Help pick my son's birthday
May 23, 2016 9:31 PM   Subscribe

My first child is due around the 25th of June this year. Due to various health-related reasons my wife will be having a C-section for the delivery. Silver lining is we get to pick the day!

Obviously we don't have too much latitude around the expected due date (June 25 +/- a week or two). However since this is right around when school typically ends (Vancouver, Canada) a week or so can make a big difference!

Thoughts so far:
* Elementary school typically ends on June 29th. Parents often take kids on vacation out of town once school is out, leaving theoretical July birthday parties bereft.
* Having to cram for exams on your birthday sucks.
* Canada day is July 1 -- fireworks on your birthday would be awesome.
* Having his 18th birthday (2034) on a Saturday after the last provincial --> June 24 or July 1?
* At some point in the future my son might find and read this very post (waves hi).

So... bearing all of that in mind, please share your thoughts and feedback regarding this decision! Are there any critical factors that we're not thinking of? What would be meaningful to a elementary-school-age kid? To a highschool-age one?
posted by Arandia to Human Relations (40 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was born on the first of the month and it's easier than normal for others to remember my birthday.

That said, I was supposed to have a planned c-section and I didn't have any latitude in scheduling it at all. (And then baby came 4 weeks early anyways.)

Good luck!
posted by vunder at 9:48 PM on May 23, 2016

6/16/16 would be memorable.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:50 PM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

July 1st sounds good. Kiddo can roll his birthday party into the general end-of-school happiness, and then his half-birthday (as most people would calculate it) is the new year!

Full disclosure, that's when my baby was born via a rather less-planned c-section last year. People seem to have an easier-than-average time remembering it, which I can only imagine Canada Day would even more improve, and it's made counting how many months old she is very simple.
posted by teremala at 9:51 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

My birthday is June 18th and I always liked that it was just after our school year ended (in Ohio) and just before it got too hot to have an outdoor party where the ice cream melted immediately. As an adult who has returned to college at 35, I like that I have a few weeks to put my brain back together after finals and then I get to just chill out and enjoy the day.
posted by Merinda at 9:56 PM on May 23, 2016

My nephew loved having fireworks for his July 4th (in America) birthday at six years old, I dont know if there are drawbacks that would become apparent as he got older.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:58 PM on May 23, 2016

partial to later days, golden birthdays are fun to look forward to
posted by rux at 9:58 PM on May 23, 2016

June 21 (+/- 1) is the longest day of the year. Best birthday.
posted by alexei at 9:58 PM on May 23, 2016 [18 favorites]

What do people do for Canada Day? If it is the same "everyone goes to fireworks with family or friends and maybe a picnic" as it is in the US, it might be hard to find friends to hang out with on that day, if they're all doing something with their families.
posted by azalea_chant at 10:06 PM on May 23, 2016 [8 favorites]

In considering the answers, your wife should remember that by June, she is likely going to have strong wishes that this date be more towards the "-" side than the "+" side!! (I'd personally pick June 11th right now for that reason alone!) But I'm not a 'pregnancy is glorious' person.

So... if you're going to choose a date after the calculated due date, it would be important to have a very very good reason to do so.

And although I like the idea of choosing an auspicious date, just remember that there are many factors that dictate when a C section will happen, even one that you think is going to be scheduled for a certain date may happen earlier for a whole panoply of reasons. So don't sew it onto baby Arandia's commemorative birth cross-stitch yet. :-)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:20 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

NOT FATHER'S DAY. If you get it where it's unlikely to ever fall on Father's Day (don't look at me, I'm not doing the math!), that'd be nice. I have two friends in that situation, and although they both kinda dig that it's usually near or on the summer solstice, it means the family may have problems making sure both people get their celebrations. (And not to be morbid, but after Dad dies, the kid winds up having a sad birthday.)

Best wishes for your family! And really, kid will still be OK even if they wind up entering the world right smack on Father's Day, or making an unannounced arrival on a slightly different day than you two pick.
posted by wintersweet at 10:35 PM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Go with June 25-- his birthday will be halfway between Christmasses!
posted by TrarNoir at 10:46 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'd avoid national holidays. That stops being fun when you get older. (And will your doctor want that schedule anyway?) Otherwise... do what makes most sense for your wife.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:52 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the feedback so far everyone!

Good point re. Father's day, wintersweet. 3rd Sunday in June means it cycles between the 15th and the 21st. Definitely something to avoid...

Canada Day is ~= to July 4th in the States, although not with much of a family component to it (at least for us). BBQs, beaches, fireworks, friends. As far as national holidays go it's definitely one of the better ones to be born on.

Of course I'm sure there are plenty of things that might throw these plans off, Dr's schedules and wife's health both included. We're definitely treating this as a date to push for (heh, sorry) than anything we've got our heart set on.
posted by Arandia at 10:59 PM on May 23, 2016

June 18: birthday of Keye Luke, 1904. Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.
June 19: birthday of Blaise Pascal, 1623. The comic strip Garfield debuts, 1978.
June 20: birthday of Anne Murray, 1945. Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone system in Hamilton, Ontario, 1877.
June 21: birthday of Siméon Denis Poisson, 1781. Halifax is founded, 1749.
June 22: birthday of Graham Greene, 1952. Charon is discovered, 1978.
June 23: birthday of Oda Nobunaga, 1534. The Vancouver Island earthquake, Canada's largest onland earthquake, strikes at 10:15 AM, 1946.
June 24: birthday of Fred Hoyle, 1915. First-ever performance of O Canada, 1880.
June 25: birthday of Willard Quine, 1908. Stravinsky premieres The Firebird in Paris, 1910.
June 26: birthday of Mark McKinney, 1959. Madagascar gains independence from France, 1960.
June 27: birthday of Emma Goldman, 1869. The Canadian Citizenship Act is passed, 1946.
June 28: birthday of Reubens, 1577. Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone, 1846.
June 29: birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1900. Jacques Cartier reaches Prince Edward Island, 1534.
June 30: birthday of Joseph Hooker, 1817. The first leap second is added to UTC, 1972.
July 1: birthday of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646. I will avoid the obvious and instead go with Lexell's Comet passing closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history, 1770.
July 2: birthday of Harriet Brooks, the first Canadian woman nuclear physicist, 1876. Guglielmo Marconi obtains a patent for radio, 1897.
posted by Mrs. Davros at 12:56 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have a 4/14/14-er and would have loved a 6/16/16-er but he was born in March instead. That or a solstice birthday, June 21st!
posted by lydhre at 1:16 AM on May 24, 2016

My birthday is 1 July and I looooved looking for fireworks stands, fireworks in general, and basically doing a double 4th (I'm American) of hot dogs and homemade ice cream and whatnot. It's also a good excuse to see school friends for the first summer visit - you can do invites the last week of school and then it was fun to see them when you hadn't in a few weeks (our school year ended earlier).

I don't think that many people turn around and leave for vacation (or summer camp) that quickly!

Keep in mind that I'm a Cancer, and my sister born 21 June is a Gemini. She likes having her birthday on solstice, but I think I have more fun (Father's Day doesn't come into it for us).
posted by jrobin276 at 3:32 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

* Canada day is July 1 -- fireworks on your birthday would be awesome.

As a Canadian born right around then, who is living in Ottawa: theoretically awesome, probably was awesome when I was a kid, but practically speaking means no one is there for your birthday because everyone's doing Canada Day celebrations, or recovering from Canada Day celebrations.

I stopped trying to do the 'birthday thing' at age 12 because I could never get people to show. My fiance is currently trying to do it for me, but it doesn't quite work.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:52 AM on May 24, 2016 [10 favorites]

My birthday is always around Labor Day in the US - it's the big end-of-summer BBQ holiday and it was almost impossible to have parties close to my birthday because my friends' parents had plans. Nobody's going to change their Labor Day / Canada Day plans for a kid's birthday party. (And even less so for an adult's birthday party.)

I don't know how driver's licensing works where you are, but it's always fun to go get your learner's permit/license on your birthday. Unless the offices are closed because it's a national holiday. (sad trombone)

Go with June 25. A last day of school birthday sounds fun!
posted by kimberussell at 4:08 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

6/28 is Tau Day!
posted by hwyengr at 4:13 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

June 27 in 2026 and 2027 are both Saturdays. His 10th birthday and 21st birthday should both be on a Sat. That seems important.
It makes it so he may still get to celebrate birthday and get cupcakes at school some years, yet still have a summer birthday. Very festive and hot weather fun possible.
posted by ReluctantViking at 4:42 AM on May 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Our doctor did not allow us to push our scheduled c-section a few days earlier onto Back To The Future Day, as my stepson requested. Oh well.

What I came here to say, though, is that as we were deciding this question ourselves, I kept coming across recent research about health benefits for babies staying in even that extra week from 37 weeks to 38. If that's the week you get to choose about, this may be something to consider.
posted by wyzewoman at 5:46 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My birthday is June 11. It was fun when I was in early elementary school, when my birthday was on or near the last day of school (my first-grade birthday was on the exact last day of school, and it felt like a grand party, just for me!), but when I hit late elementary school, the end of the school year shifted up, toward Memorial Day.

Suddenly, nobody could come to my birthdays, because by then, summer had kicked in, and people were traveling, off at grandma's, or camp, or whatever, and it was hard to get my friends together for any sort of party. I remember being a really sad kiddo for a couple of years, trying to have a party that nobody could get to.

Then, I hit middle school, high school, and adulthood, when it got easier again. As a tween/teen my parents would let me pick a friend or two and hit a park, the beach, ice skating, whatever--some kind of adventure instead of a party for the whole class, which was doable since there was no school getting in the way. And as an adult, my birthday's my favorite part of summer, a chance to go out and have some summer fun before the dog days set in and nobody wants to do anything.

So basically, I think near-ish the end of the school year is best in terms of getting to have typical childhood fun (after the end of the school year shifted up, I never had my birthday acknowledged at school, or a class party or anything, which is really sad when you're seven), but having things fall on a holiday, Father's Day or Canada Day, make it tough to have typical kid parties.

Canada Day would be way more fun than Father's Day, but ideally, I think I'd like it to be between the two--maybe June 30th instead--all of the fun fireworks and the anticipation, but less busy than the day-of the holiday itself. Having Canada Day as an after party for your kiddo's birthday sounds like a great idea.
posted by PearlRose at 6:23 AM on May 24, 2016

My birthday often falls on Father's Day, and my Grandpa's birthday was the day after mine. When I was a kid, I would get really excited about years where my birthday was Saturday, because it meant that I would have a birthday party on my actual birthday with my friends, and I'd have a family birthday/father's day party the next day with my family. I'm now estranged from my father and my Grandpa is dead -- but I still love that my birthday is near Father's Day. It's a nice time to remember my Grandpa and celebrate the father figures in my life, and to remember the connections we all have because of my birthday. It doesn't make me sad at all. I'm female, if that makes a difference. I imagine that the Father's day/birthday dynamic might feel different for a man, since he might one day be a father.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:39 AM on May 24, 2016

While the fireworks would be fun; as a kid you'd never have a birthday party on your birthday. Even the families who don't zoom off on holiday when school lets out are likely to be doing something else on the long weekend. Making it for the last day in June has a similar drawback but it also means that as a teenager/adult you likely have a day off work to recover from whatever transpires at your party.

ReluctantViking: " His 10th birthday and 21st birthday should both be on a Sat. That seems important."

Note that your 21st birthday isn't anything special in Canada.
posted by Mitheral at 7:50 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

My birthday is July 10; where I grew up, that placed it right at the start of the summer holidays, and I loved that. Even though it meant that I'd sometimes have early parties (or very small ones), having my birthday off from school every year was awesome. Celebrating my birthday in school would have felt like a punishment to me.
posted by littlegreen at 7:52 AM on May 24, 2016

Is there a family birthday in there you could duplicate? A grandparent might enjoy/feel honored if you chose to have Arandia Junior born on their birthday.

Otherwise, I do like 6/16/16; or June 18, Napoleon's defeat as Mrs. Davros showed. Not so much Canada Day though; it can indeed be tough being born on a major holiday, as I know all to well from my own birthday.
posted by easily confused at 8:01 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you're at all absent minded, make it something easy to remember. My second kiddo was born (coincidentally) on 11/12/13 and it makes things so much easier when filling out forms and whatnot.

Is your wife's doctor really going to allow her to go past her due date for a planned c-section? Usually they don't like to take the risk of going into spontaneous labor so typically the date is scheduled between 38-40 weeks, which gives you a slightly narrower window to work with.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:23 AM on May 24, 2016

You want to keep that baby in as long as possible, to at least 39 weeks, unless there are health reasons to go earlier. There are definite, major health benefits for the baby to not doing early elective deliveries, unless, of course, they are medically indicated. Early is defined as before 39 weeks, and elective is defined as for non-medical reasons. Many facilities will no longer deliver prior to 39 weeks unless it is medically indicated. (However, if baby decides to come on their own at 38 weeks, outcomes are better than if they are induced for, say, convenience, at 38 weeks.) That said, if your wife needs to have a scheduled c-section they may want to aim to do it within the 39th week to try to do it before the due date, especially if they want it done before she's likely to go into labor. Although first babies are generally late. It depends probably on why they need to do the section - if it's okay for her to go into labor, but for some reason she won't be able to push the baby out, I expect they'd allow/want you to pick a later date. (This topic is within my field of professional expertise but I am not a doctor or midwife.)

All that said, I myself would pick June 21. Solstice baby! That would be cool. And it's close enough to your due date that it should be within week 39.
posted by john_snow at 8:48 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

oh - I will add - the 39 weeks thing is a US quality guideline - so while I assume the recommendations in Canada are the same, they may not be. Medically, of course, the research would hold, but I don't know about what your practice guidelines are.
posted by john_snow at 8:52 AM on May 24, 2016

To add the dark arts to the mix, I'm an astrologer and often get asked to schedule C-sections, both to assist with a good outcome of the surgery, and for the baby to have a fortunate birth horoscope. This year, I'd wait until July 1 or later (there are some challenging configurations at the end of June - avoid the somewhat nasty planetary weather that will coincide with the Brexit vote baked into the kid's chart). July 4th has a number of auspicious planetary aspects - this is important, because it is both good for the outcome of the surgery and for your baby's birth horoscope! July 9th is quite outstanding as well, and could be good for the baby's vitality and wealth later in life.
posted by Atrahasis at 10:20 AM on May 24, 2016

Canada Day is a bad idea. One of our kids' birthdays is on memorial day weekend, and it sucks because it makes having a birthday party nearly impossible, due to scheduling conflicts with friends usually traveling or just having other plans.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 10:22 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Two of our kids were scheduled inductions, and we based the day/time based on the Dr.'s advice regarding when the maternity ward was least busy, and would have the most/preferred specialists available, in case they were needed.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 10:26 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Canada day is July 1 -- fireworks on your birthday would be awesome.

Being born on or near a holiday means that most of your friends already have plans for the weekend and thus you give up on having birthday parties or doing anything special.

Source: I'm an American born on July 3rd, married to another American born on November 26th. Our birthdays are pretty lame.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:52 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My brother's birthday is mid-July and as a result birthdays were rarely with any kids from his class (we were often camping then), so anything in mid-June might be better when they are young.
posted by furtive at 12:33 PM on May 24, 2016

I'd go with June 18-25. Your kid is only going to write Provincials a few times and they might not even be on that day. July 1 is an expensive time to be booking hotels and hard to get picnic spaces and restaurant bookings and other things in later life. People are out of town and it's hard to schedule a party. All the Vancouver waterparks are open by June and you can have a water fight at the beach or whatever. If it's before the long weekend and before the last day of school, people should be around. DOn't choose Father's Day weekend.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 3:14 PM on May 24, 2016

6/25 is opposite Xmas, so birthday and Xmas divide the year exactly in half.
posted by Capri at 3:31 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My birthday is June 21, and it is fantastic. When we were little, my twin sister and I did not get the 'length of SUNLIGHT' per se, and firmly believed we had more actual birthday than anyone else. Also, everyone thinks it's the beginning of summer (because of the solstice being on or adjacent) and it makes an easy birthday to remember.
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 3:41 PM on May 24, 2016

My birthday often falls on/around Memorial Day and I actually love it because I'm always guaranteed a long weekend right around my birthday. I am less party-oriented than many people, though.
posted by bookdragoness at 4:34 PM on May 24, 2016

Health of mom and baby is the priority, but if the doc says any date within those 10-14 days is good here's a few possibilities to consider:

June 16 is Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place, so that’s a good day if you’re literary-type parents.

June 18 is Paul McCartney’s birthday (and my daughter’s) so a good if you’re musician-type parents. (you can check each day in your range for musical and other birthdays)

If you have an astrological preference - if you’re child is born within the weeks before June 21, it will be a Taurus. The sun goes into Gemini on June 21 this year so if you prefer a Gemini, after the 21st is best.

Summer Solstice seems like an auspicious date. It falls between June 20-22. For 2016 the solstice is on June 20.
posted by mulcahy at 7:36 PM on May 24, 2016

We had an extremely successful wedding on Canada Day. Not everybody could make it due to travel plans. However, everybody else is looking for an excuse to party. If you are willing to go big on Canada Day every year (picnic with beer for the parents, swim party, etc before the fireworks), you too can have awesome parties.
posted by crazycanuck at 11:10 PM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

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