November Birthdays

November is an explosion of niece and nephew birthdays around here. Of our eleven, six have birthdays in November and one has his in December.

It’s my favorite kind of insanity because A) I think birthdays are the best and B) I love to pick fun presents for kids.

Gift giving/receiving is my love language, yo. I even had it tested, so that is legit. Anyway, as the gift giver in this house I get SO EXCITED TO BUY ALL THE PRESENTS and Cortney looks at the budget and just says to me, “don’t go too crazy, mmkay?”

But November is also weird for me. Both of my miscarried babies were due in November.

Today we were at a birthday party for Cortney’s sisters youngest who are turning two and four. Eddie is the oldest cousin on that side of the family by two years. He tells me that he often feels like a giant (he is tall, but also I know it’s because he’s the oldest). I fleetingly wonder “what would this scene look like with one of those other babies here? If the first pregnancy had worked out, I would have a ten year old this year! If the second had worked out, a nine-year old.

But then would we have Eddie? If we did, would he be the baby instead of the oldest? Would we not have Charlie and Alice?

I don’t know. I don’t like thinking about it, and usually I turn off my thoughts as soon as that last one enters because my heart won’t even let me imagine a world without Charlie or Alice.

We are told that God knows everything about us even as we are “knit together in [our] mother’s womb[s].”  Are each of us here on purpose? Is the opposite of that then, those who didn’t make it, not here…on purpose?

Once a friend told me that maybe Eddie just took three tries to get here. That all three were Eddie in some way. Honestly, I don’t know what to believe. Sometimes I think of them as babies in heaven so Cortney’s dad can take care of them and have grandkids. Sometimes I don’t think of them as babies at all, but just as lumps of cells that quit developing.

The first one was a blighted ovum, so it helps me to think that maybe something was  wrong and my body was like, “STOP! This isn’t right!” The second one was most definitely because my body doesn’t make enough progesterone (maybe the first one was too? Hard to tell since it ended so quickly, but my uterus didn’t get the memo). When we figured it out and my pregnancy with Eddie “stuck,” we found out when I went into labor that my body isn’t shaped right to birth babies. Not only do I have a tilted uterus, but rather than widen, my parts that are supposed to push the baby out stay narrow straight through.

Also, I apparently grow giants.

So all my babies were born via C-section.

Maybe my body knew that and tried to stop me from having babies, but I did it anyway.

I don’t know, this month brings up weird thoughts for me every year.

November is wonderful and weird all at the same time.

It makes me nostalgic for a time I never even lived.

It reminds me how sure we are in our decision to be complete, and yet brings me back to a time before we had even gotten started.

Photo by Erin Barkel Photography

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