Wanted: Online-Midwife for birth in September - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 04-08-2008, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I am looking for a Midwife who would be available for communication mainly by Instant Messaging (skype, ICQ or Yahoo messenger, possibly with webcam), E-Mail when needed and phone in a possible emergency.

I am looking for an experienced midwife who is a supporter of Unassisted Childbirth and who is usually providing pre-natal care and advice as well as regularly attending homebirths with a hands-off approach and sees her presence at the birth for the purpose of security to recognize dangerous situations and knows how to deal with all kinds of potentially dangerous situations.

She should have a permanent high speed internet connection like ADSL or Cable, be online most of the time, and be very comfortable and familiar with Instant Messaging, e-mail, computers in general, video conferencing, etc. Best not someone who is not computer savy or who is a slow typer.

I am in Thailand and have no access to a midwife or doula, due in September, I had blood tests done in hospital and one U/S, but am planning to stay away from the hospitals from now on to take precautions because it is very common here to be coerced into c-sections against ones will.

By now I feel pretty confident about UC after reading a lot and watching many videos, but I would like to have someone to ask if I am not sure about something, whether something is normal or not, whether something is a problem or not, especially during birth where there would not be time and opportunity to spend hours waiting for forum replies or reading books.

I would like this online relationship to replace my upcoming monthly pre-natal hospital appointments where the midwife communicates with me regularly and asks me whatever she might feel is important to know to assess if everything is going well. I ordered some urine test strips from cascade, they have yet to reach me, I hope I will receive my order here in Thailand.
I also ordered some other homebirth supplies and a disposable infant Resuscitator and a relatively cheap fetoscope and a blood pressure cuff.

During pregnancy and birth what I could imagine right now, cases where I might ask for advice: determine position of the baby, what she thinks of the frequency of my contractions, some support if I should feel I cant handle the pain, advice on what to do if the cord or a hand should come out first, if shoulders are stuck, if waters have broken for 2 days and nothing is happening, if labor should take days and nothing happens, if the baby would be overdue, if the placenta isn't coming reassurance whether I can wait longer or not, advice on breathing of the baby, color, breastfeeding, bascially everything that a first time mother might not know as well as someone with a lot of experience.

I am happy to provide to the midwife frequent statistics about my weight, nutrition habits, exercise, blood pressure, results of urine test strips and whatever else she might like to know including photos, videos and chatting to me.

The only limitation of the care is the absence of physical presence.

If I find someone and feel confident that they could be of a benefit for me and we decide to work together I am also happy to pay something for the service.
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#2 of 32 Old 04-08-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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While I understand your situation and think it's great that you thinking about how to get some kind of support....well, what practicing mw would be 'online most of the time'? Not saying that you will find no one--and who knows, maybe your query can produce just the mw you need--but it's kind of a long shot.

Have you checked out the Bornfree website (Laura Shanley's, which links to the discussion boards)? I have seen it be a place where, because there are members from around the world, someone is online most of the time. And some moms have utilized the site for labor support/advice. Of course, the membership there only includes a couple of midwives, you would be talking mainly with UC moms--but it is a knowledgeable and very supportive crowd.

the best of luck and blessings to you!
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#3 of 32 Old 04-08-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I am always willing to help UCers via phone. Like MsBlack said, I cannot imagine any midwife being on line all the time.
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#4 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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Are there midwives available in Thailand? Have you tried to contact through ICM or similar organization? How about flying a midwife to be with you (depending on Thai laws?)?
I can see that you might be able to do a lot over the internet but there is nothing like really being there. Also can't see being online in the middle of heavy labor.
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#5 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wumanh View Post
Are there midwives available in Thailand? Have you tried to contact through ICM or similar organization? How about flying a midwife to be with you (depending on Thai laws?)?
I can see that you might be able to do a lot over the internet but there is nothing like really being there. Also can't see being online in the middle of heavy labor.
No there are no midwifes in Thailand who work outside of hospitals. I tried many ways to find someone here already for 2-3 months now, there are some people in Bangkok that is too far away from me though. I don't like the idea to fly someone here and have her stay in my house for weeks waiting just for me to give birth, I considered it and contacted a couple of people, got quotes etc. but I don't feel comfortable with the idea. I am a very private person and I don't like to have people around me in general, I don't like to have visitors at home at all. I lived alone for 10+ years and I don't even like to talk to people on the phone anymore, I am used to doing everything online from business to talking to my mother and friends.
I am online all the time when I am at home and I am sure I will be throughout my labor whenever I am able to.
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#6 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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Seems like Thailand is a pretty traditional country. I bet there are a lot of local midwives around the more traditional/country part of Thailand. I guess, the problem would be that they don't speak English.
When you said that there is no midwife who works outside of hospital, is it illegal to do so or it's just a common thing to do?
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#7 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Even in the country women go to hospitals even poor women. In Thailand birth=hospital it is just the way it is and Thai people do not question doctors.

I am very upset that I get so much questioning and criticism as if I had no idea and not done any research.

I also did not say I want a midwife who is online "all the time".

Curiosity about my situation is fine and I don't mind questions, but posts that are making my request look ridiculous or alledging that I have other options are making me sick. I don't even mind a Thai midwife who speaks no English to attend my homebirth but all my enquiries have resulted in the same answers, midwifes in Thailand only work under the authority of doctors and only in hospitals.

I am angry that I have to defend my request.
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#8 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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I don't know, but personally, I think online midwife is kinda ridiculous. If I were in the position, I would either have the birth completely unassisted or have a midwife present. If I were to do an unassisted birth, I would do a research and all that.
Also, how supportive is your Thai family about you having a homebirth? Would they be there for you around your birth? Do you know anyone who's had multiple natural/vaginal birth?
I think it's very important to build a support system like that.
If you know a lot of people (esp. family) that know about birth, you might not need a doula/midwife.

I don't know about Thailand, but I grew up in Indonesia (not so far from Thailand), and most people do go to the hospital for the birth, but not all of them. My cousin is a midwife and she (used to, I don't know now because I haven't talked to her in a while) work for a hospital. She's not so medical and she would attend births at home. I know she has a couple of friends doing the same thing. Registering the birth would be a bit tricky, but people bribe for that. (ok, that last bit is only in Indonesia). Her clients usually claim they have the birth unassisted so she wouldn't get into trouble (the trouble is from the hospital she works for, not the government)
Anyway, have you talked to any local midwife or maybe alternative medicine people around you might know something about traditional midwives? I can't imagine Thailand being so much different from Indonesia, but maybe I am wrong.
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#9 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by deethai View Post

I also did not say I want a midwife who is online "all the time".

Curiosity about my situation is fine and I don't mind questions, but posts that are making my request look ridiculous or alledging that I have other options are making me sick. I don't even mind a Thai midwife who speaks no English to attend my homebirth but all my enquiries have resulted in the same answers, midwifes in Thailand only work under the authority of doctors and only in hospitals.

I am angry that I have to defend my request.
I don't think anyone is trying to make your request look ridiculous. It is just going to be hard to find a midwife that is reachable online "most of the time" as you stated to do instant messaging. For midwives over here, that is impossible because they have prenatal days, postpartum visits, and births to attend. They are generally always reachable by phone and then return emails when they have down time ....but if you want to reach them immediately, on-line is not the best way to do it.

Maybe we are just misunderstanding what you are looking for?
Anyway, i hope you find someone that is perfect for you!

Christa
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#10 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by deethai View Post
Even in the country women go to hospitals even poor women. In Thailand birth=hospital it is just the way it is and Thai people do not question doctors.

I am very upset that I get so much questioning and criticism as if I had no idea and not done any research.

I also did not say I want a midwife who is online "all the time".

Curiosity about my situation is fine and I don't mind questions, but posts that are making my request look ridiculous or alledging that I have other options are making me sick. I don't even mind a Thai midwife who speaks no English to attend my homebirth but all my enquiries have resulted in the same answers, midwifes in Thailand only work under the authority of doctors and only in hospitals.

I am angry that I have to defend my request.
I'm glad you spoke up for yourself. I think it's the nature of the net for folks to criticize (I'm sure I've even done it once or twice ) but try not to take it too personally - and keep in mind that no one here speaks for all of us here.
Good luck with your birth - good luck finding a midwife who fits your needs.
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#11 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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What about a midwife with a blackberry or another kind of PDA? She could as reachable by email/IM as by phone.
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#12 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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I agree with Christa - I'm not sure why you feel attacked, but I'm sorry you do.

I have a blackberry and get instant email. If you're interested email me at pamela.midwife at gmail.com
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#13 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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Good luck and happy birthing.

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#14 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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Yay for pamamidwife.


OP, I have a thought, and it's based on comments from my Korean MIL when I was pregnant. I thought she was telling me that she thought I should go to a hospital, but it turned out she had NO CLUE what a midwife was, because they just didn't have them in Korea (they might now, but she left decades ago). There was the hospital, if you lived in a big city, and there was just birthing with your family and close friends, if you lived rurally.

That's what she did with her first, just was at home in her village and had 6 days of labor that no one even cared about (that it was so "long"), and then birthed with her family and villagers to help or not help, depending on what she needed.

Is it possible that if you're asking about a "midwife" they are like my MIL and just don't really understand that you're talking about being at home? It's not that I don't think you've done your research, but I wonder if maybe there has been a disconnect between what you're wanting and what you're asking.

Good luck and BEST wishes!
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#15 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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I don't see why you wouldn't be able to find a midwife. If you are paying her, then she would just treat you just like any other client by limiting the number of clients that are due when you are. When you go in to labor you call her and then she makes sure that she is getting ready to spend a few hours on her computer, just as if she were coming to your house. I don't see why it would be a problem at all???

Emilee
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#16 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oetien View Post
I don't know, but personally, I think online midwife is kinda ridiculous. If I were in the position, I would either have the birth completely unassisted or have a midwife present. If I were to do an unassisted birth, I would do a research and all that.
Ok, looks like I have to continue defending myself and explaining here it goes:
Yes I am researching unassisted and it would be great, but I will also continue trying to have a back-up in case I get insecure (it is my first birth and as much as I can read as many videos I can watch, I know I can still get worried if something happens I have never heard of for example), ..

Quote:
Also, how supportive is your Thai family about you having a homebirth? Would they be there for you around your birth? Do you know anyone who's had multiple natural/vaginal birth?
I think it's very important to build a support system like that.
If you know a lot of people (esp. family) that know about birth, you might not need a doula/midwife.
... especially because I do not have any family or friends here, only my Thai boyfried who has never heard of a birth at home and tells me I can not do that, and I already know that if I keep mentioning it he will declare me insane and it will result in a fight. He speaks no English and my Thai is not good enough to explain cascade of interventions and what bad things happen in hospitals here, I also tried to source Thai literature for him explaining all this but not available, I am thinking of paying to get a text translated for him, but he might not even read it.

Quote:
Anyway, have you talked to any local midwife or maybe alternative medicine people around you might know something about traditional midwives? I can't imagine Thailand being so much different from Indonesia, but maybe I am wrong.
Yes I have contacted many many people, starting from the hospitals asking if they know a midwife for homebirths to alternative people who have experience with the birthing situation in Thailand, a mothers and baby group in Bangkok, midwifes in Bangkok, Midwife association in Thailand, all kinds of places, of course, like I already said I have contacted many people and it does not look like I find a midwife who lives anywhere close for a homebirth.
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#17 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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What about a midwife with a blackberry or another kind of PDA? She could as reachable by email/IM as by phone.
Exactly coobabysmom, but some people might not be aware of laptops, wireless broadband internet, pdas, reading messages on a phone and I don't expect to find a high-tech midwife who is into mobile communication as much as I am although it's nice.

A midwife who has broadband internet access at home, like I already said, and more specifically who is online at least once or twice per day to check her messages and e-mail, carries a mobile phone, who is online whenever she is at home because at home she would be near her computer that is online.

I don't know how anyone can think that I am expecting a midwife to chat to me while assisting in another birth or during another appointment, of course not
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#18 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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I also did not say I want a midwife who is online "all the time".

I am angry that I have to defend my request.
Nope, you said "most of the time" which is still a lot more than any practicing home birth or hospital based midwives I know could be with a live practice.

I think it's a new idea, what you've got, so people are going through understanding via questioning - learning from what you've already thought through.

You do seem angry about talking about the frustrations you've faced in finding a midwife, but considering answering questions of people who want you to have a home birth as defending comes off as well; angry and defensive and outside of reality.

Why not choose to explain this difficult journey to those here who are thinking through your options with you and not against you?

That being said there is a lay midwife on MDC who has attended births in Thailand and is online enough to be active which in the end seems like what you are looking for (right?) - majikfarie is her username. Her website is http://majikfaerie.blogspot.com/

Your User Agreement here at MDC, read it and make it your friend and read the FAQ to answer all the questions of the (MDC) world.
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#19 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I don't know how anyone can think that I am expecting a midwife to chat to me while assisting in another birth or during another appointment, of course not
Actually, I do see this... at births midwives do seem to some mutlitasking (aka talking to other clients) a little or a lot until the pushing stage.
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#20 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Yay for pamamidwife.
Is it possible that if you're asking about a "midwife" they are like my MIL and just don't really understand that you're talking about being at home? It's not that I don't think you've done your research, but I wonder if maybe there has been a disconnect between what you're wanting and what you're asking.

Good luck and BEST wishes!
Some more defending and explaining:
I make it very clear to everyone I ask that I am looking for a midwife for a natural birth at home, yes. There are some forum members on MDC who have already confirmed / backed up the situation here in Thailand in another thread, which everyone can find when looking at my other posts.

Help, need midwife in Phuket, Thailand
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#21 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ee_lime View Post
I don't see why you wouldn't be able to find a midwife. If you are paying her, then she would just treat you just like any other client by limiting the number of clients that are due when you are. When you go in to labor you call her and then she makes sure that she is getting ready to spend a few hours on her computer, just as if she were coming to your house. I don't see why it would be a problem at all???
Exactly.
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#22 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree with Christa - I'm not sure why you feel attacked, but I'm sorry you do.

I have a blackberry and get instant email. If you're interested email me at pamela.midwife at gmail.com
Thank you pamamidwife.
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#23 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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If an online doula works into the equation, I would be happy to apply! I think what you working on manifesting is entirely possible.
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#24 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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I think what you are doing is great for your situation. I feel kind of like you do about the living in situation but I, as you, have no choice in the matter..so I have a MW who is going to travel to me and live with me for 2-3 weeks. I am well...less than excited about it. I don't really like to live with anyone other than my family..in college I didn't live in the dorms for that reason..and I couldn't have roommates b/c they drove me crazy! lol!

I hope you find what you are looking for ....which is really simply a MW who will make herself available the same as if she were attending you in person. That shouldn't be too difficult to understand. However, for some..who don't have such road blocks and obstacles to overcome...understanding is difficult at times and some probably have disbelief at the scenario. Though you are in Thailand, my option in a state in the US arent much greater......sad state of affairs huh?

I wish you luck in your quest and your birth,
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#25 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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In defense of deethai, I do think that it seems like this thread has turned into an attack of sorts. I think that reading her post, the answer should have been yes, I might be able to help or sorry I am not the midwife for you. Why so many questions and suggestions for other options, as if the OP didn't do her research?

I don't see why this would not be like working with any other client, except over skype or something. You can schedule the appts. to coordinate, answer emails when she has questions or concerns and then be online during her birth to assist with suggestions and safety concerns if she has them.
There is a disadvantage not being there in person, but if she needs a midwife in this capacity, we should trust that she knows what is best for her and either offer our services or not.

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#26 of 32 Old 04-09-2008, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I think what you are doing is great for your situation. I feel kind of like you do about the living in situation but I, as you, have no choice in the matter..so I have a MW who is going to travel to me and live with me for 2-3 weeks. I am well...less than excited about it. I don't really like to live with anyone other than my family..in college I didn't live in the dorms for that reason..and I couldn't have roommates b/c they drove me crazy! lol!

I hope you find what you are looking for ....which is really simply a MW who will make herself available the same as if she were attending you in person. That shouldn't be too difficult to understand. However, for some..who don't have such road blocks and obstacles to overcome...understanding is difficult at times and some probably have disbelief at the scenario. Though you are in Thailand, my option in a state in the US are much greater......sad state of affairs huh?

I wish you luck in your quest and your birth,
Thank you, yes I feel the same about having someone I don't know live in my house, the pressure that all that hassle just for her to wait for me to give, what a pressure, plus to have someone fly from say Australia means paying the return flight, and the quote I got from one midwife was for example that I pay the equivalent of the 2, 3 clients she would take during the time she would travel:
Quote:
In Sydney, a homebirth cost $4250.00 AUD in total, this includes all equipment inc. birth pool. I would normally take on 2-3 homebirths per month. I would need to negioate a fee that represents what I can earn in Sydney. If this is in your scope then I am happy to look at the idea.
So I would look at 2-3 times $4250.00 AUD plus return flight plus either holiday accommodation here in Phuket or having someone in my house for 3, 4 weeks.

So after thinking that through, I would either use a midwife who lives locally (and will keep looking for this) or get some remote assistance and do UC.
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#27 of 32 Old 04-10-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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#28 of 32 Old 04-10-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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I do so much with my hands that I can't imagine doing it by internet. That, and I don't meet the requirements for experience. Good luck finding the right midwife for you.

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#29 of 32 Old 04-10-2008, 09:08 AM
 
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I don't think anyone is attacking deethai. Just questioning.

I have learned that sometimes asking the obvious is not always annoying because a surprising number of people do not think of the obvious. Apologies offered since obviously you have! ))

As a midwife, I can say that I could be online but without a visual it would be hard to assess some things. Also being so hands-on (massage, running a bath, making tea, palpating the baby, not to mention if there is an emergency)etc. I guess you'd have to have someone be your hands!) it would be hard for me to do what I do. But there is probably someone who can!

Best of luck!
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#30 of 32 Old 04-10-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I think what your looking for is possible and I hope you find it. Where is Jeannine Parvati Baker when we need her? RIP Jeannine. She was the original phone midwife! Her spirit lives on!
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