First Trimester Recap

The highs and lows of the first tri!

Week By WeekBlog

Most Exciting Moment…

I think the obvious answer here is getting a positive test, but I actually think my most exciting moment was hearing the heartbeat for the first time. More than the positive test, more than the first ultrasound, this is when pregnancy really became real to me. The second ultrasound was pretty sweet too though : )

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Most Challenging Moment…

This is also a hard one. I’d be inclined to say the morning I woke up with the severe cramping, but I actually think overall the 2 days of horrible nausea were worse. Worse because I really thought I was going to feel that badly for 2-3 more months. Thank goodness I was able to find a solution through medicine.

One Thing I’m Proud Of…

I’m really proud of the level of activity I’ve kept up! During the past 3 months, I only missed a few days of exercise. On my worst days I took short walks, and on good days I went to Body Pump (twice a week almost the whole time!), Cycle and lots and lots and lots of long walks. I only ran a few times, but that’s OK with me. I’d rather walk for an hour than run for 30 minutes these days. Walking rocks and I can do it anytime, anyplace, no workout gear or shower necessary.

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One Thing I Wish Were Different…

In hindsight it’s easy to want to change this, but I wish I had eaten a little bit healthier from weeks 6-12. But I’m not sure I could have even changed it if I did it all over again! Honoring cravings for things like cheese or red meat is one thing, but there were also times when I just couldn’t figure out what would make me feel better and ate too many sweets. But overall, I think I did a good job with nutrition given the circumstances of my stomach.

Favorite Food…

CHEESE! Hands down.

Least Favorite Food…

Broccoli. Or anything green.

My Physical State Included…

Nausea, huge boobs, strong sense of smell, solid sleep, insatiable thirst, medium level energy, many food aversions, about a 5 pound weight gain

Symptoms I [Thankfully] Didn’t Have…

Extreme fatigue, insatiable hunger, headaches, frequent urination, constipation, heartburn, roller-coaster emotions, acne

One Thing That Surprised Me…

How long it takes for the bump to appear! Even though I began to notice physical changes in my stomach around 8 weeks, at the end of the first trimester, my stomach is pretty much still flat if I stand up straight. I had no idea how long women spend pregnant without any kind of bump!

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Looking Forward To…

Feeling kicks and movements regularly, buying baby stuff, a big bump!, nursery decoration

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The Middle Part

Physical Changes

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13 Weeks: Attention Convention

I had a lot of fun talking about all-things-babies at convention with some of the other women there. I’m in that information sponge stage where there is no such thing as unsolicited advice, and I’m enjoying hearing all kinds of perspectives. Our mentor, Amanda, wanted to rub my belly (the first time someone has asked!) and for the first time there was really something there to rub! It’s really starting to round.

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Matt had late-night talks with other owners at the bar about fatherhood. (What’s funny is he had the same talk with the GH Lafayette, IN owner a year ago when we were just deciding we’d try later that year!) They had their second annual talk. Jerry has an army of kids, so he probably has loads of advice. I’m not sure what went on at these late-night, beer-filled talks, but I’m pretty sure the men shared some encouraging information. It seems to me that women tend to say things to me like “You just wait!” and “Motherhood is wonderful but SO hard” whereas the men seem to glow over fatherhood and describe it as “The best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s almost the opposite response you would expect! I wonder if that has anything to do with traditional gender roles…hmmm

The next day, we were on a balcony having a few beers (water for me!) when the same owners were around and fatherhood came up again. One owner said the most beautiful things about his two children – about how when they were each born he was instantly changed forever. The other said he shed tears at each of his children’s births. It was really touching to hear them talk so sweetly about their families.

One last thing I noticed at convention: I’ve been in maternity pants for weeks now and love them, but it’s too soon for maternity shirts!! When I wear them they have so much droopy fabric that I just look like a big deflated balloon. I do look more pregnant because they give me a false curve to my stomach with the side rouching, but it’s not so flattering!

Like this:

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I packed mostly maternity shirts on this trip to Convention because I love how long they are, but I think I’ll want to stay in my longer regular shirts for as long as I can before I switch. Although I’m already noticing some of them are too short for my new curves!

OTHER 13 WEEK POSTS

Time Is Speeding Up

Breastful Dreams

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13 Weeks: Breastful Dreams

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The most commom dream I’ve been having since becoming pregnant is about breastfeeding. It’s the part of motherhood I look forward to most (so I sure hope it works for me!). Probably because I’ve had a large chest my whole life and hope that it hasn’t all been for nothing!

A few weeks ago I had a dream that someone presented me with my baby days after I had given birth. I had forgotten that I had given birth, and when I realized it was my baby, I panicked that I hadn’t fed it and it was starving to death. I started to breastfeed it and the feeling was amazing. It was like the baby was sucking love from me, and it forgave me for the neglect in a few gulps.

I had a similar dream this week with foggy details, but again I was presented with my baby and was engorged on top. I put him/her to my breast and the feeling of relief was amazing. I sure hope it’s that incredible in real life!

I’ve heard the first few weeks can be really hard, so I’m prepared for that. My mom swears by “nipple roughing,” meaning taking a towel or your fingers and literally desensitizing your nipples in preparation for the physical demands of breastfeeding. I’ve heard this also on Pregtastic that another woman’s mother swears by it. It doesn’t sound like the most fun thing, but I bet it does work. Do any of you have any experience with that!?

This morning as I woke up, I was half dreaming, half awake, lying on my side. In this transition state, I felt like something was tickling my stomach from within. Like there was a little mouse in there running up the side of my uterus wall. It went on for about 30 seconds, and I woke up in the process SURE that this was the baby waking me up. It was like feathers being brushed on my stomach from the inside. I haven’t felt any major movements, and they seem to only come when I lie really still like when I’m reading or first waking up, but this was by far the coolest one yet!

And one more tiny boobalicious tidbit: not only have my breasts started another growth spurt this week (darn!), but I swear the borders of my nipples have too. It’s like the pigment is changing on the skin just outside and thus the whole thing has increased in diameter. I’ve had random twinges and pains too. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that!

Other 13 week posts

Time Is Speeding Up

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13 weeks: Time Is Speeding Up

13 weeks has flown by! Likely because I spent most of it in San Diego with my mind on Great Harvest instead of the ticking clock. I used to wake up each morning and study my stomach, feel around for my uterus and see if anything had happened overnight. These days I feel like I’m getting used to the fact that I have a permanent curve to my thick midsection that doesn’t really go back in!

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I’ve had so many opportunities to overeat this month, and I’ve taken advantage of all of them. Every night at Convention I went to bed stuffed and uncomfortably full. This is not a side effect of pregnancy – this is a side effect of overeating!

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It’s still hard to gauge how much of my thickness is related to my rising uterus and how much is just poor diet for 3 months. I’m sure it’s a combination, and I feel my best in the mornings. I’m hoping when I get back to Cville that now that my appetite is somewhat back to normal I’ll be able to get back into a real food + healthy groove.

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Pushin’ it out and suckin’ it in

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Despite all the overeating, I don’t seem to have gained a totally unreasonable amount of weight, so it’s no reason to get upset. Just a reason to be a bit more mindful of what is really hunger that needs satisfying with good food and what is just me being a foodie who loves to eat.

I have cut back on my medicine cocktail to once a day in the morning. This seems to be working fine, and my taste for most foods is nearly back to normal. I skipped the dose altogether for the second time during convention and found the familiar feeling of gagginess in the back of my throat. This is how I described it on KERF –

I also didn’t take my morning sickness medicine and felt fine all day until dinnertime when foods just started seeming gaggy again. So weird how it comes on. I wasn’t really nauseous and didn’t have trouble eating, but some foods I just didn’t want to swallow. Chewing would have been fine – it was the swallowing that was off. The point of sickness was almost like a pressure point in my throat that didn’t want to be pushed by certain foods. That’s the best way I can describe it!

So for now, I’m going to go one more week with my medicines. I’ve taken them for so long that there’s no use suffering if I know how to prevent it.

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12 Weeks: A Second Peek Inside

After what felt like an eternity of waiting, our first official ultrasound finally arrived! This was Matt’s first time seeing the baby in person since he wasn’t able to go with me to my emergency one a month prior. I was excited to see how the baby had grown, but also very excited to see his reaction.

This ultrasound was both vaginal and stomach-ical. The technician had me undress and started with the probe. Inside we found a tiny little baby! One by one, she went through the body parts – stomach, bladder, ribs, spine, hands, feet, heart, brain. They were all there in full!

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Matt and I couldn’t believe how much the baby was moving. We both expected it to move, but I thought it would be more like tiny little jerks or hand movements. But no, the baby was moving like you’d expect a full-term baby to move. Arms up and down, legs kicking and crossing, flips, turns. During my first ultrasound when all you could see was a kidney bean with a flickering heart, I thought “That’s cool.” But this time it was like “THAT IS MY CHILD!” I still can’t believe it grew from a sperm and egg without some scientist telling the cells what to do.

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For the down syndrome test, which we elected to have to get all the knowledge we could, the baby had to be in a specific position: lying on its back in a profile. However, our baby decided to entertain us for a while and went into every position but the desired one! The technician tried all methods of jiggling and shaking me to try to get the baby to settle down on the bottom of my uterus. It was actually quite violent! My grandmother is always telling me “Don’t exercise too much – you’ll jiggle the baby.” She would have been horrified at all the jiggling going on during this appointment : ) But I guess with all the fluid in there, they don’t feel too as much as we do on the outside. Finally, after about 30 minutes of jiggling, the baby spent about 30 seconds in the right position and she quickly snapped the photos she needed, although they were less than ideal.

Check out this crazy photo from above!

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Next came a blood test. Oh how I loathe needles!! I have heightened senses of taste and smell, so maybe my sense of touch is also extra sensitive. Because man that hurt! Matt knows how much I hate needles and reached for my hand to hold. Can I take him to all of my doctor’s appointments from now on?

The last bit of our appointment was meeting with the doctor. He said everything in the ultrasound photos looked great and that I looked great (thanks doc!). My blood pressure was 108/70, which is about 10 points higher on the top and bottom than normal! However, he said it was perfectly low. I asked him about weight gain too – was I on track? He said yes, that he recommends 2 pounds a month on average (which if you multiply that by 10 months, is about 20 pounds : ) ) I’m at about 5 pounds gained, so I’m right on track.

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I felt a little silly bringing this up, but they say women should discuss their birth plans with their doctors early in case there is incompatibility. You definitely want to know sooner rather than later your doctor’s views on childbirth.

So I told him I hoped to have a natural birth and asked “….was he… cool with that?” "[How else are you supposed to ask this question?!]

He told me that about 45% of women in their practice go without epidurals referenced against other hospitals having rates of epidurals closer to 95%. And he said about 20% labor without any meds what-so-ever. (I’m guessing the other 20% have some kind of IV or oral drug?) He also explained that he job was to act on an emergency and deliver a healthy baby rather than dictate how I labor. I felt really good about his responses. He’s very laid back and cool for a doctor, and I like that a lot!

We ended the appointment with a listen to the heartbeat, loud and clear!

OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

Kerthump, Part II

Husband Aversions

Diaper Dance

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12 Weeks: Diaper Dance

KERF reader Stephanie emailed me last week and asked if we intended to use cloth diapers. YES we’d like to try!

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As it turns out, she had about 45 (FORTY-FIVE!) cloth diapers of all different brands that she no longer needed and shipped me a HUGE box of them! Liners too!

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I’m so thankful to be able to try a variety of brands (and hopefully like them all) with such a great cost savings by reusing them.

The brands I discovered included:

    • Bum genius
    • Blu berry
    • Kissa’s
    • Names bottoms
    • Snap ez
    • Goodmama
    • Bummies
    • Thirsties
    • Smartipants
    • Babyland

I’d love any feedback you guys have on these brands!

I thought I would know what to do with them when I opened the box, but as I picked them up one by one to show Karen how they worked, I realized I didn’t have a clue! Inserts here and there, snaps and Velcro in funny places. I’m sure I’ll figure it out with some research – I still have lots of time!! And Cville actually has a cloth diaper club that I learned about about the Birth Expo – they said they would teach me everything I needed to know. I also hope to read up on cloth diaper blog posts like these from Emily and Sherry.

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Thank you a million times Stephanie for your generosity! [I sent her a big package of Great Harvest goodies as thanks : )]

Oh and one more detail….I hope I’m having a girl just because I bet a boy wouldn’t be wild about zebra stripes.

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OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

Kerthump, Part II

Husband Aversions

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12 Weeks: Husband Aversions

You want to know what one of the weirdest aversions I have experienced? An aversion to my husband’s smell!

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Well, not really his natural smell, but the smell that lingers on a body after a full day of wafting bread baking flavors through the air at the bakery.

I’m not talking about the good ones – Cinnamon Chip or Brownies – I’m talking about Cheddar Garlic, Rosemary Garlic, Oregon Herb, Popeye, and Spinach Feta. Our savory breads have been a real turn off for me lately (garlic grosses me out), and Matt comes home smelling like he rolled around in garlic and herbs (with a dash of onion) all day long.

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As much as I want to, I just can’t muster up the urge to put my arms around him and snuggle into his neck at night. I can smell him from the other side of the couch! I finally [gently + politely!] told him about this problem and asked if maybe he would mind taking a rinse-off shower after work? Maybe at least before getting into bed next to me? But his response was that another shower was too much work on a normal lazy weeknight, so I just tolerated the smell 5 feet away for the past few weeks. [I know you guys think I’m being cruel here, but my nose has its own personality right now!]

I wondered if it was something about HIM more than the bakery lingering that I wasn’t liking. I’ve heard that before pregnancy, women are attracted to pheromones related to immunities the father has, but during pregnancy the appeal of them changes. On the weekends he smells fine, so I think it’s safe to say his pheromones still agree with me : ) Do you think I could sneak some cologne on him while he sleeps!?

A friend was telling me that Kelly Rippa recently shared that she had the same aversion.

Have any of you ever experienced this?!

OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

Kerthump, Part II

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12 Weeks: Kerthump, Part II

One of the most exciting things that happened this week was attending Sarah’s baby shower!

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I can see how motherhood is such a bond – even before babies are born. Sarah’s family threw her a beautiful shower, and I enjoyed watching her open her gifts very much.

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After the guests had gone home, Sarah invited me to use her Angel Sounds fetal heart detector to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

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She was able to find the beat immediately, and of course I felt the same joy I had 2 weeks prior. Little, cute, whooshas filled the room. We were able to capture this video to share!

Sarah borrowed the detector from Jessica, who said I was welcome to borrow it for a month so I could let my family and friends listen. I unfortunately don’t know where she bought it. It comes with headphones and a few packs of gel. You can also plug it into computer speakers like we did in the video above. The sound is pretty clear!

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When I got home, I had much more trouble finding the heartbeat on my own! Clearly I am not a doctor!! Luckily I had just listened, so I wasn’t concerned, but if it had been my first time using it I probably would have been scared. I found that using a lot of gel and lying flat on my back was the best. [And trying to do this with family in the room is even harder].

It’s a bit of a process to do (with the gel and all) so I haven’t done it too much since, but I’ve enjoyed knowing I have the option. And it certainly made me less nervous for our 12.6 week ultrasound. The last time I listened, the heartbeat would go from loud to quiet and loud again and I’m pretty sure that’s the baby swimming to and fro inside!

OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

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12 Weeks: Meds + Beds

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I’ve started to wean myself off my meds a bit since I’ve been feeling better. I accidentally forgot two lunch doses of my B6 and Unisom and felt OK, so one day I skipped them altogether. I did feel a bit more nausea that day, so I’m sticking with a breakfast dose for another week at least. I just hate the thought of ruining a dinner or day with sickness if I have a medicine that will completely prevent it. And I keep reminding myself that my doctor felt completely confident in their safety.

A month ago, I was sleeping 9 hours a night – sometimes more. Luckily I’ve got a job that allows for sleeping late! I think being able to sleep well at night meant that I didn’t experience some of the constant fatigue many women do in the first trimester. I only felt the need to nap a few times, and slept for 10-20 minutes – nothing major.

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But all of a sudden, insomnia has hit. I probably shouldn’t call it insomnia because I’m not to a point where I’m counting sheep at 3am, but whereas I used to sleep soundly through Matt’s 6:30am alarm clock, I’m now waking up every morning when he does and can’t go back asleep. Yesterday it was 5:30 when I woke up to pee and never went back to bed. So yesterday at least, I felt fatigued all day long.

I’m not sure if this change in sleep has to do with hormones or me weaning myself off the Unisom. Unisom is marketed as a sleep aid, but I haven’t felt drowsy at all while taking it. Something else about it helps with the nausea. My doctor also never mentioned anything about dependency, so that never crossed my mind until now. But the morning I experienced the most insomnia, I had not taken any medicine in 24 hours – the longest in weeks. So it could be related to that. I’m not sure if I should keep taking it or wean myself for this reason alone! But regardless, I don’t think I’ll be taking it much longer. Hopefully my body will adjust.

Speaking of getting up in the night to pee, that has also started occurring! I NEVER get up in the night – unless I chug a lot of water before bed, which I don’t normally do. But at around 10 weeks I started getting up about 5 out of 7 nights a week to go once. I hear this only gets worse as the uterus gets heavier and heavier! Although I have gotten up less this week than I did last week, so maybe my uterus is moving up and that will get a little better – at least for now.

Other 12 week posts

Transitions To Two

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12 Weeks: Transitions To Two

3 months in!! The more people that know, the more fun this whole process is. And sharing ultrasound photos already gives me a sense of mothering pride : )

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I really think my uterus has started to grow up, pushing everything else out.

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My stomach is no longer easy to suck in, although I can still do it, it just takes a lot more strength than it used to. I’m starting to get a more permanent pooch that people can see on the outside of my shirt.

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Yesterday I felt that my stomach grew an inch between morning and night! I wore a regular pair of jeans (big ones!) for the last time and put my maternity jeans on that evening with the thought: that’s probably the end of regular pants for me. As much as I do want to start showing, I’m also a little embarrassed of my stomach at this time. I’m definitely in that “I ate too many donuts Savannah bars” stage rather than “I’m pregnant.”

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I’m also feeling bigger all over though, and that’s a sign of weight gain more than just uterus gain. I know this is normal and something many women struggle with during the end of the first trimester, but it’s still something I was hoping would happen later in my pregnancy. What’s different is that before I was pregnant, I could ignore a little mild hunger at times or tell myself I didn’t need that extra portion or dessert. Now it feels wrong to deny myself food even if I’m just a tiny bit hungry. If I’m hungry, the baby must be, and denying hunger isn’t healthy.

So many have said you have to trust your body, and that means more than just trusting that it’s fueling well. It might be telling you it wants to gain way more than the recommended pounds for whatever reason, and while 25 pounds is still the recommendation, sometimes 25 x 2 just happens and everything is still fine [thanks to those of you who have shared that tidbit!] I’m an all-or-nothing type, and I know after the baby is born and I’ve had time to heal and adjust, I’ll get in the weight loss groove eventually.

But regardless of the whole “listen to your body” thing, I have had several nights this week while visiting my family where I just ate waaaaay too much for no reason to do with pregnancy. And that’s probably why I’m just feeling bigger.

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On the topic of food, I’ve definitely felt a bit more normal about my meals this week. Several salads have made appearances and I’m no longer in that “All I want is cheese, ice cream and carbs” stage. I wouldn’t say salads are back on my favorites list, but they’re getting eaten normally here and there. I have a feeling in a week or two I’ll be back to my old eating habits 100 95%.

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Milestones

Whether or not the second trimester starts at 13 or 14 weeks, I definitely feel like hitting 12 weeks was a big milestone – partly because the risk for miscarriage decreases significantly and also because it’s when the baby begins to grow.

In the beginning, miscarriage was on my mind a lot. Weeks 6-8 felt fragile. Anyone who has been pregnant before can probably relate to the slight bit of fear that came every time I went to the bathroom – would I find blood? I feel extremely lucky that I only had a tiny bit of brown spotting and didn’t have to go through the alarm that red blood can cause. While I have read that bleeding is normal and occurs in 30% of all pregnancies, I’ve also read that even though it can go away, it puts doctors on alert. And that is enough to cause major nervousness. I can’t even imagine going through the pain and emotions that so many women have who have lost babies.

After seeing the heartbeat on ultrasound at 7.5 weeks, I relaxed a little. During week 8, I started to feel better emotionally. I hear week 8 is a bit of a turning point and miscarriage risk goes down a bit. But really it wasn’t until this week that I thought: there’s a really, really good chance I’m going to have this baby.

Up Next: 12 Weeks: Meds + Beds

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