So here it is. March.
March has stolen two children from us. The first, in 2004, was a very early miscarriage (my second). Thomas followed in March 2005.
It's known for its winds, is March, but for me it's a harbinger of sorrow. This month isn't sometime I endure, it's something I survive. It holds unfathomably horrible memories for me and the turn of the calendar brings them rushing back in a cruel torrent.
And if that makes me sound like a drama queen, then so be it. As I said, I can't and won't apologize for this hell and what it does to me.
I remember sitting on the couch crying three years ago after my body quickly and quietly rejected our second child. I was sure I'd never be able to carry a baby and would never be able to give My Beloved the family we'd been dreaming of. I felt more empty and broken than I'd ever felt in my entire life.
Until a year later when I lay numbly on that same couch recovering from the physical effects of a traumatic c-section and its complications. I hadn't even begun to heal emotionally.
By then I'd lost three children. And still had yet to bury the last.
So if I'm "brooding" or seem distant or not myself for a while, this is why.
The enormity of my losses - three souls, three desperately loved and wanted children - still takes it toll on me. And it always will. This isn't something you "get over", it's something you struggle with for the rest of your life.
It's just that March makes it so much worse.
It's agonizing trying to think of ways to celebrate the birthday of a child who isn't here. Last year we spent the day on a good deed mission, and we'll do the same this year. After there will be a quiet lunch out and cake when we get home, and the closeness between the two people who suffered the same loss and who take solace from knowing there is someone else who understands and never judges.
But do you see? There should be a toddler - a little boy with a big smile and cake all over his face - giving sticky hugs and ripping into brightly wrapped packages. There should be goodnight stories and night time kisses and wishes for a happy year ahead. There should be a little family in this house.
But instead there's just us trying not to think too much about what we lost and trying to find ways to make it better.
I've lost my baby and that baby would be a toddler now. It's like losing him all over again. Baby, toddler, boy, teenager, man. Eventually I will lose them all.
And this is March.