Ivy Jean – 3 Months

February 16, 2017

I cannot believe our sweet Ivy Jean is three months old today. She is our littlest love and greatest gift. If you are a newer reader, you can find more about our infertility journey and her birth story on my about page. Part of the reader survey revealed you all would like more personal/mom/lifestyle posts, so I thought I would share a little 3 month update on life with our sweet girl. Keep in mind, she arrived 6 weeks early. At 13 weeks of age, her gestational age is only 7 weeks.

Parenting is simultaneously the best and hardest thing I have ever done. It has exceeded my expectations in all ways. I have felt love stronger and faster than I imagined possible, been humbled more quickly and thoroughly than I care to admit, eaten my words more than a time or two, come face to face with the ugliness of my own impatience and selfishness, and more. As much in life, Ivy was never a guarantee for us. I have moments where I just marvel and thank God over and over for her life. I also have moments where I really miss not smelling like spit up. Just keeping it real. Being her mom is such a privilege.

3 months 8

 

Schedule

Russ and I have loosely followed Baby Wise which has been really helpful for us. Creatures of habit doing this whole parenting thing for the first time, it helped us know what to expect and gave us a framework for our days. After spending time in the NICU, we also came home on an autopilot of sorts from our routine there. In the beginning, Ivy was so little we fed her every 2.5-3 hours like clockwork waking her up if she was sleeping. At 6 weeks we went longer stretches at night before transitioning to our current schedule. Below is of course our ideal schedule. Naps don’t always happen, feeding times adjust based on hunger, etc. We are not so rigid that we won’t throw the schedule out the window if she needs something different. I will say, this has worked so well for us. It helps me know how to anticipate her needs, know what might be wrong if she is upset, and know roughly how our day will go.

  • 5-5:30 am – Our day starts with the first feeding. She usually goes right back down and sleeps until 8.
  • 8 am – second feeding, wake time, nap
  • 11 – third feeding, wake time, nap
  • 1:30 pm – fourth feeding, wake time, nap
  • 4:00 – fifth feeding, wake time, nap
  • 7:00 – sixth feeding, wake time, nap
  • 9:30-10 – seventh and last feeding then bed for the night

 

Feeding

As we anticipated Ivy’s arrival, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I didn’t know how hard it would be. I ended up having a personal issue I won’t go into here, but it made breastfeeding very painful. After struggling through for 12 weeks, Ivy is now exclusively bottle feeding with a combination of formula/breast milk before transiting to full formula.

 

Essentials

I’m not sure I am really far enough in or feel qualified enough to share any products I think are must-haves that other moms wouldn’t be better qualified to share. I will say, the woombie swaddle has been something we really love and use all the time. It’s a zipper swaddle that makes things so easy in the middle of the night. She is also rarely in clothes like this (like never). We opt for easy zip up onesies.

 

Highs and Lows

There are too many highs to name! In recent days, Ivy Jean has started cooing and grinning (just a little), and it is simply the best ever. It’s really almost comical how excited it makes Russ and me. The hardest part has been that Ivy has acid reflux. She spits up all the time. We hate seeing her in pain, and it makes feedings difficult. It does seem to have gotten better with time, and she is on some medicine. I also go back to work next week. It’s neither a high or low, just something I am anticipating. I think it will be a good balance for me to be able to work part-time, and I am grateful I have the opportunity and flexibility to do it.

 

Thoughts

I have good and bad days. Days where I feel like I’ve got this mom thing and days where I feel like a total failure. I have been surprised at how connected my emotions are to how she does. Russ and I are going on our first real date night this weekend thanks to my parents. We’ve each snuck out while the other watches her. We also grabbed coffee once while his parents where here, but this will be our first true dinner date. I’m looking forward to it!

In regards to parenting and this post, my only thoughts are that every situation is different, every woman is different, and every baby is different. I sure never thought I’d go through IVF and then have a preemie baby. This mom thing is hard enough as it is. We all need to support each other regardless of how we feed, schedule, diaper, (insert anything else here), our babies. I have appreciated your love and support in this journey more than you know.

  • ADA

    I have read this post previously but didn’t have the chance to comment. I appreciate posts like this and your honesty more than you know. I loved writing monthly updates like these, when Vivian was a baby. And now I am so behind on even recapping her last birthday (which was almost 2 months ago). Ivy Jean is absolutely gorgeous and precious. Love her Valentine’s outfit so much. Like you though, I kept Vivian mostly in onesies and bodysuits, definitely wanted her to be warm and comfortable since she was also a Winter baby.

    I agree with you that no two experiences are the same, no two moms are the same and no two babies are the same even if they may be identical twins. Just do what fits and works best for you personally, emotionally, physically and with your schedule. There is really no formula as long as you take good care of them and shower them with love. =)

    P.S. Sorry for such a long comment.

  • I’ve been so behind on my blog reading that I missed this update post, but I’m so glad you’re sharing updates! Ivy is a doll 🙂 I can relate to pretty much everything you said here–being a mom is pretty much the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best. And breastfeeding is SO hard… I’m jealous of people who can just pop their baby on their boob and go… it never worked out like that for me. But you know, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter–breast, bottle, formula, whatever… it doesn’t matter to the baby, they’re happy no matter what! I just have to tell myself that when I feel down about not being able to breastfeed either. Glad to hear that you’ve had good luck with Babywise too, that’s what I’ve followed (also loosely) for both kiddos too and I feel like it has worked well. Anyway, thanks for sharing this update, she is such a cutie!!

    • ADA

      Shea, you are such a wonderful mom too. I breastfed Vivian till after she turned two. Late I know but I always had a lot of milk and her pediatrician said that it had a lot of the good vitamins, protein and the nutrition that is necessary, too. The down-side to this is that getting the child off the breast is very very hard (literally). To this day Vivian is still very attached to me physically and loves laying and falling asleep on me and resting her head and hands on my chest. I think that formula or natural breast-milk doesn’t matter as long as the child gets their feedings and are happy!

  • Lady B

    I remember coming across your blog about a year ago and you were sharing your infertility story and I loved how brave and honest you were. Stories like yours so need to be told so we as women don’t feel so alone when we are not brimming with erm, fertility or have issues which can make you feel like the odd one out. Especially when your friends around you are sneezing and producing babies.
    I’m sooo happy that it all worked for you and your hubby in the end and you had a baby guuuurl. Soooo Cooote- ooooh the future outfits!!!!
    Belated congratulations to all of you. ( :
    http://myfashionslashlife.com/

  • beautygirl24

    She’s absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy for you! Thank you for this post – it’s both informative and real, and I always appreciate that!

  • I can’t believe she is 3 months old already, times goes by so fast. She is just so gorgeous!

    Camila,
    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

  • Jacqueline Rendine

    Thanks for sharing this update! She is just adorable!
    xo,
    Jacqueline
    Stylin In St. Louis

  • Lippie 143

    this is too much of cuteness.
    lippie143.blogspot.com

  • Caitlin

    She is precious!

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour