how "important" is the 20week ultrasound? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-09-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey mamas,

 

i'm feeling ambivalent about having my 20 week ultrasound, scheduled for the 19th.

 

what i know is that the purpose is to check the heart chambers, and make sure all the parts are where they are supposed to be ;) and, of course, if you want to know, boy or girl.

 

dh and i don't want to know boy or girl.

 

i'm not sure why i am feeling a bit like declining this u/s, so i'm looking for input from you all: was it important for you to have it? and why? or why not? also, is there something i'm missing about the purpose of doing it in the first place? maybe talking it through will help me uncover my hesitancy.

 

fwiw, i did have an u/s at 14 weeks, just to rule out twins. it was a quick peek; i did see a baby that looked well (good size, head, arms, legs), so i don't have that urge to "see" the baby, or to make sure that there's something "actually" in there ;)

 

thanks for your thoughts, mamas!

 

 

xo


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Old 01-09-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I just has mine and they check for markers of spina bifida, downs and such.  It took over an hour and they measured eye sockets, looked at the brain, heart kidneys, checked cord and blood pressure in it, checked my placenta to make sure it wasn't covering my cervix, measured arms and legs, checked for cleft lip, check shape of skull and I am sure a few other things I missed. For me I am glad I did it because being 40 it put my risk lower and my mind at rest as I do have a daughter with a brain birth defect already..  Yes we found out gender, but we had her put it in an envelope and didn't unseal it until evening when the whole family was together and not once dod she slip and we just closed our eyes while she looked.


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Old 01-09-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I think for me, since I'm planning a homebirth, I would like to see that everything appears to be okay for it. If there were issues that might need medical treatment after the birth I want to know that so I can give birth in the safest place possible. Obviously, I know its not a guarantee but it could possibly catch something important.


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Old 01-09-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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Subbing because I also am undecided about an ultrasound. If I get one, it will most likely be later than 20 weeks though. I'm most interested in ruling out things like placenta previa, twins, and any rare issues that would require me to birth in a hospital. But I'm not really that worried about any of that. I would be up for learning the gender, but I don't think it's worth an ultrasound if not otherwise needed. My midwife can order ultrasounds but doesn't recommend them routinely. So I just don't know...right now the plan is not to get one unless concerns come up.

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Old 01-09-2011, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just has mine and they check for markers of spina bifida, downs and such.  It took over an hour and they measured eye sockets, looked at the brain, heart kidneys, checked cord and blood pressure in it, checked my placenta to make sure it wasn't covering my cervix, measured arms and legs, checked for cleft lip, check shape of skull and I am sure a few other things I missed. For me I am glad I did it because being 40 it put my risk lower and my mind at rest as I do have a daughter with a brain birth defect already..  Yes we found out gender, but we had her put it in an envelope and didn't unseal it until evening when the whole family was together and not once dod she slip and we just closed our eyes while she looked.


wow! thank you for this info. i had no idea that they took so long. when i had my daughter 10 years ago, i don't think they were so thorough. 

 

hmmm, now i'm thinking i don't want to have u/s exposure for so long...

 

confused.gif

 

 


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Old 01-09-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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It is not important to me and I will not have one. I have actually never done it w/ any of mine.


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Old 01-09-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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I do them not for the froufrou bonus reasons such as sex determination or to peek at the baby but because I like to know, to the extent an ultrasound can tell, that all is as it should be.  


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Old 01-09-2011, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kawa kamuri View Post

I do them not for the froufrou bonus reasons such as sex determination or to peek at the baby but because I like to know, to the extent an ultrasound can tell, that all is as it should be.  


blowkiss.gif

 

i hope i didn't offend. i didn't mean to insinuate that peeking at the babe was why most people do the 20 week. i only mentioned that because i don't personally have a need to see, or a feeling that i want to see my baby. just sharing where i'm at. hug.gif

 

xo


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Old 01-09-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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blowkiss.gif

 

i hope i didn't offend. i didn't mean to insinuate that peeking at the babe was why most people do the 20 week. i only mentioned that because i don't personally have a need to see, or a feeling that i want to see my baby. just sharing where i'm at. hug.gif

 

xo


No no no no not in any way! I understood your intention completely. My apologies for coming off harsh and hurried. No worries, mama. 


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Old 01-09-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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I want the 20 week sono (well, 19 weeks for me) so that I can see that everything is okay and if it's not so I have time to prepare myself for that. As a PP mentioned, I am planning to UC at home and I want to know beforehand if there are issues that would make that not such a good idea. A big part of it for me is finding out the baby's sex, which I'm really hoping I'm able to see. I am a huge planner type person and I need to know as much information as possible. I feel like I can't really know this person very well until I know if it is a he or she so I can focus on names, clothes, and the stuff that comes with babies. It may seem shallow to some, but it's one small way that I can control my world and right now I really need that!


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Old 01-09-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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I've actually asked my OB for an abbreviated scan.  I want to know that all major organs are ok, beyond that I'm really not interested.  I kinda panicked too when he told me it takes an hour to an hour and a half.  That just seems like an awful long time.  So he agreed to just do an abbreviated scan.  I'm okay with that and so is DP.  We're not finding out sex either so thats not an issue for us.  


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Old 01-10-2011, 02:50 AM
 
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We did not do it just for gender reasons.  I refuse to go have those vanity 3D ones.  I am 40 and already have a child with a brain birth defect that is very rare and the fact they even found it 20 years ago on ultrasound was rare too.  So this was my first level 2 ever as they didn't have them back 20 years ago.We also have a child (my adopted babe) with a heart condition, which BTW would have been caught earlier if b-mom had prenatal care which she didn't.   As for gender, we were teetering and figured why not have them write it down since they were in there anyway.  As for exposure I would not do it if I didn't feel it was safe.  I did a lot of research and my DH is an engineer and familiar with the technology so I felt confident.  In fact it makes him laugh when people try to say you get radiation from dopplers because everything puts off a form of radiation and it is the type of exposure that is the problem.  Sorry I am getting defensive but it seems like people have had to defend their choices a lot on the boards lately and it is sad. I am glad I had it done and know she doesn't have spina bifida that could cause issues more if birthed a certain way and preparations weren't made. The thought of causing damage that could have been avoided would break my heart! I respect others choices as just that, others choices, no one way is the right way and I don't not love my baby any less because I don't believe ignorance is bliss. Ok, please don't hate me now, I just had to get that hormonal rant out as it has been bothering me a little bit *LOL*


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Old 01-10-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Haven't ever had it, don't plan on doing it this time.


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Old 01-10-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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I just has mine and they check for markers of spina bifida, downs and such.  It took over an hour and they measured eye sockets, looked at the brain, heart kidneys, checked cord and blood pressure in it, checked my placenta to make sure it wasn't covering my cervix, measured arms and legs, checked for cleft lip, check shape of skull and I am sure a few other things I missed. For me I am glad I did it because being 40 it put my risk lower and my mind at rest as I do have a daughter with a brain birth defect already..  Yes we found out gender, but we had her put it in an envelope and didn't unseal it until evening when the whole family was together and not once dod she slip and we just closed our eyes while she looked.


wow! thank you for this info. i had no idea that they took so long. when i had my daughter 10 years ago, i don't think they were so thorough. 

 

hmmm, now i'm thinking i don't want to have u/s exposure for so long...

 

confused.gif

 

 


They were not that thorough with mine either. They did a lot of that stuff, but I don't know about the eye sockets. The OB was talking to us the whole time and I know he snuck a peak at the sex because he told us it was either a boy or a girl but I don't know when he did that. I think it took 20 minutes.


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Old 01-10-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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It may have been so thorough due to my age and because I forego the blood tests, CVS and amnio. This was't done at the midwife office, it was done at a hospital.  But eye sockets are a downs marker as well as missing pinkie joint, shape of skull and a few other things they checked but I can think of off the top of my head right now.  The reason it took so long is we had a tech. with 20 years experience do it first and she explained everything as she went along which was nice and then a Dr. came in to basically verify her stuff so we felt good knowing it was a double check.  I guess for us after raising one child that has a brain birth defect, tourettes, OCD and other issues as well as our little one with heart complications we just want to know what is ahead so we can plan if need be. A lot of people ask why we don't do the other tests and our reasoning is that the AFP has a lot of false possibilities and it really only gives soft markers, amnio is too much of a risk of loss with the procedure than we want to take especially since we would never terminate regardless to what was found and we would never have another chance to get preg. again and this less invasive test cut our risk in half and that was good enough to us.


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Old 01-10-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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We did not do it just for gender reasons.  I refuse to go have those vanity 3D ones.  I am 40 and already have a child with a brain birth defect that is very rare and the fact they even found it 20 years ago on ultrasound was rare too.  So this was my first level 2 ever as they didn't have them back 20 years ago.We also have a child (my adopted babe) with a heart condition, which BTW would have been caught earlier if b-mom had prenatal care which she didn't.   As for gender, we were teetering and figured why not have them write it down since they were in there anyway.  As for exposure I would not do it if I didn't feel it was safe.  I did a lot of research and my DH is an engineer and familiar with the technology so I felt confident.  In fact it makes him laugh when people try to say you get radiation from dopplers because everything puts off a form of radiation and it is the type of exposure that is the problem.  Sorry I am getting defensive but it seems like people have had to defend their choices a lot on the boards lately and it is sad. I am glad I had it done and know she doesn't have spina bifida that could cause issues more if birthed a certain way and preparations weren't made. The thought of causing damage that could have been avoided would break my heart! I respect others choices as just that, others choices, no one way is the right way and I don't not love my baby any less because I don't believe ignorance is bliss. Ok, please don't hate me now, I just had to get that hormonal rant out as it has been bothering me a little bit *LOL*

 

Don't feel bad! These boards are probably the only ones on earth where pregnant people aren't having every test under the sun. Each pregnancy is so unique and we have to do what works for us. I am low intervention but I am getting a thorough 20 week ultrasound for every reason listed above. And I won't feel guilty about it. I will say that I completely disagree with a situation that I am close to where an NT scan was done at 12 weeks and showed some "possible abnormalities" (which thus far have not materialized) and now the mama has had an ultrasound every week since 35 weeks. No problems with baby or placenta but still ultrasound every week. It seems excessive to me but it's a first-time, very mainstream mom and also a family member so I have to tread lightly!
 


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Old 01-10-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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A big part of it for me is finding out the baby's sex, which I'm really hoping I'm able to see. I am a huge planner type person and I need to know as much information as possible. I feel like I can't really know this person very well until I know if it is a he or she so I can focus on names, clothes, and the stuff that comes with babies. It may seem shallow to some, but it's one small way that I can control my world and right now I really need that!


A big part of me feels this way, too.  I have a tendency to be a control freak, and not knowing boy or girl is driving me a little crazy.  But I know that I'm going to need to let go of a lot of control, both during birth and as a mom, so I'm trying to use this as an introduction to not being able to plan every aspect of my life.  :)  We have boy and girl names picked out, and I alternate when I talk to the baby.  DH doesn't alternate, he just keeps coming up with absurd portmanteaus of the two names.

 

But I definitely want to know, as Kawa said, that all is as it should be.  I wouldn't terminate as a result of anything seen on the US, but if there is something wrong I'd rather have a few months to prepare myself for whatever might be coming.  Plus I'd like to know if there is anything that might turn my expected BC birth into a hospital birth.  THAT I'll surely need to plan for.

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Old 01-10-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Subbing because I also am undecided about an ultrasound. If I get one, it will most likely be later than 20 weeks though. I'm most interested in ruling out things like placenta previa, twins, and any rare issues that would require me to birth in a hospital. But I'm not really that worried about any of that. I would be up for learning the gender, but I don't think it's worth an ultrasound if not otherwise needed. My midwife can order ultrasounds but doesn't recommend them routinely. So I just don't know...right now the plan is not to get one unless concerns come up.


I'm in the same place right now...  I'm 20 weeks and still undecided, though leaning towards doing one around 30 weeks.  We'll see how I feel about it then.  I figure that if having the peace of mind that everything is okay will make my homebirth experience that much more peaceful, than it's something that I should do.

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Old 01-10-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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I'm not particularly worried about the safety of ultrasound technology, so it was a no-brainer for me to have one.  I think the 20-week scan sometimes does worry doctors and parents unnecessarily (i.e. they will see something that turns out to be nothing), but other times it can convey valuable information that can make a difference in outcomes.  A friend of mine just found out that her baby, due in April, has a heart issue -- something about the aorta, I can't remember the name -- that could be not that big a deal or could be very serious and require surgery shortly after birth.  If my baby had a problem like that which might require prompt medical attention, I would want to know about it as early as possible (I'm a planner and like to have lots of time to get used to things).  Chances are, my LO is fine, but I like to hedge my bets most of the time if there is no downside to doing so.


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Old 01-10-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I am not particularly interested in the ultrasound because I am just not that worried that anything will be wrong and it seems like kind of an extraneous evaluation of what is probably a perfectly normal kid. But hubby feels pretty strongly about having it done (his reasoning is he just wants to know that everything is okay, so kind of the opposite of mine) so we are planning to get it done. I did not have violent feelings against it so I let him carry the day on this one... it's his kid too.

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Old 01-10-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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I am not particularly interested in the ultrasound because I am just not that worried that anything will be wrong and it seems like kind of an extraneous evaluation of what is probably a perfectly normal kid. But hubby feels pretty strongly about having it done (his reasoning is he just wants to know that everything is okay, so kind of the opposite of mine) so we are planning to get it done. I did not have violent feelings against it so I let him carry the day on this one... it's his kid too.



My So and I are flipped - he'd prefer no testing and has had to compromise for me. 


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Old 01-10-2011, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We did not do it just for gender reasons.  I refuse to go have those vanity 3D ones.  I am 40 and already have a child with a brain birth defect that is very rare and the fact they even found it 20 years ago on ultrasound was rare too.  So this was my first level 2 ever as they didn't have them back 20 years ago.We also have a child (my adopted babe) with a heart condition, which BTW would have been caught earlier if b-mom had prenatal care which she didn't.   As for gender, we were teetering and figured why not have them write it down since they were in there anyway.  As for exposure I would not do it if I didn't feel it was safe.  I did a lot of research and my DH is an engineer and familiar with the technology so I felt confident.  In fact it makes him laugh when people try to say you get radiation from dopplers because everything puts off a form of radiation and it is the type of exposure that is the problem.  Sorry I am getting defensive but it seems like people have had to defend their choices a lot on the boards lately and it is sad. I am glad I had it done and know she doesn't have spina bifida that could cause issues more if birthed a certain way and preparations weren't made. The thought of causing damage that could have been avoided would break my heart! I respect others choices as just that, others choices, no one way is the right way and I don't not love my baby any less because I don't believe ignorance is bliss. Ok, please don't hate me now, I just had to get that hormonal rant out as it has been bothering me a little bit *LOL*


hug.gifbuddhamom. i appreciate you (and anyone) defending your choices! it shows that there is a level of consciousness around our care that may not have existed in the past (not that you weren't always conscious, of course! lol lol.gif). i can say for myself that when i was pregnant in 1994 with my first, i did not question as much as i do now. i did what was expected, what was recommended. i think one positive thing about these boards is raising questions. it is good to think things through and come to a place that feels right for you. and sharing that is helpful to others.

 

thank you for sharing with us!

 

 

 

 


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Old 01-10-2011, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Subbing because I also am undecided about an ultrasound. If I get one, it will most likely be later than 20 weeks though. I'm most interested in ruling out things like placenta previa, twins, and any rare issues that would require me to birth in a hospital. But I'm not really that worried about any of that. I would be up for learning the gender, but I don't think it's worth an ultrasound if not otherwise needed. My midwife can order ultrasounds but doesn't recommend them routinely. So I just don't know...right now the plan is not to get one unless concerns come up.


I'm in the same place right now...  I'm 20 weeks and still undecided, though leaning towards doing one around 30 weeks.  We'll see how I feel about it then.  I figure that if having the peace of mind that everything is okay will make my homebirth experience that much more peaceful, than it's something that I should do.


thank you for pointing out that this does not have to be 20-weeks-or-nothing! if i am still on the fence by the end of the week, i'll just cancel my appointment for now!

 

 


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Old 01-10-2011, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Buddhamom View Post

I just has mine and they check for markers of spina bifida, downs and such.  It took over an hour and they measured eye sockets, looked at the brain, heart kidneys, checked cord and blood pressure in it, checked my placenta to make sure it wasn't covering my cervix, measured arms and legs, checked for cleft lip, check shape of skull and I am sure a few other things I missed. For me I am glad I did it because being 40 it put my risk lower and my mind at rest as I do have a daughter with a brain birth defect already..  Yes we found out gender, but we had her put it in an envelope and didn't unseal it until evening when the whole family was together and not once dod she slip and we just closed our eyes while she looked.


wow! thank you for this info. i had no idea that they took so long. when i had my daughter 10 years ago, i don't think they were so thorough. 

 

hmmm, now i'm thinking i don't want to have u/s exposure for so long...

 

confused.gif

 

 


They were not that thorough with mine either. They did a lot of that stuff, but I don't know about the eye sockets. The OB was talking to us the whole time and I know he snuck a peak at the sex because he told us it was either a boy or a girl but I don't know when he did that. I think it took 20 minutes.

 i think i will call my midwives' office and see what the expected length of the appointment is. that should give me an idea of what they have planned...


 


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Old 01-11-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawa kamuri View Post

I do them not for the froufrou bonus reasons such as sex determination or to peek at the baby but because I like to know, to the extent an ultrasound can tell, that all is as it should be.  



ditto! dh is actually the one requesting just like during my last pg. i could take it or leave it. the only thing i want to know is where my placenta is attached. dh would like to know the sex, but i am hoping the baby won't cooperate like last time. the tech i had last time also said it was up to the mom so she didn't tell us the gender.


Angel (30), dh (31) (kd to H. 4/25/07 & K. 5/23/11), Vladimir 10/17/09 & Nikolai 7/6/11

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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I have read that a 2 minute dopplar scan has the same amount of radiation as a 30 minute ultrasound because one is continuous and one is intermittent, so I have relaxed a tad that this has the same amount of possible harm as a quick check to hear the heartbeat.  From now on, I am hoping to have no more ultrasounds and to use the fetascope. 

 

I am having the ultrasound for me.  I didn't last time and found ways to deal with the lack of answers that my control freak mind wanted.  You just can't know everything about the baby and birth.  There is no crystal ball.  However, I am having a harder time getting there than last time.  I just want to see a healthy baby on the screen.  It will be nice to have a professional tell me that everything is normal.  I really hope this decision doesn't come back to hunt me with false positives and scares and "risking out" of a peaceful home birth to have some doctor place well-intentioned-but-unnecessary interventions on me because of perceived risks.  Ugh.  I really just want to walk out of that office on Friday with a smile on my face at having seen (for the first time ever) the sweet shadow of my baby's face and their perfectly proportioned limbs and body.  Please, God!

 

This is no judgement on doctors or hospitals or lovely people who have 5 ultrasounds a pregnancy.  These are just not choices that work for me.

 

We are also thinking we'll keep the gender a secret, but who knows how we'll feel on Friday!


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