Tag Archives: baby

Awareness for Kody

My names Brooke and I’m a mum of three from London.

I was 18 when I had my first baby, Jayden. I had a straight forward pregnancy only suffering with extremely low iron, causing me to constantly be tired. I had a natural, straight forward delivery, and Jayden was born at 38 weeks weighing 6lb 12oz.

I was 20 when I had my second baby, my daughter Lexxi.  My pregnancy was completely different from my first one. I didn’t feel pregnant. People told me I didn’t look pregnant, I was really small.  When I was about 6 and a half months pregnant a family member told me I looked like I had slept heavy, little did I know it was me starting to swell up. After weeks of constantly swelling I went doctors and was rushed to the hospital as my blood pressure was too high. I had pre eclampsia, something I’d never heard of. My daughter was born at 33 weeks weighing 3lb 1oz. She had to be tube fed for roughly a month and she came home before her due date. She’s now 5 with no complications.

In 2016 I had my son Kody at 27 plus one, again due to me suffering with severe pre eclampsia. Kody had a slight bleed on his brain but within a few weeks it corrected itself. Kody had extremely severe chronic lung disease and was put on various breathing supports, Kody also suffered with numerous infections as his lungs were too weak to cope with anything, even routine immunisations.

Kody made it to the high dependency unit a few times but always ended up back in intensive care, we were told numerous times that Kody might not make it.

Kody went to great ormond street hospital to see if there was an underlying problem but there wasn’t. He ended up going to a lung and heart specialist hospital in Chelsea.
As Kodys lungs were so bad they started putting pressure on his heart causing him to suffer with pulmonary hypertension. Kody was ventilator dependent so he had a tracheostomy to see if he could eventually come home on a portable ventilator. Kody was heavily sedated and muscle relaxed on many occasions. Kodys lungs were getting worse, he was on the highest pressure that the ventilator could give and his body still wasn’t receiving enough oxygen.

My beautiful baby lived until he was 7 months and one day. I’m now trying to raise awareness in Kodys name for these conditions. I have an Instagram account – @awarenessforkody.
Facebook/AwarenessForKody
I’m doing ‘Kodys story’ a little journey book for the hospitals and hospice we stayed in.
I have ribbons & hair accessories which if people donate money towards I’m giving it to either the hospitals or one of the causes close to my heart.  I also have many other projects I’m going to do to hopefully raise awareness.

Thank you – Brooke xxxxx
My baby Kody ❤️

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Is connected the new confused? 

Forget trying to think of answers to any questions or finding out information in books. These days we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. This is so amazing, yet every single day when I scroll through my social media I am hit with a heap of artcles telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing as a parent. 

Are we all expected to raise children that are perfect all the time? They must have manners, be spirited but not cheeky,  have created 6 apps by the age of 7 and be a natural at any sport they attempt.  

All while the parents never yell. Play with them,  but not too much, they must know how to be bored.  Praise them, but not use the phrase ‘good girl or ‘good boy’, this could shame another child or be taken the wrong way? Show them affection, but don’t kiss them on the lips. Someone on the internet might think that’s gross! Both parents are expected to work, but also be available for all school/kinder functions and acivities (that always seem to be held during business hours)…..Oh and don’t forget you must feed them only organic food, be a plastic free household and don’t even think about giving them refined suger (that stuff is pure evil). 

I’ll admit, I read the articles and I do think about them.  So many questions have swirled around in my head. Should I control cry or not?  Is breast really best? How do I restrict screen time? What are all the milestones again? Why are they such picky eaters? Do humidifiers work? Am I a good mum? 

I’ve decided screw it, half of these articles are simply click bait……..No one is perfect and being a parent is overwhelming enough without all these extra ‘guidelines’. 

The truth is every child is different and parenting styles are different. We are all just doing our best to raise happy, healthy, well balanced children.  Sure, read the articles. Be open to new things, but take it with a grain of salt. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, especially if you’re a new parent. Do what works for you, your baby and family.  I do 😀 

Rachelle xx 

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C-section – what really happens

When I was pregnant with Hudson and found out I was having a c-section I heard all sorts of horror stories. I also Googled (don’t do it). There were tales of staples, huge scars, excutiating pain, infections and awful recoveries. It was very hard to find anything that sounded like a standard straight forward story. I have since had two c-section’s  (one emergency and one elective) and I wanted to share what happened to hopefully put some people’s mind at ease and share something positive to cut through all the negative horror stories.

Firstly, I want to say that I complely understand that everyone has different birth stories, this is my experience only. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else.

The process of c-section for me was just fine. Here is my experience:

As with any operation the nerves kick in just before you go in. I felt so much better once I saw my Ob/Gyn, the familiar face really helped calm my nerves.

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Waiting to go in for my c-section with Hudson 

▫The spinal block – this worried me. In reality this is over super quick and both of my anesthetists were great and talked me through the whole process.

▫ Catheter – I have never had an operation before and the thought of a catheter really worried me. I didn’t even notice it. It’s inserted after the spinal and they take it out the next day. You are so happy to have your baby you really pay no attention to the catheter.

▫It’s quick – from the spinal to meeting your little one is a really quick process (probably 15 minutes).  Before you know it you will be stitched up and in recovery. For me, the whole process took about 45 minutes both times.

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▫ Stitches and scar – Both times I had internal stitches and one large stitch closing the wound. No staples. I paid special attention to the wound care and now my scar is minimal. It’s very low (just above my pubic bone). I can still wear a bikini if I want to and it’s really no big deal. Contrary to some Google stories, my scar is horizontal, not vertical and is not across my whole stomach. My stitch was removed before I left the hospital.

▫Pain management – the hospital I was at were amazing with pain management. Pain meds were given before I felt pain and I left the hospital taking only Voltaren and Panadol. Ensure you ask for pain meds, there is no need to be a hero. Take them before you are in pain.  It makes recovery a lot easier.

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Me and Scarlett – one day old

▫ Bleeding – you bleed after any birth and c-sections are no different. From what I hear it’s not as heavy as after a vaginal birth but yes, you still require the surfboard maxi pads.

▫ Driving – with my doctors approval I was able to drive two weeks after both my c-sections. I read a lot of information about not driving for 6 weeks, this wasn’t the case for me.

▫ Breastfeeding – I had no trouble with milk supply or breastfeeding. The c-section didn’t affect this for me.

▫ Physical activity – I was up and walking the next day. I was restricted with certain activities for 6 weeks (vacuuming etc) but hey, who wants to vacuum anyway. I was able to go for walks as soon as I got home and could commence normal exercise after my 6 week check up.

Overall, I had two positive experiences. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone. In a world of negative stories, it’s sometimes nice to hear everything is going to be ok. I now have two beautiful healthy babies and that’s what really counts.

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Rachelle xx 

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Hypoxi update 

I’m just over one month into my Hypoxi journey. A lot of people have been asking me about results and if it’s working. 

I am extremely happy to report that yes indeed it is working. I have noticed my skin elasticity has changed and I have lost a total of 15cm of my tummy, hips, thighs and knees (yep, who knew, even my knees were a little bit chubby). I haven’t really changed my diet and still enjoy a glass of wine. 

When I was approached by Hypoxi to try it I was quite skeptical and didn’t have high expectations. I recieved a lot of comments about how Hypoxi doesn’t work, can’t possibly work and is ridiculous. I have discovered that it actually does work.  I was really just looking to tone up and feel comfortable since having my kids. I went into this not expecting much of a loss. 15cm gone is a bonus and I’m very happy with it. My stomach feels much flatter and toned and so do my legs. 

Each week I have been 2 – 3 times and I’m in and out within an hour. Hypoxi is certainly not taking up much of my time and I find it quite relaxing.  Before I had kids I used to go to the gym 5 times a week. I just haven’t had the motivation to return and always made excuses. Since starting Hypoxi I realise I do have time.

I really wanted to make the most of this opportunity. So this week both my husband and I have started working out in the morning before work (hello 5am wake ups).  Once I’m out of bed and going I actually really enjoy it. It gives me energy and helps me make better food choices throughout the day. 

The one thing I have also noticed is that staff at Hypoxi are lovely. They really know their business make you feel comfortable and are happy to help with any questions.

If you’re thinking about it give the Hypoxi free trial a go or phone one of the studios and ask about it.  The studio I go to is super busy and I have seen men and women of all ages, fitness levels and sizes. It’s a very supportive environment and not threatening like some gyms can be.  I just wish I knew about it earlier. Hypoxi is perfect for shifting that post baby weight and wobble. 

I will post again with further results and photos. 

Rachelle xx 

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Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

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Give it time

When you are pregnant all the books, websites and other mums tell you about the overwhelming feelings of love you will have for your child from the second they are placed in your arms. Some women gush about how they love pregnancy and the feeling of growing a life inside of them.

It’s no secret.  I didn’t enjoy pregnancy, not for one second. All the sweating, nausea, hunger and stretching of everything (mainly my pants and bras) just didn’t appeal to me. Every now and then I enjoyed the little kicks but 90% of the time I felt like an alien had taken over my body.

My son Hudson was born six weeks early, saying this came as a surprise is an understatement. When I heard my baby boy cry for the first time I was so happy. I was overcome with emotion. Yet, I wouldn’t describe it as it says in all the books. Love wasn’t gushing out of me like an overflowing sink.  I had mixed emotions, he was taken to the special care nursery straight away. I was excited, upset, confused and 100% scared out of my mind. 

Then, it came time for Hudson to come home.  I was still so frighted,  he was tiny and had reflux so he cried A LOT. I was a new mum with no idea and when my husband returned to work I felt very alone. It was like being given a new toy with no instructions. I loved my baby but was waiting for this warm fuzzy, fluffy feeling that I had heard about? Why wasn’t I gushing love from my pores? Glowing? Declaring my love for my child like all these other women?  What was wrong with me?

Looking back on this time, I realise there was nothing wrong with me. I was adjusting to a massive change in my life. I had a rough start, difficult baby,  was incredibly sleep deprived and frankly it’s just not my personality.  I love both of my children more than anything in this world. I would walk accross hot coal to protect them,  jump to their defense and claw your eyes out if you hurt them. However,  this feeling has developed over time. I feel like I have got to know them and like any new experience it’s daunting at first.

I tell all my friends and any first time mothers not to expect these amazing, overwhelming warm feelings of love straight away as it’s not always the case. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.  It just takes a little time to bond, confidence, some sleep and everything gets better. Everyone’s experience of motherhood is different, dont ever feel bad for being honest and admitting your true feelings just because they are different from others or from what books describe.  You are  a good mother!

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Rachelle xx

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Speak up

I’m a capable woman, organised, driven and a fast learner so being a mum should just be a breeze……Well that’s what I thought.  That was until someone with 10 little fingers, 10 little toes and a little button nose came into my world and flipped it upside down. 

I knew that motherhood has it’s ups and downs but nothing could have prepared me. 

Hudson was born early and had reflux so we were off to a rocky start. He screamed in the cot, he screamed in the car and he screamed in the pram. I had never been so tired in my life and I felt completely out of control. 

I was an absolute mess, I didn’t want to leave the house, breastfeeding wasn’t easy as I was expressing and trying to feed. 

My new little baby was so loved but how on earth was I going to cope. Of course, looking back now I realise this is a small time and at some point your child sleeps. However, when you’re in a hormonal, emotional, sleepless haze there seems like there is no way out and you will never sleep again. 

I had days where I didn’t get out of my pyjamas, I would cry and I was incredibly jealous as my husband was able to leave the house to go to work. I had people around offering all sorts of advice and help but I didn’t hear them. 

My husband was helping and being very supportive. The reality was, he was just as tired as me and running a business.  I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t coping. It seemed like eveyone else around me was loving motherhood, had it together and I had no clue. I felt alone. 

One day I was crying on the phone to my mum and I said ‘ I’m not good at this. Why can’t I do this?’ She simply replied ‘it will be ok, you will be ok’. Immediately I felt better. I felt like I had admitted defeat and just it saying out loud felt better. 

From that day on I vowed to always be open and honest about my feelings. I love being a mum more than anything, but motherhood is hard. It’s stressful and there is guilt….oh boy is there guilt. Even four years down the track with two children I still stress about tantrums, sleep schedules and health etc.  I don’t think this ever changes, it just becomes different. I’m sure my own mum is still worried about me. 

I want to be the best mother possible. In order to do this I need to take care of myself.  If you’re not coping, unhappy or depressed speak up. I always thought people would judge. No one is judging as we have all been there in one way or another. 

www.panda.org.au 
Rachelle xx 

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Guest Blog – Candice @theworkingmumma

Why did you become a nurse? That is a question I LOVE answering. It’s not the usual, ‘oh I finished year 12 and decided to go to Uni and do nursing.’ It’s a story I hold deep in my heart. There is nothing wrong with the above statement! But my reason is a little different…

Let me take you back 10 years ago when I was 18 years old, I was driving like a mad women, running red lights towards our local hospital. I had a phone call from my dad that turned me into that lunatic driver, ‘Candice, it’s nana, she’s not well, you need to get here now.’ I rushed to the local ED to find my nana on stretcher in the hallway, I ran up to her, tears in my eyes, panic in my heart and cuddled her, sobbing into her neck. She told me she was sick, it wasn’t looking good. I stupidly panicked and told her I loved her, that I’d never forget her and promised to name my daughter after her. It was at that moment she stopped me in my tracks – pushed me back and said these exact words, ‘don’t be so BLOODY STUPID! I have a horrible name’ She wasn’t entirely wrong; Betty Peggy Olive Tarrant – what was my great grandma thinking?

Anyway, fast forward 3 weeks to the day my nana died. In the local private hospital (which I now work at – and still can’t bring myself to work in that ward) with the family around her. The care the nurses gave us, the care they gave my nana, touched my soul. She passed away peacefully with mum and I at her side, holding her hand. I walked out to the nurses and said I thought she was gone, they came in and confirmed it. The love they showed mum and I was something I can never thank them enough for and the compassion they showed my lifeless nana was beautiful. They still talked to her, touched her tenderly. I left the hospital at 3am a changed person.

I was enrolled into Uni to become an accountant, I am good with numbers and love business; but that night something inside me decided helping people make money was not what I wanted to do. I needed to give care to people the way the nurses gave care to my family and my nana. I applied to do nursing that year and started the following year. I wanted to care for dying people and their families.

So, why did I become a nurse? Because my nana died and the nurses were amazing.

I finished uni and ended up in Intensive Care. My passion. It’s not called Intensive Care for any old reason. The care is intense, the emotions are intense, the body of the patient is under intense pressure to fight. It’s a special place to work. I have many tales to tell about my time there; the first time I did CPR, the time first I heard a mother scream when her son died; the first time I had a patient get so sick that they needed to be put into a coma, the first time I cried with a family, the first time I saw a miracle, the first time I saw a patient walk out of the unit after the medical staff thought it would never happen again, the first time I saw a wife smile because her husband was getting better and also the first time I met Kyle.

I worked in ICU for three and a half years when I decided it was time for a change. Making that decision broke my heart, but I needed a change. Kyle and I were wanting a family and the 12hr shifts were going to be hard, we worked half night shift (7.30pm – 8am) and half day shift (7.30am – 8pm) which would mean I would be going a whole day without seeing my baby. I looked into other areas of nursing and found cosmetic nursing, I did a Post Graduate Degree and once finished I fell pregnant. I waited until after my baby (William) was born and started applying for jobs in the cosmetic industry. During my course we had injecting days and the educators always told me I was a natural and I loved it. Me, as a person, would have loved to stay in ICU, but me, the partner & mother, needed to leave. My compromise to myself was to stay casual in ICU to get my ‘fix’ and work my permanent job as a cosmetic injector.

I love the Cosmetic nursing, people often look at the industry as vain, but my view is; I am trying to reconnect people to who they feel like on the inside, to who they look like on the outside. Yes, people come in to get lips done, but who are we to judge people? If they are doing it for themselves then that’s great! I often get mothers in their 30’s – 40’s saying: it’s time for me now, I have given so much that it’s time for me to indulge – GO them!!

Working office hours with a bubba boy who is only 7 months old is hard work. I try my best to balance it out but there are days when I feel guilty, days when I miss my baby. But I love work so much that it’s my time. How I balance it is that I organise the night before as much as I can for the proceeding days (I work 3 days a week); I meal prep, I pre cut veg/salad/meat to spend minimal time in the kitchen and I also make sure William has fresh healthy food ready, that makes me feel good to know I am still caring for him while I am away. I do all this once he goes to bed so I am not taking time away from him.

On days where I finish at 5.30pm, Kyle (my fiancé) knows to keep William up and let me do the bedtime routine. Another thing I do is on my days off, I spend all my time with my little man. I just make sure I get quality time with him. It’s taken a while to find balance and there have been times I have cried because I miss William. Of course he doesn’t care! He spends his days with his grandparents and adores them, he doesn’t go to daycare yet.

Becoming a mummy has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, but being a nurse is also something that is deeply engraved into my soul. Being a working mum is easy when you’re passionate about you job.

 Candice @theworkingmumma 

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Guest blog – It wasn’t love at first sight for everyone

When I fell pregnant with my second baby I was over the moon as my fertility specialist said it was likely the embryo wouldn’t take because it was the first frozen transfer and the success rates weren’t great. But during the two week wait; and some of us know how painful and anxiety driven that two week wait is, I experienced some pregnancy symptoms. I was feeling nauseous, I had tightness and was tired; I just felt pregnant. I was so tempted to take a pregnancy test but didn’t want to incase the results were negative and we would be heartbroken more than once. We waited and received the phone call from my doctor (with my clinic, I knew that an earlier phone call in the afternoon was a good one as they ring all the successful pregnancies first and leave the difficult phone calls for later on – I have experienced those phone calls too). The news was good. My husband and I were so happy. Thrilled. My doctor also couldn’t believe it given the success rates of frozen embryos. He was so happy for us.

My pregnancy went along pretty well. I had a couple of hiccups with bleeding and in hospital a couple of times on short-stay bed rest but absolutely nothing major like some women go through. I was really excited moving through the pregnancy but also wondered how my life would change with two babies and not just parenting my little Matilda. Matilda would be just over 18 months when the baby arrived and I was a little concerned about how I would cope considering I had a little PND after Matilda was born. I didn’t want to go down that path again and I was adamant about changing my mindset and the words I spoke about how I was going to cope and for me, I think that really helped alleviate some self-doubt.

The day arrived when Master Charlie came into our lives. He was the spitting image of his dad and was just delightful. My family visited and everyone was really happy about meeting Charlie and then Jason bought Matilda in. Being 18 months of age and not really understanding what had just happened she wasn’t so happy about Charlie arriving. She wasn’t loving, she pushed him away, she kept saying “no” and I thought oh my goodness, what have we done? Maybe we should have waited a bit, but in the infertility world, your choices of when you want to have a baby are pretty slim. My initial reaction when we first discovered what our infertility issues were, was, lets get things moving along and get this show on the road as time was not on our side.

The jump from one to two kids was big, for me. Even though I knew what to expect second time around, it was hard finding balance in caring for a newborn and a toddler. Thankfully Charlie was a great newborn; my anxiety was around giving time to Matilda and not getting frustrated with her little tantrums and outbursts knowing that all she really wanted was her mum. It probably took Matilda a couple of months for her to really show some affection towards her little brother. I noticed it once when I picked her up from childcare and the staff were looking at little Charlie and she was saying “my brother” and being super protective.

Jason and I had to be really conscious of spending one on one time with Matilda. He had already started taking Matilda out on breakfast dates when I was pregnant and that increased once Charlie had arrived to every Saturday. Daddy daughter dates were just the best. She loved it and was much happier when she came home and was more settled. Charlie and I joined the breakfast dates once Matilda paid her brother some more attention and we could both spend time with her.

Whilst the first few months were tough having a baby second time around was much easier than having my first as I knew what to expect for most of the part and making sure I got enough sleep really helped. Jason was such a great support and helped with night feeds so that I could get uninterrupted sleep until the 4am feed. Looking back now I wouldn’t change our decision to get the ball rolling with our IVF journey and Matilda and Charlie are great buddies now and play so well together. I know there will be fights and arguing between them as they grow but I really hope and pray they will be the best of friends and support and love each other through life’s challenges. So it wasn’t love at first sight for Miss M but now she is one protective sister and wants everyone to know that Charlie is her little brother.

Sass.xo

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Baby, you win

It’s 1am. The house is dark, cold and you wake me from a deep sleep with your cries. I shuffle to comfort you, check your nappy, find your dummy, give you cuddles.  Baby, you win. 

I settle you and try to leave your room. As I leave, you cry. I give in and give you the bottle we are trying to cut out. Baby, you win. 

You drift into dream land, milk drunk and comforted. As I place you into your cot, you stir and begin to cry. So I sit by your cot and hold your tiny hand. Baby, you win. 

Everytime I try to let go, you get upset. I lay next to the cot on the uncomfortable floor just to keep you company. Baby, you win. 

In the silence of the evening, by the glow of your night light I see your beautiful eyes staring at me. Your little fingers wrapped around mine. In that moment I realise that I am actually the winner. I’m the only person that you want and need. The person you cling to when your frighted, sick or need comfort. I’m your mummy and I am the winner.

Sleepless nights with babies seem endless, but they are fleeting. Take a moment to appreciate the small moments……then pour some coffee and get on with your day. 

Rachelle xx 

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