Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Delivery and Due Date Celebrations - Actual Age Versus Adjusted Age

Some doctors projected that Emily would be born one year ago today. Others suggested that she would be born on March 31, 2013.

It was not an April Fool's joke.  The project due dates were wrong. Emily entered the world three months early, arriving in early January.

Although Emily's chronological, or actual age is 15 months old, her adjusted age is 12 months old.  This means that we get to celebrate two birthdays!

When strangers make small talk and inquire about Emily's age, we often hesitate -- not knowing if it's best to provide her actual or adjusted age. We typically answer with Emily's chronological age and then follow-up by briefly by explaining that she was birth three months early.  That's why she doesn't look as old as she really is. 

Although we would have liked for Emily to stay in the womb a little longer, she made her debut when I could no longer offer her a suitable environment. Some may say that she was born too early, but I think she came into the world when it was just right for her. 

When Emily was delivered, she still looked very fetus-like. She was perfectly formed with skin so thin you could practically see right through it. Watching her grow in special medical beds,such as a giraffe and an isolette, was an incredible experience. Having her at home, being full-time parents, and watching her grow and change has been even more extraordinary.

Today, Emily looks like a very small toddler. She's crawling like a high-speed train;babbling like a motor boat; exploring every nook and cranny of the house; and busy tormenting our shih-Tzu-poodle, Bentley.
Since Emily's actual first birthday, she has made some incredible milestones.  For example, she:
  • Sat up by herself. 
  • Climbed stairs by herself.
  • Clapped two blocks together.
  • Slept part of the night on her tummy.
  • Started to pull herself up on furniture. 
  • Started to couch surf. 
  • Started to push furniture while taking a few steps. 
  • Started to say something that sounds like, "baby."
We are very blessed.


  1. Glad she is doing good. The adjusted age is very important for milestones

  2. Thanks so much for the note, Tara Pittman. You're so right -- Knowing your preemie's adjusted age and chronological age is critical, especially when tracking developmental milestones!

  3. I am glad to hear she is doing so well! My son was born 7 weeks early and I often struggled when people inquire as to his age. He is 4 now and is still quite tiny. It only took 2 years though for him to be able to do things that most children born at full gestation can do!

  4. Hi, Ashley! Thanks so much for your note. It's so nice to meet another preemie mom. We all need to stick together! I'm glad that you're son is doing well now. It's funny. The more places I go, the more preemies and preemie moms I meet. Just last night, we went shopping for formula and ran into another preemie in one of the shopping aisles. There are miracles all around us. We just have to open our eyes to see them!