This is a huge perk for me, since I'm a visual learner. No, it's not like I forgot who the freckle faced kid was at my 5th birthday party--I just needed a refresher! And I haven't forgotten that goofy toothless grin I gave the camera when I was missing my top four teeth all at the same time. Or the time I was enjoying playing in a germ infested plastic ball-pit at Busch Gardens...I just wanted to look at my cute pig tails and remember how much my legs hurt when I got out--its hard walking in plastic balls!
Of course we must have a moment of silence for the days when you couldn't proof a picture before adding it to your forever memory pile. Gasp! The horror of not being able to check and see if I'm smiling so that my eyes don't squint (this is a constant issue for me) I'm sure my mom might have asked us to do this picture over again--my brother looks utterly horrified. It looks like he's praying:
"Please God, have mercy on me--I have two sisters!"
Let's not discuss my Farah Fawcett hair-doo-doo.
Then there is the...dun...dun...DUUUUN: Black-Mail picture. You had no idea that this photo would come back to haunt you. It was taken without the notion that you would dread the thought of it being shown at one family gathering after another. "Isn't this soo cute!" A lot of these "cute" pictures follow you all the way to your wedding day. Of course your husband-to-be needs to see you in one of your most embarrassing moments.
There are also those photos that you would run into a burning house to save. The one that packs so many emotions into that one captured moment. I have no mental memory of this photo, but I bet the other person in this picture does. The look of love on my mother's face, as I hug her, is worth a thousand words.
Recently I have been going through these shoe boxes, albums and digital photos-wondering what my memories would be like if I didn't have a photograph to remind me; the mind has a funny way of distorting a memory. Would my mother's hug mean any less to me if I didn't have a physical reminder of it? Would I be slightly less mortified if I wasn't snapped wearing just winter accessories, and we just talked about it at family gatherings?
So with those thoughts in mind, I've been debating on whether or not to take more pictures during this infertility journey. I recently switched cell phones, and as I was cleaning out my old one, I came across a picture I had totally forgotten about: Mook snapped a picture of me on the exam table before our first IUI. The hope that I can see in my face is palpable.
I have seen other bloggers document their journey with an array of pictures as they go through treatment. Some are simply pictures of meds, others are are more extensive--bruises on the belly, walking in for retrieval, abstract views of legs/feet as someone is on bed rest.
Of course I'd like to say I'd love to have pictures to show our children one day, after all of this is behind us. I want to be able to share many things: this blog, cards, letters, e-mails. But the thought of looking at pictures of a painful time may be too painful. I keep trying to think ahead to my future self: "Future self, do you want to have physical reminders of this phase of your life, whether the outcome is good or bad?"
I just don't know. Besides, what category in my shoe box would I put a picture labeled: "Mook injects hormones into JJ's butt" ?
As my ovaries start to ache with the presence of (hopefully) growing follicles, I realize I need to make a decision...the longer I wait, the more moments will go uncaptured. Should I be snapping?
She never made a video for this song, but if you have 2 minutes, I highly recommend watching Mya perform Take a Picture.
Sittin here thinkin of my yesterdays
Things weren't this crazy
I wasn't so emotional
I didn't cry at commercials
Sometimes I feel like a mess
And people laugh at how I dress
And sometimes I act like an ass
And watch sand through an hour glass
I wanna take a picture so I remember this moment forever
I wanna take a picture so I remember this moment together
So I can show my children one day...