It's Time to Push!
I remember several times (well, four times exactly) being in the hospital and hearing those words: "It's time to push!" I thought that meant I was supposed push my wife to be more focused, but figured out later the doctor was talking to her.
Toward the end of the pushing phase (me pushing my wife and her somehow pushing the veins in her head so they each stuck out about two inches), the doctor would say, "Okay, this is it. One more big push and we'll be there." So everyone in the room pushed and grimaced and worked real hard, and pretty soon a beautiful little baby was born. Okay, I lied about that part. All four babies were mostly ugly, very noisy and covered in gunk. But in a few hours, after the baby was cleaned up, their head started returning to its' pre-birth-canal shape (you try squeezing through a garden hose and see what happens to your head) and the beauty of a newborn began to emerge.
Beginning today, I'm in the final pushing stage. This book is nearly complete. I'm going to spend the next six days writing, with the plan of finishing the first completed draft by Tuesday evening.
We have transitioned our guest room into a "writing suite" -- complete with a loveseat, table, lamp and heater. And I've tested it...if I turn the fan on "high" I can write without hearing the kids! I'm not planning on leaving that room except to go the bathroom and, duh, sleep with my wife each night.
By Tuesday evening I'm guessing I'll have a mostly ugly manuscript covered in gunk. But after a couple weeks of editing and tweaking, I'm confident I'll have a good-looking newborn book to hand over to the publishers.