Birthing Babies: A Twin Surprise
By now, you may have seen I announced the surprise birth of our baby girl. What you might not know about is I actually birthed twins!
I love birthing. There’s something powerfully primal and fiercely feminine about bringing life into this world. While giving birth, I go through many phases: from moments of reverent silence to groaning to shouting a self-encouraging, borderline orgasmic, “Oh, yes!” There are stages to birthing... and sometimes your birthing time takes longer than expected. That happens whether you're birthing babies or if you’re a creative like me who births books.
My daughter was due today on October 17th, but I knew she would be come sooner than that. And my one goal was to complete my second manuscript before I held her in my arms.
So when I got pregnant this January, I started writing my butt off.
I began hosting weekly writing sprints with my favorite online community of Black women writers. Together we set goals and every week I wrote scene after scene, burgeoning toward my goal. I was well on my way to completing my novel by my 30th birthday in June. Unfortunately, a few days before that, George Floyd was murdered, protests broke out, and the nation was set aflame. And so was my impetus to complete my novel.
For the first time in months, I put my pen down. When I had been writing thousands of words a day, I suddenly couldn’t stomach going to my computer to write. I was grieving. I was in pain.
And then Toyin Salau was assaulted and murdered.
At that point, I was done.
So I focused on carrying my daughter in private....and I stepped away from creating. My heart was too broken to continue.
Months went by. Although I began to heal and cope with the trauma of being a Black woman in America...I still hadn’t rediscovered the fire that had me writing thousands of words a day.
Then God showed up.
On October 7th around 5pm, I was bouncing on my birth ball when I sensed God telling me it was time to finish my book. It was heavy on me. So much so that I called my husband and best friend to tell them, “I’m finishing my book before I lay my head down tonight.” They both cheered me on and I set out to write.
In just thirty minutes, I’d finished drafting three chapters. The story poured out of me as if no time had elapsed since I’d last touched my manuscript all those months prior. My characters were loud, vibrant...as if they were right there in the room with me.
I took a break and went back to it. And at 2:01am, I typed those two magical words:
I stared at the screen for a long while.... even tweeted my sheer shock. And then I was off to bed.
I woke up at 7:15am and my water broke at 7:30am. My first thought was, “Oh my God! My daughter waited for me to finish my book!” I joke that I had twins since I birthed my second novel and my daughter on the same day. And just like the stages of birthing a natural baby, I went through all those stages (and more!) while writing this book:
Reverent silence when everything fit together beautifully on the page.
Groaning when it became difficult to keep pushing, to keep going, to finish.
And that moment of praise and empowerment when you allow yourself to celebrate your wins!
I accomplished many goals while carrying my daughter (with many more projects underway!). But I could not be more grateful that God honored my hope to complete my book before my daughter came.
Now I am in a new season of renewal, rest, and healing.
And when I get back to my kitchen table, it’s on.
Jeida K. Storey