The Ender turns four this week, and as my crunchy friends send him heartfelt birthday wishes, they also wish me a happy birthing day. Except, it really wasn’t. Happy, I mean. But it doesn’t matter. It was. And he came. And we were both healthy. And that was enough.
So today I give you my long, sappy and thoroughly unfunny birthing story. This is how Ender came. The way he had to come. I don’t give you the really unfunny backstory leading up to it–that’s mine to hold and process, only mine, even more than four years later.
If you’d rather experience (or, if you’ve been in my life since 2009, relive) the short version where I regain my sense of humour, it’s here: The last three minutes of Ender’s otherwise criminally long arrival on planet Earth. And if birth stories give you the heebee-jeebees–and I totally understand, baby, the miracle of birth is horribly gross, really, the things we do for the continuation of the species, crazy, utterly crazy–go read … um, how about the day Flora decided we were going to keep Ender, even though he’s not a girl? Yeah, that’s a good one, “He’s a Keeper.” And it’s short. Minimal time commitment.
But if you’ve got a little bit of time and glory in the full story… here we go…
This is the long version of Ender’s arrival, the last 12 or so hours, written for and published in Birthing magazine.
As dawn breaks over Calgary’s first winter snowstorm in October 2009, I’m 14 days post-estimated-due-date and on the parking lot usually known as Crowchild Trail, en route to the Rockyview Hospital for an induction.
“It’s a good thing you’re not really in labour,” Sean, my partner, says. “Or else we really would be having this baby in the van.”
Ha ha ha. I try not to get angry at my uterus, cervix, DNA code—whichever part of me it is that is not working the way I think it ought to. I try to be philosophical. They come as they must, and all that matters is that they come, healthy, safe. I almost believe it.