pregnancy and baby keepsakes

I'm very much a person who likes to keep things for sentimental value. Deciding what I wanted to keep for Johanna's baby box was a really tough decision. There are just some things that I believe you should hold onto. When I became pregnant my Mother gave me my baby box and it was full of stuff I didn't even know she had! Things that were 30 years old were in that box including the outfit I wore home from the hospital when I was born, my sonogram pictures and even greeting cards from all of my first holidays. I honestly had no clue my Mother had that stuff until I was pregnant. It was actually a lot of fun comparing my sonogram pictures with Johanna's sonogram pictures. Let's just say they were done a lot different 30 years ago. It was emotional to look at all of that stuff and the smell of the clothes was amazing. They smelt like old historical books that you find in the library.

Being that this was my first pregnancy I wanted to capture every single moment of it. I feel like I did a lot of stuff to keep up with my growing bump and capture it over the months. A good friend of mine bought me a “bump book” which I absolutely love. The book allows you to write down things such as notes from doctors visits, specific cravings, feelings about your pregnancy, etc. It also allows you to put pictures in from each week to show your bump. I also did a maternity photoshoot and a black and white shoot for myself which I pictured above. I got the idea from pinterest. I'm sure you already know pinterest is full of good ideas but keep in mind it won't be the exact same thing you see on pinterest. Lastly, a friend of mine took some “sexy” photos of me just because I really loved the way I felt and looked and I wanted to capture it on film. I did a lot right? I don't regret any of it even though keeping up got a bit stressful. I'm so glad I captured everything that I did.

Now, when it comes to Johanna's baby box, I am still unsure of the items I really want to keep for her. So far, I have purchased a beautiful box that says “the world laughs with flowers.” I've kept the outfit that she came home from the hospital in (my plan was to put her in the outfit that I wore but she was too small), her hospital hat and swaddle blanket, her first rosary, her baptism certificate, the sports bra that I wore when I delivered her (there is a backstory behind that), a plaque that my Aunt got for her that has meaning for her baptism and will have even more meaning on her wedding day, pictures from her newborn photo shoot and her “first year book” which is made by the same company that made the “bump book.” I will picture the items that can be purchased on the “Johanna's favorite items page.”

The first year book really allows you to capture a lot of things that are extremely sentimental. You're able to write notes about your baby for each month until they are a year old and put a picture in the book of them from each month. You can also write down the dates for milestones such as smiling for the first time, their first tooth, their first words, etc. There is another section that is dedicated to their birth story where you can write about the day they were born and statistics like weight and height. This book is amazing and really easy to keep up with. I've taped her hospital bracelets, flowers we got the day she was born, her announcement card, her baptism invitation, our first Christmas card and her birth card that you get in the hospital in the book. There are specific pages for these things!

Another thing that my Mother did for me that I am doing for Johanna is making a photo album of actual pictures. I was gifted a beautiful photo album for my baby shower which I'm using to put pictures in month to month and soon year to year. I feel like this is so sentimental because there is just something special about having a physical picture rather than a digital disc or file of pictures. My baby book is full of pictures and I love the fact that they were kept in a photo album for so long. I think this is something that Johanna will appreciate later in life. I know I do! To save some money, I use shutterfly to order pictures a few months at a time. You can order an unlimited amount for free as long as you create an account. There is a charge for shipping and handling but it's much cheaper this way!

How do you Mama's feel about keeping a baby box for your babes? When Johanna has her own child, I will do the same thing my Mom did for me and give her the box. I love the idea of holding on to something that is full of love and good memories just to pass it along later. Do any of you Mama's have some ideas about what else to keep in the box?! I'd love to hear!

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