Sunday, May 22, 2016

'This Tough Time' | Scrapbook Layout

Hi everyone! I'm back today to share a scrapbook layout I made using a mixture of the Ali Edwards 'Tough' and 'Wild' Story Kits. It documents the tough couple of days surrounding our son JJ's birth. To sum things up quickly, I had a very normal and healthy pregnancy, and was a week overdue, so was sent for a fetal assessment. Things didn't go well at the assessment - we found out that the baby's head was full of fluid. They dealt us the worst possible news, telling us it was unlikely the baby would make it though childbirth, or if it did, it wouldn't survive long after that. Heartbreaking news. By far the toughest day of my life, to date. Skipping ahead, JJ was born about 18 hours later, and things seemed pretty normal. He made it though childbirth - then they said maybe he would be alive hours, or maybe days, or even weeks. But the prognosis still wasn't great. It was a very tough couple of days, but finally about 3 days later (after an MRI) we got the great news that things were not what they thought, and that JJ would definitely be with us for the long haul. And now 4 years later, he is still proving everyone wrong with how amazing he is doing. This is definitely the condensed version of the story - so much went on in that time between the fetal assessment and his birth, and then between his birth and when we found out things would be ok. So many thoughts and emotions. And even since then - we've still had to go through a lot with him.

This was always a story I wanted to document, and wasn't quite sure how, but this Tough Story Kit was perfect. The sentiments noting that sometimes, life is just hard - but also the encouraging sentiments, telling us we can do hard things. There are still more stories surrounding this whole situation that I'd like to tell, but this is the jist of it. I did a baby album for JJ (a 12x12 Project Life album documenting the first year of his life), and obviously touched on a lot of this stuff, but I'm glad I could finally get it all out in a little more detail with this page.

So, let's finally take a look at the spread!


The colours of the Tough and Wild Story Kits went so well together, that I used pieces of both, and created some of my own patterned paper with some of the digital brushes from the kits.



I obviously had a lot of journaling I wanted to do for this story, and wasn't sure how to include it all, plus add a few pictures and some products, to pretty it up. I ended up making a little flip-up page.


Since I had about 2 pages of writing, I then needed something to go on the back of the top page (or I could have just left it white), but I decided to make my own patterned paper out of a bunch of the digital brushes included in the Digital Story Kit. I just attached the two journaling pages together with a strip of washi, as a 'hinge'.


I added a little tab, with the "I am:strong" stamps from the Tough Story Stamp, to act as a little page lifter.



I just love that "I can do hard things" stamp. More than anything, this situation made me realize how true that sentiment is. Granted... I know how lucky we are that this situation has turned out as well as it has. What we are dealing with now is nowhere near what we were originally told, so I always feel like we got off so easy. But there was a time we didn't know things would turn out like this, and those days were hard. I am still incredibly proud of how well we handled the situation, even when we were expecting the worst.



Since I didn't include a picture of it, this is what the second page of journaling says:

"Not long after that they moved me up to a labour room on the high-risk ward. Our families and a few close friends came to visit before they induced me. As expected, it was a quiet and sad affair. Not only due to the total shock of such unexpected news - but there was SO much excitement for this baby. It was the first baby for both sides of the families. Everyone felt robbed I think. Everything really started sinking in - this was the lowest point of the whole ordeal for me. I felt no hope. I was mentally detaching myself from this baby. I felt like I didn’t want to know anything about it if it didn’t survive birth. I didn’t want to become attached to something that I wouldn’t be able to keep.

They induced me around 8PM, and at 7:41am on April 21, 2012, our precious JJ was born. My labour and delivery were actually relatively ‘easy’. My nurses were all so amazing, and Dr. Boroditsky ended up delivering JJ. From that perspective, at least, everything had gone exactly as well as I could have hoped for. My baby was born alive, and he was actually doing well. The talk of him living turned from hours, to maybe days, to maybe months. The next few hours and days were filled with worry, and tears, and questions, but as we know now, almost 4 years later, everything has turned out the best it possibly could. What exactly happened is still unclear, but what we do know is that JJ has congenital hydrocephalus (which is a buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain at birth). When he was a month old, he had surgery to have a shunt put in, which now treats his hydrocephalus. Due to some damage that happened to his brain, the right side of his body is weaker than his left (mostly his arm/hand) and he has some vision issues. But all in all, he has turned out amazingly. We call him our miracle baby. I mean, I know all babies are kind of miracles, but he feels even more so, just because according to what they told us in that fetal assessment, he wasn’t even supposed to be here. And he is a healthy, thriving little boy, that brings joy to so many people. His therapists and doctors are always amazed by how well he is doing. They say his ‘story’ on paper (in hospital records and notes) doesn’t match up to how awesome he is doing. Maybe that is why it is easy for me to look back on this horrible day, and not feel that horrible about it anymore. Because I know that everything, somehow, turned out wonderfully. I mean, I know that’s definitely part of it - it’s easy to move past it when all’s well that ends well. But I am still very impressed with how well Jason and I handled the situation, before we knew that things would be OK. We were as positive as we could be, and were really there for each other. I don’t think I ever would have imagined that I would’ve dealt with it as well as I did. This was the toughest thing that life had thrown at me (and still is, to date). It taught me that I can do hard things."

Once again, I'm so thankful to Ali, and the wonderful product and education she provides, so we can get these stories told. As you can probably tell from this blog (I almost exclusively use Ali Edwards product), I am a huge fan, and after years of 'thinking about' scrapbooking, taking a few classes from her has finally got me actually doing it. I'm so glad to be getting these things documented.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by :) 




8 comments:

  1. You did a great job documenting a tough story. I have plans to use it to tell the many tough stories of my son with special needs.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Yes, this kit is perfect for getting out all those 'real life' stories. Good luck with your pages :)

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  2. you are amazing. thanks for sharing your story, so inspiring! and love the beautiful layout you used to capture it.

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    1. Awww, thanks so much for your kind words, Kate :)

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  3. Great layout! I was thinking of using the kit to document my son's tough start too! Might have to scraplift a few ideas....

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  4. Wow, thanks for sharing. So glad to hear he's doing well. I have a friend whose now 16-year-old had the same condition (found as a toddler, I think) and he's now in a rock band and perfectly healthy ;)

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    1. Thanks, Anandi. Yes, sometimes until things like this happen to you, you don't realize other people's stories. A lady I worked with for YEARS has a son with the same condition (he'd had it since birth, and is now a teenager as well), and I'd had no clue about it until we were going through the same thing!

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