In the spring of 2012, I was on track to be the matriarch of the stereotypical American family. I had a husband who loved and adored me, two beautiful daughters, and was pregnant with a boy that I had been praying for. We were lacking the dog and white picket fence, but still my life was pretty perfect. The Norman Rockwell painting vanished at my 30-week ultrasound when my doctor said he was concerned about the growth of my baby boy.
Life was never the same as we started down the road of specialists, diagnosis, and NICU life. Eli David was born on May 24, 2012, with a rare brain disorder called Holoprocesenphaly. Though Eli came into this world with a hearty cry, perfect heart, and the most adorable chubby thighs, his brain did not fully form in utero, and we were immediately told he may not be with us long. Our sweet, strong baby boy stayed within our arms for 5 months and left us on October 25, 2012. The pain of not only burying my baby, but burying my dreams, a part of myself, and the future I had planned was unbearable. I know I could not have survived without my faith, a compassionate counselor, grief support group, close friends, and the women who have traveled this grief journey before me.
I did not choose this life, the life with a broken heart, but God has shown great mercy and great love these past few years, especially through the incredible women I have had the pleasure to meet—women whose broken hearts reshaped the mosaic of their lives into something beautiful and purposeful. Their stories, encouragement, strength and hope laid the path for me to see that I could not only survive, but thrive again. Through these women, the idea of Stories from the Trenches was formed.
What Is Stories from the Trenches?
Jen shares her vision for the Stories from the Trenches community and how this website can bring women together to share, engage, and connect—through blog posts, forums, live video chats, and more.
Stories from the Trenches is building a community for women who are facing the unexpected speed bumps in life where we are able to share, engage, and connect through personal stories of heartache and triumph.
Engage. Share. Connect. An online community for women that promotes healing, support, and encouragement during the toughest parts of our journeys.
Meet the Team
Jen is the dreamer and founder of Stories from the Trenches. She believes passionately that love is a verb and kindness goes a long way. In her spare time, she devours books in one night, believes in unicorns, and loves cuddling with her family.
Britni is a lover of life and people. She fights hard for the things most important to her, and she believes that anything worth having is worth working for. She is also a grieving mother. She cries hard and tries to laugh harder. "Strong story-telling women are the true superheroes of life."
Other Team Members:
Board of Directors: Kathleen C., Taren S. and Tim G.
Editors: Amelia B. and Nathan C.
Event Coordinator: Becky D.