Whoa! It’s been a minute! It seems the holidays have really gotten us off our blogging game, or whatever game it is we are trying to play! So, I think it’s fitting that as we are here, on the Eve of the Eve,to fire things back up.
This date has a lot of meaning in our house. The obvious being that is almost the last day of the year, but not quite. A time we often start cleaning out the house of clutter, and start planning our goals for the next year. Trust me, the tree is down and the lights are gone, and it has never felt so good (I’m hanging on to the buffalo plaid for a while, since it’s winter, and they still feel cozy to me!). I always love a clean slate. Something always feels so refreshing as you take down the clutter and vacuum up the pine needles!
The not so obvious meaning in our house is today, December 30th is our little guy Owen’s, corrected first birthday. I know what your thinking, Megan, Owen turned one back in September! Yes, he did. But this is the date on which he should have turned one. This was his due date. The date that for most of 2017, we looked forward too.
Since Owen was born prematurely, his due date was kind of our guide to when we could expect him to come home. All we ever heard, was generally, he’ll be here until at least his due date. So last year as the date drew near, we were excited and nervous all the same. What would we do without a doctor or nurse right around the corner. Are we sure he would be OK?
We had just hit about 99 days in the NICU on his due date. Of course the day came and went, and while we were close to graduation, we still had a few more hurdles. With all of the holidays around the end of the year, it was hard to get his full team on the same schedule, so we basically had wait until after the first of the year. We had finally gotten all of our “events” under control, and were eating everything by mouth. We sailed past the car seat test, and basically just needed to have an easy 24 hours before discharge. We were set to leave just 6 days after our due date.
So while Owen has been one since September, we are still tracking everything he does in milestone land based on this date. His “corrected” age. It often has been very confusing trying to keep up with both dates. For most people that we know we always tell his actual age, but sometimes for strangers we use his corrected date. It’s just easier that way. No follow up questions about how small he is, or what is he doing right now? Or the whole preemie explanation thing. Forget about telling people both ages, it’s as if their head is about to explode most times.
I know how it must look. Like I’m a mom that doesn’t know how old my child is. I definitely can be seen doing the math in my head. But usually I’m just debating about which age to tell you! The worst is when my husband and I give different answers! Then we look like we have no clue what is going on with our child!
While we had the big party in September, today still marks a big day in our family. And a big milestone for Owen. We’ve now made it one year, corrected or uncorrected. Before, I always still felt I had my little baby for a few more months. Now, no matter what age I look at, I have a one year old.
It has been quite the year. Learning to navigate as a preemie mom is not the easiest thing to do. There have been the weekly doctor appointments, the explanations of ROP, early intervention, ambulance rides, and returning back to work. Constantly feeling like I’m giving everything, and giving nothing all at the same time. The feeling that I don’t and never will fit in with my other mom friends. Constantly wondering if I am doing enough.
Even though I have doubts and fears, one of the things I am truly grateful over this last year is not taking one moment for granted. Each milestone we have passed is cause for celebration. Whether we are on the curve, below it, or above it, makes no difference. We got there. So if it’s weird to celebrate two birthdays, than so be it. This date will always hold a special place in my heart.