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This is long and wordy and full of TMI. Just a fair warning!
Labor for me was elusive. I had contractions on and off for weeks but no other sign. Each night I’d go to bed hoping that by morning something, anything, would happen but nothing did.
November 26th - Thursday, Thanksgiving
Then on Thanksgiving, something did happen, I woke up around 8am to a small “gush” of fluid. I got up to go to the bathroom excited that things seemed to be starting, but was disappointed when no other fluid came out. Same happened when I got back in bed. I had read that when your water breaks, if you stand up baby’s head essentially “plugs” the cervix so no more water comes out, but once you lay back down and baby’s head moves, more water will gush. Since there was no sign that more water was coming I tried to get a little more sleep, hoping for the contractions to come. I remember thinking that it was ironic that it happened on Thanksgiving, because I knew how excited my mom was to finally be able to host dinner and now this would ruin it!
I was yet to be disappointed, not only did we make it to Thanksgiving Dinner, but went to bed that night having only minor contractions once again and was frustrated once again.
November 27th - Black Friday!
To my surprise, I was woken up at approximately 3am having more than just minor contractions. In fact, they were definitely more than what I had been experiencing for the past weeks and were coming at a regular pace. After an hour (and after trying to go back to bed) I realized that they weren’t stopping so I finally woke Chris up (by tapping his forehead) and said “I think we should start timing these! This was about 5am and the contractions were short (30 seconds) but coming between 5 and 10 minutes apart. I went onto Facebook and posted a status update of “Thunder-Cats are go!”
We made the decision to call our midwife/monitrice Jennifer at 6am and she showed up shortly thereafter. She did a blood pressure check and checked the baby’s heart tones but due to the possibility that my water may have broken, we did not check dilation at that time (so as to not introduce infection).
Jennifer left after bringing all her stuff in and giving us the instructions to go back to bed and try to get more sleep. It was still early yet and we needed to get as much rest as possible. We went back to bed at approximately 6:30am and I was able to sleep, which was definitely needed.
I woke up then again at about 8:30am this time with a definite rupture of membranes. It was clear (no meconium) and more of a “fast leak”. Early on I had made the decision to not go into the hospital as soon as my water broke. I felt that with Jennifer there to monitor us we would be better off staying home and not put on the arbitrary “rupture to delivery” clock that a hospital would put on us.
I did not update Facebook to mention that my water had broken, but I did post “No baby yet, still very early. Will update later!”
One thing that we did do was make arrangements for Connor to go with Sarah (my best friend and right-hand woman) to Grand Forks for the day. I will be forever grateful that she was willing to take a cantankerous two-year old on a drive over an hour long.
I called Jennifer to give her an update about my water breaking and I called my doula Jill to just give her a heads up. She had gone out of town for Thanksgiving but was on her way back to town at this point.
With Connor out of the house, that left us to labor alone. By this time the contractions had slowed down, never getting closer than 15 minutes apart. I took a nap and watched TV. At about 11:45am I received a call from Summer asking if there was a baby yet. She had gone to work very early for Black Friday and hadn’t seen the Facebook update yet, so I was excited to be able to tell her that I was at least in early labor. So even though she should have gone home and napped, she went home and took care of a few things, then came over and took me to Target. I still had to get Connor his Big Brother gift from the baby (a Cars set of toys) and I wanted to see if walking would help contractions pick up.
Now walking is supposed to help shorten labors but walking at Target didn’t even cause a contraction. In fact, it was pretty much just uncomfortable, because the walking did cause me to leak even more fluid and I soon soaked through the pad I was wearing. It was uncomfortable enough to prompt me to leave this Facebook status: “Nothing new to report walking at Target w/ ruptured membranes sucks, in case anyone was wondering!”
Summer treated me to Arby’s and we went back to the house. Chris in the meantime, was waiting to pick up Richard who was going to bring him out to lunch (Hooters ) Summer stuck around until about 4:30pm and after that I just tooled around the house until Sarah came back with Connor. I had texted her wondering if she’d be okay with spending the night, just in case things picked up very fast and we needed to head to the hospital. She made the detour to her apartment and arrived around 6pm. I was happy to see my little monster and we spent some time together while Chris rocked on Guitar Hero.
Summer came over a little while later and made Chex Mix for Kenny’s birthday party the next day and Sarah made chocolate covered pretzels (that sadly the chocolate was burned ) and essentially we had a little “Labor” party. I spent a lot of time on my yoga ball and we began watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. At some point I got out the breast pump to see if a little nipple stimulation might help and since Summer is also a nursing mom, she needed to pump too. That prompted this update from Chris: “sitting in my living room listening to Jaci and Summer talk about each other’s breast pumps. Summer’s sounds like a cat; Jaci’s is too loud.”
Summer eventually had to leave again to get more things prepared at her own house for Kenny’s party but it was not the last we’d see of her!
By this time things began picking up again. On Facebook I left this message “Things seem to be picking up, we’ll see what develops tonight.”
Jennifer had come back at around 10pm to check my blood pressure and baby’s heart tones but because things weren’t coming along too fast, she went back home though she did suggest I climb some stairs to help get baby in a better position. Let me tell you, climbing disgustingly dirty stairs with an audience (including one hubby who was taking pictures) was not fun, though it did seem to help.
At around 11:30 things began to get a little more intense. We made the decision to call Jill at this point because I was needing some help with pain management.
At 11:47pm I left this on Twitter: “Things are getting pretty intense around here!” Contractions began to get closer together, coming every 3 to 6 minutes and were definitely more painful.
Jill arrived and we continued on with our Labor party. Chris left this Tweet :”Getting sleepy. Baby is taking it’s time to arrive, but things are progressing well. Extremely excited though ” and actually was able to go to bed.
Summer came back around 1:30am. She was so excited to be able to help at all (I was present at her daughter’s birth) that I couldn’t convince her she should stay home and sleep.
At some point Summer, Sarah, and I all bundled up and walked up and down the block. We must have been quite the sight to behold. We never turned the corner, just turned back around. I’m sure they must have been freezing! Once again though, the walking did not seem to do anything but cause a tightness in my muscles, I didn’t have any contractions while out at all. I also tried a position to see if I could get baby in a better position (chest down, rear in the air) and while I did feel baby “fall” out of my pelvis and reposition, it didn’t help much with contractions (and actually I felt him readjust back into a poor position early the next morning).
I began to get discouraged. The contractions seemed to be slowing down and it was getting super late/early. I felt bad because nothing was happening and I had all these people here to help. I finally decided to take a shower to see if that would help relax. It did, in fact it made me downright sleepy and when I got out of the shower I was actually delighted to find that all of my visitors were also sleeping. They had made themselves comfortable and therefore I didn’t feel as bad that they were all still here. I then went to bed myself.
Little did I realize that laying down was going to actually cause contractions. I was able to get some broken sleep with Chris there to help me through each contraction. Sadly I woke up again on Saturday morning without a baby.
November 28th - Saturday
Sarah left the house early that morning so she could sleep in her own bed, and Summer left eventually also, since she had Kenny’s Birthday party to host. Jill left eventually because she had a morning wedding but Jennifer came over to check my blood pressure and baby’s heart tones and she also did a cervix check. There was good news with that thankfully. I was dilated to between a 5 and an 8 though my cervix was still posterior (usually the cervix tilts forward in preparation for delivery) and since she couldn’t actually feel the back of my cervix she couldn’t tell if I was a 5 or an 8 with a lip of cervix left. I was also more effaced and baby was much lower in my pelvis.
This news was very reassuring but unfortunately the contractions had spaced themselves out again.
Facebook: “Still no baby getting a little discouraged so keep us in your thoughts!”
Another thing was Connor was still home. Sarah was going to Thanksgiving Dinner in Wadena so we wanted to make other arrangements. While I missed him terribly the day before, I felt he would do better going somewhere with someone who could give him all the attention, so I called my mom to see if she’d like to take him for the day. She arrived around 11:30am to pick him up and we got them situated with our mini-van and they left. We were smart enough to plan ahead so that my mom had a pack and play and other stuff for Connor (though I think we forgot clothes for him ) so when I called her later that evening to ask if he could just stay overnight, it worked out just fine.
Chris and I spent the day just relaxing and watching movies. We made the decision to only have Jennifer and Jill return, though we knew our friends would gladly come back I was feeling bad that they were just “Hurry Up and Waiting” and thought maybe it was affecting my progress.
We talked to Jennifer around 3pm (while we were napping) She was going to come over a little while later and since I couldn’t fall back to sleep I got up and took a shower while sitting on the yoga ball (it was the only way I could get the water to fall effectively on my back). It was heavenly and I showered like that until the hot water ran out.
Jennifer came back that evening around dinner-time and settled in for what appeared to be a never-ending labor. Things did start to get more intense once again particularly after I took a late evening nap. In fact, that seemed to be just what I needed to get things going again. So much so that we had hit the point where we needed to decide: To stay home or would we head to the hospital. We wouldn’t have gone in to the hospital at that point, but if we wanted to stay home then Jennifer needed to get her stuff set up.
We decided to stay home and soon things began getting set up.
At 11:30pm we called Jill again and soon after Chris left this Tweet: “This **** just got real.” Contractions were from 2 to 5 minutes apart and lasted 30-45 seconds. We had officially reached active labor! The next hurdle was one I was worried about, that is Transition (transition is 8cm dilated and contractions that come one after another, it is supposed to be the most painful part of labor and the part where woman ask for pain meds or to “just cut the baby out of me!”) but apparently there was still a long way to go for that.
It was another long night of changing positions, bouncing on the yoga ball, slow dancing with Chris, and having pressure applied to my back and hips by Jill and Jennifer.
At some point Jennifer suggested I try a bath which I did. It was really nice and relaxing but our tub isn’t deep enough so it didn’t offer a ton of relief.
After the bath I desperately wanted to sleep but I didn’t want labor to slow down again and laying down also seemed to cause really painful contractions. I ended up sitting up on the couch with pillows and blankets to hold me up between contractions. I did sleep between them, but it was broken sleep. Eventually I went into the bed where contractions continued to be strong but did space out once again.
November 29th - Sunday
I once again woke up without a baby in my arms. Needless to say we were getting very frustrated. Jennifer checked me again and this time she was pretty sure I was at least an 8 with a lip and 100% effaced with the baby even lower, this time at +2.
Left on Facebook: “ Finally went into active labor @ 10pm. 100 percent effaced, nearly an 8 dilated, baby is at a 2 so super low. Just trying to get to transition now.”
With the contractions slowed down again, we settled in for a boring day of trying random positions with no luck, and we finished up the Lord of the Rings Trilogy along with watched the Vikings beat the Bears 35-10. At some point Jennifer and Jill both went home but came back soon after.
Left on Facebook at 7pm: “That’s right…still no baby Only counting active labor now, so I’ve been doing this for 21 hours. Hoping to have more news coming soon!”
With nothing currently happening by dinner-time Jennifer and I began discussing natural methods to induce labor. Other than nipple stimulation there was always castor oil. I agreed that it was worth it to give it a try and fortunately Richard had called Chris to see if there was anything we needed. We had him pick up Mountain Dew (for Chris), castor oil, and Cream of Wheat.
Once he dropped it off I took two tablespoons in a shot of orange juice. The taste was not as bad as I was expecting but the texture was oily. I had to shower after that to allow my muscles relax so I took a nice long hot shower. I then had to take another dose and another shower an hour later. I also ate a piece of pizza at some point because I was hungry, but regretted that later when I lay down for a nap and promptly threw it all back up!
Thankfully the castor oil in combination with nipple stimulation and laying down for a nap kicked my labor back into gear. Jennifer suggested that Chris and I lay down for bed since that seems to be when the most progress was made. We agreed and settled in to try to get some rest. After just a few contractions I realized that I was not going to be able to effectively labor that way. The contractions were so intense from laying down that I had to stand up each and every time. Finally I had to get Jill and Jennifer back in there because I needed a standing person for support and two people to press on my hips. A position I had tried the night before (sitting backwards on a chair) seemed to offer relief so they eventually went back to the living room but I was growing increasingly uncomfortable.
Chris’s Tweet: “Go go gadget labor!”
Finally I asked Chris to ask about the birthing tub. I knew Jennifer had brought it but I was so positive we wouldn’t be able to set it up in our house because of our crappy water heater that I didn’t even want to bother. However while going through the intense pain of these contractions, sitting in the birthing tub sure sounded nice.
As soon as I asked for it Jennifer and Chris began preparations. Jill stayed with me and pressed on my back during contractions while they inflated the tub (which though I wasn’t involved in the process, sounded like quite the ordeal.) Then in order to fill it Chris had to run a hose from the water heater up the stairs to the living room to the tub. We knew the water heater wouldn’t have enough heated water so we had to arrange to get some pots to heat water on the stove too. Luckily Chris’s mom had called earlier and asked if we wanted her to bring some Thanksgiving leftovers over for dinner. In the midst of all the labor stuff, I had completely forgotten that we were supposed to go over there for a delayed Thanksgiving dinner! It worked out well, she brought the pots and leftovers over and Chris and Jennifer worked on getting the tub filled. While I waited for the tub we all had a nice turkey dinner, it was delicious!
November 30th - Monday
I’m not sure what time I got in the tub but it was fantastic. I was able to rest between contractions and all my labor support watched movies (Juno and the Royal Tennenbaums) and napped as the evening wore on. Chris also managed to throw the box for Juno into the birthing tub at some point.
The tub definitely helped pick things up, but I was still fighting with that cervix lip. I began bearing down a little with each contraction to see if I could “push past the lip” and as things got more intense actually got out of the tub and tried pushing in a semi-squatting position while Jennifer held the lip out of place.
Things get quite fuzzy here. After several position changes in my bedroom (and another water break, which made us think everything before may have just been a fore-bag break), including a very very painful side-lying one where I swear I nearly gave Jill (who was holding my leg) a black eye trying to straighten out my legs, I got back in the tub and began what could have only been transition. I even said to Chris “I know this is transition now, because I’m at the point where I want you to cut it out of me!” quoting something Summer had said during her labor.
Transition was very difficult and I was not able to push or bear down at all during it, which made getting that lip out of the way that much more difficult. At this point I began feeling like a petulant child. All I wanted to do was sleep or get comfortable and neither was happening and I’m sure I was whining. I was drifting in and out of sleepiness while in the tub and at one point thought Chris was talking to me but wasn’t though I nearly had a conversation with him.
I do remember waiting and waiting and waiting for the contractions to give me a break, but they indeed were coming one after the other. I maybe had half a minute between each one. I was also exhausted from pushing and being awake for so long, and the pain in my hips was getting so bad that I knew that even though I was pushing I was losing effectiveness.
I had not looked at the clock since 11pm the evening before, but now I made the decision to look up and I saw that it was now 5am. I had no idea how long I had been pushing, but I knew it was a while that I was actually pushing with full force. The pain was becoming unbearable, I couldn’t concentrate on anything but making it stop, which put me into positions that did not help the baby come down at all.
I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed help. Something was wrong with the way baby was positioned and I could tell. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own, I was crying, hyperventilating, and unable to effectively push so I said the word I had been dreading “Hospital.” Although I was primordial from the pain, I still had to convince Chris that this was what I really wanted and it took a little bit of convincing. Eventually he caved (it sounds like it took forever but in reality it was probably less than a minute) and preparations began to get us out of the house.
I did not want to deal with contractions in the car, not to mention the fact that I was still wet from the birthing tub and leaking amniotic fluid, but I had no choice. I quickly put on a skirt and tank top and fleece coat and got in the car and we took off, with Jill and Jennifer following behind us.
Chris left them both in the dust and while in the car I called 911 just to warn them that we were on our way to the hospital. The woman was telling me that we needed to stop speeding and the baby wouldn’t arrive that fast and rather than give her a talking to I just ended the call before another contraction started that had me crawling up over the seat.
Chris stopped at the entrance and I quickly got out to endure another contraction. While I’m standing there, dripping wet and keeled over in pain some lady came up to me, probably 60s or older and began asking me questions! I’m not entirely sure what she said but it was something about asking if I could walk (as I’m grabbing a wheelchair). Finally I mustered out “Could you please just leave me alone?” She wasn’t hospital staff or anything so I have no idea what she was doing, but I was obviously not in the state to have a conversation with someone! Chris says that she looked really concerned but confused as to what she should do to help.
Chris, silly man that he is, grabbed the suitcase and other stuff from the car not thinking about how he was going to push me and carry all that, so we began a bumpy ride of him nearly running me into walls before I finally grabbed the suitcase and held it myself. Jill had caught up to us by this point and I think I gave it to her. Then when we got to the elevator, the light wouldn’t turn on! I was livid thinking we went to the wrong entrance but thankfully the elevator soon arrived and we then were at the Family Birth Center and I was directing Chris on where to go.
As Chris wheeled us up to the nurses’ station we were given the Look (you know, the “another dramatic mom in early labor” Look) and all Chris could say was “Baby, belly, Out!” and they are telling me to sign something but I’m having a contraction so I need to stand up to deal with it and I say “Fine! You are going to need to get a MOP then!” and once they realize my water is broken they spring into action (we never called to tell them we were coming, so part of this was our fault).
We were led to a room and I put the gown on and the belly wrap for the monitors. I was trying to convince them to give me something for the pain but the nurse wanted to check me first because if I was complete, the doctor would just want me to push. I knew that laying on the bed would cause an intense contraction so I absolutely did not want to lay down, I just wanted them to at least order the epidural, but I never got that much out. Finally I was convinced to lay down and the nurse checked me and I was 8-9 centimeters with just that lip left. That meant that I couldn’t get an epidural or IV pain medications.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at the hospital. In my mind I went in hoping for an epidural but expecting since I had been pushing for a while already that they’d just wheel me back for a c-section right off the bat. I remember feeling a little like a caged animal, I didn’t know how much to tell them about what we had already tried at home so I was very thankful that Jennifer arrived very quickly and spoke for me, but when I couldn’t get the pain relief and they wanted me to just push I remember thinking “You just don’t understand, I’ve been pushing for hours already!” and feeling like I couldn’t make the staff understand.
I had to just endure the pain while the nurses began readying the room and they put a hep-lock in my hand. The doctor came in very quickly after that and found me to be complete and was able to push the lip of cervix out of the way and I began pushing in the reclined position while holding my legs. I had Chris at my left leg, Jill up by my left arm, Jennifer at my right leg, and a nurse up by my right arm.
Pushing was excruciating in that position but after a little direction on how to hold my legs, I began to do it and just pushed through the pain. They moved a mirror so that I could see the baby’s head moving down, but I don’t know if that helped or not because all it allowed me to do was see that the baby wasn’t nearly close to crowning. They also made me put my feet in stirrups between contractions which was unbearable since I needed to stretch my legs straight to stop the pain.
Shortly after starting to push the baby’s heart rate started having late decelerations (not recovering fast enough after the contractions) and they put an oxygen mask on me. This made me very very mad. I was in so much pain and now I had this thing on that made it hard to breath! Those decels did one thing, it got the doctor right back into the room (when she had two c-sections to attend to also) and I remember demanding help. Now, I’m not sure if it was suggested to me first or not, but I knew I would be okay with a vacuum extraction at this point because I could see that the baby was not coming down quickly enough and I was losing so much energy so the decision was made (actually I demanded they use it) to assist with the vacuum.
Things happened pretty fast after that. The doctor gave me a shot of lidacane before cutting an episiotomy (which caused me to SCREAM in pain, I’m pretty sure I scared any other laboring moms within hearing distance) and putting the vacuum on baby’s head. Chris continues to this day to be scarred after watching that episiotomy and hearing me scream. I also remember feeling the vacuum and thinking she put it in the wrong place According to Chris, they also placed it once and didn’t have enough power so it came off, and they placed it again and upped the power before it finally stuck.
At some point in this a nurse put a blanket on my abdomen which made me even angrier. Here I am, sweating, I can’t see or breath with the stupid oxygen mask on, and tired, and they are putting a blanket on?! Then I realized, the baby is coming, that is where the baby will be placed! That was what I needed and once a contraction came I gave three or four big pushes and with help from the vacuum, baby came out with a “whooosh” barely even stopping for the shoulders (though I know the doctor expected them to get stuck, as she said “Shoulders!” and gave a look to the nurse above my right side, whom I then saw lean forward with her arms near my abdomen) and I had a baby placed (thrown?) on my stomach.
Once again no one told us if baby was a boy or girl! Rather than wait for them, I could tell almost immediately by feeling around and was able to say “It’s a boy!” and held him (though I couldn’t see him very well) and laughed and smiled that I had done it! Chris cut his cord and they took him and cleaned him up while I pushed out the placenta and got stitched up. I told the nurse who told me that I couldn’t have any pain meds that when I arrived she was my least favorite person in the world, but now that I had done it, she was the best (not sure she liked that though). Jill and Jennifer both made comments about his size, they knew he was a bit bigger than what they thought. Another discovery? He was completely posterior with an asynclitic (tilted) head (Connor was also asynclitic). No wonder he took so long to arrive!
They gave him back as soon as he was cleaned up a little and I immediately knew that his chosen name fit him perfectly. Graeme Timothy McCaskell Kulish arrived at 6:08am on Monday, November 30th. We sat together for a while and I tried to nurse him but though he was alert, he wasn’t interested just yet. After a little while Chris held him and he began to root, so I took him back and he latched on like a pro!
The last Tweet: “It’s a boy! Graeme Kulish, 9lbs 4oz, 21inches, born at 6:08am!”
At this point they began admitting me, asking all those questions that weren’t able to be asked in the beginning, and I told them all the stuff I was not having done (eye ointment, HepB vaccination, circumcision) and we discussed the vitamin K (which we did have, particularly after the vacuum extraction). Going home early was brought up and I jumped at the chance (a 24 hour stay as opposed to 48 hours). The next nurse we had was concerned with making sure we were comfortable. She said that a lot of times when someone has to have a hospital transfer at after an attempted home-birth that moms get stressed about certain hospital policies so she wanted to make sure that everything was done according to what we wanted. I was already quite impressed with how we were treated and knew that many of the things on my plan for after the birth was being followed, but we went over it with her and she reassured us of many things.
Eventually Jennifer had to leave but Jill stuck around to see how big he was. We finally requested someone come in and weigh him (they did all of the after birth care right in the room for us) and he tipped the scale at 9lbs 4oz. A little under a pound bigger than his big brother at birth! He measured at 21inches long and his head was 14.25 inches around (measured on the second day, the first day he was measured incorrectly at 13.75 inches around), which was 3/4 an inch bigger than Connor!
Chris spent the morning cat-napping in the chair while I made a few phone calls (from Chris’s phone since I left mine at home on accident!). The first visitor we had was my dad who, when I went to call him and tell him announced that he already knew and was just parking his truck to come up and visit!
We spent the day and evening entertaining visitors and anxiously awaiting Connor’s arrival who would be coming with my mom. When he came in the door the first thing he did was run to daddy and give him some serious snuggles, then they came around the curtain and my dear sweet boy would barely look at me It took some convincing but he finally came and sat with me on the bed and he looked at the baby and I asked if he wanted to hold him and he said yes, but as soon as I set Graeme in his arms he said “Heavy!” and didn’t want to hold him anymore.
The rest of the visit went well, he got to eat lunch with daddy and I napped. The overnight went well, Graeme slept quite well and I was thankful to get rest. The next day we had to visit with a pediatrician and get his hearing test and then we would be able to go home. Oh, and he had to pee first. I was hoping to go home before Connor’s nap-time but alas, no peeing. Chris and Connor napped in the chair and I napped in the bed with Graeme and we waited and waited and waited. We even had to call in reinforcements (Sarah) to come help with Connor because he was getting so restless. We thought he peed at one point but he hadn’t, but then finally, at 5:10pm right before they were going to order an ultrasound, he let loose!
So finally, with help loading the car from Sarah, at 6pm we were able to go home with our two boys.
Monday, November 30, 2009
21 inches long
14.25 inch head
13.75 inch chest
Early Labor: 3am Friday to 10pm Saturday, approximately 43 hours
Active Labor: 10pm Saturday to 6am Monday, approximately 32 hours
Total Pushing: approximately 2.5 hours
Posterior, asynclitic position with a vacuum-assisted VBAC
Jaci (jay-cee) : photographer : wife to Chris : sahm to Connor, 10/25/2007 via c-section & Graeme, 11/30/2009 via vacuum assisted VBAC
Wow, what a birth story! It was fantastic. You were a true super-woman! I was very impressed with your ability to listen and go with your instincts. That's great that the hospital staff worked with you so well.
(And just how do you pronounce his name?)
Wendy, Mom to
Kyron, Porter, Donovan, & Jocelyn
Wow Jaci I really thought I had read your story, but I guess I hadn't. Sounds like you have quite the labor and delivery and maybe one of the strongest women I have ever talked to. As much as I can tolerate pain I do believe I would probably cave way before you did.
Thanks everyone I did post a good chunk of the main points in my update post a while back, but this is the whole kit-n-caboodle here!
His name is the same as Graham (Gray-em), just the traditional spelling One reason I chose to go with the traditional spelling is because around here Graham tends to be shortened to one syllable (Gram) so at least with the traditional spelling people ask how to pronounce it, rather than just always pronounce it incorrectly.
Jaci (jay-cee) : photographer : wife to Chris : sahm to Connor, 10/25/2007 via c-section & Graeme, 11/30/2009 via vacuum assisted VBAC