November is National Prematurity Awareness Month - what? - never heard of that? It's ok, lots of people haven't, but if your one of more than half a million families who give birth to a premature baby every year (that's 1 in 8 babies each year!), you know what a nightmare premature birth can be. And once you've got that precious preemie in your hands, you know has a scrapbooker, what a huge task you have ahead of you.
A few notes: I always find it easier, when scrapping a subject that is hard for me to scrap, that using a sketch or page design which forces me to crop the pictures tight makes me focus on the important part of the photos. If it's an emotional layout keeping your layout simple and your journaling sincere will really help out.
Scrapbooking for parents of preemies can be almost theraputic. And it's important too. You might not want to remember those difficult early months, but your baby surely will. Below are just a few examples of ways to remember your precious preemie in the pages of a scrapbook....
Journaling - Keep a NICU journal where you can jot down your thoughts day to day, how your feeling, your baby's ups and downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly of your NICU experience. You can also choose to write letters in your journal - letters to your preemie or letters to God, whatever you choose is ok, most important here is just to get your feelings on paper.
NICU baby books (some hospitals with supply these to a family).
Photos and Video
Scrapbooking - Ask your local March of Dimes Chapter if scrapbooking classes are offered at a hospital near you.
A baby diaper in the size your child wore in the NICU.
Blood pressure cuff
Pictures of Primary Nurses or Doctors
Pictures of Milestones
Song Lyrics or Poems that hold special meaning.
Sadly, it doesn't always turn out well. But there are ways you can pay memorial to your Angel Baby too. You can...
Scrapbook your pregnancy memories. Did the baby kick? Was the baby restless? Did he or she have lots of hiccups? Did you prepare a special nursery? Did you buy a special item or toy for baby? All of these things can become a part of a special memorial scrapbook.
Hand or footprints taken at the hospital.
A special outfit baby wore.
Cards or flowers you recieved while in the hospital.
The blanket you baby was wrapped in.
Notes to your baby.
Music, poems, or song lyrics that hold special meaning.
Memorial Service photos.
Anniversary Date memories. Something that you do to remember your child.
There are many, many factors that play a part in whether or not your baby could be a preemie, some you can fix, some you can't. What you can do is watch for the warning signs of Premature Labor and if you have any questions call your doctor immediately (that's what they are there for!)....
Contractions every 10 minutes or more often.
Change in discharge
Low, dull backache
Cramps that feel like mentral cramps
I hope these tips help you create a wonderful scrapbook for your Precious Preemie and Happy Prematurity Awareness Month!