Thursday, May 21, 2009
A Question for You
Kat Edwards didn't recognize the men, but she knew why they were there.
She hadn't heard them enter the barn, not above the whir of the horse clipper and jangle of country music on the radio. If she had, she could have run. She could have hidden in one of the stalls. Something. Now all she could do was watch them stride toward her, grim expressions on coarse-featured faces. Their hands swung empty by their sides, but the telltale bulges under their shirttails said it all.
They'd come to kill her baby.
She brought her free hand to her round abdomen, as if she could shield her little prince from trouble with mere flesh and bone.
That is the opening of my May release, Priceless Newborn Prince. The story continues with the heroine going into labor while running for her (and her baby's) life. I've had great reader responses to the book so far, but two people (while they loved the story) have worried that I put the heroine through too much during labor and beyond. And herein lies my question for today. How much difficulty is too much when a heroine is pregnant?
My perspective might be skewed on this. Not because I wrote the book, necessarily, but by my own experiences with pregnancy and labor. I was the co-owner of a small cleaning company when pregnant with my first child. I used to get up at 4 am and clean two car dealerships right up to the day I started labor. Sure it wasn't easy, but the work had to be done, so I did it.
With my first child, I was also in labor for 35 hours. Ten hours into the process, when I realized how slowly things were progressing, I decided to clean my horse's stall between contractions. Call it nesting instinct, perhaps, but I knew I wouldn't get a chance to clean it later, so I did it. It needed to be done.
Now I don't think I'm all that unusual. I think when things need to be done, women (and men) find a way to do them, even if the process is difficult. So, back to my heroine. This woman is running for her and her baby's lives. If I was in that position, I'd do whatever it took to survive, labor pains or not. I think nearly anyone would. Am I wrong?