Summer 2017 Bucket List

Charleston_FollyBeach

Last year was such a blur. About the only thing I remember from last summer was going to Charleston with my three besties. This year, I want to enjoy it and savor my experiences and time with family and friends more.

So, I decided to put together a “bucket list” of things I want to do.

1. Have an awesome day at Water Country in NH. – I haven’t been here since grad school with my roommate. I love water parks.

2. Enjoy all the food at Mario Batali’s Eataly at the Prudential Center – This new mecca of foodie delights has shopping and dining experiences.

3. Go to the beach at least twice – That’s how many times I went last year but I’d prefer not get my chest toasted to a crisp

4. Meet our walk team’s fundraising goal in honor of Emmett for the TEARS Foundation by the end of June (You can help us here)

5. Shopping day at the Yankee Candle headquarters in western Mass

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Interview About Our Karaoke Fundraiser

Brett and I were interviewed today by a Milwaukee radio personality, Dan O’Donnell. Dan happens to be a long-time friend of of ours, but also a former colleague of mine from back in my radio days. He’s since moved on to another radio station in town and I’ve completely moved on out of the journalism field into the nonprofit sector.

Tomorrow is the big day. Our last fundraiser before the big TEARS walk we’re participating in June. This is our Live Band Karaoke fundraiser I talked about here to help talk about pregnancy loss and let people know about support resources, both emotional and financial.

We’re excited about it and hope it will be a great turn-out. Since it’s a Monday night, not quite sure but hoping the weather will be kinda gloomy to force people inside.

The interview below aired on four different radio stations in Milwaukee today to help spark some new conversations about pregnancy loss and let a new audience know about TEARS. Take a listen…

A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

This weekend is Mother’s Day.

Last year, I was still numb and in too much physical and emotional pain to even care. It didn’t occur to me that friends from afar were sending me messages on that first holiday for me as a mother. I had nothing to celebrate because I didn’t think I was a mother. My baby was no longer with me. I still have difficulty believing that I’m a mother some days. But, I am.

mother's day

There are a lot of us “hidden” mothers out there. We don’t have living children alongside us. We don’t get the cheerful, handmade cards. We don’t get breakfast in bed with extra snuggles.

We watch from the sidelines all of the joy upon other moms faces as they get to embrace their little ones during brunch. We stifle back the tears so you don’t see the hurt on our face. We’re the mothers that are so often forgotten.

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Getting Help When You Need It

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Yesterday I hit a milestone I didn’t even realize I was approaching. Yes, it was May the Fourth for all of you Star Wars fans out there but that wasn’t it. So, what was it?

I reached a year of regularly seeing my current therapist.

A few years back now before we had started trying to conceive, I regularly worked with a therapist and a psychiatrist when I was actively having panic attacks. It took about two years of constant work to get to a point where I felt good again and we could back off on both the appointments and the medication I was on. That was about 6-9 months before we started trying to conceive.

Even before the pregnancy was over in April last year, I reached out to find a new therapist. We had moved to our house in the middle of nowhere and my insurance had also changed so my last therapist (who I absolutely adored since we could bond over “Doctor Who” but also for the hurdles she helped me overcome during regression therapy) was no longer covered but it also was more than an hour-long drive one-way to see her. I knew I was going to need therapy after this kind of experience (what they refer to as a “traumatic event” in the medical terminology in my case-file) and I didn’t want to go back to the really dark place that I was in a few years back.

We had to update paperwork yesterday so that’s how it came up that I had reached this particular “milestone.” I go see my therapist about every two weeks or so. I’ve gradually been able to stretch it some times to a month.

Continue reading “Getting Help When You Need It”

Happy Birthday, Emmett

Happy birthday my sweet baby boy.

I can’t believe it’s been 365 days since I held you. My heart has never loved another thing so greatly until it met you. I think of you each and every day. I still wish for all of the moments that were taken away from you, me and daddy.

I miss you with all of my being but I know you’re in a better place where you aren’t in any pain and nothing can hurt you. But, oh, how I wish I could’ve protected you from that.

Birthday Quote - Emmett

There’s a whole world of family and friends that love you and who never were able to meet you. I hope you look down on them sometimes and see just how loved you are even though you’re so far away.

Your tree is starting to bloom. There are tiny little buds on it ready to blossom in the warm summer breezes ahead. Your Nana sent a cute little solar figurine of a little boy with a turtle that’s sitting under it now. Your Uncle Bumppo sent flower bulbs that me and Daddy will plant this weekend. Your fur brother Dakota sends the biggest cuddles and wet kisses.

Daddy bought a cupcake for your first birthday in heaven. We’ll blow your candle out tonight together and snuggle listening to Disney music for our little Mouseketeer. I hope we can see you in our dreams where I imagine you’re bouncing around and giggly, loving all that life has in store for you.

We love you Emmett. Always.

 

Your Chance to Be a Superstar with Live Band Karaoke

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fundraising Event to Benefit The TEARS Foundation

rock-the-night_webMILWAUKEE, WIS. (APRIL 20, 2017) – A year after a painful loss, a Massachusetts’ couple is returning to the community they once called home to bring a special awareness message this May. “Rock the Night,” a Live Band Karaoke fundraiser to benefit The TEARS Foundation, hosted by Brett Finnell and Christina Relacion-Finnell, aims to raise funds for the nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional support to individuals who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Erik Bilstad, of Newsradio 620 WTMJ, will emcee the event.

According to the Foundation, an estimated 70 stillbirths occur each day in the United States, with an average of 25,000 per year. Meanwhile, many parents suffer through this kind of devastating loss, largely in silence, due to the stigma and taboo of the topic. “Our goal is to tell our son’s story, even though it’s painful, in the hopes that it will help other couples and families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or an infant seek out support resources,” said Brett Finnell. “This is one of the most tragic and isolating experiences that any couple can face but you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources available to help you cope.”

livebandkaraoke_logoChristina Relacion-Finnell was born and raised in Wauwatosa, Wis. She graduated from Wauwatosa West High School and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then moved to Boston to attend graduate school where she would one day meet her husband, Brett. The couple lived and worked in Milwaukee from 2005 to 2010 until Christina lost her job during the economic recession, and they re-located back to New England. After 8 years of marriage, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child on Christina’s birthday. Sadly, there were complications with the pregnancy and their son, Emmett, was stillborn in April 2016.

Rock the Night is for anyone who has ever dreamed of being a rock star. It’s your chance to sing with a live band to many popular hits from the past and present. The fundraiser will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, May 22, at Victor’s on Van Buren, 1230 N. Van Buren Street, in Milwaukee. Live Band Karaoke Milwaukee, a member of Sound Check Entertainment, will provide entertainment.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://rockthenight.brownpapertickets.com/. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 at the door, if available). This event is 21 and older only. Interested singers may also purchase a VIP option in advance to ensure their chance to sing with the live band for just $10.