‘Why I wrote Making Finn’

Images of Susan Newham-Blake, Making Finn, via Penguin Books

When I was pregnant with my first child I was asked by the fabulous Sam Wilson, editor of women24.com at the time, if I’d write a weekly column for their site. The brief was simple: I could write anything I liked about my experience of being pregnant and having a baby in no more than 700 words. And I’d get paid!

There was a twist. The baby growing inside me, making me feel nauseous day and night had been conceived via donor insemination. However, this was not what I focused on in my columns. Instead I wrote about my weird craving for pilchards when I was four months pregnant, being called a whale when I was six months pregnant and eventually the horrors of coping with a colicky baby and severe sleep deprivation. I continued writing the column until my son was two.  

At this time, I had the thought to pursue a lifelong dream of mine – to write a book. The positive response I got to the column gave me the confidence to write a book about how we conceived Finn in the unconventional manner in which we did.

From deciding whether to go the anonymous sperm donor route or using a willing friend, to thinking about the psychological and legal implications of the different options, Making Finn is the journey Roxi and I undertook to create our family.

But what really drove me to complete the story was that I wanted to have a record for our children. I wanted them to know how we had arrived at the decision to conceive them in the way we did and I wanted their unique conception story to be preserved.
I did not think that the book would be published and, while I was writing it, I was not particularly concerned with this. I wrote Making Finn for my children. And I still hope that one day when they’re old enough they’ll read it and not just turn around and say, “Ah, mom. Do we have to talk about all that stuff again!”

And, of course, if my book helps even one person believe that it is always worth following your dreams, then it will be worth more than I ever imagined when I first sat down to write it.

Title:             Making Finn
Author:         Susan Newham-Blake
Publisher:      Penguin Books
Price:            R190

It is available at all good book stores and from various online retailers from 10 February, 2013.

For more information visit www.susan-newhamblake.com or follow Susan on Twitter

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