In the summer of 2010, I felt nauseated during nearly every interview I conducted while wrapping up research for my first book. Because it was summer in Afghanistan, and Kabul is home to open sewers and steamy heat, I thought little of it, until I told my friend and housemate, a TIME reporter with a three-month-old baby, that all I dreamt of was eating potatoes.
"You're pregnant," she said.
"No way," I answered. I felt certain I had a parasite that would simply go away.
In a matter of days, however, my doctor at World Clinic, a mobile medical service, told me that I indeed had a parasite, but, he joked, "it's not the kind that goes away."
So it was that I realized my first baby would arrive 10 days before my first book. The book for which I had quit a job I loved in finance, the book to which I had dedicated the last three years of my life. I kept clicking "refresh" on the Baby Center calendar, stunned at seeing the due dates collide.
Reading the big news of Marissa Mayer's naming as Yahoo CEO and then hearing a few hours later that she would be "wwp" -- or "working while pregnant" -- I was struck by the fact that life evolves in unexpected bursts, and, especially if you are female, these moments of momentous change might collide in unanticipated ways.