Monday Mourning: Jeni Rose of jenuinelybeadiful.com

One thing that has brought me immense comfort while I have been dealing with the loss of Alice, is connecting with other mothers who have also suffered loss. Hearing their stories helps me realize something that is very important to understand in times of trial- I am not alone. I love inviting these women to share their stories on my blog because I love reading them, and I know many of my followers have also endured heartbreaking loss, and I hope that some of these stories may help them connect to someone who has had a similar experience and bring them comfort as they mourn their little one.

The beautiful necklace Jeni gave me! (See how it says Alice Michelle?) 

The beautiful necklace Jeni gave me! (See how it says Alice Michelle?) 

Soon after Alice passed away, one such mother, a woman named Jeni, reached out to me and offered to make me a beautiful keepsake to commemorate my angel girl. Jeni has dedicated an immense amount of her time and resources to comforting moms like me by using her talents and creativity to create lovely, meaningful keepsakes that these mommies can treasure their whole lives. Today I am honored to share her story:

“Everything happens for a reason.” I hate that saying. When you’re a loss mom, you hate it even more because you don’t want a justifiable reason your baby isn’t in your arms.

My name is Jeni. I’m the busy, unorganized chaos who three beautiful baby boys call Mommy. I’m also the very blessed momma of a sweet angel, our Lorilei Jeanetta. We lost her at 11weeks, 3 days.

In November 2011 my beloved grandmother passed – we were so close. With the funeral back home in North Dakota, I dropped what I could and gathered up the funds to get myself and my middle {who at the time was the youngest & 5 months old} son on a plane. As soon as I got back to Louisiana, I took a test because I was late. I’d never been late but twice: Colin & Aedyn. I was scared cause the baby was still…well, such a baby. My husband and I opted to keep the news to ourselves- honestly for fear of being judged for just having Aedyn in July.

Fast-forward to Saturday, January 7th, 2012. I started spotting. I panicked. How could I not? I told my husband, had his sister come over to watch the two littles & we drove an hour to the ER. That was the longest 1 hour drive. I felt like we were crawling at a snail’s pace the whole drive. We got to the ER and they did an ultrasound. I could see a peanut. They sent us back in the room while we waited for the “official report”.

The ER doctor came in and told us there was no heartbeat. We both broke down. We were told we were going to be sent home some pain meds and wait for the baby to pass naturally. Right after the Dr left the room, the nurse comes in to discharge us – only thing I remember is her demeanor. She was chipper & bubbly and told us we were young and could have another.

I have never in my life wanted to deck a woman so much as I did in that moment.

I spent the next couple days close to home & passed her naturally at home. No closure. Nothing. I felt beyond empty. I felt as though I failed her. My body failed her. I couldn’t step foot in that bathroom months after.

I sunk into a pretty deep depression thereafter. I felt so much guilt, so much anger, so much animosity towards everyone around me. I reached out to some support groups online & eventually decided I needed to work thru the grief before it consumed me. It all started with a trip to Walmart. I went down the craft aisle and saw an awareness ribbon charm and pink/blue beads. I had no ultrasound picture, no funeral, no keepsakes of this angel. I needed something to celebrate her.

In October 2012 I began Jenuinely Beadiful Designs. I didn’t have a plan or a vision or a clue what it would evolve into. I started out just beading a few necklaces and lanyards.  I eventually got some interest in hand-stamping & then realized how I was horrible at it and almost gave up.

In 2014 I was approached by a gal on facebook who led (and still does lead) a non-profit based out of Springfield, MO. She and a few local photographers work with local hospitals & take keepsake portraits for loss parents. I started donating hand-stamped necklaces for them & am still going strong in 2017. They send me monthly lists of the babies (and sometimes children) they work with throughout the month. I’m able to design each one – no two are ever alike, which I love. It allows me to be creative and honor these angels with as much love as I have in my heart to give. It’s an amazing program she’s established & I’m am so honored to be a part of it. Their facebook is www.facebook.com/flyfreelittleone

In 2015 I also started volunteer stamping for another non-profit www.heldyourwholelife.com who at the time was supplying mommy necklaces & daddy keychains hand-stamped by loss mommies. I was a volunteer up until 2016 when they switched to engraving their pieces rather than hand-stamping. 

Come 2017 and my little endeavor of making a few keepsakes has turned into so much more than I could have imagined. I’ve made my story of loss very open, personally & thru my business.  I’ve been fortunate to cross paths with the most amazing loss mommies and daddies out there in this precious world.

It takes time to heal, time to mend, time to process all the emotions that come with miscarriage. Making these memorial pieces for other mommies & daddies is as much a therapy for me as it is for them. Knowing that I am able to create a tangible keepsake for them to hold in times of weakness & smile at in times of remembrance makes my heart happy. 

If I’ve been given a purpose in this life, it’s this; speak up for pregnancy loss in honor of Lorilei & be a badass mommy to the three beadiful boys I have on this earth.

This week (5/7/17) we will celebrate our rainbows 3rd birthday. Without the loss of our sweet angel had we perhaps never had our rainbow, Ethyn. I can’t imagine my life without this kid. Every day he gives me reasons to smile, a purpose and tells me “me lubs you mommy.”

I am 1 in four & my story matters.

 

Alice's Favorite Things: 5 Must-have baby Items for under $10

Because I am a poor college student, I cringe at the thought of dropping hundreds of dollars on baby stuff. (Ok, let’s be honest, I would love to do that, but who has the money, right??) Maybe by my 3rd or 4th child I will be able to spend the big bucks, but for now my infants will live in hand-me-downs from cousins and awesome deals I find.

Here are my (and honestly Alice’s) very favorites, all for under $10. Affiliate links are included, but I genuinely love these products! I guess I also have a sentimental attachment to them because they remind me of my baby girl, but I highly recommend them for every mom!

1. Avent Binky

Alice. Was. OBSESSED. No matter what was ailing her, the binky was our saving grace. It cracked me up how she could be completely WAILING one second, and perfectly pacified the next. Her favorite was Avent, and honestly, she was kind of a snob about it. No other brand was good enough for her so I constantly had them on hand. You can buy some here for only $3.59!

2.  Oball

I searched for a picture of Alice with this, but I couldn't find one. Nevertheless, this little toy was her very favorite. The netted design makes it easy for little hands to grab. I have vivid memories of Alice holding it so close to her face, she’d go cross-eyed. She loved it. She was so fond of these first two items (binky and ball) that we actually put them in her casket with her to keep her company until we are reunited. This little hero is $5.99. 

3. Swaddleme Swaddle

Even on the dirtiest couch, Alice is the CUTEST little bug 

Even on the dirtiest couch, Alice is the CUTEST little bug 

Alice loved to be swaddled. She loved to be so snug she couldn’t move her arms at all. My Mom and Dad honestly thought it was very odd, but she was into it, so that’s what I did. The first night Alice was home from the hospital she broke free from her swaddle and was too cold. When I went to comfort her, I saw she was cold and I felt terrible! My sister gave me a one of these swaddles and I never had that problem again! It was so great to know my tiny girl was nice and warm, especially when she was tiny. These swaddles are the BEST. Especially if you’re like me, and you have never swaddled before because you just slip your baby into the little pocket and then velcro two flaps at the top and tah-dah! The perfect swaddle. This set of three is $23.99 so not technically under $10, but each swaddle is about $8 so also technically under $10. 

4. Munchkin Shampoo rinser.

In our house we only have showers. Not a single bathtub. This made it kind of difficult to bathe Alice. We used one of those baby bathtubs in our shower, but I didn’t like the idea of rinsing off Alice with the shower head. This little scooper made it really easy to rinse the shampoo off her head, and periodically pour the warm bath water over her sweet body to help keep her warm while she bathed. As she got older she liked to watch me pour it out from up high too. It’s definitely of my favorite baby products. Worth every penny of $9.17! 

5. Tall Baby Socks

Ok so I never used these exact socks on Alice, but I saw this pattern, and I seriously wish they had them in my size. Alice kicked off her socks 100% of the time, and I could never keep her tiny toes warm! I had JUST discovered the magic of tall baby socks right before she passed. They are awesome because your baby can’t kick them off, and you can tuck them under their pants. Maybe that’s obvious to some people but it took me almost 5 months to discover their awesome powers! And again, seriously how cute is this pattern? Only $3.99

That concludes the official list, but as a quick bonus I wanted to add Alice’s all time favorite thing, this playmat. She loved everything about this thing. I like to call it “the shower enabler”.

These products are my favorite, and I hope your baby loves them too!