Sunday, July 15, 2012

Adjusted Age.

One confusing part about having a preemie is the 'adjusted age'.  Really it is straight forward, your child has their biological age or true age (the age from their birth) and your child has their adjusted age which is their biological/true age minus number of weeks they were born premature.  An example would be when Kate was six months old or 24 weeks old, I would subtract 15 weeks for her prematurity (born at 25 weeks which is 15 weeks from 40 weeks) and thus her adjusted age would have been 19 weeks.  I guess it is a little confusing but, you get really used to it.

The main reason to have an adjusted age is to allow the child a window for adjustment for their prematurity.  So development wise it evens the playing field a bit so that a child isn't expected to do things just because they were forced out a bit early.  Some people don't adjust their child's age, though I think the more premature your child is the more the adjustment is needed.

The other parts though confuse other people and maybe don't have the most straight forward answers.  Like,  when do you stop adjusting?  Do all premature children need to have their age adjusted?  What birthday do you celebrate (I think that one is stupid, she only has one birthday).  I personally think that any baby born before 37 weeks should be adjusted.  I think that the majority of children won't need to be adjusted for longer than 2 years, but that some might need adjustment until much later.  I feel that even though many children may not need adjustment past 2 years, there probably is a subset that does.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately because being the 'worry wart' mother I have my eyes on both of my children.  I really watched Kate's milestones, as have a squad of doctors and follow up clinics.  Now I have a child that really doesn't have anyone watching her milestone (unless she really drops off the normal range).  I am also trying hard not to compare the two but, its downright impossible.

Kate hit most of her milestone at an appropriate adjusted age range.  There were things that I knew were a little different, but since she was my only child I didn't really know any different.  Now I have this full term baby, who is doing great.  She has been growing very well.  She reaches for toys, babbles, follows people around the room, sits with assistance.  But, I am still waiting and watching.  She seems to have absolutely no interest in motion.  She just seems to want to lay there squawking.

With Kate, the milestones have gotten more confusing.  Because of her sister, I realize how different she is in certain situations. Especially when it comes to food.  I don't know if this is because of her premature birth or is it just her personality.   Because that is what I see with her sister.  I don't think her sister isn't rolling because of a premature issue or a developmental problem.  I think that she isn't rolling because she isn't that into it, she really likes to yell, babble and squeal.  Who can roll when they can't stop talking long enough.

I know I haven't done a great job with this topic, but its because it is complicated.  Simple to make their age adjusted or not.  Much more complicated to get through it all as a parent of two different sisters.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

3 year old Sweetness.

 Being 3 most be tough, because they sure do have a lot of emotional and ups and downs.  They are learning and changing so fast, that it must leave their little minds and bodies a bit crazed.  Furthermore, who likes to be told what to do every two minutes but unfortunately as a parent I am left telling her what to do on a pretty regular basis.

I love this crazy 3 year old though.  I love that while we were taking these pretty picture of her playing dress up, she had an entire chocolate chip cookie in her cheek.  So that even in gorgeous afternoon light, all in pink she looks like a funny loop sided chipmunk.  My funny loop sided chipmunk.
 I love that she ran to me today when I got home from the gym, and didn't complain that I had gone but instead said, "Lets hug and kiss."  That after bath, and every night before bed she insists that mom cuddles with her.  And as I lay there exhausted she talks about all the things of the day and all the things of tomorrow but also insists that I make bear sounds before I leave.

I love that when company left today, she said, "Good Bye, thanks for having a garage sale."  We hadn't had a garage sale or even talked about a garage sale.  I love that she will also randomly say things like, "Anything for the job.", "I love you and sealions too.", and "I am JOGGING, like momma."
I love that on a busy stressful weekend, she told her dad to get me a new kitchen at Lowes today. With his understandable refusal to get me a new kitchen, she instead picked me out a pretty purple flower pot. And at the end of the night she told me how much she loved me.

The days are long and grinding with a toddler but, boy the laughs and love just can't be beat.  I know that there will be days when she is a teenager, that I just wish she would say some of these wonderful things so for now I just savor them.