May 30, 2014

Scrapbooking Infertility and/or IVF Journeys

Here's the thing about scrapbooking... most of it is about showcasing happiness and contentment. I've fallen victim to this too in the past - it's easier to put on your rose-tinted glasses and write/create about what makes life great.

But what about the aspects of life that aren't so great? In my personal case, I'm talking about loss, infertility and IVF. Back when we were trying to conceive Rowan, I didn't include our infertility journey in any of my scrapbooking. I kept this blog (private at the time) as a place to get out all of my feelings about the process, and in my eventual pregnancy album made a single page where I chronicled the path we took to where we ended up:

(click image to see more detail)
In reality, the journey to conceive a child could have very much been a separate album. It might not have been the most positive album in parts, and over time I've learnt
THAT IT'S OKAY. Not everything has to be rosy (and let's face it, whose life is 100% perfect all the time?). When I create a layout, I think about whether it's more as an outlet to get something off my chest (and therefore more private and probably won't make it into a printed album, much like a private blog post doesn't make it into the public blogosphere), or something I want to record and remember. In the case of the IVF cycle that Rowan was conceived in, I have blogging from this page, but nothing printed into an album - and I'm okay with that. It ended positively and we had a happy ending as far as conception, pregnancy and birth was concerned.

But as for this time around? Things haven't been so rosy. We're on our fourth FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer), I've been in hospital for day surgeries and there have been plenty of tears.

This year I have been digitally scrapbooking in both a 'traditional' 12x12 format as well as pocket-scrapping (ie, 'Project Life'), and chosen to scrap our fertility journey in the interest of remaining honest. Let's face it, IVF has been a big part of 2014 and by leaving it out I feel as though I'm missing telling a big part of our family's story.

Here are some of the ways that I have documented our struggles to conceive during 2014 so far (click each image to see more detail) :

As for digital scrapbooking supplies out there that are infertility-themed, there aren't many (most of the ones I've found are terribly dated and not worth mentioning). But what has worked for me has been pulling journaling cards from different kits and making them work, as well as using kits for other than their intended purpose (ie, off-theme).

I hope that anyone reading this has found some inspiration and/or ideas for documenting their own fertility journey. I am hoping that reading back on my scrapbooks in the years to come this story has a happy ending, but at the very least I am glad I have documented it.

1 comment:

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