Firstborn Book Baby

The pub day of ONLY CHILD is almost here! Pinch me, please, someone. Because I can’t believe this is actually happening. I get to share this story that I found—or I should say, that found me—with all of you. It feels like the due date of my fourth child is right around the corner, except that most of the “labor” is already behind me (yay.)  And boy, some labor that was. A year-long, give or take, labor of love, definitely, but with its share of blood, sweat, and tears. Well, no actual blood. But tears! So, so many tears.

When my twins were born, I had three kids under the age of four. So really, it takes a lot to throw me off my game in the baby- or kid-department. But this is different. This is my firstborn book baby and I have ALL the feels of an about-to-be first-time mother. The happy, proud anticipation is making it hard for me to sit still—one definite advantage of book baby vs. real baby: walking around is not super uncomfortable. Also, no heartburn. I can’t wait to meet it (well, I’ve met it, obviously, but not, say, on the shelf of Barnes & Noble) and I can’t wait to show it off to my friends and the WHOLE WORLD. And I am so very nervous and anxious.

Because, you know that saying, “a face only a mother could love…?” Sometimes I wake up in a sweat and I picture someone—a reader or a reviewer—looking at my baby and having the same reaction Elaine and Jerry had in the “Ugly Baby” episode of Seinfeld. Where they walk up to Carol’s baby’s crib and lovingly gaze at the baby only to instantly retreat in horror at his ugliness. “Isn’t he gorgeous?” Carol squawks in that squawky voice of hers and next we see Elaine and Jerry outside on the back deck doubled over in disgust and Jerry proclaims, “Was it just me or was that the ugliest baby you have ever seen?” And then no one wants the baby at the dinner table because it’s so ugly and…

OK, deep breath.

Not everyone is going to like my baby. And that’s OK. But some will. Many already do. I certainly hope you will. 

Rhiannon Navin