A few weeks ago my daughter and I went on an outing with a few friends. As we toured some of the favorite spots in Boston, I snapped many–probably hundreds, if I’m honest– pictures of my daughter. When in doubt, I always take the picture, or 100. My friend laughed, “She is going to have the most well-documented childhood.”
Yes, yes she will. In a lot of ways, that is by design. We waited a long time for this precious girl, and we celebrate every moment with her. Not every moment gets a photograph, but many do.
Here are my top five reasons to take a million pictures of your rainbow baby:
1. To celebrate and document the big moments.
Some day, I’ll make a scrapbook for my daughter. Her brother has a scrapbook, and it’s one of our most precious treasures. Right now I’m too busy to put together the scrapbook, but I make sure to get photos of the big moments so I have them for the scrapbook.Birth. Meeting people for the first time. Christening. Birthdays. First smile. First foods. First steps. All the firsts.
We also love going through these with our daughter. She loves seeing her baby photos and seeing herself with all of the people she loves.
2. To celebrate and document the beauty in the mundane.
I had intended to take those monthly photos of my daughter during her first year. I had two different sets of Baby’s First Year Milestone photo props, but more months than not I never got around to taking those photos. But, when her first birthday arrived and I was pulling together monthly photos for a display, I still found 13 gorgeous photos to include. And, the candid photos were usually better than the posed monthly photos. They showed not only her physical growth, but also her emerging personality.
Some of my most precious photos, though, come from these little shots of the mundane. My mom took a photo me telling Patrick stories during the short time we had with him in the hospital. Shortly after my daughter was born, she snapped a similar photo of me telling stories to my daughter. Those two photos, side by side, are some of my all-time favorites.
3. To share with family and friends who aren’t nearby so they can celebrate with us.
I take photos throughout the day to share with my husband and her grandparents. If my daughter is using something she was given as a gift, I’ll snap a photo or quick video to send to the person who gave it to her.
Our family and friends are spread across the country, so sharing photos helps them stay in touch and watch her grow. So many people were invested in our loss then pregnancy after loss, and we love sharing our daughter with them now. They grieved with us when Patrick died, and they celebrate with us now as we raise our daughter.
4. To fill our walls.
One thing I need to improve is getting our photos printed, framed, and on the walls of our home. Now, we do still have photos on our walls, but not as many as I’d like and not in frames. We never took down the monthly photos from Stitch’s first birthday that line that hallway in our home. I have grand plans to hang some clusters of framed photos in a few different places in our home.
5. To make sure we have photos to remember by.
I know how fleeting life is, that there are no guarantees. I never want to look back and wish I had more mementoes, more photographs. I have those wishes with my son. I’m so grateful for the momentous and photographs we do have, but just like we didn’t get enough time with him, we don’t have enough photos.
So, I snap daily pictures of my daughter. I make sure to take a photo with her grandparents each time she sees them. When she does something especially cute or amazing, I take a photo.
I’ve read some pieces that criticize the number of photographs people take these days, thanks to mobile devices. “They” say that no one will ever be able to look at all of those photos again. There may be some truth to that. But, ask any mom–especially a loss mom–and they’ll tell you that once the kiddos are asleep, they scroll through those photographs.
Always take the photo, without shame. Document your rainbow’s childhood. You’ll never regret having those photos, but you might regret not having them.