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.
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
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.
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.
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.