Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Corrected Age

I've had some questions about corrected age versus birth age.  And, interestingly enough, it came up yesterday at the developmental clinic.  I wrote a post about it on our RLC blog, but I wanted to share an excerpt here, as to the importance of CA, even though we dont often use the term because of Bobby and Maya's developmental/birth age.

Because we have been so blessed with good health and no developmental delays, we dont adjust their ages for prematurity.  The state assessors that came told us that, developmentally, we didnt need to, and our pediatrician has told us that based on their sizes (they began life outside the womb at 2lbs13oz and 2lbs5oz, respectively, and are now almost 17lbs and 12lbs) and the passing of milestones on par with full term babies, it was unnecessary.  So we tend to "forget" corrected age.

But something that the NICU doctor we were talking to yesterday said really struck a cord in us.  In spite of their developmental ages and sizes being on par with 40 week babies, the clinic will always assess them via corrected age.  Because they are the brain age of a 361 day old baby.  Or, when you subtract 266 days for a full term pregnancy, the age of a 95 days-outside-the-womb baby: a 3 month old.  

It may not be initially clear, but this NICU doctor said what those of us in the pro-life community have been saying for years.  The womb matters.  Life in the womb matters.  It makes a difference.  A huge one.  As any preemie parent can tell you, watching your baby in the "mechanical womb" of the NICU is a life-altering experience.  By the grace of God, we are blessed with children that did just as well- or maybe even better- outside of my womb, as they did in it.  But their age- their "true" age- the age that the specialists weigh them against- is 361 days.  Their 174 days in the womb and (as of yesterday) their 187 days out of it.  


Lea said...

Very interesting indeed, Michelle. Thank you for sharing. I often wonder why Maddie's age is corrected... she is doing so well. Now I have another perspective.

Devon said...

our pediatrician doesn't assess our girls on adjusted/corrected age either, they are always measured against term babies.

at our high risk clinic they are assessed to their corrected age! we use both around here and i do find that my babies tend to stuff right on time with their corrected age...

and yes, time in the womb DOES matter!

Catherine W said...

I'm still correcting! Like Devon, I find that J tends to do stuff in line with her corrected age. She didn't walk until 15 months (but 11 months corrected) and, at nearly 19 months, she still isn't talking (worry, worry) but it doesn't seem so bad when I think of her as 15 months!

I just wish I had been able to give my girls that extra time in the womb.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You don't have to approve both messages if you get them. It said there was a error. I found this to be very interesting. I hadn't thought about brain age. You were blessed with Bobby & Maya being so healthy and strong.