Most of you don’t know this, but I am a scrapbooker. I even have a little blog about the subject. It was thus a foregone conclusion that I would be documenting my pregnancy with photos, words and pretty scrapbook supplies.
I set out (as in just days of my positive pregnancy test) with a lofty goal of creating a vibrant album full of my daily thoughts and feelings on pregnancy coupled with photos of my growing bump. Then reality set in. I was pregnant on top of my other responsibilities in life and I needed to find a simple way to record this special time.
The first decision was the easiest, and came about organically. I am a firm believer in the truth that your best camera is the one you have with you. For me, this is always my iPhone. I love my regular camera, but it’s big. I would miss out on so many little moments if I relied on having it with me.
My iPhone quickly became my go-to memory keeping instrument for pregnancy, particularly because of the vintage effects and easy-as-pie sharing ability of Instagram. Instagram images are only 612×612 pixels (about 2”x2” printed), but perfect for creating a slice-of-life feeling for my photos.
I love to write, but am not a natural journaler. I find blank bound books mojo-killing rather than an open canvas of opportunity. (I think I have perfectionism issues with my handwriting.) Twitter has helped change that for me, allowing me to record a moment in 140 characters.
Similarly, Google Docs has made it easy to quickly save more extensive, private thoughts. The first thing I did after seeing the positive test (and calling my husband) was open a new Google Doc to capture the moment.
I like to scrapbook both in the traditional way (with paper, scissors and glue) and digitally using Photoshop Elements on my computer. Because digital scrapbooking can save time, money and mess, it was a logical step to create digital pages from my stories of this exhausting, busy period.
Digital scrapbook pages can be printed using a photo printer (at home or sent out to a lab) and are just like large format photos, just with other things going on. I created a basic set of page designs sized appropriate for Instagram photos with areas for short soundbites (from Twitter) as well as longer memories (from Google Docs).
My pregnancy scrapbook has around 20 pages in total, but here are three examples. If you are familiar with Photoshop / Photoshop Elements, I also created a layered template for my project.
Thoughts on the Process
It turned out that pregnancy was yet another reason to find no-fuss strategies for scrapbooking. Life can be so hectic sometimes that memory keeping can quickly drop to the bottom of the priority list. Through time-saving approaches (in this case, many of them technology/Internet-related), I was able to make my pregnancy scrapbook a reality.
Jennifer Wilson provides solutions for stress-free memory keeping at Simple Scrapper. She also writes 31 and Pregnant, a column about navigating first-time pregnancy in Champaign-Urbana.