Today we have a treat for you. Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? , has written a guest blog about the book. Fun, entertaining and informative, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? is a different type of pregnancy book. Instead of looking at the how-to it looks at the why, the QI of maternity books. See Jena’s thoughts below.
I wrote Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? when I was heavily pregnant. There was a problem: the due date. My manuscript, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? was to be delivered only a couple months after the baby’s birth, and my writing was behind schedule.
I often thought of the book as a second baby, literally. I was very calm about it. Uncharacteristically calm, because I am usually scrupulous about timeliness. There’s a biological reason for this Zen attitude, which I describe in the book. I usually rely on stress as a motivator, and it’s increasingly difficult to get a pregnant woman stressed about anything that doesn’t concern the baby. By third trimester we’re saturated with cortisol —it’s not just a stress hormone; it also helps the fetus’s brain and organs to mature. Cortisol floods our veins, and as a result, its receptors are less sensitive, which in turn can dampen the stress response system. A peaceful haze sets in. The baby will come when it’s ready, I thought. And so would the book.
As I progressed through the months, growing heavier and more ponderous, I wondered about my behavior. It wasn’t just the tranquility about deadlines. Words would get stuck at the tip of my fingers. I made weird and poetic malapropisms: I “circumvented” when I should’ve circumnavigated, my abdominals became my “abominables.” Was I writing so strangely only because I wrote about how this is to be expected in pregnancy? This is the sort of loop one could get stuck in. It’s hard to be your own guinea pig.
Time passes, of course. There comes a moment when the deadline-bound writer must focus and produce.
For me, this happened soon after the baby was born. That’s when I wrote the final one-third of the book. Friends pitied me for having a newborn while still heavily pregnant with a manuscript. I was exhausted, harried, overwhelmed. The baby had colic. And despite all of this — or because of it — I wrote. The book was a license to take refuge in a quiet office between nursing sessions. My writing time was as refreshing as a nap. Writing gave me an opportunity to reclaim the part of myself that I had lost in the last few months of dreamy, poetic gestation. Not every day was productive, but I could be more than a rocking, burping, feeding machine. I was still thinking.
I delivered the book five months after my daughter was born, thanks to a short extension. Being overdue gave me an opportunity to include essays about the evolutionary psychology of postpartum depression, the virtues of baby talk, mood-manipulating hormones in milk, telltale genetic odors in baby poop, personality clues in cradling, and other fascinating science that pertains to the initial months after birth.
Now both book and baby have been delivered and are out in the world. They’re so slow in the making, but how fast they grow!
Find Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? here: http://souvenirpress.co.uk/product/do-chocolate-lovers-have-sweeter-babies/