Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work: Silas' Birth Story

Feb 16, 2022

As I sit down to chronicle Silas' birth story, I'm wondering where I should start. I feel the need to go back in time, before Silas was even a thought. I always meant to write a post about our decision to add another member to our family, so now seems like a good time.

After Ian was born, we all felt pretty content. His birth was perfection; he was a dream baby and an even dreamier toddler. It felt like it might be best to stop while we were on top. Plus, I love odd numbers, so five boys to make a family of seven just made me happy.  

But a couple of years ago, I started to want a baby again. It could have just been that Ian hit 2.5 years old, and he became less dreamy. Or perhaps I will always want a baby if I don't have one (which could be a problem, for obvious reasons). Whatever the reason, I just let the thought and possibility sit at the back of my brain. 

I casually mentioned it to Mike. He said, "I think five kids is good." I said, "Well, maybe we could still pray about it." He agreed it couldn't hurt. But neither of us ever had an overwhelming feeling to pursue it, so we didn't. However, it wasn't something I forgot about, and with it on my mind so frequently, I quietly decided that that was my answer and if Mike ever warmed up to the idea, I wouldn't need to be convinced. 

When Aaron's bone marrow failed a second time last January, I had the completely random thought, "Aaron needs a baby." It seemed a little ridiculous, and honestly, rather unhelpful since babies don't just materialize out of thin air. 

After that, we went into full-on survival mode. Even if we had wanted a baby, our attention was completely consumed by Aaron's health. We didn't say the word "baby" at all during those volatile months. However, I still randomly thought about a baby, even when all logic said I should have been thinking about other things. Maybe it was just a way for me to take a mental break.

And then one day in April, Mike and I were in the car without any of our kids (I think we were going to look at brick samples for our fireplace, or something else equally exciting). We were not talking about having a baby. I repeat, we were not talking about having a baby. (I had not even mentioned a baby to Mike in at least three months.) But suddenly, Mike was saying, "So I actually had a thought about a baby when I was getting ready this morning. I wouldn't call it a revelation, but I just realized that if we had another child, we would never regret it." 

I can still transport myself back to that moment because it was like the air in the car became charged with positive energy. We didn't need to talk about it anymore. Our desires had synced up. We knew exactly how we wanted to move forward.

It was not an easy time to be pregnant, especially during the first trimester when Aaron's health was still very unstable and required a significant amount of time and attention, but I was so tired and sick myself, yet no one knew I was pregnant, not even our kids. I'm not going to say that we never questioned our decision. There were definitely times when we said, "Are we crazy to add another child right now? Do we really want to go back to the beginning just when we are reaching a stage where our kids are so independent? How old are we going to be when this baby graduates from high school? Do we even remember how to change a diaper?" 

But even though our minds often got snagged by all of the logistics of another child, our hearts continued to tell us we'd made the right choice. And once we told our kids, it began to feel even better. Their excitement and anticipation infused the reality with so much joy. 

In terms of the pregnancy itself, it was fairly uneventful. I got the AMA (advanced maternal age) label this time around, but aside from doing non-stress tests and checking the amniotic fluid levels starting at 36 weeks, it wasn't any different than my previous pregnancies. There were even some conditions I'd had with Ian's pregnancy that never showed up this time, which was so nice.

A couple of week before my due date, I brought up an induction with my midwife. Going off of my experiences with my other babies, I knew that 1) I probably would not go into labor on my own (and I wasn't willing to wait around post-due date to find out) and 2) this baby would probably not be small. Given these two realities, a planned induction seemed like a wise move. My midwife said I could choose any date in the week leading up to my due date, and I thought that as long as I could choose his birthday, I might as well choose one that was cool, so I asked if we could do it on the 22nd, even though it was a Saturday. Marnae said that was totally fine. We got it scheduled. The final countdown was on. 

When I got pregnant in the spring, there was one thing I hoped would be not as prevalent by the time January rolled around: the Covid-19 virus. I mean, I didn't actually think it would be gone gone, but I assumed it wouldn't be controlling our lives (or labor/delivery protocols) anymore.

But as December came to an end, and the Omicron variant reached the west, I could see it wasn't something I could overlook. Cases began to steeply spike, and it seemed like everyone we knew was getting it. As I went to the last few appointments before my due date, my questions about Covid seemed to multiply: What if I get Covid? What if Mike gets Covid? Is there a possibility that I will have to deliver this baby without support? If Mike has Covid, will he not be allowed in the hospital? Does anything change in the delivery room if I'm Covid-positive? What risks does my baby face?

Normally, it seems like I worry in vain about things that never end up happening, but this was not one of those times. One week after school resumed, Bradley got a headache; he was nauseous; he had a sore throat and a fever. And yes, he tested positive. 

With two weeks until the induction date, the timing might have been just about right. But unfortunately, we did not take the path of everyone getting it all at once or the virus skipping over some of us. No, it literally went through all seven of us, one at a time, 2-3 days apart. It was maddening. We'd think we were done with it, only to have another person fall the next day. 

On Monday night, five days before my scheduled induction, I went to bed with a slight sore throat. I woke up in the middle of the night, and it was still there, and I panicked. I couldn't go back to sleep as I counted down the days over and over again and realized that I didn't have enough time, even if my symptoms were mild. 

As it turned out, I had one bad day on Tuesday, after which a little bit of congestion was all that was left. Still though, I knew that even if I was totally symptom-free by Saturday, I would almost certainly still test positive. I called my midwife and asked what I should do. At first her recommendation was to postpone the induction until sometime the following week. She said, "You're not going to want to be in labor if your energy is low because you're feeling sick." But when I told her that I was actually feeling fine and that my preference was still to move forward with the induction, she said, "Okay. We'll test you once you get here. You'll most likely be positive, so we'll just have you wear a mask during the duration." 

But then there was the wild card of Mike: the last man standing. Day after day, I asked him, "How are you feeling? Any symptoms?" And day after day, he was fine. At my book club on Thursday night, I jokingly said that according to our schedule of someone getting it every 2-3 days, Mike should be getting sick that night.

And that's exactly what happened. 

But his symptoms started out very mild and sporadic, so we kind of tried to convince ourselves that maybe he didn't actually have it. He even went and got an antigen test on Friday, which came back negative (not surprising since his symptoms had just started). 

All day on Friday, I stressed about what we should do. I didn't know if they would automatically make Mike take a test if my test came back positive. And if they did, and his test was positive, then I wondered if I should have someone else on call as a potential backup to be with me if Mike got kicked out. Again, I considered pushing it back a few days, but it seemed unlikely that a slight extension would be enough time to get Mike out of the Covid woods. And in the meantime, the baby was getting bigger, the placenta was aging, and I was getting more swollen and uncomfortable. The timing was just extremely unfortunate, and we had run out of time for things to resolve themselves. 

This was our reality: after nearly two years of avoiding the virus, we were going to be having a baby during the two weeks when it had finally caught up with us. 

As I was getting ready for the day on Friday, I kept cycling through all of the variations. It felt a little like some version of Choose Your Own Adventure. Over and over again, my brain reached the end of a chapter where it faced another equally undesirable possibility. I prayed, and each time I did, the same phrase asserted itself: "Why not ask?"

I didn't know exactly what this meant. Should I ask for a negative test? Or that Mike's symptoms would miraculously disappear? Or just that this baby would be able to arrive safe and sound in spite of Covid? Finally I just decided that since I wasn't getting any clear guidance, I would just pray for what I wanted.

That night, my brother-in-law came over and, together with Mike, gave almost all of us blessings. It was all I could think to do besides pray. When it was my turn, there were no words about a negative test or miraculous healing. Instead, Mike said that Covid would only be on the "periphery" of the experience. 

My sleep that night was very fitful. Even though I'd felt at peace when I went to bed, my brain insisted on cycling through everything over and over again at 4:00 in the morning. I knew I was going to regret getting a poor night's sleep, but that only increased the pressure on myself and made it even more impossible for me to make happen. 

At 6:00am, I finally had something to do. I called the hospital to see when I should come in. Unfortunately for me, it had been a busy night with many laboring moms, so they told me to call back at 8:00. I wish I could say I used the extra hours to go back to sleep. That's what everyone else in my house was doing. But I just couldn't do it. I was primed and ready to go. I wanted to stop thinking about how it was all going to play out. It was time to actually experience it.

When I called back at 8:00, they still didn't have an exact time for me, but the person answering the phone said she'd have the charge nurse call me back soon. Apparently, there had just been a delivery, and so a room was probably going to open up in just a bit. 

But no one called back and no one called back. This probably should have been an indicator to me that the day was going to involve a lot of waiting in one form or another. In the interim, all of our kids packed up and left with Mike's sister. Now I had an empty house, and all I could think to do was putter around and clean things that didn't actually need to be cleaned. After an hour, I decided to call again. I didn't want to be one of those expecting moms, but I felt like I had given them plenty of time to call back, and I was feeling so antsy. 

This time, I was able to talk to the charge nurse who said she thought I would be able to come in around 11:00. She still wanted me to wait for her to call and confirm, but that was her best estimate at that point. I left my phone with Mike and went up to my room to see if I could actually fall asleep for a bit. And I think I did drift off for a couple of minutes a couple of times. It wasn't what I'd call restorative sleep, but it was at least something. 

Mike came in around 10:15 and said they'd called with the news that I could come in at 10:30. We were more than ready and hopped in the car before they could change their minds.

I really didn't know what to expect with the whole Covid complication. I suspected that I would test positive since it had only been five days since I had first experienced symptoms. I wondered if the hospital would put me in some kind of holding cell until they knew the results of the rapid test. But when we got there, it was business as usual: check in, change into a hospital gown, get hooked up to heart and contraction monitors, and insert the IV. During all of those things, I also was given a Covid test. The anticipation of this test had consumed me over the past week, but the nurse gave it only the slightest attention. For her, it was just standard procedure, and she certainly wasn't holding her breath waiting for the results. I started to relax a bit. 

My nurse's name was Charity. She had purple hair and was about my age. She was confident and efficient. She said the plan was to get the penicillin going (because I was positive for Group B strep), and then my midwife, Marnae, would break my water. At some point, they would also start some Pitocin. I was quite happy with this plan since it seems like I always need to have my water broken before Pitocin is very effective. It sounded like we were going to get things going in a hurry, and I was all for it.

Unfortunately, that was a false impression on my part.

After Charity got everything going, she checked my cervix. This was actually the first time I had been checked at all, having declined the option at my most recent appointments, so I was a bit nervous at what she would find. I hoped this induction wasn't premature. She had a difficult time reaching the cervix, which didn't surprise me based on my previous pregnancies, but she said I was dilated to a 3, 50% effaced, and soft. 

This was all good news since it meant, even though I wasn't in active labor, the conditions were still favorable for an induction. However, there was one piece of information that Charity relayed but didn't address how it would impact the rest of the day. Maybe she thought I would already know, having been through many inductions before this one. When she checked me, she found that the baby was at a -3 station, which meant that his head was still floating. This meant that Marnae actually couldn't break my water yet. She had to wait until his head was engaged. But Charity didn't communicate this to me, and I didn't make the connection on my own. So I kept waiting for Marnae to show up, still thinking that the plan was for her to break my water as soon as possible, whereas she decided to make a trip to Ikea since she needed to give the Pitocin a chance to do its job with the contractions and bring the baby down.

Speaking of Pitocin, it wasn't doing much yet. The nurse started it around noon, but I made the mistake of telling her that sometimes I only needed the lowest dose to jumpstart the contractions. (This had really only happened when my water was already broken and I was in active labor, neither of which was true at that moment.) So she started the Pitocin at a 2. I don't know if she would have started it this low regardless of what I said, but a 2 basically did nothing for me. 

(Comparing my current labor with my past labors was a theme for the day, and my past experience continued to betray me, as you will soon see.)

I wish I was better about passing hours of empty time in the hospital in a constructive or fun way; this is never a problem for me when I'm at home. I will happily sit down with a book and/or my knitting and enjoy a quiet afternoon. But when I'm at the hospital to have a baby, that's all I want to do; it's all I can think about. So even though I had a knitting project with me as well as a book, I could only manage a couple of rows and a couple of pages before I had to put them both away. Mike and I also watched a couple of episodes of Love It or List It, but after the second one was done, I made him turn it off. This wasn't because I was in pain or uncomfortable. Quite the contrary. There wasn't anything going on, so I felt compelled to stare at the monitors and will something to happen.

This was how we passed the next five hours. By this point, the Pitocin was up to 14, the contractions were regular (3-5 minutes apart), but my discomfort level with each one was probably a 2 or 3 (i.e., not anywhere strong enough to push out a baby).

You might be wondering what had happened with my Covid test. Charity was in and out throughout the afternoon, but they didn't seem to be in a hurry to find out if I was positive or negative. I must confess that I actually saw the results come in on my email. Perhaps I should have mentioned it as soon as I saw it, but they just didn't seem overly concerned.  I kind of wondered if they'd relaxed their protocols since so many people had it. (Side note: my midwife told me I was her fifth Covid delivery in the past week; before then, she'd never had anyone deliver with Covid, which just goes to show how insane the Omicron variant was.)

But around 4:30, Charity came in again, and this time she was fully gowned up with hair net and face shield, and I knew the bad news had been delivered. She handed me a second mask and regretfully told me that I would have to wear it for the duration of the labor. Things immediately felt more stiff and cumbersome, and I missed Charity's purple hair.

I glanced at Mike nervously, wondering if they were going to make him test next. But he just kept quietly sucking on his Lifesavers, keeping his cough at bay, so he could fly under the radar and not draw attention to himself. (He consumed so many Lifesavers that day that there's a chance he'll never be able to eat one again.)

At some point in the afternoon, Mike and I made guesses about when we thought the baby would arrive. I said 7:05, which I thought was a "safe" time, meaning, I thought I was overshooting it and the baby definitely would be born by then. Turns out, labor is one of those things that, even if this is your sixth time, you still can't predict.

Charity checked me again around 5:00. I was still only dilated to a 3 but thinner and (slightly) lower. She claimed she had an easier time reaching my cervix than she had the first time (it didn't really seem like it to me, but I always appreciate a nurse who can put a positive spin on things).

Over the next hour, I had a few contractions that I would describe as "good ones," meaning they were longer and harder and felt like they were getting closer to the real thing. 

Finally, a bit after 6:00, my midwife, Marnae, finally arrived. It felt like I had been waiting for her all day, but she explained what I mentioned earlier: she had fully been anticipating coming to the hospital sooner, but when she spoke with Charity, she knew I needed some time to progress with the Pitocin before she would be able to do me any good. This made total sense to me--I just wish it had been communicated to me; I think I would have settled into the process a little more if I hadn't thought she was going to show up at any minute.

But anyway, Marnae checked and found everything about at the same place Charity had the hour before. However, the baby's head was no longer floating, so it was go time. Marnae quickly broke my water. I anticipated the contractions ramping up after that, so I told Charity I was ready for an epidural.

In the weeks leading up to this induction, I hadn't fully decided if I was going to get an epidural or not. I'd had such a good experience with an epidural with Ian's birth, but that honestly felt like the kind of epidural you probably only get once. But I also didn't know if I really wanted to go through all of the agony of unmedicated labor again. So I didn't commit one way or the other and honestly kind of put it on the back burner for most of the pregnancy. However, when I got Covid and knew that I would be going through the whole labor process with two masks on, it was fairly easy to make the decision to get the epidural.

As I was waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in, I said, "I'm so hungry. I wish I could have a sandwich right now." (I always get hungry during labor, and at this point, the only thing I'd eaten since arriving at the hospital was jello and popsicles.) 

To my great surprise, Marnae said, "You want a sandwich? You can have a sandwich. Get this girl a sandwich!" The shock must have been evident on my face because she added, "It's the anesthesiologists that make the rule about clear foods. But I'm totally fine with you eating. This is your sixth baby. The chance of you needing a C-section at this point is extremely rare. Just be okay with the possibility of anything you eat coming back up if you start feeling nauseous." 

Charity came back in carrying a turkey sandwich that probably would have looked bland and disgusting at any other time but which looked positively mouth-watering right then. I had just cracked the seal on it and picked up one half when the anesthesiologist walked in. I quickly handed the whole thing off to Mike and tried to look innocent. 

Luckily, my experience with anesthesiologists is that they are almost always in a hurry and all business and can't be bothered to notice details like sandwiches in the wrong hands. He quickly launched into information, questions, and disclosures and then got right to work. Within minutes, the epidural was in and soon after that, the contractions started to subside as a mild numbness overtook my lower half.  

As soon as the anesthesiologist left, I indulged in my subpar sandwich. I don't know if anything has ever felt so luxurious. Real food during labor? I thought that would only ever be an unattainable dream.

Fueled by a sandwich, more Pitocin (increased to 18), broken water, and an epidural, I expected the pace to pick up at this point. And at first, that's exactly what seemed to be happening. Around 7:30, my teeth started chattering and my whole body began shaking. This has always (always!) been a sign for me that delivery is imminent (Ian was born within thirty minutes of me getting the shakes). Sadly, my "knowledge" deceived me yet again.

Informing Charity of my history, she decided to check me. I was only dilated to 4 centimeters, but I was 80% effaced, and the baby's head was at a zero station.

We decided to use the peanut pillow, which had been very effective in Ian's birth with helping him rotate into an anterior (face down) position. We suspected this baby might need the same encouragement. 

After I had been twisted and turned into position (with practically no help from myself), Charity started a third dose of penicillin. The previous two doses had gone in without trouble, but this one burned like crazy. In fact, it was this final dose that won the award for most pain of the day. It hurt so much. I was completely distracted from all other things. All I could think about was my arm that felt like it was on fire. 

Charity had left, but I begged Mike to call her back in and do something (anything!) to get the pain to stop. She diluted the medication, added a hot pack, and left again. It took a few minutes, but the pain finally diminished and I could think again.

My chattering teeth would not let up though. I couldn't get them under control. I was in an awkward position on my side, shivering violently, and unable to tell where I was in the labor process. I felt so disconnected with my body, which was disorienting and scary. It made me nervous not to have any medical staff in the room. Since I couldn't feel anything, the only thing I had to go off of was all of the shaking, and to me, that meant that the baby might be ready at any moment. 

To give you an example of how out of touch I was, I literally asked Mike (twice!) to peek beneath the sheet and make sure he didn't see the baby's head. It was frustrating to have lost all of my awareness and be so dependent on others to inform me what was going on. Leading up to the epidural, Charity had asked me several times how I would rate various contractions. After the epidural, she continued to ask me, but I was unable to give any sort of reliable information. 

Charity came back in after about forty minutes. She checked me again, and all of my shivering did not seem to be related to going through transition at all because I was still only dilated to 5 or 6. However, the baby had dropped down a bit more to a +2 station. While she was checking me, she massaged the cervix a bit. Part of it melted away, and just like that, I was at 7 cm. Charity said that when this happens, it is called a "dynamic cervix." 

I told Charity that I was nervous to be left alone because I was sure that things were going to start to move quickly without warning. She switched the peanut ball to the other side and said she wasn't planning on leaving again until the baby arrived. I was beginning to feel somewhat embarrassed for crying wolf so many times over the last several hours. I could just hear them out at the nurses' station: "We've got a mom in #3. This is her sixth baby, so of course she acts like she knows everything. She said her baby would be coming in ten minutes . . . three hours ago." Still, whether the nurse thought I was being melodramatic or not, I was grateful to have her steady presence in the room (and, for the record, she never made me feel dumb for being constantly wrong).

Soon after, Marnae was back in the room as well, and it seemed like she was also in it for the long haul . . . however long that might be. 

Much earlier in the day, Mike had told me it would be nice if I could wait until 10:22pm for the baby to be born, since that would be 22:22 in military time. We had all laughed at the time. "Fat chance!" we said. "Not going to happen!" But as the hours marched on, I wondered if we would, in fact, miss the 10:00 hour altogether. And close on the heels of that thought was another one: What if we missed January 22nd and this baby was actually born on the 23rd? I wouldn't have thought that was even a possibility at the beginning of the day, but now it was seeming more and more likely.

However, when I vocalized my worry, Marnae and Charity both assured me that we'd get him here before the stroke of midnight. 

Somewhere around this time, I became aware of some feeling in my right side. I mentioned this to Charity, and she asked if I wanted to push the button on the epidural. "No, I like it," I said. It wasn't a lot, but it made me feel more like an active participant once more. At least I was sometimes aware of the contractions.

Around 9:30, Charity checked me yet again. She gave Marnae the report: the cervix was all the way gone on the back; there was still some left on the front. Marnae suspected that the cervix might never fully dilate and they might just need to push the remaining lip up and out of the way. (I remember that this same thing happened with Aaron's birth.)

They helped me get into a sitting position. As I went through a few cycles of contractions, I felt unmistakable rectal pressure. I mentioned this to Marnae, and she said, "Yep! It's time."

They laid me back in the bed, brought around the stirrups for my feet, and Marnae pushed the rest of the cervix out of the way. Then she proceeded to coach me through the pushing. This was a completely new experience for me: Ian came way too quickly for any coaching except "slow down." The other births were all unmedicated which meant that I wasn't exactly coherent enough to respond to the coaching, even though I know it was happening. But this time, I was very present and aware, but I also needed the help because I couldn't reliably tell what was going on. At one point, Marnae even asked, "Can you feel that contraction, Amy?" And I had to admit that I couldn't.

So I let her coach me: "Curl and push, Amy! Hold your breath! Push, push, push! Grab your legs! Push! There you go!" I remember being somewhat confused by the instructions to hold my breath. This was counterintuitive to me. In all of my natural labor classes and reading, they recommended letting out a long, slow breath while bearing down. So this was the way I started to do it, but Marnae just kept saying, "Hold your breath, Amy. You have to hold your breath for me." So after a few pushes, I started to do it her way. Not being in a large amount of pain makes you surprisingly agreeable to following directions and doing things someone else's way. I don't know if her way was more effective than my way, but it made her happy, and I didn't really mind one way or the other.

With each contraction and push, the baby moved down a little more. It felt like I was doing real work this time. It kind of felt like we were forcing it to happen, to be honest. But the baby responded well, and after just a few minutes, he was crowning. Marnae said, "Put your hands here, Amy," and I could feel his little wet head. And then, "Give one more big push," and little Silas Joseph rushed out into my waiting arms at 10:07 pm. 22:07--Mike's and my lucky numbers combined.

Silas, as I've already written, did not seem thrilled to be here, but Mike and I were thrilled to have him. The room was buzzing with energy: "Happy birthday, buddy!" the midwife said. "Oh, he looks like Bradley," Mike offered. "Give us a good cry," the nurse instructed. Silas obliged. I think he thought crying was a more appropriate reaction than all of the laughing and smiling that everyone else seemed to be doing. But we couldn't help ourselves. His little presence brought so much light into the room. 

I actually had Mike film the birth. This is the only one of all of my kids where I have a visual record of the very moment when the baby crossed over from one side to the other. I've watched it over and over. It is somewhat mesmerizing to me. Silas was inside me, and then, in a breath, he was out, vacating the premises, never to go back. I feel like if I was a labor and delivery nurse, I'd be addicted to that moment. It doesn't seem like it would ever get old welcoming a new life into the world.

However, as much as I loved the end result, the birth process itself was not my favorite this time around. When I look back at the details, everything went well. There weren't any unexpected difficulties. Silas never gave us a moment's worry during labor, and he arrived safely. My health was good. He came easily and without injury or a lot of pain. But it felt like a task to get him here. It took patience and work. It felt like there was an extra layer over everything that just made things a little harder. I don't know if it was Covid or my age or a new hospital/midwife or January or what. But I've experienced a near-perfect birth before, and this wasn't it. Rather than looking back with affection and pleasure at the time in the hospital, I have instead felt gratitude that it's over and I'm at home with my baby. I don't really have a desire to relive any part of it, except maybe the moment of feeling his slick little body wriggle into my arms. The constructs of the hospital just made even the most basic things (like nursing him for the first time) feel stiff and unnatural.

If that isn't a metaphor for life, I don't know what is. We toil and work and struggle, and this occasionally results in a bright, perfect moment. And that moment somehow makes all of the toil and work and struggle worth it. 

The day before Silas was born, Clark and I were in the car, and he said something like, "It's so interesting. Whatever number of people are in your family feels like the right number. But then, if you have another baby, then that feels right. And you wouldn't want to not have that one." 

I couldn't have said it better myself. A month ago, five kids seemed perfect, but now, I could never do with less than six. Silas has found a spot in our family that we didn't know needed to be filled, and now we can't imagine it any other way. 

*Photos at the beginning and end taken by my sister-in-law, Sonja.


  1. Your birth stories are always so beautiful -- you never forget the spiritual side as you remember all the physical details. Welcome to the world, Silas!

  2. I loved reading this! It brought back memories of the births of my children.

  3. Perfectly told. I loved every detail.

  4. I loved reading this. Thanks for sharing it Amy!

  5. I just love reading your shared thoughts. You articulate your thoughts and feelings so well. What great processing. Congratulations to you, Mike and the boys. And welcome, Master Silas Joseph!


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