Max's baby book just arrived in the mail from Shutterfly. I make a family book every year and have a baby book for both of my boys. Whenever a new book arrives, I notice all the imperfections and mistakes I made. I see all of the places where I did not use proper grammar or crop a picture evenly.
But this book was different. I realized that every picture I had placed in this book caused me to remember each day. I felt all of the emotions and experienced the joy that we shared all over again. These feelings might seem very typical or normal to have when looking at your child's first year of life, but for me they are not. When I put Max's book on the shelf with the others I decided to compare his book to Calvin's book. Calvin's was bigger and more detailed--a reminder of all the spare time I had when I just had one child to care for.
But the pages of his book were more like blank pages. For more than half of his book I was either unable to remember the picture or was reminded of the darkness that surrounded much of my thoughts at that time. Calvin was the most handsome little boy; the pictures clearly show this. But I hate the fact that I did not get to enjoy him at that stage of life. I hate that the joy of being a mom to such a sweet baby was robbed from me. I am so thankful for pictures. I am thankful that they do not share the war that was going on in my mind at that time. But how I wish I could go back and change the whole experience. I wish I would have been able to enjoy Calvin like I have been able to enjoy Max.
Thankfully, I have new books made and new photos to remember better times. Calvin will never remember me being depressed when he was little. He will have this book to share with his family one day and will only see the good (and the messy). Even though I haven't suffered from postpartum depression for a few years now, the scars and guilt do not go away. I am so sad that others go through the same dark times that I did when welcoming a new baby into this world.
If you see a friend with a new baby or with her 6th baby, know that even though her picture may read happy, excited, and joyous she may not be feeling all those emotions on the inside. Ask how she is doing.
Do you make baby books or family books? Scrapbook? Photo books? What companies do you like to use?