One of the things that Ive been wanting to do for a while is something special with all of the ‘memorabilia’ from the hospital. Traditionally, things like your hospital bracelet and the baby’s footprints get stored away in a baby book of some sort, but Im not so much a fan of that because I feel like you should be reminded of how hard you worked to get your babe here and honestly, those first few precious days, although sometimes painful, hard and miserable, are really the best.
I researched a few different ways to display such things, and a shadow box turned out to be my favorite option. I got the idea when I was shopping around RH Baby & Child (no surprise there…if I could set up camp and live in their showroom, I totally would) but wasn’t sure I wanted to drop $120 on something that I could find somewhere else for a lot less. I could see spending extra moolah on special things like a crib, yes, but essentially a box not so much and because I know my way around craft stores like AC Moore and Michaels in my sleep, I knew that that would most likely be the best place to pick one up. Sure enough, not only did Michaels have some really pretty ones, but they were 40% off!
Unfortunately, there was some kind of disconnect in communication at the hospital and on our last day we were never given the original footprints that were taken in the recovery room after she was born. Luckily, as a gift we were given the Silverleaf Handprint & Footprint frame from PB Kids (here) and it came with an ink kit to print your own, so I did it when we got home from the hospital and just photocopied the original that I made for the shadowbox. I was thankful for that kit, and the huge stack of heavy duty ecru sheets that came with it because finger and foot printing a newborn is probably the most tedious task Ive ever taken on. I don’t know how those nurses do it every day! Now before you go ahead and notice on your own, Im just going to go ahead and let you know that Quinn was born with ginormous feet (no surprise–I have pretty big feet too. Runs in the fam) and super long fingers. Every one called her Piano Fingers which was cute but I think after the third or fourth week I wanted to throw my shoe at every person who made the “better get her a piano!” comment. Some things just get old and irritating really fast when you’re a recovering and completely exhausted new mom.
So the other night when I was going through her clothes–again–I started pulling all of our hospital memorabilia. I swear someone, my cat probably, is sprinkling magic super-growth dust over Q at night when she sleeps. She grew out of a brand new sleep set in a week. This is why baby clothing companies make serious bank. Pure madness.
One of the things that completely got me falling into a downward emotional spiral was her white hospital gown. A few of my fondest hospital memories included snuggling with her in that gown that was two sizes too big.
Heres a valuable tip for soon to be first time mommas: don’t bring outfits for the baby to wear while you’re in the hospital. Its pointless. They supply you with a few swaddling blankets and long sleeve wraps that button on the side, which makes it easy to change diapers and bond with skin to skin for you, and examine the baby for the nurses. And honestly, who really wants to worry about dressing your baby up when you’ll be focused on much more important things anyways. Like wondering where you left your shame when your nurse is helping you go pee.
Most of the time she didn’t even wear the gown and just stayed wrapped in her faux fur blanket. Whenever she got fussy, we’d strip her down to just her diaper and swaddle her in it, with the fur on the inside and she immediately calmed down, thus making it what we eventually called her ‘Magic Blanket’. The nurses were blown away by it and wanted to know where it came from. It was a gift from PB Kids by a family member, but unfortunately they discontinued them. It goes everywhere with Q.
With my shadow box and pins ready, I got to work. I had to snap a quick picture of Quinn’s hat before I put it in the box. Can you believe she was THAT tiny?!
Im really happy with the way the shadow box came out. I have it hung on the wall where her bookshelf is, right near the door so I can peek at it every time I leave her room. Although the entire hospital experience was really difficult (mostly physically) a reminder like this makes me so so so thankful for Quinn and I would do it all over again in a second.