I've been working on a lot of photo projects for the holidays and I thought of an idea. I have a bunch of mementos for the boys NICU stay that don't really fit in their baby books (not that I've been great about keeping up with those). So I thought I could make photo collages with some of their NICU pictures and put them in shadowboxes with their NICU mementos.

Question is, if you made something like that, would you display them? I want to make something nice for them for the future, but I'm not sure if I want to look at that reminder every day. On the other hand, if it's tasteful and beautiful, wouldn't it be nice to display them? I'm not ashamed that they needed time in the NICU. They wouldn't even be here without it.


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  • I think it depends on your emotions towards it and where the pictures would be. In their room where not every guest sees them? Or would it be in a main living area where someone visiting who might have had a NICU stay you don't know about could get upset by it?

    Personally, I feel very greatful towards our NICU time and harbor little, if any resentment. I feel proud of what they accomplished there, and if anything I feel cheated of the cute pics of mommy and daddy holding a newborn without wires. So for me, I either have to pretend we have no pics of them until 3-4 weeks old, or I have to use pics from the NICU stay. I choose to remember the good about it and have fun with those first memories. But I'd probably put a similar box in the nursery instead of in the living area just in case I had a visitor who had a bad experience or something.

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  • I have a shadow box in the living room with all of our family has his first outfit he ever wore, a diaper from the NICU and a pic of him wearing the outfit for the first time..everyone that has seen it, loves it...i also have a frame from Carters that has a place for a pic from each month until he's one...we will always remember our NICU days, after all thats why he is here with us today!  I guess that was the long way of saying, yes, display your baby (and your work) proudly! If you would like, I'm sure all the ladies on here would love to see what you've been working on too :)
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  • I would display it proudly.  It is forever a part of who you and you little boys are.
  • It all depends on your comfort level/your emotions about everything.  If you're emotionally cool with seeing reminders, go for it!  If you're hesitant, there's no shame in tucking them away until later or just for your LOs to have down the road.

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  • I'm working on a similar shadowbox for C's room with her nameplate from her isolette, one of her first diapers, her bracelet from the NICU etc.  Like a pp said, it's part of who you and your children are. 
  • My advice is to look at it this way:  If your babies had been born at term, and you had mementos from their hospital stay, would you put them on display in a shadow box?  If yes, do it now.  If no, do not do it now.

    We are very proud of everything we have overcome as a family and as individuals, including my high risk PG, DS's NICU stay, and bringing him home on oxygen and an apnea monitor.  It is simply a fact of life.  We are proud of our son and everything about him, and we refuse to be victimized by hiding from all the hardship has happened.  When we confront our trials, we take control of them.

    My uncle was born with a cleft lip and palate in the 1960s when birth defects and health problems were strictly taboo, and my grandmother has told me how awful it was to be made to feel ashamed of his "defect".  In this day and age, people are much more understanding.  I say display your memories proudly, and tell your children how proud you are of their hard work to overcome these obstacles.  If it is too sad right now, hang them in a year or two.

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  • Here's what I did with all that stuff: I put them in those vinyl sleeves at the front of his baby book :) I also had a "baby's treasure box" that came with a set someone gave me and our pile of bracelets are in there.

    WWID re: shadow box? I love the idea. Go for it.

  • Thank you so much for your opinions, ladies! I have some prints to get before I can start on the project, but I definitely feel better about displaying them when I'm finished. I guess I just needed someone else to tell me that I don't need to worry about what visitors will think about what's on my walls, even if what I display is emotionally charged. I'll definitely PIP my completed shadowboxes for you to see :)

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