Comic 1421 - Three Birthdays

6th Oct 2021, 7:36 AM in Ch. 43 - Liriel's Daughter
Three Birthdays
Average Rating: 5 (11 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 6th Oct 2021, 7:36 AM edit delete
Firstly, cold open! Welcome to Chapter 43. We'll see the cover next time. ^_^

Anyway, I've been joking to friends that Lydia was me kinda not firing off "Chekhov's baby" through the last chapter. The pieces were all set for everything to happen, but I just didn't want that to be what that last chapter was. I really wanted it to just be about all the kids actually enjoying themselves at the party. They deserved to all have a nice time.

So of course, I cheated and had the baby born off-screen on the very next page after the chapter ended. Mwa ha ha! XD

Also, to the best of my memory, I've never attempted to draw a newborn baby before. In real life, they're wrinkly and lumpy and stuff. Trying to keep the kid in the consistent artstyle just resulted in a long face. Sorry if this is a little weird. XD

Jokes aside, I saw a lot of people getting anxious about super heavy stuff like miscarriage, or Emily dying in childbirth, and that was just not ever where my plans were going. I think going into the full drama of rushing to the hospital and "a very long night of labor" would've just stressed people out needlessly for a story path I had zero interest in exploring, so I veered away from getting too nitty gritty with the childbirth (I probably wasn't gonna include it anyway; I didn't have any big ideas, so it would've been mostly tangential and not really adding much).

Moving on, Rain tried to make a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting for Emily's birthday. But a baker, she is not. So here we have this weird lumpy birthday cake she made. Tastes good, though. That's what's important. Based on actual events. XD

The final image shows a calendar with all the days crossed off leading up to Rain's birthday. It's very small, so if you can't read it, the notes on August 24th are "B-Day", "Name Change", and "Inheritance". Looks like a busy day!

Rain, all characters and all other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.

My next round of dental work is currently slated for November, but as I've discussed, I've still got a lot to save. If you can help, I will be very grateful. If not, no hard feelings. Thank you, either way.
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J 6th Oct 2021, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Better a Caston than a Castoff
Laura 6th Oct 2021, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
Nooooo ooooone
Cries like Caston
No one poops like Caston
No one makes a mess of themselves like Caston
Gilly 6th Oct 2021, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
Makes a mess of themselves quite like Caston

Does the extra word work with the rhythm better? I was thinking of Gaston too. I am reading comments to figure out where the surname came from.
Leah 6th Oct 2021, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
It's Emily's last name.
Lynn 7th Oct 2021, 3:39 AM edit delete reply
I think you need to move the "quite" around a bit to get the meter right. I went with:

> No one makes quite a mess of themselves like Caston!
Tokuben 6th Oct 2021, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
I'm a little upset that we didn't get to see Emily giving birth but still. YAY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lexi 6th Oct 2021, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
The baby looks a bit like the people from Chin Chan. :) But the page is cute and I wholeheartedly agree with your decision to give the characters a break. Emily and Rain definitely look like it was good to stack up a bit on energy before the birth.
Allison (not that one) 8th Oct 2021, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
The baby looks a bit like the people from Chin Chan

In real life, newborns kind of look like they could be Martians. (I saw both of my kids right as they popped out of mommy.) And until the midwife (or whoever) cleans them up, they look like they're covered with something sort of like snot with the mange. I have no idea how you could show that in the style of drawing that Jocelyn is using.

There's a reason that ads for baby products don't use pictures of newborns -- they're not all that photogenic. (Unkind folks use the word "ugly.") I think the preferred age is around 6 months.
SometimesIReadComics 6th Oct 2021, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Was half expecting the birth to be another 20 pages.
Tokuben 6th Oct 2021, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
Gilly 6th Oct 2021, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
I am glad the birth is not ome of the 2 promised final chapters.
Samwinters 6th Oct 2021, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
Very happy with the skip-ahead honestly. Do NOT need the anxiety.
Katie 6th Oct 2021, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
Webcomics and miscarriages really don't go well together, considering a certain comic that's become a terrible meme
Yuriko 6th Oct 2021, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
yeah... when I first saw the consept brought up that connection wasn't lost on me either
AmbiguousMouse 6th Oct 2021, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
It's silly to say this, but despite that I remember who got Emily pregnant as a plot element, it's been long enough since I've thought about Chase that I had to do a bit of a double take over Lydia having black hair.
Gilly 6th Oct 2021, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
Baby hair is weird and can be a completely different color than childhood hair, which darkens a lot in teens often enough.
Gigglebox 6th Oct 2021, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
Both of my kids were born with full heads of black hair, then after a couple months it all fell out and now they both have light to mid-brown hair at 11 and almost 7.
Izzy 6th Oct 2021, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Do I feel a time-skip epilogue on the Horizon? The cast all aged up to catch up with the real world? ;)
stag 6th Oct 2021, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
Would be cool
LadyAnastasia 6th Oct 2021, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
I see what you did there. Subtle trans calendar ;)
Zophah 6th Oct 2021, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Miscarriages and death may seem like a dramatic thing authors can put in their stories, but modern medicine leaves most possibilities clearly survival. There are cases of babies surviving childbirth a full month and a half early.
prezombie 6th Oct 2021, 5:50 PM edit delete reply
Random deaths in a story can work to setup the initial story, like Rain's or Batman's parents. Random deaths to resolve a story are nearly always seen as a cop out, breaking the narrative. Pretty much the only time you see them used are when a tv series loses an actor for whatever reason and they don't have enough warning to shoot a proper ending to the character.

Or in the case of Star wars, the new owners just wanted the old blood gone as cheaply as possible.
Some Ed 6th Oct 2021, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
When your show name includes either singular or plural 'War', you should recognize going in that the authors have set themselves up with a cheap reason to get rid of any character they want.

Ditto for any fictional story set during a war.

That doesn't mean the author will take it, but chances are good they will. Wars are bloody. Even when it turns out the War in the show name is just a game.
bgb16999 6th Oct 2021, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
I'm honestly a little surprised they went with Caston and not the last name of either of the good parental figures Bryer or Valverde.
Adama 6th Oct 2021, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
Hm yeah since Bryer must also be Rain's mother's maiden name.
Leah 6th Oct 2021, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Oo, now I'm wondering if Rain might change her last name too.
AmbiguousMouse 6th Oct 2021, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
I think that's a little too eggs-in-one-basket, personally. If everything goes well Rain will end up the kid's stepmother, but I'd call it still too early at this stage of things to hang the kid's last name off that. Emily's gonna be that kid's mom no matter what, so since she (understandably) doesn't want to pass on her own last name, a wholly separate last name seems the most sensible to me.
Syter6 7th Oct 2021, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I honestly think the link is quite too big. The mother's girlfriends aunts boyfriend
girly 6th Oct 2021, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
when i started reading this i was way younger then rain... now im a few months older then her omg
Kate 7th Oct 2021, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
I started reading this when I was 12 or 13, so several years younger than Rain. Now I'm 21, a few years older than her. I didn't even realize until writing this that I've been reading Rain for almost 10 years. That's crazy to think about, especially since this comic is what helped me figure out my own sexuality and learn about the LGBTQ community.
Kyle 6th Oct 2021, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
Ok! Wow! I'm both suprised by the time skip and relieved, too. I won't lie, I've always had a very scary thought that when Emily gave birth, she wouldn't survive. Thank God I was wrong. Now I hope my other dark theory doesn't come true.
prezombie 6th Oct 2021, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
Maybe add a zoom in subpanel for the calendar day?
TK-Dragon 6th Oct 2021, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
Emily looks like she hasn't slept in days but also like super relieved.
Katherine 6th Oct 2021, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
there's only one thing that feels a bit off about this

most everyone is 18 when they graduate high school, so to have two students who also happen to be in a relationship both graduate at 17 would be...extremely rare
Some Ed 7th Oct 2021, 2:05 AM edit delete reply
You're looking at this from the wrong perspective.

We started this tale with a translesbian with a summer birthday. The story was of her transition and her life coming together. We didn't know her birthday at the start or her orientation and she didn't have that figured out yet, bur I think Jocelyn did. It at least felt to me like things were pointing that way.

If we were looking at the population at large, the odds we'd be talking about would just be the odds of her being in a relationship multiplied by the odds that one other person would also have a birthday between June and the end of September. (This is in the US, so kids start kindergarten the year that they are 5 years old at the end of September 30.)

Given the genre of story, I'd guess the odds of the former would be around 80%. Given birthdate frequencies (thank you year end holidays), the odds of someone being born in that date range is about 35%. So we're talking odds of around 25% - not what I'd call extremely rare.

But we didn't have a statistically representative pool of candidates. There were only a few, and June through September birthdays were disproportionately represented, if I recall correctly. So Rain's chances were actually pretty good of accomplishing this.
Katherine 7th Oct 2021, 3:09 AM edit delete reply
when I graduated high school, nearly everyone in my class was 18 except for two kids who never even hung out together, so I'm looking at it from that perspective

was it important they both be 17? I feel like there might be a reason but I'm not seeing it
Jocelyn 7th Oct 2021, 1:24 PM edit delete reply

See, if you're looking for the realism, it's as Ed says. Some kids are just born toward the beginning or end of that window to be in a certain grade. Speaking for myself (May 29th birthday), I ended up always being one of the youngest in my class. The amount of students in my class younger than me by that point were fewer, but I seem to remember many. They existed. But neither my nor your experience represents every experience. I knew several graduating 17 year olds, and you knew two, but I'm sure other readers could chime in and say most of their graduating class was 17, and another could say none were.

Why were Rain and Emily only 17 until the Summer? Because they just were. Because that's just how life happened for them. That's when they were born. I don't know if it's actually rare or not, but I know it can happen, and that's kinda all that matters. ^^;

If you're looking for plot reasons, both are actually very deliberate. I wanted Emily to have a late birthday so she'd have her kid while she was still essentially a kid herself. That little fact, simply put, carries a lot of weight. It adds a lot of gravity to the awfulness of Chase's actions and highlights Emily's need to mentally grow up fast.

With Rain, her birthday was kept to very nearly the farthest point from the start of the story very much on purpose. When I began writing/posting the comic, I hadn't started my transition yet and didn't want to write about something I didn't understand. And because I was also under the (incorrect) impression that kids couldn't pursue transition until they turned 18, I put her birthday super far away to give myself a lot of leeway. Ultimately, it ended up being somewhat irrelevant in this regard, as I have long since transitioned now (and as has Rain begun hers), but it still plays into the ground rules established for Rain's inheritance.

My question, though, is why it seems to bother you so much? I'm not really sure why this small coincidence matters.
Katherine 7th Oct 2021, 9:41 PM edit delete reply
wow...I did not actually expect an author reply to my random musings!

the plot reason for Emily makes a lot of sense, and I definitely get the explanation for Rain

it wasn't that it bothered me as much as I thought I was...I dunno, "on to something", like there was some big hidden reason for an event that to me is unusual, but now it just sounds dumb xD

anyways, the comic, thanks for replying!
Discoh 6th Oct 2021, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
Well, that was a bit sooner than I expected. Agreed that it's definitely just better to get it over with, though.
I'm interested to see what this new chapter will be about. Lots of interesting developments!
Rep_Melior 7th Oct 2021, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
Didn't one of the earlier comics have Fara mention the siblings coming over for Rain's birthday? It'd be nice to have some closure with Jessica and Kellen. I suspect "name change" means Rain's legal name, and perhaps Rain's mother left inheritance for Rain to collect at age 18? And I can't imagine the comic ending without some form of closure with Rain's father. Perhaps the inheritance or the siblings leads into that?
Neelix 7th Oct 2021, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
The name change and inheritance and how they are tied in to Rain's birthday were discussed here:
TK-Dragon 7th Oct 2021, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
It was stated earlier that Rains mother left inheritance for her at 18, but it was under the name "Ryan" which is why Rain didnt change her legal name sooner.
Absentia 7th Oct 2021, 2:27 AM edit delete reply
is... is Rain gonna have to dress as a boy for the inheritence thing? because i really hope not for her sake.
TK-Dragon 7th Oct 2021, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
Well I think like at prom, she got in with her dead name and nobody suspected a thing. I'd imagine since it is a gender neutral name, they may not care.
Absentia 9th Oct 2021, 4:12 AM edit delete reply
idk ,it depends on the wording of the will. it may be more than jsut Ryan, it might say "Ryan my son" or bring up some point that it's meant to go to a son.
Phrown 8th Oct 2021, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
Well I didn’t expect the baby this early.

Funny enough I skipped Wednesday’s page because I didn’t want to see just a cover and wait two more days to start the story.
Tokuben 8th Oct 2021, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
Allison (not that one) 8th Oct 2021, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
The topic of "the miracle of birth" reminds me of something:

Has Rain saved and stored some of her sperm? Is she planning to? I'm not sure at what point in HRT this becomes no longer possible (I've heard conflicting claims), but the sooner the better, I assume.

Assuming Rain and Emily stay together, they might want another child, and that would give them the option of having one without an (outside) sperm donor.

I realize that it's not the same as Rain bearing her own child from her own (so far, non-existent) uterus, but at least that child would be her own (and Emily's) biological child.
Some Ed 8th Oct 2021, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Part of the reason for the conflicting claim is that different people are different. It does not happen at the same time in the process for everyone. Not everyone recognizes this.
Simp 8th Oct 2021, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
yey :D
arkathenia 8th Oct 2021, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
Omg, Emily finally had her baby! This is so great! <3 ^^
Cassie the Transbian 18th Jan 2022, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Okay then. Spoke too soon lol!!
Guest 19th Jan 2022, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Sooo… am I the only one who noticed the pan flag candles
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