What did no one tell you about birth/postpartum that you learned the hard way? - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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#151 of 172 Old 02-25-2006, 01:08 AM
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That an epidural can cause labor to completely stop, send a baby into distress, and cause you to have a c-section.

That if you get to the hospital too early, you will be forced into bed, have your water broken without your permission, hooked up to a monitor, and have Pitocin pumped through the veins because you "aren't progressing fast enough".

If you don't go to bed the night before your schedule repeat c-section, the Duramorph spinal block will make you shake so bad you feel like throwing up.

Percoset causes constipation. After my "emergency" (what a crock) c-section, I loaded up on Percoset (I wasn't breastfeeding). After a few days, I went in the bathroom to poop and I literally started crying from the pain. The turd was rock hard and I could feel it moving behind my incision. I refused the Perc after my second section.

Nobody told me about the bleeding. I had no idea that women bled for weeks after having babies.

Breastfeeding does not always come naturally. I never dreamed that I'd have another woman touching my boob and putting it in my baby's mouth, but it happened. Thank God, or I'd have probably ended up making the formula mistake a second time.
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#152 of 172 Old 03-16-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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That the birth tub would make the pain easier, but also make me unaware of my full bladder. Consequently I forgot to pee during my 8 hrs of labor, and when it came time to push, my full bladder was in the way and had to be catheterized to make room for the baby to get out. (I couldn't pee at that point.) Ladies, make sure you remember to pee during labor!

That pushing would be the hardest part. I pushed for 2 1/4 hours and it seemed like forever.

That the birth kit my midwives had me order only had one perineal cold compress (the fabled "iced maxipad" that everyone needs). I would have ordered an additional case if I had known there would only be one in there and I would have to wait three or four days before DH could run to the homebirth store and get more.

That someone should have ordered a deli tray in advance for the midwives. My DH found them in our basement, snacking on our dried fruits and nuts from the pantry. Oops.

That you don't have to tear. I didn't tear, thanks to patient midwives who kept checking heart tones and reassuring me that I didn't have to hurry up with the pushing, that I could take my time.
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#153 of 172 Old 03-17-2006, 05:46 PM
 
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What did no one tell you about birth/postpartum that you learned the hard way?

There's bleeding for days after the birth of the baby.

The mesh panties the hospital gives are lousy. Bring your own underwear but preferably nothing too new or fancy since they WILL get stained.

That you will still look pregnant even after the baby is born!

That you feel like you have the biggest BM in the world during the pushing stage. I remember telling the nurse "I HAVE to use the bathroom now" and she told me that sensation was normal. It wasn't a BM but the baby.

The recovery is worse than the delivery.

You actually forget the labor pains when you see your newborn for the first time. Now, I have amnesia about the pain I went through though DH kindly reminds me of it.

You won't care who watches you during labor. All modesty goes out the window. The hospital janitor could have pulled up a beach chair beside my bed but I didn't care if I had an audience. You just want the baby OUT!

Your tolerance for bodily fluids goes waaaay up.

Gas pain after a c-section can be horrendous.

You don't want too many visitors in your room. I was so thankful for those people who didn't rush over to the hospital to see the baby. They waited a few days to allow us time to recover before dropping in at home for a visit.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#154 of 172 Old 03-21-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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Great thread...

Birth #1 (hospital, after 24hrs induced w/ pitocin, eventual epidural):
--That your water can break in very early, unproductive labor and that it can take your body a long, long time to dilate to 7cm (36 hrs)...with the last 10hrs on pitocin, moving you from 4-7.
--That the smell of amniotic fluid is a very strong, almost metalic smell that is very unique and that the baby and lochia would smell like this too. W/ my 1st, the smell really annoyed me (thought it was the hospital, not me, until I continued to smell it at home).
--That having a regular IV for antibiotics (I was GBS +) & being hooked up to the monitors really can make you feel like you should stay in bed rather than move around like they say you can. (I definitely learned the hard way and insisted on a saline lock & only occasional monitoring w/ my 2nd, even though I had to fight for it).
--That you can go from 7 to pushing in 30min and only spend 20min pushing and have to wait for the OB to get there b/c no one thought you would progress to complete that quickly.
--That you don't HAVE to spend the full 48hrs at the hospital after birth (especially after 2 days in labor)
--That you need to know what position you want to push in BEFORE labor, rather than relying on the L&D nurse to tell you the best way (of course, I ended flat-down, w/ stirrups).
--That a tiny little tear on the labia hurts much worse than a 2nd degree tear on the perineum.
--That much of your labor experience is dependent on the nurse and support people around, and has very little to do with the the dr. who only spends 15min every 6hrs w/ you.
--That epidurals hurt like heck and can be worse than labor pains. You also can have long-lasting side effects to the epidural (6 weeks of pain in the injection spot on my back...making it hard to sit up or lay down).
--That you can feel the "ring of fire" even w/ an effective epidural.
--That the perky-breasted "A" cup LC at the hospital (who also teaches the bfing classes), has no idea how to direct a saggy-breasted "DD" cup woman how to breastfeed a tiny newborn.
--Low Supply IS a real condition, and in my case was caused by a combination of dehydration and low progesterone due to PCOS. Somehow, everyone says low supply isn't real, yet there are thousands of women w/ PCOS who all have noted low supply. Why don't OBs warn about this?
--That you'll miss the feeling of the baby inside of you kicking, even if she's sitting in your arms.
--That lochia really can last 7 weeks. Yikes!
--The 1st year really is as trying on the marriage as everyone says.
--Parenting was/is definitely not the 50/50 I thought it was going to be (at least when we are both home); it's more like 80/20 in our house.
--That some babies just have a colicky/fussy/high needs nature, no matter how much they are bf, co-slept, held, etc. Of course, I'm sure it would have been worse w/o AP.

Birth #2 (hospital, not induced & no pain meds):
--That your chances of "false labor" increase when you've already had a child.
--That back labor hurts worse than the front pain, but that may not (in my case, did not) lessen when on the hands and knees position...just made my front pains hurt worse.
--That the feeling to push is so strong, that it is nearly impossible when they tell you to wait b/c you have a "lip" of the cervix still there.
--That the feeling of the baby coming down the canal feels like you are constipated and have a big bm you are pushing out.
--The sounds you make during pushing are so scary to those that aren't used to it (my mom was listening and freaked when she heard me and started crying...I'll never forget how scared she looked when she came in to see me and the baby).
--That sometimes the cord is too short to be able to hold the baby while waiting for the cord to stop pulsing.
--That birthing w/o pain meds makes you feel a bit shaky for about an hr or 2 afterwards, but then you feel awesome after a snack and a short nap. A true "I am woman, hear me roar!" feeling came over me.
--That it is completely possible to not tear at all, if you specify what pushing position you want to be in and stick to it (especially if it's your 2nd or later birth).
--That w/o any tears, you feel physically fine and just feel a litle sore like you've had a good round of sex.
--That going home shortly after birth is not the exhausting experience the hospital claimed it would be. It was awesome for both me and both kids to get home to our own bed and to be pampered by my mom and MIL.
--That you CAN have a home health nurse/LC visit 4 days after birth for follow-up care and do all the blood tests required by the state (included free w/ the cost of birth at my hospital if you don't stay 48hrs). This was awesome! I think they should always do a 3-4 day visit after coming home from the hospital. This would have massively helped w/ my 1st!
--That I would actually missed the smell of amniotic fluid when my lochia stopped b/c it was the true end of the birthing process.
--That transitioning from 1 baby to 2 babies is almost as hard as being a new parent; that even though you are already a parent, people still try to tell you how you should do things.
--That there would be such a change in the relationship between myself and my 2yr old DD; it was a very difficult change for us both to go through. Also, she seemed so big in comparison to my newborn, but looking back at it now, 15mos later...I realize that she was still really little.
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#155 of 172 Old 03-21-2006, 03:31 AM
 
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No one told me I could sleep with babe even thought there were signs posted all over my hospital room that said "DANGER: do not sleep with your baby"

I didn't think of just leaving the hospital. The nurses came in every 4 hours to take babe's temperature and would end up waking him. stupid.

I didn't know that I would be on a high for a week. Could hardly sleep for the excitement.

I felt incredibly strong and fit afterward. And high like I had just climbed the biggest, baddest mountain in the world.

No one told me how "mama bear" would come out to bite people who tried to touch baby without washing hands the first two weeks. Or that I wouldn't want to have visitors stay at my house for at least two weeks afterwards.
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#156 of 172 Old 03-21-2006, 03:46 PM
 
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that your milk will leak... ALL OVER THE place!

How much a c-section hurts!!!!

To not get the epidural... I know, Ive been told that, but I really think that getting it stalled my labor and ended up in a c-section. the docs say its because DD was big, but I doubt it.
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#157 of 172 Old 03-24-2006, 12:41 PM
 
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That you CAN birth a breech baby vaginally! I was bullied into a C/S because "no one in this practice will do a breech vaginally, especially with a first-time mom." I had no choice of docs (military).

That getting a cath put in REALLY hurts.

That your milk can come in without engorgement. I think it was because I was nursing every three hours religiously. I didn't get engorged at all until 7 weeks PP when DS slept through the night.

That refusing circ is no big deal in some hospitals.

That sometimes the nurses will supplement with formula without your permission and not even tell you. I didn't find out until DS was 13 months and I got the medical records - thankfully they supped with a cup and not a bottle.

That sometimes you're on your own with BFing. One nurse in the hospital "helped" by rubbing DS's lips on my nipple and one strapped an SNS on me (which worked because thanks to the formula supplements, he was used to the smell and taste of Similac). I didn't see a real LC until DS was over a week old and we'd already started to get the hang of things.

That the baby can get cut with a C/S. They nicked DS's butt. Thankfully, he's ok and no scar.

That you can have a textbook C/S with very little pain and a fast recovery and still mourn the loss of the birth you wanted.

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#158 of 172 Old 03-24-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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That having an epidural (though not what I planned) wasn't horrible and actually helped me to get a few hours of sleep.
That you don't have to let the nurse take your baby after 3 minutes of bonding.
That sex can still be uncomfortable, even painful, after 6 weeks of recovery.
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#159 of 172 Old 03-24-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I learned that...

...even if you've had the most beautiful full-term pregnancy, your baby can end up in the NICU. We were so lucky to have a NICU open round the clock (except 4, 1-hour shift changes) staffed with nurses who let us hold and touch our baby any time. They also allowed us to use milk bank milk when I wasn't able to pump enough. I had done NO research on NICU's, but I do recommend that people find out what's available, just in case. I've heard they can be really awful, parent-unfriendly, places sometimes.

...when your baby is in the NICU, you hardly notice that you are healing from a third degree tear and a uterine infection. As long as you can be with your baby, you feel such peace.

...and those who have mentioned the amazing love... It still knocks me over, 18 months later!! Can't wait to have it double in Septmeber!!
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#160 of 172 Old 03-25-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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I didn't know that Stadol would stop my contractions.

I didn't know how much Pitocin contractions would hurt..OMG! I almost couldn't breathe!

I was really scared of getting the epidural, but I barely felt a pinch.

Not having a doula was a huge mistake, DH was no help at all.

I didn't know they'd turn off the epidural for pushing :

I didn't know that the baby coming out would hurt much less than pitocin contrax.

Once the baby was out, I didn't really care, I was just glad it was over and could barely open my eyes to look at him. I thought there'd be an instant bond, but there wasn't. I was just too tired and physically traumatized.

After reading all the placenta horror stories, I'm glad mine just fell right out after the baby! The doctor caught it in a bowl, and the plop splattered blood everywhere!

I didn't know BFing would be so excruciatingly painful. I was embarrassed that it was so difficult and painful. I wanted to be alone to BF, not for modesty, but just because it was so painful, I would sit and cry and shake just to get through it. I never knew that was normal, I thought there was something wrong with me. It was so horrible, I began to resent my son, and I had thoughts of abandoning him.

At the hospital, the lactation nurse said the pump would be more comfortable, so she strapped it on me and turned it on. OMG! I immediately burst into tears and started sobbing. She turned it off and left. I never let her back in my room.

When my milk came in, I was shocked that my breasts were like three times bigger than my baby's head!

I didn't know you could have too much milk! I could pump like 20 ounces every three hours - sometimes by hand!

I didn't know about milk banks back then, or I would have donated.

I didn't know I could relactate after quitting, but I did it!

I didn't know it would take a good three months before BFing was comfortable. I had adhesions in my nipples that needed to be broken/stretched out, and one was inverted.

Having a bowel movement PP was scary, but it actually didn't hurt at all! Peeing didn't hurt either.

But for the first 12 hours after birth, I was so swollen that I couldn't pee. That freaked me out.

I shouldn't have taken a tub bath in the PP period, because I think that is why I got a uterine infection that made me septic.

Several days PP I passed a humongous clot, like the size of my baby's head. I called the doc's office, and they said it was normal. Well then why do the OB nurses tell you to inform them if you pass a clot bigger than a quarter?

I didn't know that I would give birth to the most beautiful and perfect baby the world has ever seen! My son was the standard of cuteness by which all other babies were judged.

Even now, daily I wonder why I was lucky enough to give birth to exactly the child I wanted. - His low-key nature, his happy-go-lucky temperament, his beautiful face, his robust health, his golden hair...

In the hospital, I couldn't sleep because I couldn't take my eyes off my beautiful son. I had never seen a cuter baby.

Those maxipad ice packs are a godsend!

Tis the season, for hot apple cider!
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#161 of 172 Old 03-25-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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No one told me that my arms would hurt so bad. Also, I did not know that you can actually break your tailbone! Or that the narcotic to "take the edge off" will make you vomit and feel like you have lost your mind:

Me : DD 5/05: DS1 7/06 : DS2 11/07: DS3 3/10
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#162 of 172 Old 03-29-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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No one told me that my first couple of weeks of let downs would hurt so bad. It felt like the pumping mechanism in my breasts was clenching every time I let down. Ouchie!

Oh well!

BTW - Alex is 27 months old and STILL breastfeeding. Proud of myself.
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#163 of 172 Old 03-31-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmhorn
No one told me that my first couple of weeks of let downs would hurt so bad. It felt like the pumping mechanism in my breasts was clenching every time I let down. Ouchie!
Haha! I'd forgotten how let down hurt in the early months. Felt like burning in my breasts intense enough to make me wrap my arms around them and go "ooooooo!" Certainly I don't think anyone had mentioned that possibility. They kept talking about letdown like a pleasant thing, lol.
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#164 of 172 Old 04-12-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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Regarding pre-labour: that it can go on for weeks and not result in a baby! I thought a couple of days maybe, but 3 weeks later I am still waiting!!

Mama to bikenew.gifBoots (April 2006) and Bolt.gifPebbles (November 2008).Wife to :treehugger.gif and mama to angel3.gifHeather, October 2003

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#165 of 172 Old 04-12-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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That just because the 10 pound baby didnt hurt during the pushing phase, as in it felt good to push and no ring of fire, doesnt mean that the 6 pound 10 oz babe wont hurt way way worse, like Im splitting in half kind of hurt and a ring of fire from hell! It must have been the positioning but man it was intense, totally worth it but not what I expected at all.
~Angela~
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#166 of 172 Old 04-13-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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that if you birth in a hospital they might make you pee in a bed pan while a rude nurse stands there and hands you toilet paper- then you have to hand it back to her after you use it and then she empties your urine. And glares at you.
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#167 of 172 Old 05-02-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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No one told me about the fever that occompanies milk coming in... I got night sweats so bad from the fever, I had to change my clothing. I thought I was going through withdrawls from the pain meds (c section)
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#168 of 172 Old 05-09-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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-that I would be unable to think clearly/decisively/assertively in the immediate post-partum period, so I should have been more prepared for decisions I might have to make

-that 2 rounds of antibiotics meant I would be more susceptible to yeast afterward (duh!!)

-that I should have refused the second round of abx (see previous two items)

-that you can get post-partum hemorrhoids even if you didn't have a vaginal birth (YEOW!)

-not to buy the generic witch hazel pads...Tucks work best!

-that my belly would look like elephant skin afterward! (On second thought, I'm glad no one dropped that one on me beforehand... )

-about BABY BRAIN!!! and that I therefore shouldn't try to balance the checkbook or make major purchases until the baby's at least 7 or 8 months old!
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#169 of 172 Old 05-09-2006, 11:06 PM
 
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about milk brain
about bleeding after for 6 weeks
about not being able to walk up stairs or even down the block
that i could get such bad anemia
that i could lose so much blood
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#170 of 172 Old 05-10-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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I wish I knew that after having an epidural free birth, my legs still did not want to function right and that I crawled to the bath tub

having a hot Hot HOT whirlpool bath right after birth to clean up is not a good idea 1) it made me feel more faint than i already was 2) it COOKS your blood and it floats around at the top of the bubbles

Tepid baths are so much better for PP during lochia flow time.

that even though i was fanatical about Kegeling before both births, that for several weeks after birth, I would feel like ALL of my female insides and my intestines felt like they wanted to fall right out of my vagina, yes, most definateately a falling out kind of sensation.

that being a new mother is leaky business, that lovely lochia flow, breasts leaking, and hormones that made my eyes leak all the time, and the all over bodysweat leaking. My water bottle was one of my bestfriends at that time.

that even with a healthy baby, I'd mourn the loss of being pregnant. I would have dreams that I'd absorb my newborn back into my body, usually via my belly button, and I could continue being happily pregnant.

How odd that pregnancy and PP dreams can be.

That i would be so tired that i would halucinate and try and stick my nipple in my baby's eye and be confused why she wasn't latching on.

That my body can grow a child both in utero and with my milk.

That I could fall totally and utterly in love with each child and know beyond a doubt that I would forefit my life to save theirs if need be. The Love is so fulfilling yet overpowering at times, but I would never take away any of the intensity.

Karin, Wife to Dear Sweet English Husband~Soon to be Legally American. Mom to Zach~13, Lily~9, Alex~2, and Izzy or Zeke arriving July 2010! Living a life full of LOVE!
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#171 of 172 Old 05-10-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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1. All of the lovely hormones that make you feel so great and even energetic after birth will wear off and day #2 postpartum will be a lot more difficult so...don't try to go anywhere or do anything! We took dd to the pediatrician as per our midwife's request on day #2 and I almost passed out! Of course the grumpy pediatrician we had to see (our super friendly one was not in that day) said "honey if you had the baby in the hospital you'd still be there and this wouldn't be an issue!"...grrrrrrrrrr!: I think she was almost annoyed to report that dd was perfectly healthy since I did not have a hospital birth!

2. Breastfeeding is hard and you should have a plan in place before the birth in case it does not go well because you will not be mentally prepared to deal with it postpartum. I loved my midwife, but she could only do so much in this area... I'm so thankful for my mom who took charge and got a lactation consultant to our house so that I did not lose my mind and so that dd never had to have a drop of formula.
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#172 of 172 Old 05-11-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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That every birth is SO different.

That you can feel your heart physically stretch to fit all the individual love for each of your dc's.

That births can get longer after the first-2 hr.20 min to 6 hr to 16 hr.to what has felt like over a week so far...

The baseball sized clots

using/ eating your placenta could have stopped the hemmorage after your first birth!Why did nobody offer this?

Making supplements with your third baby's placenta,and taking them can give you the same insomnia you had in pregnancy!(Yeah,who would have thought,huh?)

The after pains,and of couse they are WAY WAY WAY worse when tandem nursing!

Water is great for labor,but not always the best for birth.

You can be totally high for weeks after one birth,and hate everything after another.

There is no substitute for true,great support,and finding it at the right time is really hard,and maybe just luck.

Your body knows what your mind does not.

intuition is there,but you may need to learn WHERE.

it's easy to forget all about the placenta having to come out,once you see or hold your baby.

A plan is good,but make about 3 good backups and maybe use a bit from each.

A postpartum plan is as good to have as a birth plan.It could take years to re-learn how to articulate a need...

Hospitals are for when you really need them.Most of us never will,and our routeinly using them could be interfering with the care of the few who will.I learn this more after every birth.

sleep when baby sleeps!Really.

stay in bed for a few days.see all the movies you always wanted to,read a few books,play chess,or other games...It's a party,and you are the guests of honor!

kids totally understand birth.

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