When Is a Book Like a Baby?

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Authors often say that writing a book is like giving birth.  This act of creation can produce powerful brain contractions that feel as intense as labor and delivery.

During the two years I spent writing my latest book, I experienced all the usual moaning, groaning, and self-doubts, but in one sense it was even more like the real thing.  On July 21, when I held Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (BAMS)in my hands for the first time, I discovered that at 6.3 pounds, it was as heavy as a full-term newborn.

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It happened during the festive first evening of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) conference in San Antonio, Texas where we celebrated ILCA’s 25th anniversary and the silver anniversary of ourprofession.  As the exhibit hall opened, I rushed to the ILCA bookstore.  Would it arrive on time?  How would it look?  When I got my first glimpse, it seemed impossible that I had given birth to this.  It was enormous!  How would I manage?  Could I even fit it into my suitcase?

As I sat down to take a closer look at its nearly 1,000 pages, many friends and colleagues stopped by to say hello, congratulate me, and admire my gigantic tome.  Many despaired with me about getting it home without going over luggage weight limits.  Yet somehow it all worked out.  Thankfully, baby and I made it home safely.  And all of us are doing just fine.

Photos:  Upper left, Catherine Watson Genna, Nancy, and Kat Shealy from the CDC; Lower left: Rene Fisher and Nancy; Right: Tom Hale (BAMS publisher), Nancy, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (BAMS editor)