Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today is Eric's birthday and Kailey's due date. Here we were expecting to become parents when Eric was closer to 39 (he turns 38 today) and when I was closer to 33 (I turned 32 in May). But, once we made up our minds to become parents, we seem to have been put on some sort of fast track. When we decided to start trying last fall, our expectation was that we'd have a baby by the end of this year. But, instead, we had a baby in April. April!! I know that parenthood isn't something you can plan for through a nice, color-coded chart (as has been my modus operandi in other areas of my life), but this has been a bit ridiculous. We both continue to turn to each other, at least once a week and say, "can you believe all that has happened?" "Can you believe we have a baby already?" And yet, we do. But, chaos aside, all is well and we're doing great, and, most importantly, we know how very lucky we are to have such a beautiful, healthy baby.
Kai will be 8 weeks old tomorrow, but, as of today, she's adjusted to zero. Up until now, the doctors and nurses (and us) have been counting her age by her gestational week (she was a 32 weeker when she was born, and in the hospital during rounds they would say - "Kai is a 32 weeker who is 35 weeks and 1 day" or whatever she was at the moment). But, as of today, she's full term and we start counting her by her adjusted age (and at the moment, she's adjusted to zero. As in, Kai was a 32 weeker who's adjusted age is zero). The adjusted age is a bit confusing, though. She isn't adjusted for everything. For instance, she gets her vaccines based on her real age. But, for most developmental benchmarks, they will use her adjusted age until she is about a year old. But, even within that category, it's a bit of a hodgepodge. She is nearly two months, but doesn't do a lot of what other two month old babies do. But, she is also not like a newborn - she is more active and alert than a brand new baby. So, she's just in a category all her own -- as it should be, really.
I'm still not sure how to handle her two ages when dealing with strangers and their inevitable questions. In the few times we've taken her out recently, we've had several people come up to us and comment on how tiny she is and then, boldly, inform us that she's "brand new". And while I consider 8 weeks to be brand new, I know that when someone says that, they are thinking in days, not weeks. In fact, the other question we get is - "how many days old is she?" For example, when she was at the eye doctor last week, someone came up to her, peered into her carseat and said, "how OLD is she?" and when I said, "7 weeks" she responded, "REALLY? How much does she weigh?". And then, another person, who had been sitting across the waiting room, came over and also said, "did you say she was SEVEN weeks?" I just find these exchanges to be irritating, and I'm not sure there's an easy way to handle inquiries. No matter what, I think there will be more questions. It seems that those people nosy enough to ask one question always have follow-ups. And, ultimately, why do I care? She was a preemie, and a small one at that (for her gestational age), but she's doing great. That's all that really matters.
Happy birthday, Eric! And, happy due date, Kai! It's been a crazy ride so far this year... but, we're doing great.