We—Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon—met almost a decade ago, at a writing conference. We were fast friends, and eager readers of each other’s work. But when we were pregnant with our first children, we started sharing the sorts of intimate details—about our relationships, our careers, and our hopes for motherhood—that sparked our collaboration and led to Labor Day.
Anna had her baby first, and Eleanor wanted the nitty gritty. How did it start? What did it feel like? Would you do it again? When Anna replied with a four-page essay—comic, poignant, pee-soaked, and starring Manhattan’s most eccentric OBGYN—the idea occurred to us at the same time: these stories need to be collected and shared.
Since then, we each moved, changed jobs, published novels, and gave birth to two babies. We supported each other through infertility and miscarriage. And we kept working on Labor Day, sometimes with babies in our laps, or as our husbands tucked the toddlers into bed. (We even worked on it the day Anna’s son was born, just before her water broke!) We kept inviting new writers to contribute. Their enthusiasm gave us energy; their commitment to sharing their beautiful stories despite their own busy lives renewed our faith in this project again and again. As the essays rolled in, we laughed. We wept. We groaned in recognition, and gasped with surprise. Each story brought with it new struggles and new triumphs. We found ourselves as immersed in our fellow writers’ birth stories as we had been in our own. We hope you will, too. Then, we hope you’ll share your own story.
It’s been a long labor—more than five years from the time Anna first wrote her birth story. As with most birth stories, it’s been filled with twists and turns, setbacks and joys. Now we are so pleased to share our baby, Labor Day, with you. To read more about the anthology and the labor of love that produced it, read the Introduction here.
Stories from Labor Day…
Share your story…
Eleanor & Anna