Motherhood and Beyond

To be a mom is the most rewarding job in the whole world. But it can also be the most difficult. Motherhood and Beyond is peeping into the world of being a mom, but at the same time a wife, a friend and much more. Life doesn't always go easy and some may not know it now, but there is nothing more precious than life. So I welcome you to join us. Follow in our daily routines, our special activities and just enjoy the ride!! TO MOTHERHOOD AND BEYOND!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

30 Day April House Cleaning Challenge

I am participating in the 30 day house cleaning challenge!! With our move to Sioux City coming quickly, (blog post to come about that), I decided to start getting things organized and cleaned while I can. So I found this fun challenge, and I am going to blog daily about it!

April 1, 2013 Project

Your project for today is to surface clean your living room and kitchen.

  • Set the timer for 15 minutes and pick up and put away everything that’s out of place. Bonus project: Find 7 things to get rid of.
  • Next, wash the dishes in the kitchen (if there are any), wipe down the countertops and surfaces in the kitchen.
  • Finally, vacuum the living room.

If you want to follow along, join in, or just see the progress---join us:

Twitter: #Cleanin30 is our hash tag key word!  

Facebook: CHALLENGE OWNER FACEBOOK challenge owner

My Facebook: MY FACEBOOK 
 MY Twitter: IowaMomma

So, I am off! I am going to take before/after pictures of each project.  I also am hoping to get all bonus projects done as well.

I didn't take any before and after pictures. I got to working and then it hit me that I didn't!  So I will start that tomorrow!

As for today---kitchen is done!!! I found three things to get rid of.  All of the dishes are done. Countertops and surfaces are all wiped down. Living room is next!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

National American Miss


Hi, my name is Liliann Jones. I am 7 years old and a 2nd grader at my local elementary school. I just learned that I was chosen as a state finalist for the National American Miss pageant in my home state of Iowa. The pageant will be held the first weekend in April.

Now, I know you hear the word pageant and think Toddlers and Tiaras. But this is the exact opposite of that! This pageant focuses on community service, public speaking, formal wear (poise and posture), and my introduction speech.

There are fun things too, like photogenic contests, talent, top model and others. Feel free to read up on the Pageant and all the good it does for its participants at

In order to go to the state finals in April, I have to raise my fees myself.

As a potential sponsor, you are being asked to help Liliann participate in the program by providing a portion of the sponsor fee for her.  As a sponsor, you or your organization will be featured beside her photo in the state program book.  The sponsor fee is tax deductible for businesses as an advertising expense.  On average, Sponsors donate anywhere from $10.00 - $50.00. Every dollar is so very much appreciated.

To break everything down for you that she would like to get:
$440 is the total for the fee to enter the pageant
$50 fee per entry for talent (2 entries)
$50 fee per entry for casual wear (1 entry)
$50 fee per entry for photogenic (4 entries)
$175 fee for top modeling (this includes a professional photo shoot, in which she will be judged on how she does with the shoot, how she acts when given directions, and how well she enjoys being photographed)--it also includes a full CD of all the pictures for us to take home!

We need all the help we can get to send her to this! It is her dream and passion, and as her family, we want to give her the boost up in the world to help her in her future. Thank you! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time to Catch UP

Wow...I have neglected this blog for way too long!!!!! Time to get my butt back into gear and really start writing again. I have missed it dearly, but due to life's unseen circumstances, I just haven't had the time. No more excuses!!!! Time to catch up!!!!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lili is seven!

Seven years ago, I went in at 6:30 in the morning for my scheduled c-section. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second child.  The c-section went well and my daughter was born.  My husband cut the cord and ever since, she has been the light of our life.  For four days, I sat and cuddled with her in the hospital, while watching Hurricane Katrina tear apart the gulf coast.  I remember thinking to myself, so many people are dying, and here I just brought new life into this world.  We brought our daughter home and began our lives as a family of four.

Now seven years later, she is still the light of our lives. She is growing up so quickly, it scares me to think in 10 years she will be graduating and moving out. It's crazy to think that she will be an adult, dating, college and everything else that goes with becoming an adult. I look at her now and think it can't be possible.  But as I sit and think back, I remember things from when I was seven years old. I remember moving to a new school, having my first communion, and I even remember the teacher I had at the new elementary school I went to.

My daughter hasn't ever had to move, or make new friends. But she has had plenty of new things come into her life in the last few years. She started dance classes and fell in love with the sport. She loves to tumble and dance. This year we started her in tumbling full time, as well as jazz and hip hop. She is excited to start practice in a couple of weeks and already has been practicing at home.

We got her a new bike for her birthday this year, a real big girl bike. It has pegs and only hand brakes. She has already mastered using those instead of normal brakes like on her little girl bike.

For her party this year she wanted a Justin Beiber thing. Another moment that brought back memories for me. I remember being a huge New Kids on the Block fan at her age. I remember loving Jordan Knight, and singing all of their songs. I watch her as she dances around the room to Justin's songs and laugh to myself thinking how similar we are.

She is my mini-me without a doubt. She is beautiful and smart, funny and talented. I just hope she keeps her head on straight and goes for her goals. I hope she doesn't settle and take was it laid in front of her without challenging it. I hope she continues with dance and tumbling and uses it to further herself in life. I want her to go to college and become something amazing. Even if it means her having to leave home and not be close by. I want her to be happy no matter where she is. I want her to travel, and meet new people. And most of all, I want her to stay my little girl, even if only in passing moments. I want to be able to get a hug and feel that she truly is happy.  Those are my wishes for her.  And hopefully as a parent, I can do everything in my power to make them come true.

Happy Birthday Lili. I hope you get everything you dreamed of and more. We love you and always will, no matter what!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stationery card

Seeing Double Boys Birth Announcement
Create beautiful birth announcements with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
This is a project that I created on Shutterfly. I put one picture of each of the boys, and one of them together as a birth announcement. What you can't see is the back, where I added a picture of myself with the boys, and put "from the tummy of our surrogate, Bethany, to our open and loving arms as new parents.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The end of an era

Back in 2006, I had researched the idea of becoming a surrogate mother. I knew in my heart it was something that I could do, and do well. I knew that helping another family was something I wanted to do. My uterus was laying unused, Ryan and I had decided on just two kids early on in our marriage. We want to be able to give them the world and having more kids was just not something we wanted. So after much research and discussion with Ryan, we decided that we would go ahead and move forward with helping an amazing family have the final piece of their puzzle.  We matched with a great couple in November of 2006 and did our first IUI in January of 2007.  We became pregnant on the first try and a beautiful boy came into this world on October 12, 2007.  They named him Kyle.

Everything about that journey was great. The family was complete and I helped create a dream come true for them.  To this day I get pictures and updates from the family and while the contact isn't perfect, I still get to watch him grow.

After he was born, I went through about 6 weeks of postpartum hell. I was horrified about everything. I couldn't get over the fact that the journey was done. I was emotional and a mess. I never thought I would get pregnant again. I even had my tubes tied so I couldn't get pregnant again.  But in 2008, the surrogacy bug bit me again.

I knew this time I wanted to be a gestational surrogate. My first journey I was a traditional surrogate. The baby was made using my egg and the father's sperm. Thus making the child biologically linked to myself. It is something I will treasure forever. I knew though that this time around if I wanted to get pregnant, it would have to be through IVF, only leaving me with the option of becoming a gestational surrogate. 

I matched with a wonderful local couple from Iowa who had no children. But, my job laid me off due to the surrogacy, the match fell through and I was unable to help them become parents. I have no idea if they ever were able to find another surrogate or ever have kids. I then decided a few months after the failed match that I wanted to go one step further in the surrogacy world and help a couple who physically was unable to get pregnant. I wanted to help a same sex couple have a child. I have many friends who are gay, and wanted to help them become a family unit.

I matched with a great couple from Georgia, and flew down to meet them.  But, due to some very personal issues going on in my life, I had to step away from the match. I was heartbroken about doing it, but I couldn't move on and become pregnant when my life at home was such a mess. I fixed my issues at home, and in my life and when things became stable again, I knew it was time to find a match. However, I was so unsure of going independent because it just seemed so scary. So I went through a matching agency. One where they just match the couples, not babysit like some other bigger agencies do.

And there I found the guys---MY guys! E and R were amazing from the beginning. We knew right away that all us wanted to be together as a surrogate/IP relationship. And so we began. In September of 2010 we transferred three embryos. Sadly, the transfer did not work. And in the IVF world, it just sometimes happens like that. It is very unpredictable and nobody can be sure when it will work. So we set out to try for number two. And in January of 2011, we tried again with three frozen embryos. Sadly, yet again, the transfer did not work.  We were heartbroken, but knew we couldn't give up.

We went very quickly and wanted to try again, and in May of 2011, we set out for a fresh transfer of three embryos. This time it worked!!! We were pregnant with one healthy little bean. But five weeks into the pregnancy, I woke up covered in blood. I rushed to the emergency room to find that I had an SCH right next to where the baby was growing. And I miscarried within hours. I was heartbroken, as were the guys. It seemed like I was flushing their dreams down the toilet, and it hurt so physically and emotionally bad. I had never had to go through something like that and can't imagine doing so multiple times as some couples do in the infertility world.

After a few weeks, we knew we had some embryos left over and we knew we had to go for it again. We changed a few things up this time and had our fourth transfer in November of 2011.  I couldn't wait to pee on a stick, because this time I KNEW it had worked. And sure enough, the first ultrasound showed the possibility of triplets. We were over the moon happy, not only that it had worked, but that we had multiples, something the guys had really wanted to happen. Sadly, yet good at the same time, the triplet never made it past a certain stage and never showed a heartbeat. We were sad, but joyful at the same time as triplet pregnancies can be very dangerous, not only to me, but the babies as well.

TWINS....I was pregnant with twins. And the pregnancy progressed beautifully. We had some struggles with all day sickness, blood pressure and a few illnesses. But other than that, the pregnancy was BEAUTIFUL. I loved having the babies inside, moving around and really growing strong. It was so amazing to know that I was able to make these guys into fathers.

And on July 4th, at 2am, my water broke and the boys were delivered at 6:10am and 6:11am. The guys named them Oded and Yoav. They were beautiful and needed no NICU time or help in any way. they were actually released from the hospital before I was, as I was struggling with some blood pressure problems.

In another week, the guys will be home with their new sons and living life as a new family. No longer a couple, but a family unit together forever. Two dads and their two sons.

I am currently 3 weeks postpartum, and while I am yet again struggling through emotional stuff, I feel amazing for knowing that I did something amazing in my life time. Not only did I get to become a mother of two beautiful children, but I gave birth to three children to help complete two families. I helped them have a dream come true when they were unable to do so for themselves.

And now in July of 2012, exactly 6 years after starting my journey in surrogacy, I am saying goodbye. As much as I would love to be a surrogate again, my body is just not going to be able to do it. My uterus is thin, according to the doctor who did my fourth csection. My mind is emotionally drained from everything that went on over the 6 years in the surrogacy world. And I am ready to move on from being pregnant. My 29th birthday is in just a few weeks. I have set a one year goal to get my body back into shape and healthy from years of abuse (pregnancy) and not taking care of it.

I will always hold surrogacy in the best of light. I will always be proud of what I have done. And I want to be a positive image for future surrogates, not only here in Iowa, but across the world. I want to shed a light on surrogacy that isn't negative, as is constantly done now. I want couples to know there are surrogates out there who are amazing people and won't hurt or scam them. I also want to put an end to scamming surrogates. It would be great to get laws into place protecting not only the couples but the surrogates as well. And I would love to make sure that workforces can't discriminate against surrogates and that health insurance covers the pregnancy without stipulations.

Lots of goals, lots of time. But for now, I just wanted to say goodbye to the chapter of surrogacy in my life. And now begin to move forward with what's looking like a very bright future!

Buying books for school

Are you or someone you know going back to school this fall? Do you need to start purchasing your books??? If so, check this out----head to and buy your books there. Not only will you SAVE money, but a little chunk goes to the amazing group: UNIFI!!! So please, use the link and check out at Amazon and support a local college group!!!!!!!!!!!!