Friday, July 6, 2012

Fundraising, Staying Busy, and the 4th of July

A lot has changed with me in the past week since that last ugly post. I was seriously falling fast into a pretty dark place. Was I able to handle those thoughts and feelings, nope! Were they getting me anywhere good, not really? My thoughts were literally making me crazy. I often wonder how I ever made it through the first half of last year. I am not saying that everything is all sunshine and rainbows now, but I do feel like I am in a lot of a better place mentally than I did since that last post........and most of June. I hope I won't be revisiting that place anytime soon because it is scary there.

I also started seeing a new counselor. I have met with her twice now and so far I think she will be good fit for me. The first appt. I might have even overwhelmed her a little. I was a huge wreck that day and bawled my eyes out that entire appt. In between the massive amounts of tears and snot running down my face I also talked about a million words per minute and she had to keep telling me to stop and just breathe for a second. I was having a really bad day.

Clearly the cost of the whole gestational surrogacy stuff was causing me added stress. So I decided I needed to do something about it versus just complaining about it. My awesome friend Liz had already set up the GiveForward fundraising page for us and talked about doing a game night fundraiser as well. Some friends from my grief group a couple weeks back also talked about a few other fundraising ideas we could do as well. I have not started or been in charge of a fundraiser before, but decided that getting one going would be a better use of my time than whining about money, or lack there of.  Through the help of a friend we have a nice, big, and free place to have one at. It is going to be on a Thursday night the first week of October, so I have a few months to get things together. So far we are planning to do a silent auction, a chili feed, and possibly a few other little things that night. Now I just need to get creative and come up with a flyer about all of this to hand out to people to spread the word. This should keep me busy for awhile.

Another thing I have decided to do to keep myself occupied, because that is the name of the game right now, is slowly work on remodeling the house. I know constantly distracting myself isn't the best way to deal with grief, but that is what I have been doing as of lately. Plus, we all know grief finds its way in eventually. I have already sanded, primed, and repainted our spare room. Derecks brother is also staying with us for a few weeks to help us with the bigger projects on our house. If you remember we had all that wind and water damage this past winter. The nursery and spare room already have new flooring in them, a few other spots need some new sheetrock put in and painted, and then some outside things need fixed as well. Once his brother leaves and those projects are done I think I am going to repaint the halls, the kitchen, hopefully do some tiling once I learn from Derecks brother how to, and then completely rip apart our downstairs bathroom because I am sick of looking at the nasty old wallpaper. Now I say I am doing this slowly because we need to be as cheap as possible about all of this, so I need to find good deals on stuff since we need to save up for our carrier stuff. Seems like good positive distraction to me.

I already have a huge list going of other odd and end projects I want to do as well. A few things on the list besides the house projects are to work on Evelynn's scrapbook, redo her wreath and basket from her funeral and burial with silk flowers like I did with Liam's cross, and make a quilt or two with some fabric I have had for years and never used. I want time to fly by and in order for that to happen I need to stay busy.

I have also been doing some reading. After Liam passed I read a lof of books on grief. I got burnt out on them, and then didn't read much again, other than blogs, until the beginning of this year when I picked up some more baby related books. Two recent books that I have read in the past week, that were recommended to me last year and I never read, is Heaven is for Real and Bad Things Happen to Good People. Heaven is for Real was a good book but I have a hard time believing a lot of what I read. Although, I want to believe its real because knowing I can one day be reunited with my babies means the world to me. Bad Things Happen to Good People though, I would say is an amazing book and I think everyone I know should read it. Everyone. So much of what was wrote in that back are things I have thought so much about since Liam was first diagnosed with Myelomeningocele, to him dying in surgery, to my baby girl passing away as well. So many of the various lines of BS that people have said to me after my losses he addresses as well. I could probably go on and on about how I feel about this book and the affect it has had on me, but really if you haven't read it then you just need to and you'll know what I mean. Or maybe you won't.

Love this! Sucks it has to be this way but it's so true!
July 3rd marked exactly a year and a half since the fetal surgery, Liam was born, and my little buddy passed away. Definitely not where I pictured myself and my family to be a year and a half later. A lot has happened.
I love you little buddy.

The 4th of July last year I was with dereck and friends in Dawson City in the Yukon. I was really missing my boy but also really hoping that I was pregnant. Which I turned out not to be. This year for the 4th we had planned on being in MN and ND with Evelynn introducing her to family. Her baptism was also going to be this Sunday. Oh, what coulda shoulda been.


  1. You may be the strongest person I have ever "met".

  2. Your strength is amazing! I am new and wanted to say I am so sorry for you have been through. I am so glad that a few things are helping you in small ways and that you have found a therapist who you think is a good fit! I hope they are able to help you going forward.

  3. I'm so happy you had a chance to read Bad Things Happen to Good People. I've only read 3 grief books, but that one by far helped my outlook on things the most. I've re-read it twice because it speaks to my heart so well. I may begin reading it again because I need the extra encouragement.

    Glad to hear the grief spiral is under control. It happens, though. Last weekend we were at a burrito place, and this couple walked in with a baby that looked like she was about Eva's age and I started crying with burrito in my mouth. I've been totally fine around babies for MONTHS...and then this. The little girl didn't even look anything like me or Justin. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to predict my triggers 100%.

  4. Glad you're in a better place emotionally and mentally, hon. I felt the SE about just fully sucked. Onward.

    I felt the same way about "Heaven is For Real". It would be nice, but...I din't know if I buy it. I also don't feel strongly about Heaven or that I'll see my babies there, so there's that.


  5. Oh, freaking wallpaper and house distraction projects. :/ Wallpaper is basically hell to rid yourself of, but if you're patient, it turns out quite well in the end. We've done 5 rooms in our 2 years of living in our house. Peeling it off, that is.

    I love that you're occupying yourself with fundraising. What an awesome idea, too! There are also so many restaurants that hold them and I'm sure you've done your research.

    I know this wasn't how your family was supposed to be this year. :/ I read both books you mentioned and I agree with your sentiments about both books! It was so nice hearing it from a religious perspective from a guy who lost his own son. Made me feel like I could have beliefs but not feel like God stole my child. Ugh. This is just so heavy.

    Still want to hug you to pieces. You and those two lovely babies of yours.

  6. It's only been just over two months and unfortunately all that ugly grief really rears its ugly head in that time...and come back far too often. I'm glad things are starting to feel even a little lighter because that ugly grief makes it feel impossible to do much of anything.

    Wishing things were SO much different for you. Wishing you could be writing about Evelynn's baptism and not about ugly grief :(

    Hoping the distraction projects help to pass the time until your take home baby. I think the fundraising is so wonderful. I wish you didn't have to do a thing, but I know this is going to the best way to get you that much closer to Liam and Evelynn's baby brother or sister.

  7. Thinking of you Liam and Evelynn

  8. Glad to hear you have a reprieve from the darker side of grief! Those lowest lows are absolutely awful! I know I say this lots, but you are on my mind every day.... I wish things had been different for you. I'm praying this carrier thing works in your favor and it won't be too too long before you are holding another baby, one that you can take home!
    From every comment you made on my posts after Kristen, and from your blog (which I still read religiously) I know that you are an absolutely amazing, caring woman. You deserve happiness more than anybody I know!
    Anyway, I'm here, rooting from the sidelines!
    Sending love your way...

  9. I have spent a lot of time finding distractions and usually they lead to house projects, they really do help pass the time and it always makes me feel just a tiny bit better to accomplish a finished project. Reading has always helped me too, we definitely can't run from grief but it's nice to step away from it even just for a little while.

    Thinking of you :)

  10. Grief is definantly a rollcoaster. I am glad you are climbing up it and I hope it keeps going up. I am thinking of you xoxoxo

  11. Dear Becky, I think of you and Liam and Evelynn often.

  12. Your post gives me strength. I would want to read the book ' bad things happen to good people' too. I keep uttering that phrase almost on daily basis.

  13. Thinking of you and your babies often, as I always am. I would like to read "When bad things happen to good people" too. I so wish your 4th could have gone the way you planned for it last year.

  14. Thinking of you momma. I glad to hear you've found a counselor that seems to be a better fit. I hope it helps. Fund raising is a great way to keep you occupied. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I'd be glad to volunteer time and some creative ideas. It's the lest I can do. Lot's of hugs!

  15. The Bad Things Happen to Good People book helped me so much. I'm glad you found it. I also completely redecorated my house after we lost Eliza. You're right that you can't distract yourself from grief, but lying in bed at night, I found it helpful to distract my brain by thinking about paint colors instead of feeling sad and panicky and sobbing myself to sleep. I think it's great that you have so many positive projects to work on. And some days you probably won't have the energy for any of that--and that's okay, too.

    I'm just so sorry, Becky. I know you love your kids so freaking much and I wish I could express how much I wish they were here with you.


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