Simon kind of has two ages. One is based on his birthday, let's call that his real age. The other is based on his due date, which is his adjusted age. From the day he was born we talked about his age differently. First we referred to his gestational age - how many weeks he would be if he were still in my belly. We were also told over and over by doctors and nurses that going forward, for at least the first two years, all developmental milestones and should be based on his adjusted age. Makes sense. It's not like he got a head start - he just spent his 3rd trimester outside rather than inside.
Simon on his due date, May 10, 2010
But when we were finally out in the real world, it became a little complicated. Of course you naturally think of your child's age based on their birth date. But when they're small, 2 1/2 months make a big difference. I did finally start telling strangers his adjusted age - it made it easier than having to explain why he was so small (especially in German).
Because Simon was our first, and he seemed big to us, we didn't really have the perspective of how me must have looked to others. Like when we took him to a Mavericks playoff game when he was only 37 weeks gestational age (that's 3 weeks before his due date).
Now Simon isn't really all that different from a 10 1/2 month old, even though his adjusted age is 8 months. But somehow, I still feel all mixed up about his age. I feel like I'm always going back and forth. Yes, he can start to eat yogurt at 9 months, but he's only 8 months but he's 10 1/2 months.
Also, we have been playing with a lot of babies his age lately, with swim classes and PEKIP, and I see how much he is more like an 8 month old than a 10 1/2 month old. It's not his size, but more subtle developmental phases, like crawling and body control.
Last month he had a check up with a specialist to evaluate his development as a preemie. She was very impressed and said that he was spot on for his (adjusted) age. Our PEKIP instructor has also been impressed by his size and development. These little things help me - the little reassurances. Every mom likes to hear how well their kid is doing. But if you kid wasn't doing well at the start - and is now - it means even more. He's been a fighter from the start.
Check out our Caring Bridge blog we kept while Simon was in the hospital.