Pregnancy Album: Weeks 17-31

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

I’ve been plugging away on this album throughout the pregnancy!  I usually work on 2-3 weeks at a time to save photo paper.  But I try and do the handwritten card right after the week is over before I forget what happened.

Choosing the Cover and Colors

The cover will be made out of patterned paper: Pure Joy from Crate Paper’s Gather collection.  I grabbed coordinating cardstocks from my collection to have at the ready when I needed them throughout the album.  I’ll be using this method to create the cover and bind.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

We ended up having more ultrasounds than I originally anticipated, so I’m glad I made the album flexible and cut out the weeks and numbers ahead of time!

Weeks 17 through 31

In Week 17 we planted a new tree in our yard.  This week was the first of many during this period where I wasn’t as great at getting our bump picture in natural light.  After we got back from Hawaii (see below), I started setting a phone alarm for Saturday afternoon to remind me.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 18 my parents came to help paint the baby’s room and the entire living area of our house.  I snapped this picture of them right at the beginning of the project before we got too busy.  Week 19 covers my thoughts on election day and what it means for our son.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 19 we had another ultrasound and in Week 20 we started a series of childbirth classes at the hospital.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

Week 21 was Thanksgiving!  I got a great shot of Mr. P teaching our nephew how to make biscuits.  In Week 22 we were putting up our Christmas lights.  Since the album counts weeks rather than dates, I like having the pictures to mark the season.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 23 I got a shot of our Christmas tree and we had another ultrasound.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 24 my little sister got married!  In Week 25 we worked a ton on the accent wall in the baby’s room and I asked Mr. P to get a few pictures of me using the paint pen.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 26 we got to visit my newborn niece and had another ultrasound.  For our bump picture, I was in the middle of painting and caulking the baseboards of the built-ins for the baby’s room and was too lazy to change out of my work clothes for the picture.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 27 we were still working hard on those built-in shelves and prepping to leave for London.  In Week 28 we were in London (read more about how that went here) and I got a picture of the bear we picked out for our son at Selfridges.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

In Week 29, we finished up our time in London and made our way back home.  In Week 30, we were home for just a handful of days and then we left for a quick Hawaii trip.  I broke my streak of blank-hotel-room-wall bump pictures.  But I like that we were on the beach for this one.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

My baby shower was in Week 30 right before we left for Hawaii.  There were too many pictures I wanted to share, so I did a small layout with my favorites.  Finally in Week 31, I got a great shot of Mr. P learning how to use our new infant carseat/stroller!

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

I’m having a great time with this album!  Even though it’s not bound yet, I’m already having a great time flipping through the pages.

More Information on My Pregnancy Album

Check out these posts for everything you need to know!

Planning my Pregnancy Album
Having Dad in the Weekly Bump Pictures
Album Pages: Beginning – Week 16

 

Pregnancy Album: Dad’s in the Bump Pictures

Baby Bump Pictures by Natalie Parker

Notice something in the weekly bump pictures?  Other than the noticeable lack of a bump for a long period of time?  Kid is going to do what the kid wants to do.  Moving on.

That’s my husband and he’s in every weekly bump picture.

Why?

I love weekly bump pictures.  Love love love.  It’s such a cool way to show the progression of time.  When I was researching other pregnancy albums, I knew a weekly picture was totally going to happen.

One thing that struck me:  looking at the weekly progression, dad seemed very absent.  Sure, in some people’s lives, dad might not be available.  For me, I didn’t want my album to be all about me.

This is about us.  The album is from my perspective but this experience is about us becoming parents.  We’ve been handling everything together aside from him not actually growing the baby.  It’s important to me that when our kid looks at the album, dad is very prominent.

How We Take the Weekly Picture

We have it down to a science now and Mr. P is a very good sport.  We use the same blank wall in our living room and he knows exactly where to stand.  And I don’t have to wait for him to fix his hair or makeup.

Baby Bump Pictures by Natalie Parker

I get as much natural light as I can.  As I said earlier, we don’t get a picture on a set day of the week.  I try to get it when we’re both home and have the best light.  If that means that weeks 17 and 18 are only two days apart, so be it.

We use a tripod with my DSLR.  We used a timer for the first several weeks, then I got a remote which made it much simpler.  I tilt the LCD screen so I can see it from our spot and know if I need to move a hand or un-slouch.

The whole process takes about 10 minutes.  This is from setup to take down.  I keep the tripod in the closet half-extended so it’s easy to set up.

We don’t have set outfits.  I do love the weekly bump pictures where mom is wearing the same or similar black dress the entire time.  I opted not to.  I didn’t want to have to change my clothes.  I also thought it’d be cool to see my clothes and seasons change.  A big bonus would be to show clothes from things we were doing at the time, like going to football games or an Oktoberfest party.

Baby Bump Pictures by Natalie Parker

As with everything in pregnancy, to each his or her own.  For us, it’ll be nice for our child to look back and see how excited we both were (and how we both used to look when we got full nights of sleep).

More Information on My Pregnancy Album

Check out these posts for everything you need to know!

Planning my Pregnancy Album
Album Pages: Beginning – Week 16
Album Pages: Weeks 17-31

Planning My Pregnancy Album

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

Hit a bit of a bump in the road recently.  Emphasis on the literal bump.

Yep, a wee one is going to be joining our family next year.  We are thrilled!

Me being me, I was not about to pass up such a momentous creative memory keeping opportunity.  The clock is ticking though!  Here’s what I decided.  Did I mention I’ve always been interested in book binding?  Thanks kid!

What Type of Album Do I Want?

Decide something and decide it fast.  I wanted a strategy that would work for the entire pregnancy and I didn’t want to have to think about it as I grew more tired in the passing weeks.  I came up with this in week 6 and put it together fast.

It had to be easy.  There are so many things I could have done here.  So many add-ons or cute things I could have added.  Nope nope nope.  I didn’t want something that started strong and then petered out.

Weekly documenting.  I love the idea of seeing the development of the pregnancy week by week.

Pre-work as much as possible.  I wanted to make the “kit” or supplies early, so I only had to accomplish a couple small tasks week to week.

Use my own supplies.  I shopped around for albums and realized 1) I’m picky and need something I design myself and 2) I needed to make something so I could start on it right away.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

The Structure

7 x 9 inch album out of existing scrapbook pages.  I cut down some 11×14 scrapbook pages I already had to make the album pages.

I used this YouTube video to prepare the pages.  I prepared the signatures and pre-poked the holes for the thread.  I’m not planning on binding it until after the baby is born but will use this method to create the cover and bind.

The book will be kettle-stitched.  See the videos linked above for the best instructions on kettle stitching.  I chose this because it will allow the book to open flat, plus grouping pages into sections (called “signatures”) will allow me to control how long the book will be.  If I did something like saddle stitching, I’d need to pick the total number of pages ahead of time.  With kettle stitching, I don’t have to.  What if my pregnancy is longer or shorter?  I didn’t want to have too many or too few pages and yes, I was really worried about this.

Cover color is undecided.  I want to wait until a bit later in the pregnancy, but I am planning on making the cover according to the video above.  It will be out of some hard cardboard and probably patterned paper.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

The Formula

Each week has the following four items.  Each are cut the same size:  2.5×3 inches so they fit well in the album with lots of white space.

A number card.  I designed these myself using the print and cut feature on my Silhouette.  The font is Beyond the Mountains.  I printed weeks 4-42, knowing that it’s possible I won’t make it to week 42 but also that my doctor likely won’t let me past that week either.  I started at 4 because that’s when we found out we were pregnant.

A bump picture.  I love love love weekly bump pictures.  We started taking them in week 6 (which was when I decided on the album structure).  For earlier weeks, I used whatever pictures I had on hand.

Writing.  I jot down important pregnancy milestones, how I’m feeling, and any other notable things that happened that week.  I could write for days, but I like the forced brevity and I think I’ll thank myself for it in the third trimester.  I pre-cut all of these cards, plus extra for when I don’t like my handwriting and need to start over.

Another photo of something from the week.  It can be anything really.  It will add interest to the page and also show a bit of what we were up to.  I’m excited to show house projects as we prepare for the baby’s arrival!

Optional full page spreads.  I decided this in week 12 when I had some ultrasound pictures.  If I feel like it and if I want to tell a longer story, I can add a full page to emphasize something.  I pre-cut a ton of letters and numbers last week so I can add one of these at any point.  Thank goodness for the flexible size of the album (see above).

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

The Plan

Take notes during the week.  I’m using Google Keep to jot down happenings from the week.  This has worked really well so far!

One bump picture from any point in the week.  I’m not going to try to get a picture on the same day of the week.  Emphasis will be on the best natural light and then I’ll hope for the best.

Writing the cards and editing photos every couple of weeks.  I try and write the cards no more than a week late because I’ll forget details despite my notes.  I’ll pencil on the back what week they’re from and leave them until I’m ready to print pictures.  I’ll crop and edit the pictures weekly and keep them in a folder until I have enough to print on a sheet.

Pregnancy Album by Natalie Parker

Results?

So far, thumbs up.  I’ve had a blessedly uneventful time so far and I’m keeping up!  I love the way it’s turning out.

Very soon, I’ll share what the pages look like so far!  I hope you’re up for the ride with me!

More Information on My Pregnancy Album

Check out these posts for everything you need to know!

Having Dad in the Weekly Bump Pictures
Album Pages: Beginning – Week 16
Album Pages: Weeks 17-31