What some women went through... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My MIL is very sweet and 82. My DH was her 2nd bonus baby that she had in her 40's in 1969. Her other 5 kids were born from the mid 40-s on.

So, I'm telling her that DH and I are going to hire a doula. We already told her we were using a midwife and that's a different story. This is how the doula conversation went:
"What's a doula?" she asks.
"It's like a professional birth coach, " says I.
"Isn't that what the midwife is for?" she says.
"No, the midwife is like the doctor," I say.
"Well than where's the doctor?" she says.
"There is no doctor," I say.
"Oh, that's right," she says, "the doctor doesn't come in until you're already knocked out."

WOW.

Married to one of the last good guys left Jim
Mom to AJ 4/07 and Genevieve 5/09

And then: I'm really, really tired of making angels.

But wait, could it really be true?


The whole story at: www.xerxella.blogspot.com
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#2 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Its sad isn't it?

My MIL proudly proclaims how she never gave birth without episiotomies and demanded them during all of her births, even when her OB suggested against it. Granted she had 8, 9, and 10 pound babies but she doesn't make any connection between more severe tearing and episiotomies. To her generation they still believe episiotomies prevent tearing.

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#3 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan. Sure.. you prevented them from running into the pole, but they STILL have a concussion and one hell of a headache, so what good did that do? And you never know, maybe they knew that pole was there and would have moved to the side at the last second and wouldn't have hit it at all.

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#4 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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My mil had twilight sleep so she doesn't remember her births at all. She actually knows about as much as a rock does when it comes to pg and birth. So we really don't discuss it much. But, she did tell me she was told to wash her nipples with rubbing alcohol before nursing. Which she only did for 6 weeks (with rubbing alcohol on them I don't blame her!) because she said she was too nervous of a person to go longer than the 6 weeks her dr told her to nurse for.

Can you imagine rubbing alcohol on your nipples? OWIE.

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#5 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Ew@rubbing alcohol on nipples. That had to dry them out and had to be miserable.

And couldn't have been too good for the babies to ingest. EEK.
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#6 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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My mom is 47 and was very natural-birth-like even in the early 80's, doing no drugs, no IVs or monitors, etc., and having a great time of it.

But, because the little Elizabeth Bing lamaze book was where she got all of her info-- although very helpful to mom with having a more natural, drug-free birth-- WAS written in the 60's, when episiotomies were thought to be helpful, she was all about episiotomies and thought that they prevented bad tearing.

The way I convinced her otherwise, and that likely she wouldn't have torn at all, was with simple analogy... you know when you have any type of plastic bag to open (chips, for example), what takes more force to tear it open? Just trying to rip into it, or making a tiny incision and THEN ripping into it?

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#7 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My MIL is good though, she just accepts whatever DH and I decide to do. She was surprised I was BFing and then surprised when I was "still" BF after a year +. I think she just assumed I had weaned him much earlier. Since DH was such a late in life baby, I have nieces and nephews older than me and DH. So, MIL has great grand babies older than her grand children through me. While those moms are, thankfully, mostly BFing, so she just said, I guess that's just what they do these days. She said her doctor told her not to, that it wasn't good for the baby.

I feel like a whole generation was lost and it's only now getting back on it's feet. Luckily, my mom BF all of us for years, but her MIL told her it was disgusting and how dare she treat "her" grandchildren that way. Thanks mom for rebelling.

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And then: I'm really, really tired of making angels.

But wait, could it really be true?


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#8 of 57 Old 03-09-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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My grandmother actually had almost all normal home births - 7 of her 8 were born at home in the backwaters of Newfoundland, with the guidance of a community lay midwife (meaning not someone schooled for it like we know today). Despite all that going well, she was upset to hear (for my first birth) that I would be using a midwife instead of a doctor, even as I explained that today's midwives have not just the knowledge of experience, but a university degree in it!

Rubbing alcohol! Ay yi yi!!!

My mom was told to wash her nipples before and after each feeding, and only nurse once every 4 hours (with my older sister). That did not work out so well. Fortunately she just nursed me on demand.

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#9 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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I feel bad for my mom. Not birth related, I can only imagine what went on that she doesn't tell me about because she thinks it's all normal, but right before she was due with me the doctor looked at her, she'd gained about 45lbs, & annoucned, "Well, you better hope that baby is a boy. Otherwise, your husband is going to leave you because you've gotten so FAT & no man wants a daughter AND a fat wife."

My mom was also told not to nurse, only "poor people" do it. This was in 1983.

About 6 years later, my mother was told she had cervical cancer & it wasn't until a couple years ago she told me how her doctor, the same one mind you, told her she got it because she was "unclean & easy" because she must have had an STD that caused it but he actually refused to tell her anything else about her condition other than "you should have known better." I was the one who actually had to tell her about HPV & everything about it, she'd never even heard of it even though she had it, according to her chart she later got a copy of for me to look at.

Scary thing? This man STILL practices & she was sad when I was pregnant & away from my home town because she thought it'd be nice if he could do my prenatal & delivery.
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#10 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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I'm still amazed my grandma says nobody told her that labor would hurt. She said her doctor kept saying "I won't let you suffer" and she had no idea what he was talking about. I imagine it will be hard enough dealing with the pain the first time but to not expect there to be any pain at all?! Then you'd be hurting and be in complete shock.

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#11 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm really grateful for the technology and the knowledge that dr's and midwives, etc have now.

My grandma had 7 children between the late 40's and early 60's.

My grandma had twins in the early 50's...Not only did she NOT know she was having twins, the dr told her that she was having a baby with an abnormally large head.

Then when she was pregnant with my uncle in 1961, she was told she would be having quadruplets. Not because she was large..But because her belly was "box shaped." That meant there was a baby in each corner. Nope..Just one baby in there!
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#12 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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These stories make my soul cry. Some of these women were birthing in the 70s 80s 90s Women have no civil liberties. : When my mom had my littlest sister in 1991 she got the full induction specialty because the 'cord was on her neck'. I was trying to ask mom about it, she said they broke her water and gave her pit an epidural and the episotomy. All this 3wks early after having 2 others at 41 and 43wks :

Mom was warning me about the pain of an episotomy and I said I was going to ask to not have one. She kinda blinked at me for a while and then said "why do they cut you anyways?!" My moms sweet and innocent I love when she get mad

My grandmother had my 11lb dad breach, the DR was drunk, and dad spent a few nights in the NICU where grandma had to sneek in to BF because 'he was crying because the didn't feed him.' (her words) in 1957

My other grandma is senile but honestly I'm afraid to ask about my moms birth, I'm sure it was highly medicated. Shes a very proper woman, I doubt she breastfeed, she probably thought it was for poor people.

People ask why I have to be 'so difficult' and just can't do things like everyone else and this is why. Women have been abused for generations. It stops with me.

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#13 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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My grandmother had twilight sleep in the 50s. She thought, and thinks, that it was awesome - she' can't remember a thing! She's not judgmental about my or my mom's birth choices, but lemme tell you, the mental image of her tied to a bed screaming in agony is hard to deal with.
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#14 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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This thread creeps me out.

I'm far from the MOST natural/crunchy-birthing person, but DAMN some of these stories are just insane.

Especially breastfeeding being "for poor people." I think my mom really lucked out by getting a natural-minded OB for my older sister and I, she says "they put a hospital bracelet on my wrist, but I think that was it... no IV or monitor or anything, I just went in and had the baby" and she bf'ed because it "just seemed like that was how it was done." This was the early 80's...

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#15 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan. Sure.. you prevented them from running into the pole, but they STILL have a concussion and one hell of a headache, so what good did that do? And you never know, maybe they knew that pole was there and would have moved to the side at the last second and wouldn't have hit it at all.
: That totally cracked me up. My kids are looking at me funny, wondering why I'm laughing so hard.

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#16 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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People ask why I have to be 'so difficult' and just can't do things like everyone else and this is why. Women have been abused for generations. It stops with me.
I'm the same way. Dh gets more mad than I do. Its 2009 and we STILL have to fight for basic rights. He was SO excited when his company released its new employee handbook and it detailed all the rights for bfing mothers. It was so cute to see him so excited over it.

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#17 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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It definitely seems like it was regional in addition to the time frame. My great grandmother had homebirths, including twins. I have no idea if she breastfed, though I assume that she did. I do know that her midwife did not detect twins, and when she realized there were two coming she hushed my great grandfather and told him not to tell her that she had to push another baby out so as not to scare her. She delivered one and was told to push again and probably didn't know what hit her when she saw two babies. This was in NY.

My grandmother birthed 9 babies without twilight sleep in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, also in NY. She said her babies just walked out without tearing or episiotomies, including my uncle who was breach She said she went into the hospital in labor and the nurses laughed when she started pushing and a foot popped out. She breastfed all of them except one for 7-9 months each, with my uncle she was told she couldn't breastfeed in the hospital because her milk had a bluish tint and was bad (we now know this is a variation of normal).

My mom gave birth to my brother in Colorado in a military hospital, doctor performed an episiotomy without consent. She breastfed him for 9 months and that was in the 70's. For my brother and I she gave birth in the same hospital that I gave birth at, and had natural births. She said her OB sat in a rocking chair in her room and hung out with her while she labored. We were Lamaze babies. My brother was a premie and she breastfed him for 6 weeks, for me she breastfed for 16 months.

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#18 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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We were Lamaze babies.
We were Lamaze babies, too. I'm thinking that a lot of the difference comes from that during the 60's-70's-80's, the information such as Lamaze EXISTED, but it just wasn't as common, so you have both extremes-- from moms who did natural births and breathed through contractions, to those who were completely drugged up-- depending on whether or not they had access to and/or wanted to try that "experimental, new" way of dealing with labor.

As far as it being regional, yeah, I can see that, too, when it comes to which areas had "state of the art" medical facilities that would do things such as the "twilight sleep" and popularize formula, and those that just weren't "advanced" enough and did things the old-fashioned way.

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#19 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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My dad's mom had twilight sleep in the early 60s for both her kids, and still tells us how she didn't want to feel a thing, and just went in to the hospital and they just knocked her out and then she had her babies my mom, who had 4 homebirths, always seemed saddened by this story, and would say that she didn't know what she was missing. Though as far as I know my dad's mom never criticized my mom's hb choices.
My DP's father's mother had 5 homebirths with an attending woman (not a midwife) in her sauna in rural Lapland in the 50s, because that's just what was done in poor rural areas at that time. I'm sad that she's dead, it would have been interesting to ask her about that...

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#20 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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We were Lamaze babies, too. I'm thinking that a lot of the difference comes from that during the 60's-70's-80's, the information such as Lamaze EXISTED, but it just wasn't as common, so you have both extremes-- from moms who did natural births and breathed through contractions, to those who were completely drugged up-- depending on whether or not they had access to and/or wanted to try that "experimental, new" way of dealing with labor.

As far as it being regional, yeah, I can see that, too, when it comes to which areas had "state of the art" medical facilities that would do things such as the "twilight sleep" and popularize formula, and those that just weren't "advanced" enough and did things the old-fashioned way.
That is my line of thinking, it must have depended a lot upon whether women lived near larger hospitals and had access to those kinds of things.

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#21 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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He was SO excited when his company released its new employee handbook and it detailed all the rights for bfing mothers.
I'm pumped and angry about that all at the same time (ah, being pregnant ) Since when should a species of MAMMALS have to outline that is it ok to feed our young?

I am happy that you have an active DH. Sometimes I feel like I am steam rolling my DH with 'my parenting choices'. He mentioned the other day that if he had to choose he would vax and circ. I'm open to a vax discussion, and I am trying to be sensitive about the circ issue, because he is. I try to stay away from words like 'mutilate' 'desensitize' and 'disfigured'. I love my DH and I love his... but thats how I feel.

as far as the birth, its MY body.

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#22 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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I'm pumped and angry about that all at the same time (ah, being pregnant ) Since when should a species of MAMMALS have to outline that is it ok to feed our young?

I am happy that you have an active DH. Sometimes I feel like I am steam rolling my DH with 'my parenting choices'. He mentioned the other day that if he had to choose he would vax and circ. I'm open to a vax discussion, and I am trying to be sensitive about the circ issue, because he is. I try to stay away from words like 'mutilate' 'desensitize' and 'disfigured'. I love my DH and I love his... but thats how I feel.

as far as the birth, its MY body.
I know I said its really sad that we actually NEED these things. But its very positive (not like this is where you can do it, more like this is a womans right so back off). Women can pump anywhere any time and they have the right to have a sink near by and an electrical outlet and use of a fridge. And its not to be the bathroom and if they have to they make a special place for them. What ever the woman wants. I think they have to do that just cause its such a huge co and there is bound to be some one who has an issue with bfing. They also went into how important it is and the many health benefits.

Hes very anti circ cause he had it done when he was 12 for medical reasons. He knows the pain. He won't submit his child to it. The vax thing was harder for him. He came to me already pro hb, bfing, cding etc. Actually when we got married he was crunchier than me in some areas.

Back to the original topic - I don't know how regional some things were. Like bfing was pretty much non existent across the board for many decades. Twilight sleep was more for upper class women because they could afford it, till it became more common and less expensive. It was around for a long time, its one of the reasons so many women left the house to birth, because it could not be administered at home. So it def had some time to find its way to rural america. The book The American Way of Birth talks about some of this.

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#23 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I made a twilight sleep joke to my husband's grandmother and as it turns out, she had ether and it was fabulous. She kind of means that and kind of doesn't.

My mom, who breastfed my sister and me in the 80s for a year each, gave me the alcohol on the nipples advice too. Luckily I knew to correct her, but she is a nurse and I wonder how many other people she has told that over the years? Her specialty doesn't really deal with pregnant women, thank goodness.

She also told me that the advice to breastfeed to age 2 from the WHO was for "people in countries without birth control".
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#24 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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People in countries without bc LOL. Yea thats why so many nursing mothers get pg and are told repeatedly that bfing is not a reliable form of bc. Too funny.

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#25 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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People ask why I have to be 'so difficult' and just can't do things like everyone else and this is why. Women have been abused for generations. It stops with me.
Indeed. This is part of why it bugs me when people say "well, as long as it ends with a healthy alive mom and a healthy alive baby, that's all that matters, right?" NO. It is NOT all that matters. Aside from the fact that all the crazy interventions (including the ones routinely done even in "better" practices now) may or do cause life-long implications for mom & baby, WHY does nothing else about the birth matter but survival? Why is abuse and trauma sanctioned in labour & delivery?

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#26 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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WHY does nothing else about the birth matter but survival? Why is abuse and trauma sanctioned in labour & delivery?
Because most people are so convinced that birth is the most life-threatening, dangerous thing you will ever go through, for both baby and mother As ridiculous as that may sound to people who know better, many doctors and "ordinary" people sincerely believe this. So everyone is relieved and supposed to be grateful when no life is lost.
I agree with you, by the way.

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#27 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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She said she went into the hospital in labor and the nurses laughed when she started pushing and a foot popped out.
It's amazing how attitudes change. If you walked into a hospital now, started pushing and a foot popped out, they'd start the alarms and have you on the operating table before you could take your next breath.

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#28 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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Because most people are so convinced that birth is the most life-threatening, dangerous thing you will ever go through, for both baby and mother As ridiculous as that may sound to people who know better, many doctors and "ordinary" people sincerely believe this. So everyone is relieved and supposed to be grateful when no life is lost.
I agree with you, by the way.

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#29 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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My mom had my brother in 1963. She laboured for 56 hours. For most of that time, she was ordered to lie on her left side - one position. They gave her heroin as a painkiller. Things weren't progressing at all - no u/s, of course. Apparently, the doctors decided about 30 hours or so that she needed a c-section. The OB in charge refused to do it, because her life wasn't at risk yet...and he was Catholic. Since his religious beliefs precluded doing a c/s, except to save a life (because "once a c/s, always a c/s" and "no more than 3 c/s" both applies, therefore, it was birth control).

So - my brother was fully asynclitic, with his ear presenting, and the cord wrapped 3 times around his neck (no idea if that contributed or not). It's definitely quite likely that the c/s - at least at that time - saved his life. I suspect going through the birth canal would have snapped his neck. But...if they thought it was needed, why on earth did they then leave her in agonizing pain (she had a rough labour) for another day??

She was also left to wake up alone after the surgery, without knowing they'd given her a spinal (she was pretty out of it at the end). I can only imagine the terror of waking up and not being able to feel your legs, with no idea why.

Then, she got crap from the nurses because she wanted to breastfeed on demand, and it wasn't convenient for them (she was told that was problem), and because she didn't circ him.

That said...I had ds1 in 1993. My c-section was done after I said no, and I was given meds without my knowledge. I also had a nurse almost bite my head off to "hurry up" when she brought him to me for feeding...and I was trying with every muscle in my body to get over on my side so that I could nurse him. Another nurse also bit my head off for "not helping" her when she transferred me from the stretcher to the bed in the maternity ward. So sorry that your convenience isn't the first thing on my mind when I'm in pain and out of my mind on morphine.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
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