New Years is a very interesting time. I never had a due date around this time, but it is fun watching my patients. Those with due dates at the end of December or early January may have a strongly invested interested in when their baby is born. Those wanting December babies often mention the tax benefits, and lets not minimize those benefits for many families. It actually may make a big difference. For those aim for January, there is the delay for starting school, and the advantage of being the “oldest” for many things among their peers (although I understand this varies for different regions – here the cut off is Dec 31/Jan 1 for most school and extracurricular activities.
I had a pleasant mom in my office last week – nearly due with twins. Unfortunately her blood pressure was rising and I discussed and induction. The actual timing was flexible, but essentially I was offering Dec 30, 31 or Jan 1. I had to give this couple plenty of time to discuss, because they really wanted to think about it. I tried to reassure them that it probably didn’t mater, as a first time mom, she was likely going to deliver in 2014 because it often takes awhile to get things going. There is the risk of c-section which would shorten the labour process, or a quick and successful induction with a vaginal delivery for both twins.
Dad then asked me “what happens if the twins are born in different years”. I smiled and responded that although a few twins are born on different days, I though the chance of having twins in different years was lows. Particularly with an epidural, we could probably accommodate having both in the same year. I even wondered if we would fudge the time if it was just a matter of seconds of minutes. After all, its not unusual to have each clock with a different time, so use the one that works best for the parents. I even learned recently you cannot register a baby born at midnight – it has to be 1159 or 1201 because 1200 is not clearly one day or the other. In most twin deliveries, the interval between twins is so small (<5 minutes, although most under 10 minutes) that I would just do what the parents wanted. Anyways, what would be the chance of this happening anyways?
Turns out it did happen in Canada and the United States this (and last) year! These weren’t my twins, but I wondered, with the one twin being born 38 seconds after midnight, did anyone even offer to give the twins the same birth date? Should we? Its a very interesting dilemma, and I am happy that I don’t have to make any of those decisions.
Congratulations to all the moms and babies born in 2013, and may we keep as many safe and happy as possible in 2014!