I need honesty re: UC + breech - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is so much conflicting information. SO many wonderful stories I would love to be able to believe and reproduce, and so many fear-inducing stories as well.

Homebirth has been in the back of my mind for this entire pregnancy. My first.

Well, baby flipped to head up a few days ago and I'm in the middle of 36 weeks.

I've been trying everything. I know it takes time. But I'm getting nervous.

I need honesty. He is frank breech. If I deliver at the hospital chances are I'm getting a c-section. I don't want this. I would rather take my chances at home first, and then drive to the hospital which incidentally is only 3 blocks from my apt.

I've heard frank breech can be the easiest/least complicated to deliver of the breeches. And considering the rule for breech is hands-off, I don't see this as a major major risk (only b/c the hospital IS SO CLOSE).

My husband however, was crying last night (we both were) because he said he would never want to have to make the decision between me and the baby. Of course that's worst case scenario...

Is there anyone who has had UC breech birth? I want good and bad experiences. What made the experience good or bad? Do you think I'm a nutball for even considering this? don't be afraid to be brutal.

thanks

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#2 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 08:54 AM
 
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Yes, Breech birth is risky, but probably not as risky as you might think it is. Have you been to Laura Shanelys website? I think she UCd a breech. I'm sorry but I've got my hands full over here with a newborn otherwise I'd be happy to find her site for you. I think it's bornfree.com or something.
Encourage your hubby to educate himself a bit, after all it's easier to be afraid of what we don't know.

try this site, it's what I used since I was paranoid about the position of baby:
http://www.unhinderedliving.com/breech.html
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#3 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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It is definitely possible to have a breech uc, the risks I think are way overstated. Here are a couple of good sites to check out:
http://www.breechbabies.com/
http://www.spinningbabies.com/
The breech babies site has lots of good information, studies on the safety of it, stories from other mother's and much more. I have only looked at it briefly so far, but it looks to be a great resource and supportive of uc, I saw a few stories that were uc breeches.
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#4 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 12:47 PM
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first, it's important to remember that babies can and do turn in labor. so, you're 36 weeks and baby is sitting breech--no big deal IMO. you have weeks before the due date, so the baby still has time to change positions before labor as well as change during labor!

second, i see breech as a version of "normal" birth and a lot less risky than the risks of c-section. the only position for which i would seek a c-section is a transverse lie that doesn't change during labor.

so, for me, i would birth a breech baby vaginally.
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#5 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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Here's Laura Shanley's website & some others;

especially this particular birth:
http://www.childbirth.org/articles/s...mesbreech.html

http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/
http://www.empoweredchildbirth.com/a...fs/breech.html
http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/20...e-birth-story/

there's a ton of stories here:
http://www.childbirth.org/articles/s...thstories.html

Honestly it is not mine (or anyones) to judge what is best for you, your baby & your birth. I think you know what is and will be best. I wish you peace as you make this decision
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#6 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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Why would he have to make a decision between you and the baby? If the baby gets stuck, trying to get it out may fail, but it's not going to put you at risk.
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#7 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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And your baby really does have plenty of time to turn. I was told at 36 weeks that my breech twin would never turn because there just wasn't any room left... well she managed to come out headfirst because she turn at 37 weeks. Compared to that, your baby has lots of wiggle room!

I tried everything to turn her, and when I quit trying/gave up, the next morning, she was vertex.

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#8 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
Why would he have to make a decision between you and the baby? If the baby gets stuck, trying to get it out may fail, but it's not going to put you at risk.
that's what i said...it didn't make him feel better though.
in response he said " So you just want to try and have a uc at home even if he gets stuck and could die. i know why you don't want to have a c-section, but isn't there less risk with a c-section than with birthing a breech at home?"

and i said, i didn't know about c-section risks to the baby but that a c-section is dangerous for me! and that birthing vaginally breech didn't seem as dangerous for the baby as c-birth did for me.

it really comes down to him having to educate himself.

and as for the comments on him turning, and me having to make this decision...i know that. i just can't help but try and be prepared. what if there are no doctors willing to attend a vaginal breech in my area? i can't wait until i go into labor and go to the hospital to find that out. So far I've been holding out hope that he will turn (again!). I feel like I am very much in tune with my body. there have been other cases in my life where i have had to rely on myself and natural processes to get through physically demanding situations. I know birth TOPS those. But i feel I can do it.

Plus I almost feel like, I almost KNOW that this baby is going to wait until very late in the game to turn again. Maybe not. Maybe that's me freaking out. But that's what the feelings say. How am I supposed to convey that to a doc?

The midwife wants to try moxibustion on thursday if my attempts this week to turn him don't work. After that she wants to try ECV which she says she is very skilled at, and i trust her. BUt after that, if it doesn't work, she can't catch the baby. So even though I still have four weeks to go, that basically leaves me about a week and a half to make a decision. Because unless he turns before then, or I find a not-chicken-sh*t MD, it looks i am going to have to go it alone.

Thank you for the websites. I appreciate it.

If anyone has any of their own personal experiences please share them with me. Even if in a PM.

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#9 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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Maybe you could post in your tribe for NJ? Put a SO for breech friendly OBs in case your midwife drops you or you change your mind?

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#10 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Do you have any access to other options for a homebirth? A skilled midwife, for instance? Maybe you could post in the "tribal area" for your state for recommendations. Since breech birth has been mainly abandoned in hospitals, midwives are often more experienced with breech births than doctors. And you may find one who could work with you on payments, if that is an issue.

I think vaginal breech birth can be a very reasonable option - I've done it myself. Even UC, the odds are in your favor for it to go well, but it's riskier than a vertex birth. My reading on the issue convinced me that having a skilled attendant who can help the baby out if something goes wrong, knows how to reach in and tweak an arm or whatever might be needed, can be a key element of a safe breech birth.

Best wishes to you! You could also consider a version - external versions are safer than a cesarean and could spare you having to make the decision about how to birth your breech baby.

Oh, and if you can get your hands on a copy of this book, I found it very helpful in understanding the risks and the options with a breech baby: Breech Birth
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#11 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 04:40 PM
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for me, when it comes to c-section, i think it is riskier for the baby than it is for the mother (unless an emergency). this is just my perception though.

i agree that you should find out if anyone in your tribal area does know of a breech friendly ob or midwife in your area 'just in case' and see what you can find out about that.

if i were not prepared to UC--breech or otherwise--then i would go ahead and go with any professional setting that feels right for you.

likewise, i would emotionally prepare for a c-section just in case i can't find someone who can help with breech vaginal delivery. if you do feel safest in a hospital setting (or the midwife asserts that you need a hospital setting because of breech presentation), then it would be wise to prepare yourself for a c-section no matter what.
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#12 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that one reason I feel that breech is risk(ier) nowadays is because attendants feel the delivery of breech has to be managed, thus the managing making it riskier. Traditional wisdom seems to have a recurring theme of having gravity help and to not pull. Old school attendants had a saying of "hands off the breech", but this is no longer taught, which is why most breeches are an automatic c/section.
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#13 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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I didn't UC, but I always say that I could have. The midwife didn't have to "save" anybody, though it was nice having her there. My good, happy breech story is in my sig.

As for risks, there is not a lot of good research out there, but this is what I've taken away from all my reading. I believe that c-sections are NOT safer for a frank breech baby, if you have a decent care provider (including yourself), or at least someone who can sit on their hands. At best c-sections are equal risk, at worst they set the baby up for breathing problems, gut problems, etc. Out of the six or seven breech babies in my family in the last three generations, the only c-section was also the only one with a problem - they cut my husband's bottom when they were doing his c/s. As for the mother, it's quite clear that c-sections are MUCH more dangerous. No debate there. And there is one other aspect of risk to consider - the risk to future children, should you want to have more. A c/s increases your risk in future pregnancies of miscarriage, placenta accreta, uterine rupture, etc. I think a lot of people don't take that into account, but it was an important consideration for me, since my breech was my first baby, and I certainly want more.

My breech birth was so easy (as births go). I would have been heartbroken to have a c/s for this when I knew I didn't need one - and I'd STILL be dealing with it today. I would absolutely UC (in the woods, with wolves ) before setting foot in the hospital with a breech. But I got the feeling from your post that maybe you'd prefer a midwife, if you could find one? Midwives with breech experience can be hard to find, but they are out there. Ask in your Finding Your Tribe area, there were some midwives in my area that I never knew about! Plus, there is the Farm (which is where I went). We visited for the first time three days before the baby was born, heh, so they can take people at the last minute. Even if you have to drive, I think that's a better option than the hospital. (Whether it's better than UC depends on how you feel.)

Here are some links:
http://gentlebirth.org/archives/breech.html#Approaches
http://www.breechbabies.com/turning.htm
http://www.beautiful-births.com/cont...es/breech.html
http://web.mac.com/breechbirth/iWeb/Site/Welcome.html
http://www.radmid.demon.co.uk/breech.htm
http://www.birthinternational.com/ar.../andrea13.html
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#14 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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I'd feel safer UCing a breech than having an attendent who didn't know how to manage breech (and was thus likely to cause problems by mis-managing the delivery.) And I'd certainly feel safer UCing a breech than going into a hospital where I'm likely to get cut open (unless I had a "6th sense" that c/s was the right choice for this particular birth.)

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#15 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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Pictures of two breech vaginal births, one UC
http://www.purebirth-australia.com/u...?g2_itemId=168

I'd feel much safer doing it at home... you can read in Emergency Childbirth (in the resources section) that most complications from breech births are CAUSED BY THE ATTENDANT... I've also heard a few MW's say that a doc who doesn't know how to do a breech vaginally also shouldn't do one in a c/s, because there's still complications that can arise in a breech c/s, same as a vaginal birth.

PMing you for something that might help

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#16 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I'd feel safer UCing a breech than having an attendent who didn't know how to manage breech (and was thus likely to cause problems by mis-managing the delivery.)
ITA. I was present at a breech birth for a first-time mom a few years ago that was way too hands-on. Looking back, I think that a hands-off waterbirth would've worked much better. Baby and mom were both fine though, and she was a tiny Asian woman that was just over 100 pounds at the end of her pregnancy, FWIW.

You have to listen to your body and to your baby to decide what is right for your birth. If something is telling you that the baby will turn, trust that voice, talk to your baby, and it will happen.
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#17 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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The THinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and I think Pushed or Born in the USA both address breech and c-sections and both stated that it was *just* as risky to c-section a breech as deliver vaginally for most breech positions. I'm assuming transverse isn't included in that.

I would UC a breech no doubt.

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#18 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Just like any birth, most (vaginal) breeches work fine given the right setting and some need assistance, including some that end badly where a cesarean would have led to a better outcome. It's such a difficult question to answer because it boils down to which risks you are willing to accept and which you aren't.
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#19 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:28 PM
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#20 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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My husband and I were just discussing this last night. Seems my baby is also breech. Though I am only 27 wks, so it is really not a concern, but something I am prepared for.

We have decided that a UC for a breech would be the safest thing for our baby. Especially since the best way for delivering a breech (much of the time) is to do NOTHING but let it happen on it's own. I would never get that at a hosptial.

But don't stess about it right now. If your baby turned once, it can turn again.

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#21 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
first, it's important to remember that babies can and do turn in labor. so, you're 36 weeks and baby is sitting breech--no big deal IMO. you have weeks before the due date, so the baby still has time to change positions before labor as well as change during labor!

second, i see breech as a version of "normal" birth and a lot less risky than the risks of c-section. the only position for which i would seek a c-section is a transverse lie that doesn't change during labor.

so, for me, i would birth a breech baby vaginally.
Couldn't have said it better. Completely 100% agree! Now I don't have to type it all out. Thanks zoebird!

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#22 of 40 Old 04-25-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I would UC a breech. I would not do so without having some good information on hand about how to unstick a stuck breech and what specifically NOT to do.
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#23 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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I have had the unusual experience of birthing two breech babies and they were both unattended births. One of the babies was my first child. I am a petite woman, weighed less than 100 lbs. prior to pregnancy, with what my first OB, said was inadequate pelvic measurements. So, just because the medical community doesn't think safe vaginal birth for breeches is possible, doesn't make it so. Breech birth must be a "hands off birth" and not something I would do if I feared the process. If you do have an attendant they should have experience, which is just hard to come by. I understand your husbands concerns, my DH had the same worries, before the birth. He isn't making a choice between baby and mother. Now, he looks back on his fear and can't believe his change of perspective, it was fear based, not fact based. You really should read what Henci Goer wrote in Obsterical Myths vs. Research Realities on breeches, as pp said. After both breech births we, baby and I, were fine. PM me if you would like more info.
Also, you have time, so relax and try some techniques to turn the baby. It could be a moot point later.
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#24 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 04:19 AM
 
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hey mama,

i plan to UC when i have my babies and would definitely UC a breech.

i haven't read through everything yet but here's my two cents:

- breech is a version of normal
- frank breech should technically be easier to deliver than footling or stargazer
- baby could turn anytime in the next 4-6 weeks (assuming 40 weeks + 2) or in labour
- check out spinning babies
- chiropractic, massage, and accupuncture have all been known to help babies turn
- try external version
- read this birth story
- some babies are breech because it's safer for them to be breech. example - a really short cord

if you decide to UC breech:

- one of the most important things for you to do is make sure you're really open. being fully dilated (whatever that means for you) is super important! this is the one and only instance where i would try to hold off pushing until i absolutely had to even if my body wanted to.
- remember hands off the breech! if anyone touches baby before the arms are out they could trigger the moro reflex, and if the baby's arms are still inside you that could cause a nuchal hand or worse, a nuchal arm.
- do not touch the cord unless you have to until the baby's head is out. when you touch a cord you could cause it to spasm and that's not good with a breech because the cord is already being compressed between baby's head and your pubic bone. if you want you can get DH to check if the cord is pulsating by looking closely and touching very very lightly if he has to.
- stand if you can (lean on something), kneel as upright as possible, use a birth stool, or get someone to help you with a supported squat. the more vertical you are the better with a breech.
- tell DH not to ever pull on the baby, i can see how it would be tempting to do, but it's better to allow baby's own weight to help ease it down as opposed to pulling.
- breathe as deeply as you can, baby needs all the help it can get with oxygen because the cord will be as least part way compressed from the time between when the umbilicus is first out until the head is fully out.

listen to your body, listen to your baby, if something inside you is telling you this baby will turn, i would trust that. remember that the hospital is only a short drive away. if you have to transfer, have DH call them and let them know you're coming so they can get a heads up prepping. remember that even if you were in hosp it can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to fully prep the OR and you for surgery. when you look at it that way, since you're only three blocks away, being home puts you no further behind.

good luck!
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#25 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 07:07 AM
 
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Thanks for the step by step. It is what I would do naturally, but I have never gone through the thought process of stepping it out.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#26 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 07:52 AM
 
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I do personally feel that breech (although a variation of normal) carries more risk than vertex birth, and it was a concern for me. Regardless, I have to echo what Ruthla said:

Quote:
I'd feel safer UCing a breech than having an attendent who didn't know how to manage breech (and was thus likely to cause problems by mis-managing the delivery.) And I'd certainly feel safer UCing a breech than going into a hospital where I'm likely to get cut open (unless I had a "6th sense" that c/s was the right choice for this particular birth.)
I know of several successful breech UC births. I also know of one death in a UC breech birth (although I do not know how or whether it was managed.)

The conditions under which the birth happens are crucial, and to the list Akaisha gave I'd add that the laboring mother needs to be as much in her body, not her head, as possible, and not have people talking to her, distracting her, sending fear hormones her way, etc.
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#27 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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My 13 pound girl turned just a few hours before labor began. She had been breech my whole pregnancy and I was prepared to birth her UC. She did turn, and I wanted to mention it because babies can and do turn up until the last minute. (even large ones )

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#28 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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it sounds like you don't necessarily want to go uc, you just don't want a c-section, so to me, looking for an experienced midwife might be up your alley. i'm not sure what the climate is where you're at, but there are probably a few of them around.

at this point, and that may change at any time , i don't think i'd be comfortable uc with a breech, so my back up plan is the farm in tn...
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#29 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Do you have Thinking Woman's Guide? I'm rereading it right now and just read the chapter on breeches. It's got good info about the different factors and the risks involved, and basically with most breeches vaginal delivery being less risky than csection. Very hubby-friendly cut and dried info.

Also, do you have a chiropractor? Find someone who can do Webster technique.
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#30 of 40 Old 04-28-2008, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just had my first chiro appointment today, and it felt GREAT. It was my first time at a a chiro...my pelvis popped three times and was sore afterward but it feels pretty good right now.

Of course, baby hasn't turned, but it was only 1 session, so I wasn't really expecting that.

Thank you so much for all the information.

When i was getting the ultrasound to confirm breech the tech said "Well, honey no one WANTS a c-section, but its okay, and it will make it easier on you." I was like, ummm, no its not okay.

For me c-section is a last resort, not an option.

I agree completely with those who have said that they DO NOT feel the situation would be any safer in a hospital. The fact that he is breech (for now) makes his birth about ten billion times LESS safe in a hospital. That's why I felt like, people would think I was crazy. I was willing to hospital-birth with my CNM when he was head down. Now that he's head up, hospital birth I feel would be out of the question.

I am confident that he will turn. After the chiro he was moving around so much, at my next appt I'm gonna ask to use one of their rooms to do some of the techniques, this way I don't waste all that movement on a drive home (when I could be doing pelvic rocks, etc.).

Once again, thank you to everyone. I've kind of exhausted my spending resources so I can't really buy any more books (and our library selection SUCKS) but I'm trying to get as much info as possible from internet and personal stories. So, if you got 'em, keep 'em coming!

living light husband wife loving life two sons to birth for our light loving earth. :
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