Two years ago I spent four anxious days in the hospital with my seven week old baby who was admitted with Bronchiolitis caused by RSV. She was having trouble breathing and her doctor told us she needed constant monitoring to make sure she didn’t just stop breathing in her sleep, and that respiratory specialists would give her breathing treatments and suction to try to clear her airways. I know plenty of young babies end up hospitalized for RSV during this time of year and I was sure she was getting good treatment, but it was still a pretty horrible experience.
When you head to the hospital for something exciting, like the birth of a new baby, you always bring your camera along, but I certainly didn’t grab mine on the way to this hospital visit. However, after a few days of traveling back and forth to visit me and our daughter and then going home to take care of our other kids, my husband brought my camera in. It was a rough night – the baby had hardly slept, which meant I hadn’t slept at all, and she didn’t seem to be improving as quickly as we were hoping. The last thing on my mind was taking photos.
Finally, when it looked likely that our little girl would be discharged, I snapped a few quick photos. They weren’t great–some were overexposed and most of them just showed the general medical mess in the room, but they documented details from our visit. Once we were home I was able to use them on a scrapbook page about our experience.
You’d think that having your seven week old baby in the hospital would be an experience you’d just want to forget, but I actually love having this scrapbook page. It reminds me of the extra time I got to spend with her when she was so tiny and helpless. The moral of the story? Take photos even during difficult experiences – you’ll almost always be glad you did.
A few final tips for using less than stellar photos on your scrapbook layouts:
1. Crop photos close to eliminate distractions (like I did on the photo of the monitor).
2. Convert very busy photos to b&w – it helps calms down the feel of the photos and ensures see the details instead of just the busy colors.
3. Don’t hesitate to use additional photos that weren’t taken the same day – the photo of my daughter was actually taken after we got home, but it works well on the layout with photos taken at the hospital.
Thanks everyone. Here’s hoping spring comes soon and ends the RSV season for another year!