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#1 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for tips on getting myself comfortable with my pumping situation...I've done lots of investigating and I think my best bet is to put curtains up in my office window and also behind where I sit (because that part of my office is very high traffic since my coworker has to walk through my office to get to his - and people constantly barge in to see him (people constantly barge in to see me too) and I can't lock my office (has a lock, but, can't in case people need to see him and more importantly because my office double serves as a first aid/emergency station.

 

Anyway....I have it pretty well figured out how to keep people from seeing me (hearing me is another story lol), but, I am kind of uncomfortable still...I jsut feel wierd about it knowing all these peole will be around and knowing what I am doing...I didn't mind at my last job (though also the room I used was much more quiet, nobody walked through it, and others had used it before me), but, I am really new to this job still and I am still feeling out my co-workers and surroundings, and then of course lots of complete strangers come through.

 

Anyway, any tips on getting more comfortable (mentally) with my pumping situation would be awesome...I know anxiety is not goign to help my output!

 

Oh, I will pump 15-20mins probably 3-4 times per day - I work 8.5 hour days, 5 days per week - I have a lot of trouble keeping my supply up via pumping, so I am going to try and make it every 2 hours as much as possible.

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#2 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 05:34 AM
 
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Can you pump in your car?  Have you exhausted all other options?  I know I couldn't do that.  I think people hearing you would be uncomfortable not to mind how uncomfortable you would feel.  Have you talked to your boss?


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#3 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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I thought that legally employers are supposed to provide a provide pumping space, but maybe I am wrong.  Something to look into at least.  I know when I am stressed, I am able to pump a lot less than when I'm relaxed, so I'd try to work on a solution that you feel comfortable with.

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#4 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought of the car...but it is too cold (or will be in January when I go back to work)

 

I am not sure if employers are legally supposed to provide a place or not...but, I work at a university and my building is really far from the rest of the buildings on campus - I'm the facility director in my building and I cannot find a place at all (the only other thing I thought of was a locker room or mechanical or chemical room - which seems even worse!) I have a feeling there is somewhere I could go on the other side of campus - but then it would turn into a 30-45min ordeal each time I pumped which probably would not go over well and would make my uncomfortable.

 

I haven't talked to my boss yet - she is not very family friendly (I would say she jsut does not understand/remember - she's pretty old, not sure if she ever had kids). Total opposite of my boss at my old job who was very family and breastfeeding friendly. :-/

 

I keep hoping some other solution will appear...but, I just cannot seem to come up with one...and time is running out!

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#5 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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For a while, I was pumping in a rest area on the way to a bathroom at a university.  As long as I didn't go between classes, it was quiet but oiy, that time period right after class but before lunch.... constant traffic.  I put my back to the traffic (you could put it to the curtain) and made sure to bring an ipod so I could mask the noise and thus the anxiety that would come each time someone entered the room.  Maybe that would help?


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#6 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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I pumped in a closet for about 18 months. It was just big enough for me to squeeze in and close the door behind me. It didn't lock, but was empty so nobody went in there.

I could never pump in a public setting. My nervousness would inhibit my letdown.

I've heard medela makes a good wearable pump that you can put on in a private setting and comfortably use under clothing, but I haven't tried it.

Laws vary by state, but here in CO employeers are required to provide a private, clean place to pump that is not a bathroom and regular breaks spaced no more than four hours apart during which to express milk. I ended up pumping before work, lunch time, and after work because 20 minutes was never enough time for me to actually get milk from the pump. So depending on your body, a walk across campus combined with a longer break may be better. Good luck!

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#7 of 35 Old 10-06-2011, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish we had closets! That's actually what I used at my previous job (but it was a good size with a table and chair) but everything is so jam packed and we still have stuff stored in places where its cosnidered a "fire hazard"

 

It's going to sound strange, but, my biggest concern is maintaining supply - I really don't care what my output is (I mean obviously more is better, but, that is not my primary concern) and I was under the impression that more often pumping even if short sessions is what really boosts supply (I pumped for several months trying to get my supply back after DS2 went a never ending "strike" - long story). I pretty much lost my supply completly at 5-6 months with both my older kids, with my first I was able to quit my job and nurse him around the clock and got my supply back within a month or two, I didn't have the luxury with DS2 so I ended up formula feeding him entirely after exhausting all feasible methods to increase supply.

 

I like the idea of the under the clothes thing, but, I don't think it would work - the only pump that has been "pain free" for me is the Avent (I use both the electric and the manual); I've used the Medela PIS and I got about half the output I got with the Avent, but, it hurt so badly, I've used a few lesser known ones and they were painful and did not get any milk...

 

Maybe some headphones would help...I wonder if this will go more smoothly than I think...its jsut such unknown teritory to me this time...

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#8 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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could you just pump with your car running?  I would just be mortified at the thought of my coworkers hearing my pumping!  But maybe that's my own issue.


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#9 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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I used to pump in the computers' server closet.

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#10 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Here is apparently the law:

 

Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk. If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs less than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. Furthermore, these requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.

 

So, you have every right/need to talk to your boss, and for her to talk to her boss, and if this is a university, it may need to go to the top! Of course, if you got stuck going to another building, that would not be a help at all. I had the same issue at my school -- there was a building with a lactation room, but it was far, and there was no way I was going to walk that far (carrying breastpump, bag of milk, materials to work while pumping, etc. Comedy of errors!). There was a space off from the bathroom that I used. You can only enter from the bathroom, but it was separate (kindof like a powder room). It has since been converted to a full-fledged lactation room complete with hospital grade pump. Yay graduate student funding!


So, while there is currently no space available, any chance you could have something converted?? The situation you describe does not sound at all like a solution.


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#11 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Would you consider a hand pump?  I haven't done this myself but a woman I was working with used to just pump quietly under a poncho in the back of the room.  You couldn't hear or notice anything.  She told me what was going on otherwise I would never have had a clue.


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#12 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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OP I feel ya.  I'll be going back to my nursing program in January and DD will be not quite 6 mos old then.  I'll be attempting to pump during school, and it will especially  be difficult during clinicals.  I wonder if laws apply to students as well?  Is my school required to grant me time to pump??  Some of my clinical shifts will be 12 hours, and there's no way I'll make it that long without pumping, nor do I want to stop BFing my daughter.  I can forsee myself pumping in a conference room or lounge among my fellow peers (who are all like 18 to 20 year olds with no kids yet, lol).  I'm going to be that weirdo lady that pumps during clinicals in front of everyone. argh.

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#13 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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I got stuck with an office that I shared, and it had a giant glass window that the boss wouldn't put curtains on. My office-mate didn't mind the pumping at all, so I just turned towards the corner and away from everyone. We were able to lock the door, I wore nursing clothes to minimize exposure, and used a hooter-hider to cover what did stick out. I turned my phone off and ignored my coworkers that couldn't manage while I spent twenty minutes pumping. (They were needy like baby birds.) It wasn't the best solution, but it worked for 9 months.

Does your school have a pumping area? The colleges around here have dedicated rooms for pumping. Students and staff can just ask for a key. The only downside is if you have to travel across campus to use the room.

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#14 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it will just take long by the time the car warms up? I remember trying this when I was a FT student and pumping for DS2 but it didn't work very well.

 

I did hand pump in a shower/bathroom stall depending where I was inbetween classes for DS2...but in the end I think the lack of double electric pumping may have contributed to the supply issue. I do plan to hand pump in the car while driving (hmm that's probably worse than using a cell phone lol now that I think about it...but, I hate to waste the 35mins in the car each way!)

 

Porcelina- where did you get the law from? I would like to be able to specifically refer to it should I bring this up. I do kind of think the solution is going to be to go somewhere else on campus unfortionately though...it did occur to me that there is a small kitchen that is available some of the time (other times it is rented out)...I think I would be nervous about people walking in on me there too though.

 

The good thing I suppose is that I work at a fairly small university, so the top is not very far up - the president himself is VERY family friendly from what I know of him (have not spent much time with him, that is just his reputation)...and I guess it is worth bringing up because even if I do not venture across campus hsould something be available or become available over there maybe it will be ground breaking or raise awareness for others...nerve racking though, especially since I have no actual job protection during my upcoming maternity leave or anything since I am so new...I'm really afraid of rocking the boat so to speak!

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#15 of 35 Old 10-07-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Do you have access to an electric pump? Many have car adapters and battery packs now. I know some women that have pumped on the way too and from work.

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#16 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

Do you have access to an electric pump? Many have car adapters and battery packs now. I know some women that have pumped on the way too and from work.



Yes I use an electric, but, it only double pumps...though I am planning to get a pumping bra, so I might be bale to use it then. I do have a car adapter from when I was trying to pump in my car for DS2.

 

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#17 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMomma83 View Post

I thought of the car...but it is too cold (or will be in January when I go back to work)

 

I am not sure if employers are legally supposed to provide a place or not...but, I work at a university and my building is really far from the rest of the buildings on campus - I'm the facility director in my building and I cannot find a place at all (the only other thing I thought of was a locker room or mechanical or chemical room - which seems even worse!) I have a feeling there is somewhere I could go on the other side of campus - but then it would turn into a 30-45min ordeal each time I pumped which probably would not go over well and would make my uncomfortable.

 

I haven't talked to my boss yet - she is not very family friendly (I would say she jsut does not understand/remember - she's pretty old, not sure if she ever had kids). Total opposite of my boss at my old job who was very family and breastfeeding friendly. :-/

 

I keep hoping some other solution will appear...but, I just cannot seem to come up with one...and time is running out!



can you ask any of the other building directors in nearby buildings, or are you really that remote? 

also... out of desperation and if the other buildings are that far away but do offer you a place to pump, what if you got a bike and took it to work?  cross campus trips on a bike are pretty fast...  would that work?  (course, if it's too cold for your car, a bike trip isn't going to be super comfortable but you could get a down coat or something.  plus.. exercise!)

or find someone in your building with a cozy private out-of-the-way office and bribe them to let you use it?

do you think a white noise machine would make you feel less conscious about the noise?  that might help with that if nothing else.

 

as far as getting a place on campus if none exists, you might want to talk to student affairs if you're on good terms, or a student group, like a campus parents group or a feminist group if you are lucky enough to have one... many times i've seen profs pass important issues on to the student groups who have nothing to lose by lobbying for changes like that.


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#18 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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can you ask any of the other building directors in nearby buildings, or are you really that remote? 

also... out of desperation and if the other buildings are that far away but do offer you a place to pump, what if you got a bike and took it to work?  cross campus trips on a bike are pretty fast...  would that work?  (course, if it's too cold for your car, a bike trip isn't going to be super comfortable but you could get a down coat or something.  plus.. exercise!)

or find someone in your building with a cozy private out-of-the-way office and bribe them to let you use it?

do you think a white noise machine would make you feel less conscious about the noise?  that might help with that if nothing else.

 

as far as getting a place on campus if none exists, you might want to talk to student affairs if you're on good terms, or a student group, like a campus parents group or a feminist group if you are lucky enough to have one... many times i've seen profs pass important issues on to the student groups who have nothing to lose by lobbying for changes like that.



The other buildings don't have directors...I guess maybe HR or student affairs would know? I'm about 10 minutes (walking) from the rest of the buildings (which are all clustered), I work in an athletic complex and the rest of the buildings are across a major highway from me (there is a walking path though) but they are all pretty close together. I do have a bike, that would work at least when the path is not too snowy/icy (which hopefully will be most of the time...though you never know for sure!) I'm not too concerned about being cold, I just think it would inhibit pumping if I am pumping somewhere cold.

 

noise probably would help with the comfort level in my office

 

That's a good point about having students do the lobbying if any needs done, I will see what groups are out there...

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#19 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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I didn't get a special bra, but I had one of those elastic bands with slits for pumping. It was awesome. You can also get straps for any nursing bra that do the same thing, but in the car they may not work as well if there is jostling.

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#20 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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You can ask for student lobbying, but my experience FWIW (as a grad student w/ a weird student AND employee relationship with a university) is that maternal rights (leaves and breastfeeding) are easier to fight as a full time employee due to the legal protections of employees - at least at a large public university.  Students have no legal rights... but you, as an employee do.  Know those rights and ask HR who is assigned to deal with maternity issues.  Even if the letter of the law is being met (there is a lactation room across the campus), arguing based upon the spirit of the law and facts (I've walked to that room from my office and it takes 10 minutes; that means I have an additional 20 minutes per session and 60 minutes per day I could be working for you) as an employee is generally more successful. 


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#21 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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Sounds tough!  I was lucky to have a private office....I got into a routine and could work on the computer while pumping. However, I did have colleagues who came in...and eventually I just got used to it.


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#22 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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Here is a link for the labor law regarding pumping:

 

http://webapps.dol.gov/federalregister/HtmlDisplay.aspx?DocId=24540&AgencyId=14&DocumentType=3

 

Here is a fact sheet you can give your employer:

 

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm

 

 

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#23 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMamma View Post

You can ask for student lobbying, but my experience FWIW (as a grad student w/ a weird student AND employee relationship with a university) is that maternal rights (leaves and breastfeeding) are easier to fight as a full time employee due to the legal protections of employees - at least at a large public university.  Students have no legal rights... but you, as an employee do.  Know those rights and ask HR who is assigned to deal with maternity issues.  Even if the letter of the law is being met (there is a lactation room across the campus), arguing based upon the spirit of the law and facts (I've walked to that room from my office and it takes 10 minutes; that means I have an additional 20 minutes per session and 60 minutes per day I could be working for you) as an employee is generally more successful. 


 

I will probably be a student AND employee also (though my classes will be evenings/weekends and probably at a different campus). I work at a private catholic university with about 1500 undergrad students...not sure if type/size has a lot to do with pumping lol..but thats the stats.

 

I like the argument of my time "lost" having to go across campus...great way to make my stand and get what I want too.

 

One_Girl- Thanks for the links...I had seen a news story on this but it was a state law...pretty cool this applies to me.


 

 

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#24 of 35 Old 10-08-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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State law may be more specific. Btw - it really helped make my case when I showed my employer statistics about how moms that breastfeed miss less days because their children suffer from less childhood illnesses like ear infections.

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#25 of 35 Old 10-10-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Well if you're stuck for now in your office, put up a sign.  I'm pumping, walk through if you must but don't oggle.  

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#26 of 35 Old 10-10-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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If your current office is really your only option, then my suggestion is to simply embrace it. Put up curtains, pump, and if anyone says anything about the noise you can be matter of fact about it. If you don't act embarrassed or try to minimize what you're doing, I think (depending on your office-culture) others will take your pumping as a matter of fact and not make a big deal about it. I was lucky enough to have a private office when I pumped. But sometimes I'd answer the phone and someone would ask what "that noise" was, and I'd simply say "I'm pumping breastmilk" and leave it at that. Or if someone knocked on my door and I didn't answer, afterwards I'd just say "sorry about that, I was pumping." There were jokes and one or two slightly uncomfortable moments, but overall it worked great and I pumped for 9 months.

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#27 of 35 Old 10-10-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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I was surprised by how many coworkers could care less that I was pumping and would carry on a conversation with me. Especially the men! I expected the men that were parents to be a little more comfortable with it, but even younger guys acted like it was nothing. I also discovered that putting a bottle or bag of breast milk in or near your lunch pretty much guarantees that nobody will steal it from the office fridge.

Btw - if you need to take calls for whatever reason, noise cancelling headsets will block out the whooshing noise of the pump.

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#28 of 35 Old 10-10-2011, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good point about embracing and being straight up about it...I guess I never had to do that because in my old job I was already so tight with everyone they outright asked me if I was going to pump and breastfeed and if I was going to use the same room as the other lady had used, and I said I was...there was good natured joking and comments...but really nothing uncomfortable - I remember being embarressed washing my pump parts in the break room sink while and elder male custodian was in there and with his broken english and heavy russian accent he asked if I was cleaning breast pump parts and said how he hoped I would breastfeed for a year...

 

The good thing is that if nothing else the man who's office is adjecent to mine has 3 kids (I doubt his wife breastfeeds though I could be surprised) but he does at least understand family - and he truly puts it before everything. The young preist that comes through might be a little wierded out lol - but as mentioned above...maybe he won't!

 

I'm usually kinda quiet about breastfeeding...but, I have my mind made up I am doing everything feasible short of quitting my job to make breastfeeding work...I was so sad when it didn't work with DS2 and I do not want to go through that again...and I'm hoping not to even have to suppliment because we had a HORRIBLE experience with formula when DS2 was 11mos and the formula company lied to us and the whole thing was just discusting and nearly sent my child to the hospital - so I am really wanting to avoid formula this time.

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#29 of 35 Old 10-11-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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I see someone posted the law, sorry to not get back sooner! I just wanted to wish you good luck!!!!!


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DS1 (6) jog.gif , DS2 (3)sleepytime.gifbaby.gif DD is here!

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#30 of 35 Old 10-11-2011, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

I see someone posted the law, sorry to not get back sooner! I just wanted to wish you good luck!!!!!



Thank you!!!!!!

 

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