Today is the one year anniversary of my original due date. Alexa was supposed to be a year old today. I thought I would be having more of a mini panic attack about it since it’s still a scar on my psyche.
Last year we celebrated the day with a One Monty Party/Due Date Party to introduce Alexa to our friends and some family who hadn’t met her yet. I was a mess. Even though she was a little over 2 months old already, she had only been home with us for a month (hence the 30 Day Party portion). It was bizarre to have known her for 10 weeks already, when I should have been pushing her out sometime that weekend.
This year there will be no party. There will be no publicized celebration. People are tired of hearing me talk about her corrected age. Family members have commented that she’s the baby with “5 birthdays” (though I guess it’s 3…real, day she came home from NICU, due date). We don’t try to include people in on those days…other than a mention on FB or Twitter. We try to keep things low key, because even though the dates are meaningful to us…most others think it’s annoying to keep drawing attention to the fact that she was a preemie.
I guess the annoyance comes from the fact that she’s never been sick. Yes, she was born too early, but she never suffered. She wasn’t hooked to a million machines. She didn’t struggle for her first breath. She didn’t have to undergo painful procedures….only to come home with lingering, sometimes lifelong, issues from the preterm birth. She’s always been healthy…just small. She’s always hovered somewhere between her real and corrected age when we speak in terms of her development. There have been no delays. We have been truly lucky. She has been amazing.
The thing is, I’m still hurting. I lost something, and no one wants to hear about that. People want me to “just get over it”. People want me to accept her real birthday (I have), and to stop explaining how old she is.
Now that Alexa is one year – adjusted – I will no longer talk about her real vs corrected age. Not in public anyway. Not on here, either, most likely. I just don’t feel like anyone wants to hear about it.
I’ve spent the last year (real AND adjusted) at home with an amazing little girl who brightens my day with her smile and makes me believe that life really is worth living. I am lucky, she is perfect, I will “get over it”, or at least I’ll pretend to.