I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie, from Beyond Words Designs, at Blissdom (a women’s blogging and business conference) this year. Actually, it was Fran from Small Bird Studios that brought her over to introduce to me. She thought we might get along. (thanks Fran!)
And Stephanie began telling me her story.
Sharing her artwork with me.
She sat down and spread her business card out in front of me, each one had a different replica of her paintings on the back. And as I looked at each one and listened to her tell her story of miscarriage and stillbirth, I began to get teary.
Twenty-four weeks into pregnancy with my fourth child, Amelia Rose, my daughter was diagnosed with multiple congenital anomalies that were not compatible with life. We were told she would most likely NOT make it to the third trimester, let alone term. I spent the next 16 weeks of my pregnancy falling in love with my baby knowing that we would not likely ever see her alive. We were blessed with 16 weeks to plan and prepare for Amelia. We were given the miracle of time. She endured for 40 weeks against all odds.
Choosing to create was a driving force for me during the last part of my pregnancy. The genesis of Beyond Words Designs had given me something to hold onto as I awaited Amelia’s birth. I truly believe that it had been a lifeline; a way for me to crawl out of the devastation and help others by creating beauty from pain. ~Stephanie
She’s passionate about helping women through their grief and hopes that her artwork can offer some healing to wounded hearts.
I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than the relationship between mother and child . . . and this has become the subject of my art. The joy of pregnancy and motherhood. The grief of pregnancy and infant loss. I have experienced both and find healing in the painting of each. ~Stephanie
And she donates her art cards to hospitals so that the women, the couples, leave the hospital with something beautiful to remember their baby’s by.
My Hope, My Dream, My Wish . . . is to add something special to hospital memory boxes throughout the United States. I want parents to have something visual, beautiful, tangible and ‘sharable’. I want to create a piece of commemorative art that a family can hand down through generations. A visible reminder to all who see it ~ that our babies were here and motherhood is forever. ~Stephanie
I left our conversation with one of her brand new necklaces, just recently launched in her store. The necklace is a Giclee print from her original artwork, this one called Gone Too Soon.
“Gone Too Soon”
Loosing a child during any point in pregnancy is devastating. And often women are not allowed to grieve for a early loss ~ a miscarriage. I wanted to honor these women ~ these mothers ~ by creating a piece representing the life ‘Gone Too Soon’ . . . because a mother will always remember her child.
Hand painted touches are added before it’s finished under glass so that each pendant is unique, and I love to wear mine. Just another small reminder of our baby that passed away due to miscarriage. Even my young daughter, at three, knows it’s something special and often holds the necklace while I wear it.
But not only does she have artwork, both prints and necklaces (and even magnets), that convey the grief and loss of a baby, but that of celebrating pregnancy. Because she realizes that pregnancy is to be celebrated. And these pieces make great gifts not only to one’s self as a reminder of their own pregnancies, but also would be fabulous gifts for your midwives, OBs, doulas, and other birth workers.
I am a huge fan of Stephanie and her work. I can not wait to see how far this woman and her artwork will go.
Thank you for posting this today. I really needed to see Stephanie’s website today. This week, I am suffering through my third miscarriage. It’s been so rough, but I was really impressed with her artwork. Thanks again for the timely posting 🙂
I am so sorry for your loss. Your children are yours no matter when they leave us. Gone Too Soon was painted for my daughter Alice who I lost at around 8 weeks. It is a loss so painful yet largely unrecognized in our society. You are a mother to three children that didn’t get to stay with you and that should be honored. I hope you have the support you need.
How beautiful! In other cultures, women have ways to grieve the loss of an unborn child. We’re really silent about that here, and it’s not healthy for anyone.
I agree totally. Our culture is emotionally constipated in many ways and the inability to properly grieve always has repercussions. Part of my purpose is to break the silence and to advocate for a parents right to grieve without expectations or timelines. If we can’t be present in the most devastating moments in our life, how can we be for others. And unfortunately, as a grieving mother, I am all too familiar with those around me and how their expectations and opinions effect my families grief.