I was supposed to post on Christmas Day, but I got busy with other things and forgot to get my post ready. So Merry belated Christmas everyone!
When I found I was pregnant last year. I did the math to see when the baby was due. I estimated my due date in the last week of January. I was relieved. When I was younger, I knew too many kids who complained their birthdays were so close to Christmas that people just lumped their birthdays and Christmas together. As a parent, I could also imagine the challenge of paying for Christmas and birthday gifts at the same time and trying to maintain calm with all the excitement of two celebrations so close together.
When we found out we were having twins, our doctor said, “anytime after 32 weeks they could arrive.” So, I did the math again. 32 weeks was the last week of November. So, we could expect babies anytime in December or January. I hoped the babies would arrive in January because I knew that the longer I carried them the better. But, I realized early on this in pregnancy, that everything wasn’t going to go exactly as I planned.
As my pregnancy progressed, my doctor said he thought we should be prepared for a cesarean delivery at about 36 weeks. So, I got out my calendar and I did the math again. That would be the week between Christmas and New Year’s. While there is a certain novelty to having a Christmas baby or two, or a New Year’s baby or two, or one baby born in 2008 and one in 2009, I selfishly didn’t really want to spend my holidays in labour, or in the hospital, or in the NICU with premie babies.
I held my breath, but there were no Christmas babies and no New Year’s babies. It turned out that the girls weren’t in any hurry to arrive. At almost 38 weeks, I had my scheduled cesarean delivery.
So, this was our girls’ first Christmas. They are 11.5 months old. They were old enough to realize something was going on. They enjoyed looking at playing with the decorations on the tree. They played with tried to eat the bows and wrapping paper. They put their toys anything they could reach in to gift bags and took them out again, over and over again.
As I’m putting away the toys and books they got for Christmas, and washing the new outfits they got as gifts, I’m thinking we’ll be doing this all again in less than 2 weeks for their birthdays.
My concerns about having Christmas and birthdays so close together remain. But I also have some new concerns. The girls have lots of new toys and clothes for age/size 12 months. They don’t need anymore outfits this size or toys for this developmental stage. I’ve asked their grandparents, who always buy their grandchildren each a new outfit for Christmas and their birthdays, to buy clothing in the next size up. Hopefully they will get gifts that they won’t outgrow too quickly or overlook with all the excitement.
I’m also concerned that with their birthdays being so close to Christmas, and their being twins, it will be even harder to ensure they both feel recognized as being special and individual children.
Does anyone else have birthdays and Christmas this close together? How do you manage Christmas and birthdays and other celebrations in your families? How to make sure birthdays are special when they are shared?