Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What Came Before...

I've been looking at my scrapbooking before I was introduced to Stampin' Up! and I thought I might share a little here.  Just a warning - this post does get quite personal, so if that makes you uncomfortable, stop reading now!

I started scrapbooking very briefly after my husband and I got married in 2006.  I did a few wedding pages, some I kept and some I tore up - yep, I've always been like that!  But even though I scrapped a few wedding pages, scrapbooking didn't become hugely personal to me until I started scrapping pages of my daughter.  Olivia is 3 now.

This is the first page I did of Olivia.  I think.  I don't exactly remember, and I don't really remember doing the page.  I'll explain all that in a minute.

This is one of Olivia's first photos, taken very shortly after her birth.  I do remember that moment, when she looked at me so knowingly, as if she was saying "Oh, hello!  It's you!".

The reason I don't remember scrapping this page, even though it's such a memorable moment for me, is that 6 weeks after Olivia was born, I was admitted to hospital (with Olivia) because I was suffering from Post Natal Depression.  Within a few weeks of being admitted (I spent 3 and a half months in hospital), my status changed and I was categorised as having severe PND.  And it wasn't responding to medication. 

To cut a long story short, one of the treatments that I had has resulted in a substantial memory loss for me.  About 5 and a half months.  I don't remember from when Olivia was about 3 weeks till around 6 months.  I'm not saying that my memories are fuzzy.  They're... gone.

So how does that affect my pages?  Well, I started scrapping when I was in hospital, during the time I had that treatment.  So there are a lot of pages that I look at but don't remember much about.  I don't remember putting the pages together, and there are a lot that I don't remember the photo even being taken.  I'm still coming across photos and sections of video that I didn't know existed.

I do remember the above photo.  It's another one from the day Olivia was born.

Another thing you might notice about these early pages is that there's no journalling.  There's a reason for that too.  I simply couldn't find the words to express what I was feeling... or more precisely, what I was supposed to be feeling.  I thought I'd add journalling later, but I've changed my mind.  I once read an article that claimed that a scrapbook without journalling is a waste.  I disagree completely.  To me, my lack of journalling, and the reason behind that, is just as important as anything I could write on the page.

These photos were taken at home when Olivia was about 2 weeks old.  From what I've been told, I was showing signs of PND even then.

So there you have it.  I'm sure I'll share more pre-Stampin' Up! pages soon.



  1. You're so brave to share your journey. Makes me appreciate scrap booking much more now! I will have to give it a go sometime.

  2. Wow, Danielle, thanks for sharing such a personal story. I was in tears by the end of it. You'll treasure those pages forever with or without the journaling. Good on you for actually taking the time to do them with all that was going on.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story, you are very brave.
    The pages are beautiful and you will treasure them as will olivia.

  4. Scrapbooking for me has always been about the moment. if that moment has no words then that page should have no words. There is nothing wrong with a page with nothing written on it. It tells you and the people you love everything it needs to. Your photos are gorgeous. I love the very first one. You are lucky to have such a beautiful first photo of your lovely daughter. xxx

  5. Beautiful photos & lovely pages you've created. I can't begin to imagine what you went through. You're a brave & inspiring woman, my friend!

  6. Beautiful Danielle! How special! Wish I had pics like these. I hardly have any when my daughter was so small - of the two of us. I think there is a time and place for journalling - a photo can tell a BILLION words - let the photos talk I say!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story Danielle, it must be very hard for you to not remember that time. I love the scrapbook pages that you did and I agree with others that they don't need journalling, they say a lot without it! I especially love the photo of you and Olivia! Take care of yourself and thanks again for being so strong and sharing your journey with us!!!

  8. You had me in tears Danielle! I too suffered PND and related to everything you said. Your gorgeous pages have captured those times you don't remember. Without scrap booking, you wouldn't have this pictorial memory. Even during those dark times, the love you have for your daughter is clearly visible and no words could ever do that justice. Thank you for sharing your story Danielle.

  9. Thursday morning and I'm in tears - thanks A LOT! :) Your story always breaks my heart having gone through PND with DS2. You are so strong and inspirational to so many people, including me. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pages and inspiring story.

  10. Danielle you are a very special woman. Thanks for sharing these very personal thoughts and reflections on a time that was so difficult for you and your family. Olivia will always see the extraordinary love you have for her, and remember "love needs no words".

  11. A picture speaks a 1000 words and these photos certainly do that! You're very strong for sharing your story here and I can only imagine how scary having PND would be.

  12. Thank you Danielle for sharing your story. I cant even begin to imagine what you went through and I am completely amazed at how strong you have come out the other end! Wow!! You are insiprational and telling your story is so important for other people who may be going through what you did. They will know that there can be hope following the darkness.

  13. Thanks for sharing. These pages are fantastic an the journey they show. They will always be precious to you and your family.

  14. Hey Dan,

    I am doing a spot of 'blurfing' and just now came across this post.


    My eyes are still prickling as I write. Now I think you're even more amazing than I already did.

    S x

  15. i'm with you sarah! she's a gem for sure...

  16. Thanks for sharing your story.
    I am expecting a baby at the end of February. I just found out last night that it's a boy. I was hoping for a girl although everything within me was telling me it it was the contrary.
    Now I have to teach myself how to be excited about the news. I am currently a little disapointed.
    Love your pages and I agree about the journaling. Why should there be a certain way to do things?