Whats in a due date? Timing is a funny thing, because today I read this post from straight shooting, funny and real Mia at Cigarettes & Calpol. The post is about due dates, and the impact they have, specifically for her in her current pregnancy. Today a poster from the Birth Poster Company arrived, which was an illustration of a 1:1 scale of Intrepid bebe at birth. Today is 11th February, and today was her due date.
It’s the date you are asked at every appointment, I would’ve been asked when i was due several times a day, due to the nature of seeing lots of clients in a day, mostly female, so we naturally discussed it a lot. My Mum was due to fly over from England, and whilst I was hoping she would be there for the birth, I was keen for her not to be hanging around whilst I was overdue and bad tempered (it is currently hitting the mid forties in our old home town, Feb is not a great month to be pregnant). Because of course all first babies are late aren’t they?
I imagine, as with all things, the significance of a due date can have a varying significance after the baby is born. From those who could barely tell you the exact due date, because it’s just not relevant when their child’s birthday is celebrated a week earlier or later. To those who will forever have that date etched on their heart because their angel baby wasn’t with them to share that date.
Then there’s premmies.
In their first two years of their life, you are constantly talking about actual age, and corrected age. Their developmental milestones, growth, physical development and nutritional needs are based on their corrected age, which means you are often counting back, and working out what ages they “should” be
It’s not an irrelevant date, because had they arrived on that date, a lot of pain, and heartache may never have manifested.
The first time you see their due date come and go, often premature babies are still in hospital, so it’s a strange day. We were home shortly before her due date, and I was surprised that the day hit me quite hard, when I had anticipated it wouldn’t mean anything as we were finally home.
The following year, she had just taken her first steps, she was well, albeit tiny, and whilst the day didn’t go unnoticed, it didn’t have the same impact.
Today is the third time 11/2 has rolled around with it’s new found meaning. She is now past the age of two, and was recently discharged from the Paediatric Consultant, so corrected age doesn’t mean much to us anymore. Whilst it certainly still means more than the tenth or the twelfth of Feb, it doesn’t mark the milestone it did. Hopefully thats a good sign that we live far more in the now these days.