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#1 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, sort of funny story.

 

I really should not complain here, cause my DH has been so freakin' good to me all pregnancy long.  He does all the cat chores, has been sweet and helpful and always picks things up if I need them on his way home even if I've been out all day and could have gotten it myself.

 

Anyway.

 

Last night was our second hypnobirthing class.  We had practiced a bit outside of class and he did great, reading me relaxation scripts.  

 

His big thing is that he wants someone to tell him more about the stages of birth etc. He is worried that he won't be able to manage things if I go off into labor land.  He has had, mind you, a copy of the Birth Partner, for about seven months now.  We agreed that he didn't have to read anything other than this and that reading it would be in his best interest!

 

During class, I took the lead and said that we were wanting to hear more about the stages of birth, etc.  He appreciated that.  Our instructor said point blank, there's a great book you should read - it's called the Birth Partner.  I almost laughed but kept a straight face.

 

On the way home, he was complaining about not having more info.  I said.... why don't you let me impart some knowledge about the stages of labor, which I did, talking nonstop for about seven minutes, encapsulating about 100 pages from the birth partner and other books during that time.  Really straight forward, etc.

 

I used some breathing techniques the rest of the way home.  I have tried to be F*CKING COOL about the reading.  No pressure, I said, I will do my own thing and you do yours.  But as I sat in quiet, waiting for him to say something (eventually he said he loved me a lot which was good)... I kind of started getting upset - like HELLO DUDE - how hard is it to read a book?  Would you like any of the other responsibilities of pregnancy that I've had to deal with for eight months????????

 

We got home and went to bed to read.  I was moving some stuff around and knocked over his drink.  I was trying to get the copy of Birth Partner out of the bottom of his bedside table to put it on top.  I went down to make him another drink and came back up and was unable to not be frustrated.

 

I finally spewed - I'VE TRIED TO BE A COOL WIFE BUT IT'S TAKING EVERYTHING IN MY POWER NOT TO SAY READ THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

He was sheepish.  We skimmed the first 50 pages together.

 

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

At the end he said wow, I guess in five weeks it could be primetime (YES IT COULD!!!)

 

And then he said, you know I"m not not reading out of some subconscious thing to blow it off.

 

I said, YOU need to know that YOU NOT READING at this point WILL BE TAKEN as a serious offense.

 

Commiserate please?!?!?


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#2 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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yeahthat.gif

 

I also have an amazingly sweet, caring husband who pampers me constantly. But it has been hell to get him to read any of the books I bought. We finally compromised a couple weeks ago when I broke down in the kitchen and was like "I need to know that if something happens to me where I need to be separated from the baby or I am having trouble communicating, etc, that you can be there and step up and deal with this and right now I don't feel that at all" So we agreed that the one book he needs to read before the birth is the birth partner and that he will be heavily involved in the birth plan. (He thought a birth plan was deciding where to give birth).

We start childbirth classes tonight too, which should help, but he knows under no uncertain terms that I will be PISSED if he doesn't read that book.


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#3 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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sounds frustrating!  I find that sometimes, it's just helpful to take a walk, do some breathing, and remind yourself of all the nice things that he does.

 

I have a whole bedside table of books for DP (and myself) to read (orgasmic birth, ina may's guide to childbirth, womanly art of BFing, AP, Vax, Infant Swimming..)

 

I think I need to go grab the Birthing Partner more specifically for him... he's always trying to get ME to read books on the subway (a lot of times I just don't feel like reading - I work in the legal field and do a fair amount of reading for work), but seems to have very little interest in reading about pregnancy/birth/etc. even though he's essentially my doula, and it was HIS idea to TTC (he had to talk me into it) in the first place (I mean, not that I don't want this baby or anything, just... it's been a lot of work/money on my part and very little on his thus far)

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#4 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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DDC crashing.  You were on the front page, I couldn't help myself

 

When I was pregnant with DS1, reading The Birth Partner was the ONE thing I asked DH to do for me.  He was also a very attentive, wonderful guy in general (store runs, massages, extra help), but ALL I asked him to do was to just get through that one, solitary book.

 

He never did.

 

He did, though, skim through the first 3 chapters before it got relegated to his bedside table.  And he remembered a surprising amount from those 3 chapters.  I know how much he remembered, because I read that darn book about 3 times.  Hard to do?  Not so much...  But apparently a lot of men have an innate ability to ignore that specific book.

 

But, the moral of the story is: he was still an excellent partner in my birth.  So excellent, in fact, that my midwife commented (to me) that he was probably her favorite first time birth partner.  He didn't read the book, but he still ended up being a great partner.

 

I was pissed about it until the day I went into labor though irked.gif

 

 

 


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#5 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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wow, this must be going around because i had a similar experience with dh last night.

 

it had been gnawing at me for a while, but i didn't say anything because (like you ladies have said) dh is so great (a great husband a great dad) and is very understanding and supportive of me while i'm pregnant (and not always my normal self).  and we just wrapped up our last bradley class (and he was actually really into it -- which was nice).  however, other than attending the class, he's done nothing to prepare (doesn't read anything in books or online -- has done no research).  i'm kind of a research nut (and i don't expect him to do as much as me), but a little would be nice.  he also doesn't practice with me or encourage me to be doing what i need to be doing to prepare.  i can't just pull out my bag of tricks on the day i go into labor and expect them to work (and i don't think he can either).  we took lamaze when i was pregnant with dd and i felt extremely unprepared when it was go time.

 

anyway, i broke down last night (not a major breakdown, just finally expressed my frustrations) and told him i really need him to be encouraging me more and practicing with me.  i've been doing my exercises and relaxation most days, but i need him to participate some of the time.  he feels extremely confident in his abilities to coach me when the big day comes, which is good, but i guess i'm feeling we need to practice some together.

 

in real life, dh is a coach (cross-country and track) and this past fall he actually won two "coach of the year awards" for a really great cross-country season.  we have one of the newspaper articles about his award hanging on the fridge, so i pointed to it and said something like, "i know you're coach of the year, but i'm just not seeing it."  i honestly said it in a light-hearted way (not as a dig) and luckily he took it that way.  so, then, of course, he's all fired up and has to show me what a great coach he really is and has me lie down and relax in our bedroom and talks me through some progressive relaxation and visualization (something he has experience with because he does it with his athletes).  anyway, it was great (despite a few distractions from our dd and the cat -- although we'll probably have similar distractions while i'm in labor, so no big deal.  also, i was able to remain focused during them).  hopefully, he will now initiate it and i won't have to get frustrated and demand it.

 

after all that i also mentioned that it would be nice for him to read some (he has a pile of books next to the bed that he chooses from every night, but none of them having to do with childbirth).  he seemed open to it, so i'll be adding natural childbirth the bradley way and the birth partner to his pile (mind you, these books, among others, have been in our house for months, but he's never picked one up).  hopefully, i won't have to nag him again.


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#6 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

But, the moral of the story is: he was still an excellent partner in my birth.  So excellent, in fact, that my midwife commented (to me) that he was probably her favorite first time birth partner.  He didn't read the book, but he still ended up being a great partner.

 


good to hear.  maybe it's not such a big deal that dh read it.  and i know dh will be great, but he's even expressed regret that he wasn't as good as he could have been our first time around (that he showed disappointment and let down when things weren't going so well instead of encouraging me).  we're definitely both better prepared this time, but i just thought it couldn't hurt to be more prepared.

 


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#7 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I bought the Birth Partner for my husband when I was first pregnant (miscarried) and he only just started reading it when I was 31 weeks. He opens it for about 10 minutes at a go on the couch, reads about half a chapter and then goes back to coding. He comes to all my centering classes though and asks lots of questions and I've signed us up for birthing classes, parenting classes and he's coming to the breast feeding class too. I'm trying to not be all obsessive about it because we're going to be birthing in a hospital (although it's a crunchy one with a birth center), I have a doula, and I know when the time comes down to it, he's going to be there holding my hand making sure that I'm as good as I can be. He's just not really a book reading guy unless it's a coding technical style book, but I told him this is basically a manual for bringing our baby into the world, so I'd appreciate if he could help me do that.

 

I totally get being annoyed though. :)

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#8 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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Oh I so hear you OP!  Hubby is great all around & loves to research "stuff" but any reading to do with labour support he won't even touch.  His theory on this one is that we have a midwife or two as well as a Doula who all have far more training & experience than him so even if he does read the book, the chances of him remembering what he needs to when the time comes are slim especially compared to the support team. 

uh huh.  ok - so apparently this translates into why bother reading it at all then huh?....  nice.  thanks dear.

 

He is otherwise very supportive though & supports my choices (like home & water birth) even though he may not be fully 100% as confident/comfortable with them as I am.  I kind of worry that he could pass along his internal anxiety on the day of even if he's not vocal about it but at the end of the day I can't really force him to read it.  I've given up on him reading The Birth Partner but I'm not quite willing to give up the battle for the Hypnobabies yet.  That book is much shorter & contains a bunch of verbal cues etc that I'm going to need him for.  *fingers crossed* (but I'll also give a copy to my Doula just in case....)


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#9 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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I'm actually giving my hubby a home-made condensed version of what he needs to know. I figure that will be a whole lot more likely for him to read than a whole book. This will be our first homebirth and it is an UC; so it is essential he knows something. The first time we were both rather ignorant and the second time, I knew what I wanted but he knew very little about it, so in the end he listened to a bad doctor (since I was forced to be at the hospital rather than the UC I'd planned) and it seriously was horrible for me. 


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#10 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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I'd love to research the amount of Birth Partner copies that have been cracked by the expectant mother but NOT the expectant father... because you might as well add us to the list. DH (and yes that's DEAR...) has deemed it unnecessary to read the Birth Partner, or my Hypnobabies home study course, nor listen to the Hypnobabies tracks. I told him he has to read the Birth Partner Guide.

 

DH is very helpful as far as telling me when to go to bed (because I will stay up until I am falling asleep on the couch because he is such a night owl until recently I've felt bad going to bed before him. I just don't know if he's truly prepared for this birth! I'm hoping the "long visit" with my doula will be helpful. At least he knows what our birth plan says and when he is to stand up and tell the doc/nurses to back off.


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#11 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I told my husband about this thread and made the joke "I think it's genetic" for which I got the response "See, it's not my fault! It's my Y chromosome!" 

I laughed, then glared at him and said "read the book!". I think he's actually going to read it. 


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#12 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elonwy View Post

I told my husband about this thread and made the joke "I think it's genetic" for which I got the response "See, it's not my fault! It's my Y chromosome!" 

I laughed, then glared at him and said "read the book!". I think he's actually going to read it. 



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#13 of 23 Old 03-16-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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i am definitely telling my DH about this thread! last night was my night to break down and finally have *the talk* with him about his absolutel lack of interest in the birthing process.

 

he siad he didnt think it was relevant bc i was just going to end up being induced anyways which means ill need an epidural.

 

i said even if i am induced i want to try natural and i need your help.

 

his replay "you won't last. i remember last time"

 

i wanted to scream, but kept my cool. i explained to him that i had no help or support from anyone and was panicking like a wild animal from the pain. the nurses were disgusted with me because i was a home birther nut who came in for preeclampsia, my husband had been relying on the HB midwife to tell him what to do. so i was alone climbing the walls in pain and could not calm down. i was on mag and pit and literally out of my mind.

 

i dont want a repeat of that.

 

after a very long calm talk where i tried SO HARD not to place blame at his feet, he finally understood a comparison. i said,

 

it's my body. i want to do what i want with it. i know it doesnt make sense to you, but if you were the one who had to go through this medical stuff and pain and labor and delivery i would support ANY decision you made unless i felt it endangered the baby or you. please do the same for me. just like you dont want me to minimize getting a vasectomy (he is terrified to get a vasectomy) please please understand that i prefer the least amount of interventions possible and i need for you to be there with me and be my voice to help protect me and bebe alexander.

 

he understood that.

 

thank god!

 

i dont know how much he will read or learn, but at least he feels that the role of him being the protector is important.

 

 

 

 

 


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#14 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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This is kinda funny, but also not funny.  My DH also has the Birth Partner sitting next to his side of the bed.  I've read through a lot of it, he hasn't.  He says he will do it but I'm just not so sure.  It does get to me sometimes that he's not putting more of a priority on the whole process.  We don't have a doula so he's my only labor support and I want him to have some sort of clue of what to do and how to help me.  When I think of myself going through the hardest part of labor and him just sitting there, not really knowing what to do, that's what makes me upset.

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#15 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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What is it with partners and this book? Yes to all of this! I asked DH to read this book and only this book. He's had it since my 2nd month of pregnancy. So far I think he's read 10 pages. We had a pretty big argument about it a few weeks ago. But his excuse seemed legit- he's a news photographer and we live in Madison, WI so he's been working mega overtime lately covering the protests. So I was like okay, you're tired, you're overworked, I get it. But dude, if you lose it and don't know what the **** is going on when I go into labor, I'm going to have trouble dealing with that. So figure it out, dude. And soon.

 

I totally am with that- I try to be a cool wife too. And DH has been nothing but supportive, loving, and awesome with everything else during this pregnancy. But I just gotta say, after a while I started thinking- I am carting around this baby for nine months inside my belly. I'm going through sciatic pain, back aches, sleeplessness, nausea, figuring out ways to make myself eat KALE, giving up junk food, and walking 45 minutes to work every day all through the winter (we sold our car to afford my unpaid maternity leave), all with a basketball in my belly. And all I want him to do is read one lousy book. Grrrr!!!

 

He also told me that it was a long book, very dense and difficult to read. I picked it up and finished it, cover to cover, in one evening. ;)


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#16 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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I think a really good plan with The Birth Partner is to read the book together.  It is a very long book and I think it is very dry.  At night if you just skim 10 pages each night and point out the things for DH that resonate with you.. highlight them..   then that seems to work alot better.


Guaranteed that even if your partner sits down and reads that book, yes some things might resonate with him or her in labor, but its super hard for them to retain the important parts to you without help.

 

I like Penny's book on Labor progress alot better then that one if you are taking any sort of class together.

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#17 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I like the suggestion MamaChef, my problem with that is that I have been doing that with EVERY book I have read so far this pregnancy. I think about half of me needing him to read it is wanting him to step up and join the experience as opposed to me leading the whole thing. He comes and asks me questions about what he has been reading, which we then talk about, but I need him to initiate that so I don't feel like I'm the only one trying to figure out what is going on. Him reading it is as much him showing that he's supporting me as it is him learning stuff. Make sense?

 


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#18 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elonwy View Post

I like the suggestion MamaChef, my problem with that is that I have been doing that with EVERY book I have read so far this pregnancy. I think about half of me needing him to read it is wanting him to step up and join the experience as opposed to me leading the whole thing. He comes and asks me questions about what he has been reading, which we then talk about, but I need him to initiate that so I don't feel like I'm the only one trying to figure out what is going on. Him reading it is as much him showing that he's supporting me as it is him learning stuff. Make sense?

 

Totally makes sense and our partners should do what it takes to make us feel like they are invested in the birth.    I always give that tip to my childbirth ed or doula clients because this dynamic seems to be so prevalent with this particular book.  I swear, more partners will read Birthing from Within before making it through more then a few chapters of the birth partner. LOL.  The book has alot of great knowledge in it so it's totally worth it.. but yeah.  I chuckled when I opened this thread and saw how many people were trying to get their partners to read TBP in particular.

 

I, personally, took forever to read this book and had to force myself.  And I LOVE birth stuff.
 

 

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#19 of 23 Old 03-17-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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Wow, this thread makes me feel better about my DH, cause I am in the exact same boat and I figured I was alone!  This is pregnancy #3 and I have given up on getting him to read anything birth-related...we got The Birth Partner when I was pregnant with #1, he didn't read that (I loaned it to a friend and her hubby found it fantastic, so at least someone got use out of it!). I also got him a father's perspective on pregnancy and birth kind of book, but he didn't read that either.  By pregnancy #2, I gave up.  We had a doula the first time and two midwives the second, and the role he is most comfortable with is just being there to hold my hand and be a quiet presence, rather than being really hands on and suggesting stuff for me to try.  I have decided that's fine by me, as long as I have other experienced support when I need it.

 

The irksome thing is, this is a guy who reads constantly.  He reads nonfiction boring long textbooky stuff about geology, Mayan history, astronomy, you name it  - stuff I would never be able to maintain an interest in for an entire book (well, truth be told, maybe even an entire chapter or page!).  But birth?  Forget about it! LOL!

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#20 of 23 Old 03-18-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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SUCCESS! Well, close to it! Last night, our doula asked him if he'd been reading the Hypnobabies with me, and I glared at him and he sheepishly said, "No." She looked at him and said, "Get it done!" So, he's feeling more than just pressure from me now! I think he'll actually read what he needs to this time....


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#21 of 23 Old 03-18-2011, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: We are 101 pages in!

 

Firstly, we've been reading it together.  I've been looking over his shoulder as he skims.  I find he seems to enjoy it if we're snuggling with few clothes on :)

He's turned down two pages:

p. 72 - the 4-1-1 rule (though we're shooting for 2-1-1)

P. 107 which starts the Normal Labor in a Nutshell section which is pretty awesome.

 

Secondly, I am so happy this thread brought us all together around a common cause... it's always nicer to figure things out together!!!

 

I am also preparing a few cheat sheets for him for the actual birth - laminated sheets in a prominent place.

We have done some hypnobirthing practice.

 

I think one of the keys to success was that instead of blowing up at him which is what I wanted to do, I explained how frustrated I was with my emotions - that I wanted to blow up but that I was trying to be the "cool" wife who didn't pressure her DH.  He seemed to take that well.

 

Also, we've decided not to shell out the extra $$ for a doula or midwife, which is a decision he's been a part of, so there is a little pressure on him to have it together.  

 


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#22 of 23 Old 03-20-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Update: He's on chapter 3! And he's marking pages to reference back to! Turns out once he actually started reading it that he really likes how informative it is as opposed to a lot of the other books which are much more vague about what's going on. He also told me today "I really want to do a good job at this." which resulted in much hugging from me. YAY!


 treehugger.giftrekkie.gif married to Mikestillheart.gif Mama to my furry babies cat.gifjust gave birth to our first babyf.gif DS.

 

 

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#23 of 23 Old 03-27-2011, 10:27 PM
 
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My DH is the same way. He won't read a birth book himself. But I had a book that really resonated with me and I wanted him to read it. So I am reading it to him. Instead of TV one night I will read him a couple chapters. Today I read to him while he was ironing his shirts. I really like it so much better because I hear his reactions and KNOW he is paying attention. Also, we are able to discuss ideas as they come up in the book. I would recommend this approach to anyone who really wants their DH to have the info but has little motivation to do it on his own time.

 

Also, just as a disclaimer, I haven't read TBP nor have I asked DH to read it, but I could see how a book aimed at "preparing" a man could be met with a little resistance. The book I am reading actually takes an opposing view: women by nature want privacy during labor and birthing and sometimes a man's most important role is just making sure his partner feels safe and secure instead of feeling like he has to "coach" her.


Adriana, mommy to Klarity 9/06 and Grayam 6/08 and Zephyr homebirth.jpgMay 8, 2011
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