Lotus birth anyone? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Have you had a lotus birth or know some one who has?
yes, I had a lotus birth 10 13.70%
I know someone who had a lotus birth 7 9.59%
what is a lotus birth ???? 31 42.47%
Sounds cool and I might comsider one 25 34.25%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 46 Old 01-07-2002, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi. I am the momma of 2 babies, both born at home, the last a freebirth. I was wondering if anyone out there had any lotus birth stories to share. I am still processing our last birth, which we did a lotus birth. I am just curious about other's reactions/stories.

I liked doing it and now do not think I could cut a cord with any following babies. But I did have some mixed feelings about it....we actually tried to cut the cord off the night before it fell off itself. However, he started crying andwe stopped. I quickly regreted it but as I said am just interested in starting a discussion about it! thanks!
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#2 of 46 Old 01-07-2002, 06:54 PM
 
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Don't have any experience but I am planning on having a lotus birth with future pregancies.
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#3 of 46 Old 01-08-2002, 07:09 AM
 
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Yes, I've been quite fascinated with the idea (though I "can't" have a homebirth due to my type 1 diabetes, so it is doubtful I'd have a doc and hospital supportive enough of me doing it). Plus, the health professional in me starts getting all concerned when I think about some realities. But I just can't shake my fascination. Tell us more of your story!

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#4 of 46 Old 01-09-2002, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well...I'm not sure what to add so I will just tell our story. after ds was born, we washed his placenta (after the blood congealed) and then hubbie and dd salted it in a diaper w/sea salt. We placed it in a bowl.
The big difference for me was that it really slowed me down....and I am a type-A personality. So I think it was one of the best things for me.....I needed (and wanted) to slow down a lot. It was much trickier holding etc. and I did often look forward to just holding him.....We did seclusion too until his cord fell off (he was born sunday at 9 am after a 4 hour total labor, and his cord fell off early (around 3 am) Thursday)
the stressful part that had me upset was that he kept flailing and pulling on it or kicking it which hurt him. that is why I finally had hubbie try to cut it.....as soon as those scissors closed down I regreted it as I said, anyway it was too tough and he couldn't have done it anyway. But I asked him to stop. I was also worried that it wasnt' healing properly. (It was fine) I think part of me had some remainder guilt from our freebirth--that I shoudn't be able to just birth a healthy baby in a way that wasn't society's way....I needed to be punished. : this is my analysis anyway.
again as I mentioned, his cord fell off the early the next day. and it healed into a perfect little belly button.
we then placed his placenta ( much more "jerky-like" in appearance than dd's) in the freezer. I want to plant it when we finally do our move out to our own land sometime in the next 10 yrs. DD"s is there too and has followed us all around w/ each of our moves.
oh, and there was no real smell, though we were in a fairly arrid place too.
my hub. and i discussed doing it again....I didn't love it as much as I thought, or maybe as purely as I thought I would. BUT I don't think I could cut another cord either....too alive. I read extensively Jeannine Parvati Baker's booklet that she sells and do feel like it is important....that it imprints them to be able to let go of things (whatever they may be) when they are ready.
and to be honest, ds is a really peaceful and content little boy. we'll see what he's like.
also, I did think it is interesting that the "honor" of the father often is to cut the cord--what kind of honor is that??? hurting the baby and severing it from it's mother?? I think I also read this in JP baker's stuff. It did resonate when I read that... seems all too symbolic given our current patriarchal birthing climate. And my dear hubbie did say that with baby no. one, he didn't want to cut it....as the midwives request. But he did...just another arbitrary rule we followed from teh experts. <sigh> well, that birth paved the way for our next one.
well I hope this answers any questions. I'd be happy to respond to any other questions you had.
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#5 of 46 Old 01-21-2002, 11:13 AM
 
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My son was born on the 16th and we did a lotus
birth. It was really good for me cause it definately
kept me laying down and just taking time out.
His cord separated on the evening of the third day
and it was such a special thing. We were all so excited
and it was like he came right into his body, totally amazing!
I did not really like the idea of salting the placenta so everyday
we just sprinkled ground rosemary on it and wrapped it in
in 2 cloth diapers and tied it with some twine and it was like
a little postage bundle. He was born with a double true knot
in his cord and it was really neat to watch it get dry and all!
On the third day it did have a smell to it, but not offensive, just
different. It was a wonderful experience for us!
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#6 of 46 Old 01-21-2002, 12:20 PM
 
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check out this link for beautiful lotus births, with pictures!!

http://www.birthlove.com/pages/birth_stories.html#lotus

Renee
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#7 of 46 Old 01-23-2002, 09:44 AM
 
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Hi girls,
I am also very interested in this topic and have been doing quite a bit of resarch. I recently ordered the books about lotus birthing so will have more information soon.
The other day I wrote Henci Goer author of 'The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth' to ask her opinion. I was just curious. I was surprised by her response:

"The idea of leaving the placenta attached to the baby was floating around about 20 yrs ago. You will end up with a truly stinky object attached to your baby in fairly short order, not to mention the awkwardness of trying to breastfeed and tend your baby. (Think about leaving out a piece of liver on your kitchen counter for a couple of days.) I expect that was why it disappeared. I can't imagine what possible advantage doing this would have. Once the baby's circulation switches over when it starts to breathe, there is nothing flowing through the cord.
-- Henci

Here is my response to her:
My thought process here is to let nature take it's course. I have yet to come up with a reason to cut the cord so my question is why cut? I have read many lotus birth stories. I also initially thought it would stink to high heaven. However, the more I read the more everyone states that is just not an issue. Everyone washes it very well and cures it either with sea salt or roesemary and wraps it in a cloth or disposable diaper. A lot of the moms have said having it 'teathered' to the baby makes them take the extra time and slow down. The cord separates itself within 2-6 days which is much quicker than a stub and those can be quite stinky too. What I am currently researching is whether I could then use the placenta for medicinal purposes - incapsulate it in it's dried form to take later in menopause. This is very documentated that placenta helps many women in menopause. The other option is just burying it under the tree in the backyard. I admit that when first hearing of lotus birth I thought Yuck! But, then again, when I first heard of homebirth, that made me a bit nervous too. I can't help but think that letting nature take it's course and not severing what was the baby's lifeline for so long could be a good thing and provide for a more gentle birth. Like I said I am still researching this. I would be more likely to cut the cord if there was a good reason behind it, I can't find one. Thanks again for your time. Keri

I am still gathering information but will share my decision with you all.

Keri
edd 6/14/02 #3 - First Homebirth

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#8 of 46 Old 01-26-2002, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't believe that woman's response to you!! <sigh> just goes too show you how uncomfortable our culture is w/death and such. To me, it is such a beautiful process...the placenta which sustained the baby slowly dying and letting go of that same precious babe. We just do not like anything even hints at death do we?? just get rid of it--anything stinky(which it's NOT), or less than optimal in appearance, I guess, is the attitude. Maybe i'm being reactionary but it reminds me of our problems w/aging people!! just put them away!!
well, i've never heard of this author but I assume her reaction is not that out of the ordinary. too bad.
well, kerikadi, keep us posted and good luck w/your decision. If you need support, we're here!!
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#9 of 46 Old 02-09-2002, 08:50 PM
 
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I too am interestd in Lotus birth. Initially, I admired the families that did it but didn't think I was up to it, but I read the stories at birthlove and find the whole idea fascinating.

Does anyone know of any other sites about Lotus birth?

Also, is it much harder to nurse? Or do you just do it lying down on the bed?

Does anyone know if any ancient peoples practiced nonseverence? I thought I read something about Native American tradition. Are there any Biblical references to the placenta and cord cutting that anyone knows of?

I always appreciate any responses. Thank you in advance and kudos to the moms that have practiced lotus birth.

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#10 of 46 Old 02-12-2002, 08:31 AM
 
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I've seen this mentioned in thread The "how to" and the benifits of water-birth discussion thread. but I have no idea what it means. Some-one care to help?

a

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#11 of 46 Old 02-12-2002, 06:25 PM
 
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I am not an expert but have done quite a bit of research on the subject. Lotus birthing is letting the cord and placenta stay attached until it falls away on it's own. You can read about it at Birthlove.com. So nobody cuts the cord and it takes 2-6 days to separate.

Keri

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#12 of 46 Old 02-13-2002, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we have a thread going here about it. we did it w/baby no. two. Very powerful experience IMO. Jeannine Parvati Baker also sells a packet (hers) and the new lotus birth book (diff. author) at her web site www.freestone.org
or just look up lotus birth on a search engine. I think you'll find it interesting!
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#13 of 46 Old 02-13-2002, 02:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kerikadi

Lotus birthing is letting the cord and placenta stay attached until it falls away on it's own. So nobody cuts the cord and it takes 2-6 days to separate.
Keri
This strikes me as "not entirely natural".
Also, could be a problem is you were intending to eat it.

a

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#14 of 46 Old 02-14-2002, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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no, you couldn't really eat it....it becomes like jerky. I am curious what you mean by "not entirely natural"? please explain.

In my mind this is the least interventive experience for the baby. There are people who believe (myself included) that the cord has feeling and therefore you are possibly hurting the baby. ALso, placenta and child evolved from the same cell that divided and are really part of the same energy field along w/the mother. Just curious....did you read our thread in this catagory?
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#15 of 46 Old 02-17-2002, 05:08 PM
 
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I did not have a lotus birth, although I am getting quite interested in this thread. I actually had to be transported to hospital because of suspected meconium aspiration. Long story. As it turned out they had to ship my boy's first home (placenta, of course) to be tested. (he was so filled with mec. he had to be on ventilator and many other things) What I am trying to get to is that I was very, very sad we could not take home his placenta. I really felt a loss that it would just go somewhere to be prodded and dissected. It truly isn't "waste". It is a sacred and beautiful creation that sustained life!! Thank you for keeping this thread going. I admire what you all are doing/have done. Lotus birth seems here to stay!!! Also, before ds was born I thought frequently about what women did thousands of years ago with the placenta. I strongly suspect they might have eaten it. I know I would have licked my son off in a heartbeat if need be. I have cats, so the thought doesn't gross me out in the least. I have gotten off track. Sorry. Please keep sharing your stories!
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#16 of 46 Old 02-17-2002, 11:50 PM
 
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I find this subject fascinating, as well :cool:

I am wondering about the patriarchal issues surrounding the cutting of the cord, though. When animals give birth in the wild, they chew through the cord after it stops pulsating and they have settled down a bit. So although I agree that most of what we learn about our bodies, labor, and birth in our culture is of an extremely "patriarchal" nature, I don't feel that cutting the cord is such. I read a book called "Cultural Childbirth Wisdom" or something to that effect - it was a couple of years ago, and my preg-o brain cannot recall the exact title - and most tribal peoples sever the cord within a couple hours of the birth. "Tribal" meaning extremely limited contact with the outside world, where their traditions have remained virtually untouched for thousands of years.

I have been to a few births where the babies do not cry when the cord is clamped and severed; so I am wondering if it is truly painful for the baby. And as for "what's up with the man cutting the cord?" I think it just gives our dudes a way to feel involved, ya know? We create these miraculous little people inside of our bodies then birth them then nurse them... it helps some men feel a little more connected to the process of life and that miracle of creation. Just my .02 cents.

Yeah, lotus birth is really neat, I'm glad to hear that many women are doing it, and it may have profound spiritual impact on the mother and baby. I was just bringing up the "physical" issues about how truly "natural" lotus birth is, when compared to how the rest of the species on our planet give birth.
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#17 of 46 Old 02-18-2002, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess, candiland, that this brings into question what does "natural" mean? and I guess IMO what lotus birth is about is not so much how "natural" it is, but how gentle it is.
Now let me start of by saying lotus birth is not for everyone.... but I think saying that cuz the baby didn't cry when the cord was cut isn't necessarily proof....or not....of anything. We are not trying to be judgemental here but are trying to bring up a whole other layer of analysis and intuition about what the birth process is and what kind of symbolism we are starting our children's life w/.
as for the animals in nature, we are not in the "wild" as it were, as most animals are, and do not need to pick up our young, eating all trace of birth and go! (thankfully) Lotus birth is based on the fact that we *can* lay around post-birth, letting our children decide on their own wehn to let go of their cord. Why do we need to introduce violence so soon? We don't need to have "tools" (like scissors) to birth.
as for the father's involvement in cutting...sure if this appeals to daddy, why not? however, my own dh said he didn't *want* to cut the cord w/baby one because it looked so alive. Yes, this was his personal experience, and I am wondering how many dads would reject this "honor" if they knew that this feeling towards it would be respected. I am projecting my own feelings here too....I don't think I'd want one of my first experiences w/my newborn babe to be cutting it from it's mother if I were a man. There are many many ways to be involved w/birth, newborn care etc without cutting them away from their mommy.
Lotus birth is *not* for all, of course. It is not even a matter of if it's "right" or not. THe world needs diversity, and this starts w/ birth. However, I think care needs to be given to carefully protect the rights of families to react freely, lovingly and intuitively to possible options that may enhance their experience bringing their babies earthside.
I would also suggest reading some of the lotus birth literature if you haven't, as you seem to be interested in the ideas behind it.
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#18 of 46 Old 03-16-2002, 05:02 AM
 
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I kept my babe (#3)attached to her "little sister" for only 24 hours. After the placenta was cleaned, salted and bundled it was then swaddled loosly with babe. #4 is due in a few weeks and I plan to go the distance and allow a natural separation.
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#19 of 46 Old 03-17-2002, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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awesome yahlena. good luck....let us know how it goes after you are back on your feet again!! wishing you a peaceful and empowering birthing!!
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#20 of 46 Old 03-19-2002, 02:36 AM
 
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OK here is my question dd #2 didn't part with her stump untill she was a month old. Granted this is not normal exactly. How long have babies gone on with the whole placenta attatched. it looks like noone here has one more than a week but then don't most babies loose thier cord by a week?

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#21 of 46 Old 03-19-2002, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lilyka-I've never heard of a baby going for a whole month w/o losing it!! (the placenta that is.) I think the longest is around a week and a half to 2. But even that seems very long to me. Is the climate where you live dry? that helps. or you can motheroast meaning turn up the room temperature high so that clothes aren't necessary and that should aid it. Also using the seasalt should help if you were planning on going that route.
good luck. I can hardly imagine that a lotus birth would go taht long. ALso maybe appying some goldenseal powder for umbilical cords sold at birth supply store sprinkled at the belly button should help the button heal and dry more quickly. Just apply whenever it looks damp.
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#22 of 46 Old 04-24-2002, 03:04 AM
 
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bump
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#23 of 46 Old 04-29-2002, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kerikadi

"The idea of leaving the placenta attached to the baby was floating around about 20 yrs ago. You will end up with a truly stinky object attached to your baby in fairly short order, not to mention the awkwardness of trying to breastfeed and tend your baby. (Think about leaving out a piece of liver on your kitchen counter for a couple of days.) I expect that was why it disappeared. I can't imagine what possible advantage doing this would have. Once the baby's circulation switches over when it starts to breathe, there is nothing flowing through the cord.
-- Henci

Hmm, I love Henci's work, but am a bit suprised by her tone. Here is my take on Lotus, and I will defintely admit, that I am NO anthropologist!!

I had a homebirth, and have attended homebirth for years. I am a all around natural mama, in just about every way you could name. ok, there is my preface.

I am really into the natural order of mammalian birthing, and read about it as often as possible. I have yet to find another mammal that practices a lotus -type ritual. It seems to me that it would go against nature in that the utmost call to a new mother is protecting her young from predators. This is why ( in books) they say that animals eat or bury the placenta, so that when it rots, no predator will know that a fresh new baby is around. ( other reasons too, but that is the safety one). Protection rituals abound in people and animals as far as hiding scent, stifiling cries, and even birthing under the protection of the new moon.

Now true, our species does not live out in the wild anymore, and thus have evolved away from protection instincts, but my personal opinion is that lotus birth is a human ritual that is deliberate and personal for many , but not natural. This is just my opinion, and I don't detest lotus practice, just argue whether it is 'natural' in the animal sense.

So there is my take. It is a ritual that could really add something special to your new time with baby, the laying in period and bonding. I think ritual is essential with motherhood. However I don't find lotus birth to be natural in the mammalian sense.

If I am wrong, or if anyone has any good refereces, please let me know! This is a particular fascination with me!!
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#24 of 46 Old 06-25-2002, 05:19 AM
 
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Just wondering if anyone knows about lotus births and what exactly it intails after the birth actually happens. It is my understanding that all you really need to do is keep placenta dry and attached as long as it takes. If you know of more info please let me know. Thanks for everyone who posts.
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#25 of 46 Old 06-26-2002, 01:39 PM
 
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I have always heard of families salting the placenta and rubbing in something like sage also. I've also heard that they wrapped the placenta in cheese cloth.
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#26 of 46 Old 06-26-2002, 02:22 PM
 
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There are some older threads here that are chock full of lotus info. I find the idea fascinating but I am pretty sure I don't have the temperment to deal with it. I'm also not sure that down here in the tropics there are any measures that would prevent the placenta from getting funky, what with the humidity and the heat. I may be wrong of course. Maybe I am selfish, but if I have another one I want to try to find someone to make me placenta capsules. I don't think you can do that if you go lotus.
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#27 of 46 Old 06-26-2002, 07:28 PM
 
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I found a website at www.mangomama.net when I was pgnt and she lives on Maui, I believe. She talks about it and how she has lotus birthed. It is a cool site! I might think of doing it the next time around but I just wanted to learn more about it first. The capsules sound neat too, maybe I will do that instead. I don't know I am just fishing for something new to do I guess!
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#28 of 46 Old 06-27-2002, 03:37 AM
 
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bumping it up for earthmama, 007.
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#29 of 46 Old 06-28-2002, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yes, we had one w/ds a year ago may. it was for the most part great and i would do it w/subsequent births. if people are interested, www.freestone.org has a book for sale and a packet that we got when preparing for the birth. and as someone else mentioned, there are a couple of threads here too!
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#30 of 46 Old 06-30-2002, 12:05 AM
 
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Great thread! I've been doing a fair bit of online reading in preparation for #3's arrival in the late Fall, and am wondering what people do about holding the baby skin-to-skin if they have a Lotus birth? I feel that skin-to-skin is really crucial, and am wondering if it's possible w. L.B.?

Also, for those of you who have done this, in the very first hours after birth, what did you do with the placenta--wrap in a diaper or let it "air out" in a strainer inside a bucket or something else totally different than those two things?

Thanks!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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