are close to human gestational periods at about 225 to 260 days.
Human babies? 266.
In all three of my human pregnancies, my average 255 or so days of lugging each little one around inside my uterus seemed like FOR. EH. VER.
Little did I know I would carry my unborn book around for much longer than that. For the length of FOUR human pregnancies.
|I think I look pretty good for having just given birth to a book after a 36-month pregnancy.|
Indeed, from the time I began my outline until Tuesday, February 12, when my book baby, Calling Me Home, popped, it was 36 months. Except, I had--more or less--two semesters, because I don't even want to count the trimesters if we're talking three-month intervals.
But I will tell you that all the backaches (revisions), the constant bladder pressure (copy edits), the heartburn (page proofs), the mistaken sonograms (changed covers), the swollen feet and ankles (checking amazon rank 432 times per day), and--most of all--the labor pains (writing about yourself in interviews and Q&As until you can't remember your own name, much less anything interesting you haven't already said four times) don't mean a thing when it comes down to one moment in time:
The moment you stand before your family and friends and see the joy and pride and LOVE in their eyes.
My book launch, last Tuesday evening at Barnes & Noble in Arlington, Texas, ranks right up there with the BEST days of my life.
I had an amazing labor nurse--I only met her shortly before Calling Me Home hit the nursery, but Jessica Prigg was the nicest, most gracious Community Relations Manager I could have worked with. She even provided a box of tissues to keep handy at the lectern.
|My critique group looks on as I read |
from Calling Me Home
Tuesday night, the tears started when one of my beloved critique partners from my group blog, What Women Write, asked if I was nervous shortly before the event began. When I nodded, she leaned in for a hug and whispered in my ear:
"You've got it. And if you fall, we'll catch you. We always do."
|My best friend Gail and me, next to cake and flowers|
from her and my critique group
I realized, as I stood before these people, that NOTHING else mattered when it comes to this book. Not the sales numbers, the Amazon ranks, the lists, the magazine or news coverage, the good or bad reviews--the good times and the bad times, whatever was and is to come for Calling Me Home.
All of that pales in comparison.
What mattered was right there in front of me.
Photo credits: Rick Mora