9 months. Holy moly. You are a marvel, Ivy Jean. Some days I feel like my heart could burst over you. It seems 3 months have sped by since I last wrote an update on you. You have changed so much, so quickly. I have absolutely loved these last couple of months with you. You are FUN. Your dad and I look at each other almost daily and say, “What did we do before her?” You make us laugh, you make us think, you humble us, you teach us, you make us lay ourselves down. Basically all the good stuff in life. We are so thankful you are ours and we are yours. I’m including the 9 months photos I took of you as well as some other snaps we’ve taken since your last update.
I’m not sure why, but the 3 month marks seem big to this mama who wanted for you for so long. My thoughts are jumbled and messy today as I sit to write this. There are so many things I want you to know that I fear I will do a poor job remembering, communicating, or teaching you about God, myself and your daddy, and the world. It’s scary out there and yet so beautiful. I’m so flawed and yet I love you so much. People are broken and also have a great capacity for good. I hope you see and know both.
All day on the 16th I felt sappy over the grace of God to give me the title of mother. After walking through infertility, and your preemie birth and subsequent complications, the beginning was harder than I anticipated. Part of the early days are now foggy almost. Even looking back at your 6 month update, I remember that feedings still look close to an hour. I’m so grateful for the documentation of your life in black and white because I see the strides and can give glory to God. You are so HEALTHY. You are thriving. There is no more fog, only joy.
Your Baptism (7 Months)
We love seeing you learn and discover the world. At nine months you are 16 pounds 12 ounces. A whopping 42% percentile adjusted for her preemie status. You are 26.5 inches tall, 36% percentile. I have no doubt that you will grow into that height, and I will teach you to appreciate it like I’ve come to appreciate mine. You have 2.5 teeth now. Two on the bottom and a third starting to peek through on the top. You started to sit up right around 8 months, and over the last month have totally solidified that skill.
You’ve just started to figure out crawling. It’s pretty hysterical because you turn all around in a circle, back up, and then make small amounts of forward progress in an army crawl like motion. I think once you get the legs in coordination, there will be no stopping you. You are a mover. It’s a wonder your dad and I do not have crazy muscles by now from wrangling you or that you haven’t fallen off the changing pad. Lord help us. Once you start walking, I think we will be in a constant state of pursuit. You are much more independent now, and it’s simultaneously liberating and heartbreaking for this mama.
You take bottles like a normal baby now. A moment of silence, please. There were days I never thought I’d type that. You also love “solids” though we haven’t moved much past purees. I’m pretty sure you have a texture issue, something I blame your dad for. I try to give you cut up pieces of fruit, steamed veggies, beans, oatmeal etc. and for the most part you are not having it. I trust it will come in time. You love peanut butter (you are my daughter!) and yogurt. Puffs and Cheerios are also favorites, and I think your high chair might be one of your favorite places.
We love you, Ivy Jean Arnold. A fact I hope you always know to your very core.