The birth of your baby is something you will likely remember for the rest of your life. But there are a few things you can do to help remember it more clearly. Having keepsakes from your time at the hospital or birth center will help bring back specific memories vividly years later.
The easiest keepsakes are pictures. Take photos of the hospital or birth center entrance, the entrance to the Labor and Delivery ward, the room you deliver in and your recovery room, take pictures of the clock—when you were admitted and when the baby was born (HINT: you can take these photos at the same time of day the next day if you forget to in the moment!), and pictures of the baby station with your baby’s weight on it. These are the basic pictures you can take; there are many others you can take to capture the moment including photos of you in labor with your partner supporting you. Make sure you talk with your partner or doula about which photos are important to you, so they can be sure to capture them.
Some women make a memory box or shadow box of items from the hospital. If you are considering doing this, you will want to think about saving your and your baby’s hospital wristbands (years later you wont believe how small they are!), a baby blanket, and the baby hat or bow. If you bring in extra paper (this can be plain paper or special paper) the nurses are typically happy to give you an extra set or two of your baby’s feet prints. Some hospitals even offer special commemorative feet prints, but make sure you ask about it! You can even make a mold of your baby’s hands and/or feet.
Another keepsake to consider is a placenta print. This is when you use watercolor paper to make a print of your placenta. This can be done with the blood from the placenta, or the placenta can be rinsed off and painted with food coloring to make a colored print—or both. Many women will arrange the umbilical cord to spell out a word, their baby’s name, or a heart or other shape. Using food coloring allows the placenta to still be used for encapsulation if you are looking to do this. Some women even have someone dehydrate the umbilical cord to save it for their memory box.
If your baby ends up spending time in the NICU, make sure to take pictures to capture this time. You may not think so now, but you will likely want to look back on your baby’s first days later down the road, even if it doesn’t feel like something you will want to remember.
What keepsakes did you save from the birth of your baby?
Next I will be blogging on the letter L… L is for Labor Room.