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.

1 comment:

  1. OH I struggled with this a lot and still do. When Aidan was a lot smaller I freaked out because I didn't think he was doing things "on time" and then I freaked out because I didn't know what "on time" was. Elisa was like Kate and did things (other than sitting and crawling) well in the appropriate adjusted age time frame. Aidan had no interest in sitting, until recently, but he could physically do it. He chose not to do it. Same with crawling, I think he's going to bypass it. He wants to move too much but in a faster way and loves to be upright but hates being on the floor.

    I think it's only natural to compare. Yes, both children are radically different and would still be so even if one hadn't been a micropreemie and one a termie. I still think I'd have a tendency to go, Elisa did this at this point and Aidan at this point even if she hadn't been 11 weeks early.

    You are doing great mama. And I wrote a book.