August 26, 2019. 31 days old.
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were getting ready to leave the hospital and head home for the first time as a family of THREE. We didn’t have to say it, but it was evident that both Jason and I were nervous wrecks and terrified of leaving behind round the clock care and comfort of knowledgeable nurses and doctors. As we were driving home, I sat in the back with Vesna as she put on her big girl face, looking out the window curiously and gripping my finger as to say “mama, don’t worry, everything is going to be a okay”.
The first week was a complete blur. I breastfed for what it seemed like every hour or two, day and night as Jason spoon fed me (the hunger was real!). We had daily visits from friends, family, a lactation nurse, about a bazillion diaper changes and her first outing to the pediatrician. Even the smallest things like hearing the nurse call out “Vesna” made my heart tingle and seeing it written on the white board outside the room. At her appointment, she was 10.3 pounds, gaining more than a pound since being discharged from the hospital a few days earlier and was still at 98th percentile in terms of size and height. One of our friends even said, “she looks like an actual baby” – our little chunker! As she was being measured on the scale, she may have pooped twice all over the scale and the nurse’s paperwork.
Meanwhile, my body was still healing and my stomach felt heavy for the longest time. Changing positions in bed was the hardest since it felt like my guts were being moved around completely and it was hard not to feel self conscious of my weird looking belly when out in public. We attempted our first walk with a stroller on day 2 (even though a friend firmly warned me not to even attempt to leave the house the first week) and made it as far as 20 feet with a crying baby, barking dog and me freaking out. Needless to say we turned around quickly and went back inside hoping the neighbors missed the whole fiasco.
Following our first disastrous attempt of an outing, we became more comfortable and in the first month, Vesna made numerous outings to parks, downtown strolls, lunch outings, her first two big parties, one even with a DJ and of course Target, all of which she slept right through.
We were lucky enough to have Jason at home for the first 3 weeks, which felt like pure happiness. We slept in, which was followed by cuddles in bed with Vesna and then a long breakfast as we stared at our girl still in disbelief. We went on long walks and talked about the future and even made a dream board/goals list for the next two years. Now, I see what people mean when they say having a child completely changes your outlook on life. It really does feel like life has just now only begun.
On August 21st, I celebrated my first birthday as a mom and I can say that this year I received the best birthday present: Vesna and the gift of being her mom. This birthday looked a lot different, but it was the happiest and most fulfilled I’ve been. As my aunt said: “Za svoj rodjendan sama sebi si darovala najljepsi poklon, predivnu Vesnu.”
Fast forward from day 1 to day 31, our big girl is now sleeping at times up to 4 hours at night, although her first developmental leap has thrown some curve balls at us as she wants to be held more than usual. The bouncy ball is her favorite and we have spent countless hours bouncing her to sleep. Her neck is also getting stronger and she is becoming more aware of us and her surroundings. My heart just melts when she smiles at us first thing in the morning. As for me, my stomach is almost completely back to normal and I have my 6-week visit this week to hopefully get cleared for getting back to my normal routine and getting back to the gym. Can’t wait to see what the next month brings!
Below are some photos that capture our first month with our Vesna.