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Kansas writer

Debra Guiou Stufflebean

Giving Birth

I can't get over the similarities between writing a book and birthing a baby. Months go into the preparation of a story during which time it grows. Recently I did an expanded and revised second edition of my book, "A French Huguenot Legacy." It took many late hours, not to mention many LONG hours sitting in a chair typing on my laptop. Hours would go by before I'd realize that I hadn't taken a break which can result in lower back pain and walking kind of funny. I even experienced tendons snapping in the groin area, similar to when the baby would ride low in the hip region. I guess these are called "flexors" and boy are they painful, usually occurring while getting up after hours in the same seated position. Of course, I'd turn to my husband for sympathy and whine about how a massage would sure feel nice.

What precious sleep I did get is often interrupted by waking moments when you lay awake trying to come up with a name. You dream about what it's going to look like when the package finally arrives, and wonder whether others will understand if you can't hide the pride you feel. When it's time, you're so ready to get it over with, only to be told that it's going to take a little longer, you'll need to push a little harder, and the due date is only an estimate. When it comes, it won't be perfect. They never are; they're the product of fallible humans. So if it takes so much time and energy, why go though it? The answer is revealed in the title of my last book. You want to leave a legacy. Not everyone will have a best-seller (or son/daughter who will become President) but at least you've left a part of yourself behind, a baby that will tell others something about you; a baby that will share wisdom that only you feel you can convey, a baby that will inspire others to use their gifts.

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