As of today, I’m officially into my third trimester of pregnancy. If I were to go into labor today, my daughter’s chances of surviving to her first birthday are 96 percent. This is good news and takes away much of my nervousness. We could have the baby today and, with the exception of our completely unprepared nursery, everything would be fine, right?
Well, sort of.
Born today, she would face a high probability of long-lasting disabilities, though not nearly as severe as they would have been a few weeks ago. She would be stuck in the NICU for, probably, months. She would need oxygen, couldn’t feed properly (would need to be fed to her stomach or through an IV), and would have barely learned how to cry.
So yes, my daughter would survive. But it is by far better for her to hang out inside of me for the next 12 weeks to finish preparing. Even though breathing gets harder for me every day, and getting up stairs has become tricky, and I’m starting to miss caffeine and my occasional glasses of wine, it’s worth it to make sure my daughter will be born healthy and that she will, er, live long and prosper.
I have another WIP, too. This one is much less life-like. It’s also currently heavier. I have 281 pages of a printed out manuscript, and more than 260 of them have been re-read with notes on what would improve the story. For the second time. Call it my transition to the third trimester, if you will. 😉
I could probably send out my story as I printed it a few weeks ago. The tweaks that I’ve found I need to make are minor compared to the tweaks I made last summer. Things that edge my story from good to great. I hope. Or at least take out the minor plot inconsistencies left.
If I could get a good query written, I could probably get requests on my story as it is. Maybe even an offer of representation. The manuscript would live.
But if I left my forty-some noted changes unanswered, I could go on submission and never hear back from editors. I could get lots of requests for fulls with no follow-through. My book could be picked up by a publisher, have minor sales, and then drop off the face of the planet by its first birthday.
So it turns out that manuscripts have gestational times, too. Mine is nearing the end. I’m starting to get nesting instincts for it, browsing agents and agencies for where it might find its home. But it’s not ready yet. I know this. I’ve reached the point of viability, maybe, but the last trimester is crazy important. So, impatient as I am, I’ll wait it out. For my daughter and my story alike.