Wednesday, January 30, 2008

THERE'S SOMETHING IN MY BELLY! (but not really in my belly.)

For my 300th post, I have a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! I have a gummy bear in my belly! Okay, okay, it's not really a gummy bear, and it's not really in my "belly." It's in my womb (is it just me, or is that word kind of creepy?), and, though it is roughly the size of a large gummy bear, it is in actually the world's youngest genius/super-athlete/vampire slayer/musical prodigy/sorceror. That is to say, it is a baby. [Squee!] Or, is it? I mean, I guess it's not a baby yet, it's a. . . cellular squiggle of gummy bear proportions. Or, as my sister would call it, an "endo-parasite" (though she would be quick to point out that it is not technically a parasite because it shares my genetic material.)

Is this the most convoluted pregnancy announcement ever? Parasites and gummy bears??? I ask you!

I'M PREGNANT! That is to say, with kisses in Jim's direction, we are pregnant. Wheeeee!

Bows and curtsies. Yes, we did it. I mean, yeah, we did that too, but I mean, we did this. We made a gummy bear! I am only 9 weeks-ish and had my first ultrasound yesterday, and the baby did not look remotely babylike, but there was this amazing little hummingbird heartbeat in there, and that was about the coolest thing EVER. My belly has its own heartbeat! The whole gummy bear analogy thing, it is really not my fault. When I was asking the ultrasound tech how big the baby was, I asked if it was lima-bean-big, and she said it was bigger, and pointed to the side of one of her machines, where very conveniently she had taped a jumbo-size red gummy bear, with the words under it: "at nine weeks." So! That is how I know what my baby looks like -- red jelly candy, with ears.

We also met our midwife yesterday for the first time and I LOVE her and feel very happy with the midwife decision. She is a certified nurse midwife and her practice is hospital-based, not home-birth-based, which is what we want anyway. I'm sure I'll babble on lots about her as the months go by, but for now, I'm still a bit hesitant to babble too much about the whole "birth" thing, as this is only just beginning to feel real (since seeing and hearing that little maniac heartbeat) and I'm not even showing yet (except by celebrity standards, where even Angelina Jolie's jeans button counts as a "baby bump"), and the birth part feels a million years away. I guess the coming months will go by really fast -- months always do, don't they? But I think these will go by even faster because I will be walking waddling slower.

It's funny how much I'm looking forward to having that big round belly! I really really am! Maybe I'll take that back once I have it and can't find a comfortable sleeping position, or have to pee every five seconds, and all the other things I hear tell of, but right now, I just kind of want it.

So. A baby. A person! What a super-cool thing to be able to do with one's body! There's been a lot whirling around in our minds these last few weeks -- baby names, lifestyle changes, fears, excitement, all that. And, I've been EXHAUSTED. Not sick, thank goodness, but feeble and weary! And all this as I've been trying to. . . and I know you've heard me talk about this before, many months ago, but -- ULP! finish Silksinger!!!

I have, though! I really have! I haven't mentioned it for a while because I was kind of pretending like it was already done and hoping you might not notice I was still working on it. And it was so close for so long, it is really very wrong that elves did not sneak into the house to finish it for me, but they did not. The lazy good-for-nothings skittered around in the heating ducts taunting me and playing leap frog and refused to apply themselves! I had to do it myself, and here's the thing: I wrote "the end" at the end TODAY. So I guess that's a pretty big announcement too! I didn't burst into tears this time like I did with Blackbringer. I just heaved a deep sigh, caught sight of a leering elf out of the corner of my eye and flung an apple core at it. Okay, it was a pear core. Now I'm glad the little blighters didn't help. I can say I did it all myself, and I can say this too:

If I can finish a book, you can too.

Really. Especially this past month. I have been so god-awfully lazy. I have read books, watched movies, learned to crochet, and done other dithersome things I should not have been doing, because I just did not want to rewrite the climax of Silksinger yet again but I knew it needed it. And I've realized something: I need breaks when I'm writing. I don't mean a break during the day. I mean significant chunks of time away from the work. Weeks. Months would even be nice sometimes, and then coming back to it clear-eyed and open-hearted, but I wasn't able to do that this past year. I was having too much trouble with the book, and was too terrified it wouldn't "work out." I had to keep plugging away.

Here's another thing I haven't really told you about Silksinger, and it ties into the "If I can do it, so can you" premise: this book was hard. So hard, I want to dedicate it to myself. I'm so proud of me for finishing it! I mean, I thought it would be easier this time. It's my third book, my second full-length novel, I thought I'd be getting the hang of it. And yes, knowing I could do it (and that I had to do it, because I had already sold it!) did help, but the writing itself, well, nothing in this book went right the first or second or third time. Ever. I rewrote the bejeezus out of every single sentence, paragraph, and chapter of this thing. The bejeezus. I wrote thousands of pages of what if's and maybe's as I worked out plotting. I'm not even joking about that. Thousands of pages. Well, okay, maybe a thousand. But seriously, a ridiculous amount of writing that doesn't even qualifiy as "writing" in that rarified way that gets to have a "the end" at the end of it. Writing is so hard. Writing this book was so, so hard. I hope I never write a harder book! I'm so eager for the next one, whichever leaps in line first (there are a few contenders) and so hopeful that it will keep itself simple and neat, and not sprout extra heads and tails so I never know which way is up with it.

Oy oy, Silksinger, my darling, I thought you might kill me.

And when I say "finished" by the way, it doesn't really mean it is finished at all. It only means I am ready, at last, to send it to my editor who will weep at the length of it and pick up the phone and wail, "Why, Laini, why?" He will. He has begged me to not let it go long. I'm sorry Tim. I did my best, and I am counting on you to help me make it shorter. There is much work to do yet, but I can send it off now, and I think that by the time I get it back, a long, tear-streaked editorial letter, I will be out of my first trimester and maybe not so terribly weary and pathetic! That's right, mamas, isn't it? You perk up a little after that? Please? Please?

(Oh, and one reason I love my midwife is she gave me the all-clear on moderate amounts of coffee! A great WHOOP! to the skies!)

So much to say and think about -- the months ahead will be very rich, and I'll get to have my big round belly and start a new book, and then at the end of August we'll have a person. Crazy! And I'm pretty freaked out about my writing life after that, but I am determined, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to spend some of the next six months interviewing writing mamas like Shannon Hale** about how they do it, how they get the work done, and I'm going to post those interviews here. And I know I'll get some answers from some writers who didn't write when their kids were babies, and that's cool too, because I want to know it all. I'm going to psych myself up, and never let myself believe I can't do it. I want to know details too, secrets -- like baby hypnotism, stuff like that. Yeah? Who's your baby hypnotist?

Oh, and I can't forget to mention, the weirdest thing. Jim and I are already getting postcards from the gummy bear! Seriously. Isn't that crazy? It either supports my theory that my womb carries the world's youngest genius, OR, alternatively, maybe somebody else is sending them. Hmmm. . .

**Speaking of Shannon Hale, I just read Book of a Thousand Days and I loved it. Loved it. It's tied with The Goose Girl for my favorite of hers. Love.

Oh wait, don't go away yet. First look at this. Don't think about babies at all when I say "gummy bear" this time, or it would be gross. This is a gummy bear chandelier!

74 comments:

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hey there Sweet Thang! :) Cool that the word is out at last! And I'm so glad we timed the pregnancy and first ultrasound around your 300th post! I know we thought about waiting for you to get pregnant until your 500th post, but I'm glad we went ahead and seized the day and went for it!

Seriously though, this is going to be SO cool! Ooh, and can we get that gummie bear chandelier for the breakfast nook? I'm going to go check on eBay! ;)

xoxo,
Husbles

Jen Robinson said...

Congratulations, Laini!!! That's so great! Your and Jim's baby is going to be very lucky. I'm really happy for you.

And I can't wait to read Silksinger.

Alexandra S said...

Did you not mention that your baby is already mailing you postcards????? Well maybe you did! I haven't read it yet! But this is going to be one of the most creative, fulfilled, overjoyed babies EVER growing up with two such wonderful parents, and grandparents, ....AND even more importantly, an amazing and extraordinary godmother that is myself. I know you won't name the baby Moses or George Foreman Jr or Zapple, at least I hope not. This is going to be a beautiful year! I can't wait!

Alexandra S said...

I had to come all the way back from the Eskimo Wars I am continuing to fight up in the park to tell you don't even think about dedicating Silksinger to yourself. (And certainly not to Pharoah Sparrow either. All P-S is doing is sitting inside your belly writing you postcards with pleas to eat Cheetos, and all you have been doing is crocheting with little breaks taken here and there to write Silksinger. No, the only person to dedicate this book to is me. I am the only one who has put in the hard work to get Silksinger done. Every night I flew over your house in my heli and sprinkled my magic writing powder-composed of ground beets, sausages, glitter, and Akmak crackers-on top of your roof so you could have the magic powers to finish this novel. I am clear deadringer for a dedication. ok, have to get back to the Eskimoes...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Laini on your finished book and started life!

Blackbringer is very popular at my house. Just so you know, some day that cute little gummy bear will be stealing your Books! I loved the first three chapters and once I've unearthed it from under all the pillows of my 4th little reader, I'm sure I'll love the rest.

I'm a neighbor of Heather Vogel Frederick and I'm a mom writer too. My first novel won't be out for a year, but I've always written with a house full of kids. For me it's been the best possible mom job. I work really hard, but I love it, and I get tons of insight from my kids. I'll have a website up in May and then you can ask me anything you want about writing with babies. :-)

Rosanne Parry

kelly rae said...

is sparkle still up for grabs?

SO EXCITED for you guys. so EXCITED!!! we may not be too far behind - then we can have portland baby dates? i'm getting way ahead of myself (we are NOT pregnant) but i love that you guys are and i'm absolutely thrilled for you both. yay!

xoxo
ps-we need to chat. it's been ages!

liz elayne said...

wow! this is such exciting news!!!!
congratulations to you both! i am so happy for you!!!!! (i am smiling so huge right now after reading your excitement...so i am just going to keep using exclamation points to convey that smile!!!)

Earthmamagoddess said...

hurray!! Congratulations on both impending births!

mama to four delurking to clap hands gleefully that you are going to be a mama too!! lots of birth goodies if you want them!

And that you have a midwife!! this is the best place to give birth you know!

Sara said...

Laini, Jim! Congratulations! Wheee! I'm so thrilled, and hoping for a tiny peek at the baby when we all come to Portland in the fall. You planned this baby just for the Bloggers Conference, didn't you???

And a big congrats on typing THE END, Laini. I've read your amazing sentences, and you hide the blood, sweat and tears well---just loveliness is left.

Lori's Lens said...

Some Names to think about:

Aloysius, Famous Warrior
Homer: Security, Pledge, Hostage, Man of the doughnuts (interesting Combination)
Hermia (messenger)
Ladislas (glorious rule, related to Vladislav), also used as Lazlo, a variant


Although if it's a girl, it MUST be Lolo

Congratulations Laini...If your child experiences 1/10th of the love and friendship you have given me, then the child will be blessed indeed.


Much Love,

Lori Lee (also a GREAT name!)

Oh yeah- Congratulations on finishing your book! That's gweldig news!

twoblueday said...

Congratulations!

Linguistically, I cannot get used to "we are pregnant." "We are expecting a baby" is okay.

Again, congratulations.

Libby said...

another lurker coming out with congratulations! I also loved Blackbringer and can't wait for Silksinger. And as someone who was pregnant & writing a dissertation at the same time, I have to say, pregnancy was easier. Good luck!

Sweet Pea said...

Congratulations to both of you - what wonderful news :)

Christopher said...

Congratulations, you guys!

Tone said...

Laini!, congrats! Such wonderful news! Two babies at the same time.

You'll be pleased to know that I once dreamt I had a gummy bear baby. It was sticky and tiny, and thus pretty hard to take care of.

Sometimes reality is comfortingly normal.

Liana said...

Whee! Congratulations on both Baby and Book! How wonderful :) I think you and Jim will be GREAT parents- and that baby is going to be smart/artistic/strong/magical, no question about it!

"e" said...

Congratulations Laini . . . on BOTH babies!!
I have a friend who called her gummy bear "Cletus the Fetus" - ha!
Can't wait to read Silksinger!
:)
e
dulemba.com

Colorado Writer said...

Wonderful news! You are both going to be lovely parents.

Caty said...

WAO! Congratulations!!!!! Lovely news!

Do you have then names already?

the first thing I thought about it when I read this post past how cool the baby will feel when looking at your pink hair! (and then will wonder WHY the rest of the world is not having this wonderful hair colour :)

Jennifer said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are all soooooo excited for you!!!!!!

Email me!!!

rj-anderson said...

YAAAAAAAAAY!!! I am so thrilled for you, even though we hardly know each other and I really have no excuse to be this excited! But I have three boys and I had midwife-attended births for all of them (the first in hospital, the last two home waterbirths -- which, let me tell you, were AWESOME, or as awesome as something as intense as labor can be), so I am looking forward to hearing about your journey!

And since I too have been writing (and revising, and finding an agent and publisher, and revising some more under contract, etc.) all through this process of having kids and raising them to school age (my third is still a toddler), I would be delighted to answer any questions you might have about how to be a mother and a writer at the same time.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on finishing Silksinger as well -- another major achievement to be proud of!

Deirdre said...

Oh, Laini...I'm so happy for you. You and Jim are going to be great parents. Congratulations. Life is really wonderful.

Erin said...

Oh, Laini, YAY!! CONGRATULATIONS! Yay! I'm so excited for you guys! Woo-hoo!!

She sure is strange! said...

How AWESOME!!! Yes, you will feel better soon. I remember that horrible tiredness from my first pregnancy(the others weren't so bad). Watch out for anemia though, after the 1st trimester you shouldn't feel as tired but if you do, get your iron checked.

Congratulations on "The End" too, cannot wait to read it! I hope your editor doesn't cut it down too much, more is better, IMO, when it comes to stories like yours!!

And, lastly, congratulations on learning to crochet!! It is a sanity saver to be sure!

Molly

Amber said...

Woohoo!!!! This is going to be the best year yet for you two!

xegbp said...

Laini and Jim,

Congratulations on the baby!!!

and Laini, congratulations on finishing Silksinger!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Congratulations on finishing the book and starting a "new" life. Exciting. M-m-m-m, I wonder if the gummy bear will have bright pink hair? Or totally go for something different ... like lime green. Oooooo, I like that. This will be an exciting adventure for both of you. Now you have a reason to always stay young too!! No you really didn't need a reason, but kids will either make you feel "old" or keep you "young" [allow for a combination of both, LOL]

Sasha said...

Congrats guys! Can't wait to see you guys again!

Q said...

OH MY GOSH CONGRATULATIONS! Maybe you should dedicate Silksinger to your gummy bear.

And if you DO get that chandelier, I want pictures of that along with all of your interview. Anyone want to second that motion?

Nerd Goddess said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!

I just about laughed right out loud here in the computer lab, I am SO happy for you and Jim! Ah!! Babies are so exciting! And I can't stop using exclamation marks! EEEE!!!!

Congrats. On both your babies. I'm so, so happy for you, and excited for you. Oh. Yay. I love when good things happen to wonderful people!

Gwenda said...

Laini -- WOW, yay!

Felicity said...

CONGRATULATIONS! That is so great. C

Oh, and I love that chandelier, but I must admit that it would have a life of about a week until it got rock hard and moldy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laini!
Offering you congratulations on both your babies! Maybe they'd like one of these:
http://www.jellio.com./store/gummilight.html

HipWriterMama said...

Oh, Laini! This is so exciting! Congratulations on Silksinger and most especially for the little one!

Enjoy this time and take care of yourself!

Gomomyourock said...

Congrats from readers in Virginia!

Alysa said...

Yay, yay, yay! I've only commented on your blog once before (to tell you that I loved hearing about Pushing Daisies) but I couldn't resist congratulating you! I'm almost 20 weeks along myself -- before you know it you'll be halfway too! And I can totally relate with the "I just want to look pregnant" feeling. I'm starting to show a bit and I truly delight in wearing the clothes that make me look the biggest. :D Hooray for babies and finished books!

Maribeth Kayla said...

The first thing I thought was:

How cool would it to be to have a mom with pink hair? ;)

and the second:

Congratulations! & I can't wait for those interviews.

Maribeth Kayla said...

Scratch that first "to". I hate typos.

Liz B said...

Congrats! What terrific news.

Frida said...

I'm very, very happy for you and Jim, lovely Laini. What an extraordinary day. Smiles from ear to ear over here.

PS: I think if my friend does make it to Portland for the writers conference in November you can ask her all about writing as a mum - she's doing that right now. I just got home from her place - playing with my wee friend for a couple of hours so mum could work.

Laurel said...

Major major major congrats! I've had two babies in the last two years, and I HAVE been able to keep writing, (and after the first one even touring and traveling, though that's harder with 2). It's an amazing and wonderful (albeit tiring and drudgy and droopy)ride!!!

Maybe we should pitch a panel on mom-writing...

xoLaurel
http://laurelsnyder.com

Fuse #8 said...

Yay! You're breeding! I just carefully looked through your comments to see if anyone else would make the pink hair/gummy bear comment and yup. I'm too late. Well considering how well you name your characters in your books, I'm HIGHLY looking forward to the name of your upcoming entling.

Yay yay yay yay!

Tinker said...

OMG!!! Congratulations!!! I can't believe what I miss out on, when I don't get around to visit in weeks - people start growing gummy bears in their stomachs - or actually, growing other people in their stomachs, to be more precise. What a lucky little person to have such cool parents!

I am so happy for you - both on your impending small genius person and on your impending second novel (third book? I can't get anything straight right now) - at any rate Congratulations to you and Jim!!!

Heather said...

Okay I can't believe I waited until just now to open your post. (You're my delay gratification blogger). I am literally FREAKING OUT!! And planning knitting projects! And going "SQUEEEE!" And remembering the belly love. And offering to send you anything you might want/need/desire. I have plenty of Mom advice for you. Except for the writing part, I suck at that part. But I can tell you all about breast-feeding, baby products, baby-wearing, books to read and how to be a Sleep Nazi. Oh and midwifery? GREAT CHOICE!

I am just so thrilled for the both of you! May this be a breeze over the next several months.

Oh, and taking a very close second - big congrats on finishing the book! Suh-weet!

Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

Congratulations, Laini. For the book and for the baby on the way! This post is so so great! It vibrates with your energy! xo

Redness said...

Ohhh Laini a thousand, million, squillion, zillion, Congratulations! What a fortunate little person it will be! Your Fabulous post ooozes with delight!

Calandria said...

congratulations!! on the book (for selfish reasons because I can't wait to read it!) and most of all for the baby. how wonderful! you will be the coolest of moms.

SevenImpossible said...

OMIGOD, congrats!

Jules, 7-Imp

Amber said...

Oh My GOSH!!!!! How many times can I say I am so excited for you?! But I really, really am! And the baby, too. You guys are just going to be the kind of parents a kid DREAMS of. You really are.*happy sigh*

And YES, it is right that you are unbeeeeileeevably, inHUManly sleepy right now. (Isn't it the STRANGEST kind of tired??) It is almost like being drugged. (I used to fall asleep in meetings at work!lol) But it will go away. Sleep while you can!

And may I say, Good Choice with the Midwife. I had a midwife with Georgia, and the WHOLE thing was just a totally different experience. Seriously. Oh my gosh. (no offense to the men/MD's, just sayin'.)

And hmmm, a little Virgo you will have...Two things about Virgo's. One; They ARE one of the most intelligent signs(Mercury ruled)(The other is Gemini).
Two; More great BOOKS have been writen BY Virgos than ALL the other signs put together! It's true. I have read it in several places and astrology books, and once saw a list. ;)
SO maybe it was that gummy bear that was messing with Silkslinger, wanting to change things up...I mean, what ELSE did they have to do right now?

Where is that chandelier? That is so cool!

((((hugs to you all))))

Mardougrrl said...

Oh, oh, OH!!! I am soooo excited...I actually started crying when I read this. Oh, Laini...get ready for the ride of your life. How lucky is this little gumdrop? SOOO LUCKY!

I am SOOOO happy so happy so happy!

SO HAPPY!

*jumping on couch*

Andrea Beaty said...

Oh Happiest of blessings to you both! And Gummy Bear makes three. Great happiness and health!!!!!

Andrea Beaty
www.andreabeaty.com
www.ThreeSillyChicks.com

Rachel Griffiths said...

Laini! Jim! What FANTASTIC news, and what a lucky little sprout to have the two of you for parents. I am just THRILLED for both of you!
Best,
Rachel

Anonymous said...

you are my hero!!!! that lucky kid having you and Jim for parents?!!! holy mama. do you think there's any chance it's Mozart or DaVinci coming back reincarnated? I heard Mozart was a total kick!

SO SO SO happy for you both!!!!!!

~bluepoppy

Corrie said...

Congrats from me too! When I saw the gummy bear, I thought that looks just like my ultrasound, but I compared it to popcorn. A gummy bear is much better. I am a big fan and am overjoyed to also be due in August. Can't wait to hear of both your experiences and how you balance it all. All I know is that your baby is so lucky to have such fun and creative parents. You are going to have a great time!

Linda said...

Congratulations!!!
..and welcome to the world of baby blogs...it will happen to you, too, where the baby waves or moves or toots or projectile vomits, and not only will you want to tell everyone you know about it, there will be many who actually want to hear!
I'm having my second in July, and it is very exciting to know there are other genius babies coming into the world around the same time. : )
I'm excited for Silksinger, too!!

Yuyi said...

Dear Laini, what a beautiful gummy-bear-thing to post about. Enjoy the months to come, which I am sure will actually run slower, no faster, specially as your world will get rounder and heavier and you won’t be able to wait until you can see who your gummy bear really is. Congratulations.
Yuyi Morales

[a} said...

Eeek! Hurrah! Congratulations!!

~YAYUYAYUYAYAYUYAYYY!~

GAWRSH that chandelier is DIVINE DAHHLING! Seriously, I want it in my room.

spider said...

Congratulations! That's so exciting!

Sustenance Scout said...

Wow, Laini!! Just want to add my well wishes to your long list here...talk about an exciting start to the new year for you! Hugs from Denver, K.

Chris Barton said...

Best news I've heard all day, with a great shot at the whole week -- congrats, Laini!

Myrtle Beached Whale said...

Let me ad my congratulations to the multitudes.

Sare-bear said...

Yay! Its so exciting that you guys are Pregnant! Hearing the heartbeat of your child for the first time is such a high! I'll never forget the day I first heard my kiddo's little heart beating away.

Congratulations!
*hugs*
Sare-Bear

chest of drawers said...

Wow!!! Fantastic news!!! That´s one lucky little one.

Marilyn said...

Congratulations, Laini--to you both. So happy for you! And another congrats on finishing the book. You are one accomplished mama! xoxo

Annie Coe said...

This is so great! He or she is going to be one lucky child :-). CONGRATULATIONS!! And don't worry
about writing after the baby comes, trust that everything will work out.

Jone said...

Congratulations, again, Laini. Chuck says your baby will lead a charmed life.

Deb R said...

Congrats Laini and Jim!!!!!

eisha said...

OOH!!!! Congrags, Laini! What great news - for you (baby!) and for me (sequel!).

lkmadigan said...

I'm late to the party, but my congrats are no less heartfelt.

Enjoy your adventure.

:-)

Lisa

davesap said...

What fantastic news. Congratulations Laini and Jim. That is one lucky baby to have such fantastic parents.

lizardek said...

That is the most AWESOME news!! Congratulations to the two of you! I can't wait to hear the progress reports :) :)

shoofly said...

Congrats Laini & Jim, how exciting!

Lisa Schroeder said...

soooo happy for you two! Congratulations!! I loved being pregnant, Laini. Enjoy every minute of it. :)

paris parfait said...

Laini, this is the best news! Am thrilled for you and Jim. You will be terrific parents. What a lucky kid, to get you to tell him/her your wonderfully imaginative stories! Fantastic news! xo