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We have a whole slew of 13th birthdays in our family.  My brother is a 13th of the month.  My mom, husband and his brother share the same birthday, also a 13th.  My brother has two girls who each are 13th-day-of-the-month kids but in different months. Our son was nearly a 13th.  But that doesn’t count. Also, since moving to Shelton, I’ve met several others who share membership in the 13th club.

Today is October 13th. Our daughter, Ruby, is turning 7.  So we have another 13th in the family.

I love me some patterns and symbolism.  I know traditionally the  number 13 has not been very lucky.  Some hotels actively avoid it by skipping over it altogether, going from the 12th floor to the 14th floor. It always seemed a bit silly to me.  I mean, if you can count, and if you’re staying on the 14th floor, it’s actually the 13th.  Even I can do that math.

Ruby, born a month early via C-section, was a jumbo preemie at 4 lbs. 10 oz.  She kept trying to come earlier.  One time, at 23 weeks, I went to the hospital straight from church.  My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.  They gave me some awful drug to prevent labor.  I felt like I’d drunk an entire pot of coffee, but she stayed put.  Thank God.

Funny thing is, the day before she was born, I’d gone to the doctor.  I had an afternoon appointment instead of a morning appointment.  When I submitted the urine sample, they said I had preeclampsia.  They wanted me to…well…anyhow, keep track of things for a while.  But they said I could have her at any time.  Since by this time, I’d had 4 ultrasounds and a couple of near-births, guess who heard that? Early the next morning, she arrived.

There’s more to this story.  She almost died.  My placenta abrupted (separated from the cervical wall) and I almost bled out.  Ruby would have died if I’d waited at home one more hour.  I almost didn’t go in because I figured they’d just send me home again. Luckily, Jonathon persuaded me to go in. And this time, quietly and carefully, they made sure she was born. I only found out much later that she’d nearly been stillborn.  I was so grateful for the great staff at Portland Providence and Dr. Gibbons, whom I didn’t meet until early that morning.  Turns out she was the best C-section doctor in my particular clinic.  Go figure.

God knew.  And so I say 13, at least from my experience, is not unlucky but very lucky. Look at all the great people born on the 13th. And happy birthday, sweet girl!

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