March212012

Just the Facts, Ma’am!

I’m not sure how I exactly feel, personally, about Melissa having to be induced beginning tomorrow evening. I’m sure with her actually the individual affected by being induced instead of labor arriving naturally - she’s much more apprehensive! 

I have thought of several positives for her to not have to worry with natural labor…

— no embarrassing and random ‘water breaking’ in a public place or at a family’s residence

— no speeding tickets for rushing Melissa to the hospital 30-minutes away because her water has broke or due to close contractions

— A little more stability in knowing when the labor proceedings will happen instead of the constant worry that it could happen at any time

— The ability to relax tomorrow evening at the hospital with getting settled in… unpacking… and easing into everything

— Having the vehicle completely ready… packed… ‘gassed up’ and ready to go. All bags properly packed and the car seat / infant carrier ready to go

— preparing immediate family on both sides for labor to begin

On the flip side of things… it’s always interesting to experience the unknown. Like, what would it feel like to suddenly have to drop everything and rush your wife off to the hospital ‘Hollywood’ style. Then again, some things are more enjoyable when watched from a distance and a different point of view.  :)

I won’t mention the numerous negatives or precautions of being induced as Melissa and I have been over them countless times and we’re well informed (and more importantly prayed up). God’s got this and by faith… we shall follow without fear of the unknown. :)

So, it’s nice to have that positive outlook and take on the optimist side for a moment. Yeah, the happenings of the next 48 hours are going to be a whirlwind, scary and emotional but a beautiful baby girl will be resting within my arms when it’s all said and done. To experience such, I’d go through just about anything. 


So, bring it! I’m ready!!

10PM

The Countdown Concludes.

Two days remain until we get to meet our daughter face-to-face!! However, only one day remains until we’re scheduled in at the hospital for the cervadil administration and supervision. So, the count down has been completed! So, when is it appropriate to freak out as a new dad-to-be in less than 48 hours? 

Sure… when we first saw the two positive pregnancy tests… during all the prenatal visits… the sonogram… putting together the nursery… shopping… baby showers… feeling her kick… putting a car seat base in the Mazdas… hearing her heart beat…  All this, kind of set in that I was eventually going to be a daddy after so many years of awaiting God’s promises to play out. However, I’m not sure I ‘feel’ like a dad, yet. Maybe as things sort of ‘kick off’ tomorrow evening and the entire laboring process beings as I sit dressed in scrubs awaiting Melissa’s body to do its final delivery prep as as the contractions hit…. everything will finally feel like I’m about to be a dad. Right now, I just have a huge smile on my face and know that the next few days are going to be life changing in every sense of the term. 

I may get to post one more time tomorrow before 7:00 P.M. when Melissa and I are scheduled to be at the Chambersburg Hospital beginning the process of dilation and labor. If not, the count down will sort of conclude here. 

There may be two days until jellybean will be born, but we’ll be at the hospital overnight starting tomorrow. Hence the inclusion of the ‘2’ and the ‘1’. 

I counted down the days from 45, then the due date came and left. Next, I counted down from 10 since those amount of days were added before Melissa was scheduled to be induced. The count down allowed me to express my thoughts… my followers a glimpse of what was going on during the pregnancy and a little self-sanity with myself. 

Tomorrow is it, the climax. Am I ready? More than likely, no. However, God has been building me as a dad for many years now. So, with Him by my side every step… we’ll figure this thing out called fatherhood one way or another.

The time has arrived!!

12AM

Three days remain. Tomorrow will tell us a great deal during our LAST prenatal visit - #15. The appointment will let us know if Thursday’s administration of cervadil will be necessary. The outcome of tomorrow’s visit will put everything into motion and sort of set labor arrangements in concrete. So, please check back tomorrow evening for a detailed review of the appointment. I may even try to get it posted before church. We’ll see.

Melissa started her maternity leave today, as she’ll be away from CAS as their office manager for the next 6.5 weeks. Please be in prayer with us that her office runs smoothly in her absence and that she can return, when the timing is right, like she never left. That would be amazing! 

Melissa feels ‘weird’ today, but in a good way. She thinks her body is progressing finally like it should had been weeks ago!! We’ll find out tomorrow!!

The best part? Our appointment will be over in midst of Sonic’s happy hour!! I see a cherry, blue Hawaiian limeade or a lime-accented ocean water in my future!

March192012

Four days remain… 

It’s hard not to think about it when 1) I do keep this blog active nightly by choice 2) so many friends around us (whom were due within a week before/after us) have delivered their babies 3) Melissa and I know of some friends whom had to deal with tragedy this week. 

This is seriously one week that just needs to be on fast forward. Then again, my anxious attitude is that just of a soon-to-be dad totally in love with the fact of being a dad. Children have been a part of my life since the age of 15, as I’ve worked in one after another profession influencing our younger generations. So, I’m built for this! 

Melissa had to repack her hospital bag and jellybean’s diaper bag tonight due to Spring arriving a week or so early. Now, she (and jellybean) will be better dressed for the weather forecasted for this weekend sitting at 70+ degrees. At least it’s updated and replaced in her vehicle with the car seat/base. :)

So anxious for Wednesday’s appointment and then Thursdays’ evening visit/stay at Chambersburg Hospital. Won’t be long now…

Only 10% of ALL pregnant individuals go 42 weeks into their pregnancy. Since the stats sit at like one baby born every five seconds… That’s not a huge number. Guess Melissa is special even in pregnancy.  :) 

March162012

Seven days left until jellybean’s arrival one way or another. One week to go! For only seven more days, we’ll be a family of two. Wow, such a thought just hit. As each day passes… just like today. No Fridays remain which we’ll not have a daughter to love and support. Wow. I mean, I’m going to be a dad! Finally!! If you could only see the smile I possess at this time…

Another day lacking of contractions for Melissa… not even of the Braxton Hicks’ variety. Why do I have a feeling jellybean is just a ‘tad’ TOO comfortable in that ever growing belly bump!

As I know I’ll spend a lifetime trying to always make jellybean feel comfortable with her parents. To talk… to open up to… to gain that sense of security. Right now is not that time when I want her all cozy in there!! She’s been evicted… she’s been asked to leave and is overdue! GET OUT, GET OUT!  haha

She was able to spend the day with her beloved mother and two of our nephews; Grant and Keaton. Lucky girl! I got to work with a unique class of students with autism today. We both had interesting Fridays and beginnings to our weekend.

March102012

Keystone Women’s Care: Prenatal Visit #13

(Yeah, it’s still Melissa writing)

On Thursday, March 8th, I had my 13th visit with KWC. Also, I had my third appointment with one of my favorite staff members at KWC - Ms. Ashley Lawson (midwife). As Josh had mentioned in the past, she is one of my favorite caregivers for several reasons. I wouldn’t mind if she was the individual whom helped bring our lil’ miracle into the world.

I rushed around and arrived nearly 15 minutes early and I was actually taken back to one of the rooms right away! Definitely a first!! I weighed in at… ahem, you didn’t REALLY think I’d say - did you? :) I did gain TWO POUNDS this past week bringing the total to somewhere around 13 pounds for the entire pregnancy. On pace and normal, but still not comforting. I do blame most of the gains on jellybean’s every growing self and my slightly swollen legs.

My BP was 133 over 88, slightly higher than normal as I keep a constant normal BP usually. Probably the stress of worrying that jellybean is going to arrive after her due date. I don’t know.

Ms. Lawson presented many details about preclampsia and what symptoms to watch for. If anything she mentioned was noticed by Josh or myself, I had to call their office IMMEDIATELY! Not such a comforting thought, but glad they care so much about me.

God has blessed me with a very healthy pregnancy thus far and no doubt will continue to do so until D-Day.

Some TMI questions were asked, but thankfully… nothing I had experienced yet. Hopefully, never will.

How’s the baby you ask? She’s definitely snug as a bug in the rug! Apparently, she gets such a trait from her daddy where she wants to “piddle paddle” to the very end and remains quite stubborn about coming out to meet us! After three continuous weeks, I’m STILL only 1 CM dilated and only 50% effaced. Jellybean’s heartrate was 150 bpm; quite healthy. I measured at 39 CM which is right on!

So, where does that leave things at with no progress in dilation for three straight weeks?

I have an appointment Wednesday (my original due date) for a nonstress test. Then, I have my 14th prenatal visit the next day on the 15th. If there is still no significant change (3 CM+ dilated) by that appointment, I will be induced.

My current date of induction is Friday, March 23rd at 7:00 AM. I will be 41w2d pregnant by that point and overdue.

~~~~~~~~~

I am slightly scared of the procedure. Not so much the actually act of being induced, but the preparation for it. I’d have to go to the hospital the night before, my birthday, and be subjected to a drug called cervidil. This drug is used to drastically soften the cervix… prepping me for delivery… and helping rush dilation at the same time. I have to be at least 3 CM dilated before an inducing delivery is possible. After receiving the cervidil injection, I have to lay down for two hours to be monitored!! I just hope I don’t have to lay flat on my back because I can barely do that now for more than 5 minutes without extreme pain. They will continue to monitor the cervidil effects for 12 hours - basically right up to my time of induction. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.

REGARDLESS, I really… REALLY do NOT want to do this procedure unless it’s absolutely medically necessary for jellybean to arrive healthy. I bugged myself out the last night or two by reading statistics, side effects, and reactions from the cervidil administration. I have such a bad habit of over-analyzing and researching medical treatments and procedures. :/

1AM

Today would had signified that we’d only have four remaining on my count down until jellybean’s official due date. However, because Melissa’s level of dilation is moving in slow motion (and maybe for good reason that only our Almighty God knows)…

we’re looking at Melissa being induced on Friday, March 23rd at 7:00 A.M. as possibly a new birth date.

No need to worry, as we consider every new day as a possible date of arrival. However, with everything that’s been going on; I felt it was fitting that I needed to change up the countdown a bit to fit the situation. 

So, you’ll most likely be seeing two types of a count down going on from here on out. Confusing? Maybe. However, keeps me going each new day.  :)

We’re looking at 13 days remaining until jellybean is being evicted regardless of her being satisfied in a safe, warm, confined space in Melissa’s baby bump. We don’t blame her for procrastinating or being comfortable in there, but sooner or later - it’s time to join the Galla family.

As mentioned before, pray that I can end these silly count downs and jellybean arrives by her due date.  :)

12AM

I’m sure this evening, by now, you’re like… wait; he’s not done posting blog entries YET?!

I was blessed enough to convince my wife to post a few messages about how she feels and her last appointment at her OB office since I wasn’t there. So, with her ingenious remarks, I have my normal ‘words’ of wisdom to post too. So, yeah… LOTS to read tonight. My apologies in advance. I may be type talking too much tonight. Oh well, gives everybody PLENTY to read over the weekend and catch up on our current situation during Melissa’s pregnancy. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings tonight! 

First off, I’m quite thankful Melissa FINALLY provided some feedback on my blog as I’ve been asking her to write an entry (or two) since the first weeks of her pregnancy. She wrote beautifully as I already reassured her I knew she was capable of! 

===================

As you could tell in her posts, we’ve reached a tad bit of a snag in my countdown and jellybean’s original due date. As we’ve been told over and OVER; first baby can be up to two weeks late. Due to Melissa’s slow progression of dilation and effacement; jellybean now has a date of induction. 

If Melissa does not dilate more than 3 CM before her next appointment on March 15th, jellybean will be set to call Friday, March 23rd her birthday and date of arrival in our lives. 

As you read, such events would require quite an invasive procedure… and a long delivery process for Melissa. I do not believe such is in God’s will as I believe He has DIFFERENT PLANS! So, please keep Melissa (and our daughter) in your prayers daily for the next two weeks. We really feel God has a much smoother plan than what physicians are explaining to us. 

Thank you in advance. 

12AM

Letters to Jellybean - #9 (from Mommy)

To My Beautiful Daughter:

Daddy has been writing you adorable letters this whole journey which he will pass on to you as you grow older.  I am so thankful that you will have such a compassionate father, one who I know will love you unconditionally and faithfully.  I can’t wait for the day when I get to see him hold you for the first time. 

While I want you to arrive healthy and happy in this world I can only think of one thing to say to you right now that sums up my 9-month journey. It is time to get out! You have stretched my body beyond proportions imaginable and I would like to start getting it back in shape!  

I long for the day when I get to hold you in my arms and smoother you with kisses and love!   How can my heart ache so much these last few weeks for you when I have yet to see your beautiful face?   Each night I go to bed and pray that this will be the night or day God decides it is time for you to be born into our lives. I can’t explain it, but you my darling already have us wrapped around your little fingers. I pray that you will grow to love us as much as we love you! 

Well, my daughter - only a few more short days or weeks until this will happen,  so I must be going.  Your mommy has a few more errands and chores that she would like to complete in order to make sure your arrival in our home is a safe and happy one.

I love you with all my heart and then some, I never truly understood the sacrifices that a mother is willing to make for her children until you decided to come in our lives… now it is all so clear.

Jellybean…until you decide to come, I will continue to pray that you remain safe and sound in my ever rolling and bulging belly.

Love forever and ever, 

Your grateful mommy! 

12AM

Finally - Words From the Mom-to-be!

Hi everyone!

This is my first attempt at writing a blog from my (the mommy-to-be’s) perspective on the dad-to-be’s amazing blog. I can’t promise you what I will talk/rant/complain about, so just sit back and enjoy it for what it is worth! 

Since we discovered I was pregnant, Josh has been telling things from a dad’s perspective, but let me fill you in on how it is really been!  

I admire and love Josh with all my heart… I’m impressed, beyond description, at his love and dedication for me and his soon-to-be-born daughter. However, I don’t think he realizes, nor ever will, what my body has gone through to help him fulfill one of his life dreams.

For the most part, I have loved being pregnant! Once I got past the first trimester, fears, and learned how to manage my ALL DAY sickness… it hasn’t been too bad!

Today marks only 6 days until she is considered overdue. Do you know what that does to a body?  It hurts!  It hurts like crazy!  Between the doctors poking and proding already tender muscles/joints… combined with jellybean performing her own stunts (as if they were about to tape a Kung Fu Panda 3 - with her being the leading roll), this momma is not getting any relieve! 

I have a few more words to express… so moving right along!

~~~~~


Needless to say, Josh and I will try everything in the next week to get jellybean to progress forward and help mommy’s cervix prep for delivery. Hiking… pineapples… spicy food. You name it, I’m going to try it. 

Meanwhile, I had a small burst of energy today so I’m ‘working jellybean out’ while I clean. Maybe I’ll even get some time in the garden (a favorite hobby of mine!).

Being this is probably one of the few blog entries that I’ll type and derive from mommy’s perspective - let me wrap things up by saying I’m ever-so blessed and thankful to be seen as a fit and beautiful mommy-to-be. 

It is a great gift that I never thought I’d experience. Countless nights of asking and crying over why I couldn’t conceive a child has come to pass - leaving me speechless. Eight years, EIGHT LONG YEARS! Now, only a few days or a week (or two) remain. What an amazing and awesome feeling! I’ll never take such a gift for granted. 

Thank you to all my friends and family who have helped us through this journey. Financially, spiritually, and not to mention the truck load of baby items we’ve been blessed with so far! Jellybean is going to be one loved (and spoiled) girl!

After these last 40 weeks, I would go through it all again in any given moment! So yes, I DO want more kids!! Thanks for asking…

March82012

A photoshoot of my own to give homage to Melissa’s 39th week. Trying to work on my photography skill.  :)  Enjoy.

12AM

Week 39 Arrives!!

As of today, Melissa is 39 weeks pregnant with only as little as seven days remaining until jellybean is born (given she’s NOT going to be late). We speak positivity over her; not punishment. :)

Throughout her entire pregnancy, the time put forth has been relatively smooth and ‘go with the flow’ of sorts. Melissa has kept the less than large cute baby bump… the sexy and beautiful pregnancy glow… and a smile. Very few times has she been in excruciating pain. All gifts of God from our point of view!!

Jellybean’s weight, somewhere between 7.5-8.0 pounds, is now being compared to a mini watermelon! In Melissa’s mindset, she’s felt she’s been carrying / lugging around a small watermelon throughout her pregnancy! 

Length-wise, jellybean should be between 20.0-21.0” inches. Something quite that long and big in girth is simply amazing to fit into and live within Melissa’s baby bump. I really do not understand how internal organs / body parts can function squished by a nearly two feet interference. The entire idea baffles me time and time again!

Her movements have slowed down, but we can both still feel them nightly. Definitely a good sign. She should be active - moving/kicking - up until delivery. So, we pay close attention. We believe, as it will be confirmed during tomorrow’s visit to the OB, that jellybean has dropped and remains head down. I get quite worried about the length/girth of her lifeline (i.e., umbilical cord). I pray daily that she doesn’t get caught up in it and it steers clear. We’re believing in NO COMPLICATIONS regardless of the possibilities. 

Her brain is rapidly developing at an astonishing rate and will continue to do so for the first three years of life. She won’t be packing on the pounds / baby fat as rapidly from this point out - but weight will be added the longer she remains with Melissa. As mentioned last week, all systems are go as she is more than developed enough to survive in our world without any added assistance. She’s just awaiting the perfect birth date.  :) :)

Mommy is doing well, as mentioned above. She is a tad sad that she’ll miss BEING PREGNANT as the movements of jellybean within alone are a feeling she’d want to feel the rest of her life. I guess that will just be a push a few months down the road to try for #2, right?

One week to go. So, the clan of the Galla’s… Gladhill’s… and Kidd’s… should prepare to meet our lil’ miracle any day now! 

12AM

Well… looks like we’ve made it to the final week of Melissa’s pregnancy! Only seven days; one week remains. The question is… has God picked her actual due date or a day before or after for her birthday? The waiting game continues as Melissa and I are literally on the edge of our seats!! I’m sure that’s quite obvious by now!

As you’ll see in my next post, week 39 arrived today. Melissa’s baby bump has rounded it quite nicely, as you’ll see in a few upcoming photos too. So, everything is in line… now all we need is God’s revelation. :)

Melissa is pretty uncomfortable, but does such a wonderful job hiding it. She is definitely a beautiful prego; in every sense of the word. I’m going to keep this short and sweet since I have a weekly update to compose too!

March62012

Only a mere eight days remain! Melissa and I were hoping I wasn’t going to be able to complete this countdown, as jellybean would arrive before her due date. Seems like our Almighty and faithful God has other plans (which is more than fine by me!).

So many emotions are tied into this pregnancy and this last week until we meet our daughter. 

The fact that so many years have passed since we initially had a notion to conceive a child between us. I truly believe the idea of a ‘daddy’ was branded into me since my teenage years. I’ve just been given such a kind-spirited heart and soul that screams parental figure. Well, at least in my mind such is true. 

I will say all the ups and downs… whirlwind of emotions… and situations we experienced through fertility issues… adoption possibilities… unfruitful ventures. All of this was worth it to see a healthy, beautiful newborn in our arms before the next week (or two) ends. Strength definitely derives from struggle.

We are definitely more knowledgeable, stable, and stronger from all the trials experienced. We’re thankful even based on the result. 

I can only hope those whom are quite fertile and have been chosen by God’s miracle to conceive at a young age truly appreciate and understand the blessing they’ve been given. It’s always for a purpose not to be taken lightly or without careful consideration. 

I don’t think, still, that the fact I’m going to be a daddy in a few days has hit. I cannot await the moment when jellybean enters our world… and is brought upon Melissa’s chest for the first time and we both get to gaze into the eyes of our daughter. It’s going to be a moment unlike any other.

March52012

Single digits. Only nine days remain before jellybean’s ‘official’ due date! Silly me predicted she’d come sometime this evening a few weeks back. However, she’s still be as stubborn as ever and I’m guessing she’s quite comfortable. 

Contractions are few and far between still. We are anxious to see if Melissa is anymore dilated during Thursday’s visit. So, no news to report. 

We’ve tried a few of the recommendations of helping Melissa out, so we’ll see how successful we are.  haha

God has a planned birthday for her, so we are just awaiting to discover which day it is. :)

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