What led you to the decision not to circ. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So after having a discussion on facebook with a "friend" who had some bad information about the intact penis I made me wonder what is the best way to educate others. What were the reasons that led you not to circumcise? For us it was our Bradley teacher who provided us with information about circumcision. It was actually a really easy choice for my dh and I to make. Once we found read about the history of circumcision, what circumcision actually was, and what the purpose of the foreskin was we decided not to. It is such a difficult topic to educate others on becuase there is so much misinformation. Appreciate any information you can share.

I also wanted to share that my younger sister said that she would have circumcised her first had it been a boy but after I didn't circumcise my son she researched it and now has two intact boys. She also educated her sister in law about it and she was planning still to do it but my sister gave one last chance and talked to her about it right after her sister in law gave birth and now she has an intact son

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#2 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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This board led me not to circ. Well, specifically the article in Mothering mag, and then being directed here. I didn't think of it as a big deal before because I was never challenged to. All it took was a tiny bit of info to get me questioning the necessity of it, and then the more I read, the more resolute I became

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#3 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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I was pregnant with my twins in 1994, before I had internet access, and I didn't even realize that circumcision was controversial. When DH and I talked about it, we both had the same attitude (luckily!), that circumcision was more of a social thing than medical, and we didn't feel compelled to perpetuate the trend. I remember one of us saying "It is going to end eventually - it might as well start with us!"

Some aspects of our discussion (again, strictly from gut feelings, not research):

1. That's GOT to HURT!
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
3. Boys are born with a foreskin; it must be there for a reason.
4. "Look like Daddy" wasn't a concern.

We did ask our family doctor if there were medical reasons to circumcise, and while he mentioned UTIs and STDs, his opinion was that they weren't significant enough to justify infant circumcision. That's lucky too, because we trusted this doctor, and probably would have had it done if he had pushed.

Now that I know a LOT more about both circumcision and foreskins, if I would to boil it down to one sentence it would be "There is nothing wrong with my son's penis - thank goodness he doesn't need an operation!"

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#4 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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From the time I learned what circumcision was, I have been against it. I just didn't understand why one would remove a natural part of the body. It didn't make sense.

It wasn't until I decided to have children that I really looked into the issue and became informed on the the anatomy of the foreskin and the procedure of circumcision. But before I had the facts, I had an instinctual sense that it was wrong.

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#5 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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Unfortunately it wasn't this one fact or aha moment for me. I do not have a boy, but when I was pregnant and we didn't know if DD was a boy or girl, someone gave me a little pamphlet on caring for intact penises. Which was great, it got me thinking. The pamphlet was not very in-your-face at all, just basically saying circumcision wasn't necessary, and cleaning of an intact penis was no big deal.

Unfortunately that line of reasoning, while enough to put a question mark in my head, was not enough to make me decide against circumcision. Rather than researching it further, which I should have done but I already felt so overwhelmed by all the research and unconventional decisions I was making (I was having a home birth, I was getting concerned about vaccines, etc. - but was doing each of these on my own, not as part of a community or a global set of natural parenting values) I just talked to my husband. He's circ'd. He said we should do it.

I can only hope that if we found it was a boy (we did find out with an u/s) that I would have looked into it further. But I never really felt strongly for or against circumcision until reading through some of the threads here for a while. I think that the pamphlet I read could have served me better if it was a little more assertive about the issue - that circumcision is an injury to the body, that it carries the usual risks of surgery, that it's not just a little "snip" (I definitely thought of it that way, like a little flap of skin with no nerves or something - a really dumb assumption in retrospect), that it's not cleaner and in fact the foreskin's purpose is partly for protection and cleanliness.

I am honestly not sure how I would have reacted to an analogy to female circumcision at that point - if it were used, I would have needed to address the "male and female circumcision are not at all the same" argument. Because I certainly used to believe that they were not the same and that it was crap tot compare them. I mean, obviously there are differences in the procedure, it's different anatomy and the results are a bit different, but it's still genital mutilation. But I'm not sure if I was ready for that line of reasoning right away.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#6 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.

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#7 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
I don't think that comment was helpful at all. Obviously the culture in the USA supports circumcision as being a good choice. There are threads that ask "Why did you decide to home birth" and I could say "What a weird question. I never had the desire to go to the hospital when I wasn't sick." But I wouldn't want to be that judgemental toward people who had been told all their lives that the hospital is the only safe place to have a baby - just like we've all been told that circumcision is necessary, cleaner and safer.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#8 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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Well, we had just found out we were having a boy and I made a wise-crack about 'don't worry honey, I'm not going to be one of those crazy women who insists that her child not be circumcised'. Later that week, I was baby shopping and came across an issue if Mothering that was featuring circ. All I had to do was read the article that included a drawing of what happens, and I got that horrid knot in my stomach and knew it was something we really would NOT be doing. That led me to MDC and these boards where I found an extensive list of books to research further. Thankfully, he saw all the reading I had done and trusted it and it hasn't been an issue since. I am forever thankful that our first child was a girl because if she had been a he, I wouldn't have even known what was involved. Now I'm that crazy lady who posts pro-intact articles on my facebook and occasionally starts heated conversations about 'choice'. Somewhere in there, I know that I am opening the door for friends who have never even thought about RIC, and hopefully educating them in the process.

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#9 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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i didnt really know better, so i circ 2x and regret it, but what caused the paradigm shift for me was being present at ds2's circ in the peds office at 1wk old, and yes he had pain meds, it didnt make a difference, the screaming was primal and horrific and my 7yo son and i held each other and cried but it was too late. i dont plan on ever having any more kids, but if i did i would not circ.

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#10 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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We don't have any boys yet, but they'll be intact if we do.

I remember reading about female circ at some point years and years ago and there was some cognitive dissonance there about male circ, but since I was far from having kids, I never took it any further.

When I was TTC I was looking for breastfeeding info and landed here at MDC. I had noticed the CAC forum, but for some reason thought that the case was a class action lawsuit or something (No idea where that came from )

Then when I was pregnant w/ DD I started exploring the other parts of MDC. I clicked on CAC and started reading and maybe 2 hours later, after viewing part of a circ video, I told DH that we weren't going to be circing any of our kids. After a few questions, DH said ok and that was that.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#11 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I don't even remember what it was that convinced me...I didn't even find this board until my DS was a month old. But I remember thinking about it and thinking that even if it was for the better, I just knew I couldn't bring myself to do it. Once a saw a video of one being done that was it for me. After I found this board and read up on it some more I was so relieved that I went with my gut instincts.

I even found out that my brother is intact after I told my mom about my decision. I had no idea! I just assumed that he was circ'd.

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#12 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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With the first circumcision I witnessed in nursing school, I knew it was something I would never, ever do to my child.

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#13 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I have never read the Mothering articles on the case against circumcision do you think if I had this it would useful to give to other moms or would you recommend other resources?

Michelle : wife to wonderful hubby mama to Jude (10/03) Annika (4/06)
Zane (3/09): : : :
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#14 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Finding out from crunchy friends that the foreskin is (among other things) fused to the glans like a fingernail. I couldn't imagine ripping off a baby's fingernail so that gave me the first gut reaction to say "maybe not" (since my husband is 110% pro circ). Then I looked for more information** here and on the web and my "maybe not" became an "over my dead body."

**The fact that the complications of circ (meatal stenosis, for example) are more common than anything the circumcisers claim that it fixes -- that some of the things that I thought were normal about penises are actually the results of a too-tight circ -- the fact that the later in life circs that you get threatened with if you don't want to circ your newborn are usually unnecessary -- etc

Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.

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#15 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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The very idea of allowing a Dr. to cut on the genitals of a child of mine made me sick. I was never going to circ long before I knew I had an option. I was just going to refuse until I went home with the baby. I didnt learn all the other things I know now until I got internet access and after ds was born in 04.

So for me it was a gut instinct from the beginning.

 
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#16 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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I sobbed while watching a video on youtube of a circumcision and that fueled my quest to educate myself as much as possible!

The first thing I mention to women and men is that a man's foreskin has 2-3 times as many raw nerve endings as a women's clitoris and that any numbing agents are rarely used during RIC. To just women I mention the emotional side of circ as far as delayed bonding, how breastfeeding is effected negatively, and the motherly need to protect goes out the window. For men I use the later in life sexual side effects as well as how much of the penile skin is removed. That gets their attention 100% of the time!

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#17 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Bradley childbirth classes introduced us to the idea that it was optional and didn't HAVE to be done. Thank goodness.
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#18 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
I know this response sounded offensive to at least one poster, but I can see where Mum4boys is coming from.

I grew up in a family of intact men, and never really gave circumcision a thought until I was pregnant for the first time. It didn't take a whole lot for me to dismiss newborn circumcision as a twisted phenomenon, so it does indeed seem like an odd question for one to ask...."Why did you not surgically alter your child's genitals at birth?"

But for those who have been surrounded by circed men and the general mainstream, I suppose it doesn't sound like a weird question. It really IS an issue for them, because a lot of people seem to think the foreskin is a sort of birth defect.
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#19 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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When I was younger, I assumed that I would do whatever my child's father wanted to do. Then I had a partner who was intact and was surprised at how much I preferred a penis that wasn't altered. It was not "gross" or "dirty" or "smelly" as my mother had told me. It was normal and did not require any extra upkeep that I ever noticed. I then started thinking about any future child I might have and started to research exactly what happened during a circ, and realized that it had absolutely no medical reason behind it. I decided then and there that it would only be done to my son over my dead body. Luckily, there was no issue, as I was a single mama from the time my son was born. No cutting here!

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#20 of 115 Old 04-23-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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I didn't even hear the term 'circumcision' until I was a teen. When I heard some kids gossiping about a boy that wasn't circ'ed I went home and looked it up on the internet. I found a few things about it not being necessary, but I still didn't understand what a foreskin was or what it looked like and how it changed the penis to have it cut off. I looked some more and came across a picture blog of a guy who was restoring. That was the first foreskin I'd ever seen and it wasn't even a natural one! I thought it looked funny, but I also knew that this guy was writing from his heart. He was hurt by what had been done to him. He was not happy with being circ'ed. He would not have made that choice, if it had been his to make.

At age 16, I thought to myself, "If even ONE male is not happy being circ'ed, then it is not fair to do it to any baby since we can't know what they would choose."

I didn't do any more research until I was expecting my first, but I'd already laid the foundation that it was wrong to alter a child's body so drastically. More research helped me find this board, and helped me learn about proper care and basically everything else I know now.

What I've found out from conversations from people is that you can argue every fact, statistic, medical article, your doctor's opinion, ect but nothing makes people "get it" like saying that a boy should have a right to choose what happens to his own penis. At least in my experience.
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#21 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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The number one reason that lead me to be no circ was having a LTR with an intact man. That is what did it. As a teen, I did know some families with intact kids, but it didn't have the same impact as first hand experience.
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#22 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jude-a-buddies-mom View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I have never read the Mothering articles on the case against circumcision do you think if I had this it would useful to give to other moms or would you recommend other resources?
I absolutely recommend the article, you can print it out on the main mothering magazine site.
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#23 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 03:15 AM
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For me and my husband it was easy.

I'm from a non circumcising culture, he's a circ'd American. I said no way, he asked questions did some research and returned furious, depressed and adamant that that would never happen to his son.

Up until the conversation he was of the opinion, if someone asked him if he'd circ a son, that yes he would, it's just what's done.

This is an incredibly intelligent, logical, rational and caring man but as an American, the culture was so ingrained with him, he'd actually never given the subject any thought and would've automatically maintained the status quo because, well that's what happens when you have a boy.

I bet there are millions just like him which is why you should never pass up the opportunity to stick up for the foreskin (I know I've saved at least one future one) even if it means being the weird penis lady (or man).

"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity."
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#24 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jude-a-buddies-mom View Post
What were the reasons that led you not to circumcise?joy
On the very first day of boarding school, in the communal shower room, I was shocked to realise that some boys had a penis that was different from my own. It was quite obvious that I was missing something and I instinctively knew that this was not a good thing. I have been against circumcision ever since. Obviously , the more I have learned, the more adamant I have become.
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#25 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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For me, it was my way of saying to my newborn son, "I love you so much that I want to keep you from harm"

Like some of you other parents, I was thinking that it instinctively felt wrong even before I read stats. Actually I didn't learn a lot about circumcision until after he was born and the decision to not circ had been made...I was kind of like ehhh, about the whole thing. But still didn't do the circ because it felt wrong.

After...I've read things here, watched a vid and that vid made me a thousand times glad that I hadn't done the circ. That was worth a thousand words and a million stats alone. I watched that Penn and Teller vid and that though, maybe meant to be funny, made A LOT of sense. My baby son, made me feel like an activist about this subject whereas beforehand I didn't care so much about the whole thing either way. So my son actually being here and seeing pics/vids of poor crying baby boys are the two things that made me not want to do it. Just the thought of someone doing that to my son makes my skin crawl and makes me want to flip out.

Lastly, a tiny part of me was glad I was sticking it to my inlaws. My mother inlaw asked, "WHY?!?!" when I told her I wasn't going to do a circ. It was just like she had never heard of such a thing. My father inlaw said you need a circ so your (and I quote)..."d*** will look right." and I said, "It does look right, that's why he was born that way" and he said nothing else. And lastly...I'm kind of a "Take THAT society!" kind of girl.

Mom to a girl 7.17.07 and a boy 5.30.09 Wife to husband 8.12.81 (ha) New baby boy 3.09.11 stillheart.gif
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#26 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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Babina's Mommy, I am also someone completly comfortable with going against the tide when I know that I am right.
The feelling I get knowing that I've saved my son from this harm is one of deep compassion and peace. I truly believe it's a humanitarian act and that this act of protection for my son radiates out into the universe. I hope he's a gentler more peaceful soul for not having to experience this pain and have it a part of himself to carry for life. Much as violence begets violence - the child spanked grows up to be a spanker with their own children - I hope that gentleness begets gentleness.
The point I am making is that I see it as a much bigger isue than just my own specific son. How we treat the young and the elderly speaks volumns about our society. I think we have a long way to go but I am eased to know that I have contributed kindly to the shaping of a new person.

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#27 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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I saw a photo of a baby in a circumstraint, draped, with a bloody penis. The photo made me cry and that was that.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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#28 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I was always kind of indifferent to it, and didn't think too much about it. Though I did kind of wonder why people still did it. Then, after my sister had her first ds, some moms in my pottery class said, "Call her and tell her not to have him circ'd." One of the moms had a son my age and didn't circ. him, the other mom had to sons (about 3 and 5) who were circ'd. They both agreed that circumcision was not good, though they didn't really get into why. The mom that had her sons circ'd just said that she wished she hadn't.

Then later that year I became pregnant and started to think, what if this is a boy? Dh and I talked about it, and he said we might as well go ahead and do it because he didn't know anything about intact penises. But that wasn't a good enough reason for me. So I started asking other moms about it. And pretty much the consensus was that if they had, they wish they hadn't; and if they didn't, they were glad they didn't. At the same time, I was still in college and a girl in my film class was doing a short film on female circ. And that really made me want to educate myself a bit more too. So I think it was all of these things combined that really got me to do some investigating. Also this is what what was running through my head the whole time, "The decision to circ. will change a part of my son's body FOREVER, I'd better have a good reason for doing it." And I never found a good reason.

wife to DH 6/25/05, mama to DS 5/26/08 & DS2 9/1/10
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#29 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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DH is circ'ed, and at first I thought I would go ahead and circ - I never encounted an intact man myself IRL. But then we decided to do natural birth, then homebirth, and no interventions... and I started to feel like circ'ing did not make any sense - were were making gentle and natural choices, and then... a cut for cosmetics? And THEN I started doing research and went from being on the fence to being totally against. It took a little bit to convince DH, and I had to be cautious so as not to hurt his feelings (he hates the "mutilation" argument, and I can understand that because it was done to him)... but he came around.
One of his first pro- arguments was the typical "we need to match" thing. And then I pointed out he only had one testicle - should we get rid of DS's extra? That ended that particular defense.

Mom to two intact boys, born at home. DS1 11/07, DS2 9/10
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#30 of 115 Old 04-24-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
1. That's GOT to HURT!
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
3. Boys are born with a foreskin; it must be there for a reason.
4. "Look like Daddy" wasn't a concern."
Yeah that!

Formerly known as "JessicaRenee".  hang.gif  Single mama to Jude (Sept '09)!  biggrinbounce.gif

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