14 years ago today, was the Monday after Con. I remember this very well, because it was the only Con Scott and I have missed since we started going in '86 (for Scott) and '87 (me). The reason we weren't at Con was because I was very pregnant. And by very, I mean my due date had been the Tuesday before Con.
Plan "A" had been that I would have the baby on Tuesday, as due, and then be up and around enough to make it to Con with baby by the weekend. As Con started, that plan got less and less likely, as said baby was just not making an appearance. So Plan "B" was devised. Everyday either Neil (Gaiman) or Kurt (Busiek) would give me a call to ask if the newest family member had arrived, and I had to say no. Plan "B" was that Kurt and Neil were going to come visit us on the Monday after Con to meet the baby. Since the baby wasn't going to go to Con, Con would just have to go to the baby.
When Monday rolled around, the baby still hadn't. But Neil and Kurt did. Rolled around I mean. With Ann (Busiek). They had come still working on Plan "B" time to meet the baby, but the baby had other ideas. Also at our house, this fateful Monday, fourteen years ago, was our friend Krystal who was hanging about waiting for me to go into labor because she was going to be watching Sky (who was two at the time) while Scott and my mom were helping me to get the baby out of me and into the world.
But the baby wasn't being born, and Krystal had to leave. She had been hanging around for days waiting, but she had a job Monday night in Santa Barbara. Right before she was supposed to go off for said job, she found out that there was a problem on the freeway and it was closed in both directions, and no other way to get her where she needed to be. She was stuck. We kept checking, and in the end, the job she needed to be at got cancelled, so she got to stay. I took it as a sign.
Kurt, Ann, and Neil arrived, still no baby, but they got to play with Sky and we had a very nice afternoon, except for the fact that is was waaaay too hot. To escape the heat, Neil decided that food must be had, and that it must be had NOW. So off we went. Sky was asleep, so Krystal came with, and we had a lovely dinner at Hungry Hunter (which is no longer there, and makes me sad every time I see the shell of it).
It was at dinner that the baby-to-be decided that Plan "C" should go into effect. She is a very smart child, and continues to be to this day. It was at dinner that I went into labor. My favorite moment: when Scott asked the waiter for a plate for his bread and the waiter looked at the table, and in a very snidesh manner replied, "I suppose the watch needs that plate" because Scott did have a bread plate, he was just using it for the watch that was timing my contractions. Well, it was funny to me.
After dinner was a call to the midwife and the three car procession to the birthing center. I have no idea who was in what car. I expect that Krystal was driving Sky (who had woken up with the noise of us getting ready to go to the birthing center), I don't remember Mom being in my car, maybe she was and I've forgotten, or maybe she drove with someone else. I do know that Scott drove me, and Neil sat next to me holding my hand and explaining why it was a good thing he was not driving, and helping me through contractions and stuff.
It's a long story, for me anyway because I remember it oh so very well. I spent awhile walking about, but then the rest of the night in the tub with Scott and my mom in attendance. Krystal and Neil spent the evening singing songs from Sweeney Todd to toddler Sky, and Kurt went on a wild goose chase trying to find ginger-ale for Ann, in a town that rolls up the sidewalks rather early.
It was almost midnight when we arrived at the birthing center. It was about 2:10am Tuesday morning August 1st when Winter Wise decided to join us. Somewhere there is a picture of all everyone around the bed with Scott sitting next to me and Winter in my arms. I have always thought it quiet the most auspicious of births. With so many writers in attendance it does not surprise me that Winter has a developed a flair for the written word.
Neil asked if she was going to have any FairyGodParents (Neil and I are both Jewish, and did not grow up with the idea of Godparents, and as my children were both rather ethereal the "fairy" got tacked on) and we asked if those present would like the honors. They all said yes. Hence, both Sky and Winter have Neil, Kurt, Ann and Krystal as their FairyGodParents.
When Sky was born, she was a C-section. Winter was born VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarian). I was very lucky. These days doctors are not doing as many VBACs because of insurance fears. I love both my daughters more than I can say, but if I had to live one of their births over again, I would pick Winter's for so very many reasons.
Today, Winter is sick. The trip to Disneyland that was planned for tomorrow is being postponed, until both girls are feeling better. Game Nighters have been warned that there is sickness here, and I don't know if anyone will show or not. I seriously don't blame anyone if they chose to skip tonight.
If no one shows we get ice cream, so for me; win/win. I just hope Winter feels well enough to do something fun for her birthday. And Disneyland will still happen, just not tomorrow.
Happy birthday Winter. You have made my life better everyday of the last 14 years. I love you.