Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I MADE IT!!! I read somewhere that most blogs only have a 3 month life! I BEAT THE ODDS! It's hard to believe it, but one year ago today, while living in a hotel temporary living facility (TLF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico, this blog was born! My, how things can change in a year.

Baby Girl looked like this:

And we lived in this:

I can't believe that was a year ago...it seems like it was just yesterday!

Here are some statistics for you about the past year:

- BarnesDailyCircus has been googled 295 times (lets be real, 293 of those were probably my Mom)

- The very first blog I wrote had 18 page views. OH that is so low. Most of the blogs I write now average about 200 page views. Which is still nothing to write home about, but hey! Growth is growth!

- My very first commenter was Bethany Russell. One of my co-workers from Dover. HI BETHANY!

- My top 3 read blogs were:

1. Some nightstands that I re-did. The post was added to a home redesign blog and gets frequently clicked on from their site.

2. Where we announced we were having triplets.

3. Where we found out that one of the babies had anencephaly.

- This little blog won an award!!

- Most of the readers have been from the United States, but there are readers world wide. Who are you? Speak up! This is the list of top 10 countries reading.

United States - 19547
Russia - 596
Canada - 465
United Kingdom - 325
Germany - 284
France - 64
Japan - 63
Philippines - 56
Australia - 52
South Africa - 46

- Most people are reading from a PC! I don't know why this surprised me, but it did.

- I did a total of 156 posts over the past year. Holy cow. That's more than I expected when I started this blog. Especially since during the past few months, I've only been averaging about a post a week. So I was super good about posting in the beginning. No surprise there though. Avery was napping 2x a day and we lived in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere. I am definitely going to try an blog 3x a week. Don't hold me to that.

So thank you everyone. This past year has been a craaaaazy year and I know it's going to keep going full speed ahead. Come along, won't you?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Avery's *NEW* Big Girl Room!!

Avery comes home on Wednesday. YAY! Troy is laughing at me because I have been nesting in preparation for her homecoming. Her room is done, the house is sparkling, the nursery is starting to look like an actual room, and I'm buying her some clothes and toys. Which I haven't done in almost 3 months.

I have been slooooowly collecting things for Avery's big girl room. Like, over 6 months. When she left for my parents house in April, she was still sleeping in her crib and very happy in there. No attempts to climb out or anything. However, I started buying things for her big girl room transition in January. I was very excited...I don't really know why. This is an overview of her room:

We decided to transition her now for several reasons.

1. With the babies coming, we want her to see a tangible difference between what babies do (sleep in cribs) and what big girls do (sleep in big girl beds).

2. I didn't want to be dealing with new babies and also trying to keep her in her room/bed without her getting out.

3. Her crib was a drop arm crib (OH THE HORROR!) and I was always fearful of her trying to climb out and somehow getting crushed or hurt if the side dropped down with her in "mid climb."

4. Her crib was not a transition to a toddler bed crib. Even on the lowest setting, her crib mattress was super high so we needed to buy her a new bed whenever she transitioned out of it. I'd rather have time to shop around for one and get a good deal than feel panicked and buy one on impulse.

I started shopping for a bed on craigslist in November? I'm talking early. We wanted to find something that was a good deal and would also transition well to her being a teenager. I don't want to keep buying and buying. For example, crib ->toddler bed -> another bed. So we just went for it.

We decided on a day bed for several reasons.

1. It is a twin bed, so it's good/not too huge for a kid.

2. It has a pull out/pop up trundle underneath so she can have sleepovers and the other kid has a bed.

3. If we have family visiting with kids, no matter what the gender, they can sleep there too.

4. If we have adults who need to sleep there, it's 2 beds OR it pops up and turns into a king size bed which is good for adults or multiple kid sleepover situations.

With those things in mind, I set out for something on craiglist. I looked at IKEA, but I really wanted quality wood that would last, so all the pressed board crap was out. It took me about 2.5 months of daily checking before this beauty came up. I paid $280 and it included the all wood day bed frame, metal pop up trundle bed and the 2 mattresses, which are BRAND NEW! And now covered with a pee protector since baby girl is still working on the potty training thing. The edge of the mattress also looks huge because we are trying that Pinterest trick, where you put a noodle underneath the edge of a fitted sheet to keep the kid from rolling out of bed in the middle of the night.

The dresser I snagged in March for $50 off Craigslist and that sucker is HEAVY and QUALITY wood. Troy said that when he went to go pick it up, he felt guilty. The quality of the dresser and mirror is AMAZING and he felt like he should have offered more money. I was like "ARE YOU CRAZY!?!?! YOU GRAB IT AND RUN!" The wood of both the dresser and bed match super well. Troy still needs to hang the mirror. We need to get the hardware for the back. That will happen when my stepdad is here next week for sure. Troy won't let me lift anything over a gallon of milk and it's pretty annoying. So no holding up 40lb mirrors. I like that it's a classic shape.

I got the cube self at IKEA with the plastic cubes for toy and book storage. The lamp is from Target and the duck was a gift from my stepmom. My grandfather makes homemade wooden toys and he made the phone. Avery loves phones. So she has a play phone in her room :)

All of the paintings on the walls are Natalie originals from those group painting classes.

Aunt Taylor saw this laundry basket at HomeGoods while she was visiting and decided that her niece HAD to have it for her room. I love it. It has a draw string on the inside, so it'll be good for traveling in the car also. Toss snacks, toys, books, diapers or whatever in there, close it up and toss it in the car. It's awesome.

I bought 5 dresses for $7 from our online community yard sale thingy on facebook too. Apparently, with Avery getting a hang of this potty training thing, she is refusing to wear pants. Dresses only. So I figured I'd stock up. It was exciting, especially since they were all name brand dresses from H&M, Gap, and Gymboree. SCORE! I feel ABSOLUTELY NO guilt about buying Avery clothes because I know we are going to have 2 more girls to wear them. Muahahaha. Imagine me doing my evil laugh and tapping the ends of my fingers together.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pink or Blue?

Guesses anyone?

They told us a few weeks ago what they thought we were having, but went back and forth. It's nice having an ultrasound every week because we can be like, "ok look again."

After 3 ultrasounds and all 3 technicians saying the same thing, we are excited to announce that we are expecting 2 MORE GIRLS!

Now now, I know what you're thinking, because I thought the same thing. "Oh, poor Troy." Yeah right, he was so excited. I mean, he was hoping that one of them would be a boy, but really, who does he have to blame but himself? AND after everything we've been through, he was THRILLED that they're healthy and we're having more...and he has Optimus. He totally counts as another boy in the house to balance all the estrogen. So he's not completely alone, right?

So good news, we already have girl clothes :) YES! I was so worried about not being able to reuse some of Avery's clothes if we had a bunch of boys. But that was just nonsense. I started pulling out all of Avery's newborn stuff. O. M. G. You forget SO quickly how little they are when they are born. Crazy.

My last appointment went great on tuesday and the hemorrhage is SMALLER! YAY! I am on the "regular" high risk appointment schedule now, which is an appointment every 2 weeks instead of every week. My big anatomy scan is in 4 weeks.

AND AVERY COMES HOME ON WEDNESDAY! I'm going to try and get a video at the airport to post of this. Kind of like a coming home from a deployment video. Except Avery is coming home from Grandma's. So not really the same thing. I hope she remembers us...she should. We skype all the time and she knows us. I'm just being paranoid.

I'm also nesting in anticipation of her return home. Her big girl room and big girl bed is all ready for her. We also changed her door knob from a lever to a knob in hopes that she won't be able to open it. I think that's wishful thinking. Haha.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Selective Reduction Risks and Decisions

I had my doctor's appointment on monday with Dr. Adashek. He was awesome. The staff was amazing.

We were shown into an ultrasound room, where another very experienced technician did my scan. She was serious. She had "ultrasound elbow" and wore a splint. Like tennis elbow, but from excessive diagnostic imaging. She confirmed (again) that baby C had anencephaly and looked at my cervix length (which is amazingly long, go me).

Dr. Adashek came in and this is a play by play of the highlights of the conversation:

He gives me a big hug. I love hugs. He sits on a rolling stool 2 feet in front of me.

Dr: So, you've been quite the topic of conversation. I've been talking a lot about you behind your back. I've talked to several of the doctors at Nellis as well as Dr. Bolnick. You understand what's going on. We don't need to repeat that. I understand you've already talked to Olivia (the genetic anomaly counselor) and Dr. Bolnick about the procedure for having a selective reduction and I want to answer any questions you have and talk about risks of all scenarios. Where are you currently in your decision to have a selective reduction?

Me: I'm leaning towards having the reduction but I want to know what the risk of carrying all 3 babies to term (as far as my body allows) vs. the risks of the reduction are. Basically, is the risk of losing all the babies by doing the reduction MORE than the risks to myself and the babies if I carry them?

Dr: Carrying HEALTHY triplets, the risk is way more. Carrying triplets and one of them having anencephaly, the risk is even higher to you and the other 2 babies.

Me: What? Why?

Dr: Your body knows that something is wrong with that baby. It is going to pour more nutrients and amniotic fluid into that baby's sack to try and heal it. Which of course, won't work. Ultimately, that baby will get bigger and occupy more than it's fair share of the limited space in there. It will force preterm labor, possibly earlier than 28 weeks. We are happy when someone carrying healthy triplets gets to 32 weeks, and you are still looking at 2 months in a NICU as well as all of the additional health issues associated with preterm babies. At 28 weeks or earlier, you will definitely lose baby C, and the risk of baby A and B being blind, deaf or both as well as having lung problems or a brain hemorrhage is astronomically high. In addition to that, YOU are at risk for preeclampsia, uterine hemorrhage and whatever emotional distress you have because you lose a baby and may deal with 2 other children with severe lifelong health issues.

Me: Ok. What are the risks with the reduction? What are the odds that I could lose all the babies? Troy and I have already decided that there is no way I can go through fertility treatments again, so if this pregnancy doesn't work out, we're done.

Dr: The risks of losing the whole pregnancy are between 1/100 and 1/300. I have the most experience in the whole practice with reductions, thus the highest success rate. Most people lose the whole pregnancy because of an infection as a result of the procedure within 24 to 48 hours. What are your biggest hesitations about the procedure?

Me: Religious mostly. God blessed us with these children and I don't want to feel like I killed one of them. I'm worried about being judged by my friends or family who feel the same way. I know that this is a personal decision, but I still feel like I want the support and approval of everyone.

Dr: Screw them. You tell them to carry triplets and go through the emotional trauma of losing a child. And then watching 2 of them fight for their lives with underdeveloped brains and lungs while you stand helplessly by, knowing that you could have done something to help them 4 months before. Ultimately, you might feel regret and sadness and guilt now, but it's better to feel it now and give your healthy babies the BEST CHANCE at a healthy life than risk their lives and deal with the emotional trauma of burying a child at the same time and feel guilt for the rest of your life. This is your decision. Don't let the other people in your life GUILT you into making a decision that could effect the health of your other babies for the rest of all of your lives.

Me: Troy...are you ok? You haven't said anything.

Troy: I've been on board with the reduction the whole time. I'll support you either way. This is probably going to be harder on you than me. If you decide to carry the babies, you're the one who has to do it and I'll wait on you, hand and foot.. If you decide to have the reduction, I'll be there praying with you and holding your hand.

Me: Ok, well isn't it too late? I'm 15 weeks today.

Dr: It's actually the exactly right time. People choose to have reductions of healthy babies between 12 and 15 weeks. You actually have cause for health reasons of you and your babies.

Me: Ok, well when can we do this?

Dr: I'll schedule you for tomorrow afternoon as my last patient. I don't want to feel rushed because I have other people waiting and I don't want you to feel like I ran out when the procedure was done and didn't answer your questions or hold your hand after.

Me: Ok, let's do it.

He also gave us his personal cell phone number. He told me to never ever go to the ER, never go to Nellis, and to never call the emergency after hours number. He wants me to deal with him personally through the rest of my pregnancy and ensured that I would remain under his care for the remainder of my prenatal care.

I had the reduction on Tuesday afternoon. The staff was amazing. They held my hands, rubbed my hair, and gave us cell numbers to call with questions. My sister flew in this morning to keep me company. I'm doing well. I'm feeling the other 2 babies move, which is comforting to me. I have been relaxing on the couch and drinking lots of water. As of now, I am on the fence about blogging about the actual reduction. I'm not sure who wants to read about it and who would just rather not know. Based on feedback and levels of curiosity about the procedure, what happens to the baby, etc I will blog/not blog.

Some of our friends brought us meals the day of the procedure and the next day. You guys are awesome. I love you. Troy wants those recipes...you guys know who you are.

Update: And I finally wrote about the procedure...about a year later...