Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My NICU mom moment...

Tonight in class, I had a "NICU MOM" moment. During lecture, I heard a beep that sounded like the medfusion machine (pumps the breast milk, etc.) that kept going off every 30 minutes. I automatically turned around to identify where it was coming from and then realized that I wasn't at the hospital. That sound bothered me the whole night! I almost walked out of the classroom and drove to the hospital b/c I missed Jacob so much.

Jacob had an okay day. His initial weight this morning was 3 lbs. 2.4 oz. His weight as of 9:30 p.m. tonight was 3 lbs. 1.8 oz. He had two big poopie diapers before his weigh in. I also think the nippling might be tiring him out; requiring him to use more energy resulting in burning more calories. In addition, his temperature for one of his hands on time was quite low...again burning calories to keep warm. The nurse told me the weight tonight should not be something to worry about...I don't think I'll stop worrying.

Jacob had a few A's and B's today. I'm starting to wonder if he's going to need another blood transfusion...that stuff scares me. I'll ask the doctor AGAIN tomorrow. They are probably annoyed of me by now. I ask so many questions everyday.

A good moment for me today was when Dr. Simko walked around with Dr. Hipolito to give a quick summary of each baby in the NICU. I can't quote him exactly, but he said something like this..."This baby nippled great yesterday...he's 31 weeks...I can't explain how he did that..." They both walked away smiling! =)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sucking...Swallowing...and Breathing...Oh my!

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Jacob is AMAZING! Today, Nurse Angela tried nippling with Jacob and he did an awesome job! On his first try, he sucked so hard he began to desaturate (sp?) b/c of all the milk in his mouth. His oxygen had to be turned up to 40% to avoid it from happening again. After that, he sucked great and was able to pace himself. ALL ON HIS OWN, he was also able to swallow and breathe. He was able to finish all of his feeding with the nipple. Since he did so well, they will start to give him the nipple once a shift (every 12 hours). Words cannot describe how proud we are of Jacob...he is such a hardworker! We hope he continues to do well.

A's and B's are still occurring. I'm starting to identify it little bit better now before the alarm goes off b/c of the color change in his face. It's kind of scary, but I'm working on it. Everything else is pretty much the same. We don't know his new weight yet b/c they didn't get a chance to use the scale.

On another note, I am totally exhausted! Tonight was my first night returning to school. A week ago, I wasn't sure if I should finish taking courses to complete my Masters b/c all I wanted to do was be with and think of Jacob. Now, I am actually glad that Jeremiah talked me into going back to school. I had already finished my first year...so another year wouldn't be too hard...at least I don't think it would be... When Jacob comes home, I'll have something special to look forward to after class! He'll be my motivation.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Drum roll please...

He did it! Jacob is now 3 lbs. 1.7 oz (he was 3lbs. 0.7 oz this morning)! The nurses were so happy and shared our excitement for Jacob. This is another great milestone. We are so proud of him!Oh...one more thing, he also grew an inch longer!

Jacob is doing well...he's making good progress. Feeding amounts (27 mL) are still the same, but the doctor decided to start him on supplemental vitamins, such as folic acid, iron, Vit. E?, multivitamin, etc.; things he wouldn't get from breastmilk alone. His milk is also fortified to give him additional calories. We hope he can tolerate all of these additions to his diet. Tonight, we learned that he had a little spit up after his feeding...about 1-2 mL. We worry about these things...we hope he's okay.

We want to thank everyone for their thoughtful prayers, cards, and gifts. It has helped Jacob tremendously and has strengthened our family too. Jacob is doing such a great job for his age. One of the nurses (Suzy) referred to him as the "Miracle Baby Unlimited!" Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Heavenly Father has a marvelous plan for this little guy of ours...just wait and see...he has touched so many of us already, especially his mom. =)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Naughty hands...





Jacob had a good day. We kangarooed for an hour and it was great...as always! Last night, he had a few A's and B's. He didn't have any for the day shift nurse today, so we hope tonight he'll keep it up. We know he's working very hard to do everything at once. He was able to go two days without it so that is a big improvement. I'm sure he'll get through it. I'm sure I will too...it's just very scary.

Everything is pretty much the same...EXCEPT....he is now 2 lbs. 15.1 oz!!!! This is good...this is very good. =)

The funniest part of today was while I was changing his diaper. I thought he was completely done, but I was so wrong! I looked down to grab a diaper and he peed all over himself and pooped all over his new diaper...must I add...also very close to getting it on my hand! =p He even got his new bedding and outfit dirty! I have to admit that I had a difficult time putting on his outfit...I'm just not confident handling him yet. It was pretty stressful. I think I burned 100 calories just trying to put on the sleeve alone! I couldn't finish after that. It was not easy! The nurse had to do it for me. He then laid lazily on his bed ready to sleep. It was adorable!

We had fun today. We hope tomorrow will be even better!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jacob had a good day! I tried taking his picture several times, but by the time the camera was turned on, he covered his face with his hands. I finally gave up! I guess all he wanted to do was sleep. Isn't he cute?

Jacob is doing quite well on the nasal cannula...no A's and B's for two days in a row! It's set at 23% at 2 L. I hope he continues to do well on it. His feeding is now at 27 mL over 40 minutes. His bowel movements are still looking good. Temperature has been steady, except for the 3 o'clock hands on today...it was at 36.1... Nurse Natalie did an excellent job snuggling him up in his fleece blankets to get him warm. Now, he weighs 2 lbs. 14.3 oz! HOORAY! We are so happy... 3 lbs. is right around the corner!

This evening, my mom and I went to the NICU support group facilitated by Nurse Christine. It was wonderful. We were able to share our child's milestones, talk about our NICU experiences, express our gratitude, and voice our concerns. I was really nervous, but I felt I walked away with many new friends who shared similar experiences. The dinner was yummy too! I wish all of the NICU moms could be there...I'll do some campaigning next time. =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whee!!

Jacob had another good day. He is off the hi flow!! His nasal cannula is set at 2 liters. He's been doing very well on it so far. They are keeping a close eye on him to make sure he's tolerating the change. His feeding is still at 26 mL and on the pump for 40 minutes...he had a bit of residual on one of his feedings, so they want to make sure he's keeping it in well.

I was able to kangaroo with Jacob for three hours. It was incredible! I look forward to it everyday. His temperature has been consistent enough for us to kangaroo care the last few days. I love feeling his every move on my chest. It's the greatest feeling. I love his smell. I love everything about him. I'm so blessed to be a mom! Being a mom in the NICU, I've noticed the sacrifices that moms make to be with their child...pumping breastmilk every 2-3 hours, waking up early to make it to feeding time, making multiple trips to the hospital, scrubbing for THREE minutes, walking after hours of a major surgery (cesarian) to see their child, singing to their baby, skipping meals so they won't miss anything, etc. It makes me appreciate the very thing we can give to our child during this difficult time...a mother's LOVE.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy day!

Jacob had a good day. He had nurse Maria so he was sure to put on a show for her today. He tends to be silly for her! =) He was a bit fussy during kangaroo care because he had a poopie diaper. After we put him back on his bed and changed his diaper, he just laid there staring at me and my mom. It was really cute. His eyes were wide open!

Everything else is pretty much the same as far as feeding, medication, and bowel movements. His weight tonight is 2 lbs. 13.4 oz...it went up! Yay! His oxygen pressure is at 2 mL. Maybe he'll be on the nasal cannula tomorrow if he's okay tonight.

We captured some good moments of Jacob below. He's absolutely adorable!

Staring at me as I'm making weird baby sounds.

Sleeping!

Playing with his tongue is his new hobby!

Rested...finally!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First outfit!


Jacob had a really good day...we did too. Jacob slept for most of the day in his brand new "first" outfit. It's so adorable! Nurse Tanya did an exceptional job making his bed comfortable for him and putting him in positions that helped him sleep better. He absolutely loved the gellie donut...underneath his head or his belly!

Jacob's feeding is at 26 mL. He did not have any residual today. His bowel movements are still regular. He now weighs 2 lbs. 12.1 oz. He continues to get caffeine, reglan, and pepcid. Dr. Hipolito is weaning him off the hi-flow oxygen to get him onto the nasal cannula. We hope he tolerates the change.

This was the best Sunday we've had so far!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Up at midnight!

This picture was taped to Jacob's isolette when we arrived this morning. Nurse Tami took a
picture of him last night when he was wide awake! We don't know for how long...but it must have been long enough for her to take such a great snapshot of him. =) It truly made our morning. On top of that, he had one of our favorite nurses who cared for him today.

Jacob had an okay day. Jeremiah was able to spend two hours with us in the morning before making a 1 1/2 hour commute to work. I know Jacob loved having him there to read fairy tales and silly stories to him while we kangarooed. I was able to hold him for almost two hours today! It was great!

Jacob had a few A's (needed stimulation) and B's (recovered on his own). He tends to get this during or after his feedings. He now weighs 2 lbs. 10.9 oz. He lost some due to the lasix medication given to make him flush out extra liquids after the transfusion. Speaking of the blood transfusion, the results showed that the hemoglobin and hematocrit (sp?) levels were higher than before. That's a good thing. The heplock will stay in place for any transfusions that might be given in the next few days, if needed. There's even a possibility that he will need phototherapy for jaundice b/c of the all the red blood cells in his body from the transfusion. Jacob's nurses reassured us that this is common among premature babies. Each day will be a rollercoaster ride, but we'll get through it.


A bit of inspiration...

This road....is not an easy one. It is an old cobblestone road...beautiful from afar....yet when you get there, you are walking on it, barefoot...you will find that there are some spots that have slippery stones...you almost slip, however you are held up by the strong arms of your family, your husband.....then there are some that are smooth, these ones you walk upon slowly, carefully...yet you are smiling because you can walk with ease...all the while carrying this beautiful little miracle in your arms...and God watches over you...shedding light on all the slippery stones so that you know just when to reach out and ask for the help of those around you....because Sopa...HE will not ever let you fall, and he will always remind you that you are not alone, and with all the arms waiting to help you get through....His is always there as well, helping to guide you along the right cobblestone path.
-Nurse Chrissy

The last two days have been extremely stressful...for me. For two days, Jacob has cried more than usual. He appears to be more stressful and not comfortable. Yesterday morning, I learned that he needed a blood transfusion which explains the apnea spells he's been having. His left hand is now taped down to a brace for the heplock (IV site) to receive the transfusion. It will remain there for several days in case he needs another transfusion. I feel helpless as I sit nervously watching him for hours on end and the alarm going off constantly. This is so hard. Thank goodness for the NICU nurses.

Jacob now weights 2 lbs. 11.4 oz. His feeding is 23 mL. He is tolerating it well and has regular bowel movements. He continues to get two doses of caffeine for A's and B's; Reglan and Pepcid for his reflux. It has helped a lot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Content

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I didn't update the blog yesterday b/c I was so tired and exhausted. It was Jeremiah's first day back at work and I was all on my own. It was rough without him there to pack up the bags, set up the pump, sterilize the bottles, drive, find parking, help me with kangaroo care, etc. Most importantly, I didn't have him there to make me laugh about every little thing. It was a tough first day on my own, but I made it.

Now back to my little Jacob! Jacob has made some really great progress. On Sunday night, the nurse took out his PICC line so his left arm is completely free. YAY! We hope it stays that way. He also had a lesser amount of A's and B's. Today was his first 24 hours without any! Though he desaturated (sp?) meaning his oxygen level went down for a few seconds (I hope I'm explaining right), he picked himself back up. Jacob continues his feeding at 22 mL every three hours. His bowel movements are getting larger. Today was the most I've ever seen and it was literally going to drip on all sides. The poop didn't look normal today. It was a little runny, but the doctor said it was okay. He is also on air control in his isolette. He is now working on controlling his own skin temperature to adjust to the air temperature. If he does well with that and his feeding, he will graduate to an open crib. We know it will take some time, but it's definitely another step forward.

Here, Jacob is sucking on the pacifier. It was so cute. It gets me excited about him learning how to latch on when he's ready for me. I couldn't leave without capturing this on video for his dad since he was at work!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So sleepy!!


Jacob had a good day. He looked so comfortable sleeping all day so we didn't want to wake him. Instead, we watched him the whole time. All the energy he expended yesterday must have made him so tired and sleepy. The nurse also gave him a bath this morning, so that could be it too.
Jacob's weight and feeding amount remains the same. However, they've changed the feeding time from one hour to forty-five minutes. He did really well with the time change so tonight they will try thirty minutes. We hope he can adjust to the change well.
Tomorrow, Jeremiah returns to work. I'm sadden because I've enjoyed the time we've been able to spend with each other as a family. He never fails to let a day go by without making me smile and/or laugh. I think this will be a hard adjustment for me...for him too.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a teaser!


Jacob had a good day today. We were able to kangaroo for about 3 hours. It was the longest I've ever held him! While I was holding him, he lifted his head and turned it to the other side on his own. He even made a fist and nudged it back and forth to move his oxygen tube. Jeremiah and I was amazed at how much strength he had for a little guy like him. Nurse Maria told us that he was one of the most active and "incredible" preemies in the NICU. There were a lot of things that she told us that helped us realize how blessed we were with his development and progress. For his age, she was very impressed with how he didn't need a ventilator, a blood transfusion, etc. She called him the "incredible" baby. As incredible as he is, we know he has a long road in front of him as far as development. However, as young as he is, he has a great personality and has charmed all of the nurses!

Jacob teased Nurse Maria a lot today. He kept yearning for her attention. It seemed as if he loved to have more hands on time with her. He does this by kicking off his blanket or pulling on any tubes or wires he can get a hold of. Whenever it was time for her to change his diaper, he'd pee or poop (a lot!) on her or all over his bedding. Today she kept having to wait for him to finish his bowel movement during a change. The funniest part was when she was wiping his bottom, he squirted a few mustard seeds on her hand. It was hilarious. We all laughed. His nurse absolutely adored him. He gets so spoiled by her.

Jacob will continue his maximum feeding for a couple of weeks. The reflux medicine seems to make him more relaxed while eating and digesting. However, he continues to have A's and B's during the duration of his feeding. This is expected as he is a preemie. As mentioned last night, he gained some weight. Yesterday morning he was 2 lbs. 8.7 oz. When we called last night, he weighed in at 2 lbs. 9.4 oz. (They weigh him every night at 9 p.m. during hands on time.)

Overall, Jacob gave us lots of laughs today despite the A's and B's. We are so grateful for his progress and for the nurses who continues to care for him. We have definitely seen the Lord's hand in all of this. The power of the priesthood is miraculous and the strength and comfort of the spirit is so strong. We have been so humbled and blessed to know that the sealing powers are true and that it strengthens the bonds of our family. How lucky we are to have the gospel in our lives and to know that the promises are sure if we are obedient and have trust and faith in our Heavenly Father. Again, thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers. We love you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm full!!




Jacob had a rough day today. He is taking 22 mL at each feeding over a one hour period. He had some problems towards the end of each feeding so he is taking some medication for reflux. He had a difficult time keeping up with his breathing and digesting his food at the same time. He also kept having A's and B's. Jacob had some really great nurses today who were very attentive to his needs so we were a "little" bit relaxed.
Jacob also gained some weight. He is now 2 lbs. 9.4 oz.
By the way...Jeremiah kangarooed with Jacob today. =)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kangaroo time with mommy!


We had a great day today. Jacob is making good progress. He's taking his feedings very well. It is up to 20 mL tonight and should be 22 mL by tomorrow. Because of the increased feeding, the doctor is leaving him on the hi flow. Once he shows consistency in feeding and breathing, they'll change him to the nasal canula.

This is a picture of our kangaroo time. I love holding him. It is such an amazing feeling. His heartbeat is not as rapid and his oxygen level is at the high 90's and even at 100. Somehow, he knows when he has to go back into his isolette b/c he tends to cry and stretch out his arms. Tomorrow, Jeremiah says it's his turn to kangaroo. We'll see about that! =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My many poses...





Today was a good day. Jacob was very comfortable. The nurse did a great job fixing his bed and making sure he slept well. He didn't vomit, spit up, or have lots of A's and B's today (he only had one as of 6 pm today).

The doctor decided to increase his feeding again; 1 mL every other hour. He is up to 15 mL tonight. The pumping of milk, over 30 minutes, seems to be working very well. We are hoping he will gain weight as it has been fluctuating the last few days.

Jacob continues to have regular bowel movements. Every time I change his diaper, he never fails to give me a little surprise...sometimes a big one too! The pictures above were taken after 2 poopie diaper changes in a 2 minute time span. We love seeing all the facial expressions he gives while he's asleep. They are so precious. He had a really good day today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Today was an okay day. The nurse switched Jacob back to the hi flow and he has had less A's and B's. They also backed down on his feeding to 11 mL and increased the heparin (sp?) because of the amount of vomitting he had yesterday. He was tested for infection, but the results came back negative. That's a great thing! However, they think he might have reflux. If so, they will give him some medication to help him keep his milk down. He continues to have bowel movements. In fact, after we changed his poopie diaper this evening, we checked his diaper again and he pee-d all over his bedding. Jeremiah laughed while I was in shock. I didn't think he could aim that far! Anyway, they are continuing his caffeine every 12 hours to help with the A's and B's. The nurses say he should grow out of it as he matures. Jeremiah is more calm about it than I am. I don't think I'll ever get use to the alarms no matter how hard I try. Jacob is making progress...at this point it's learning about what his needs are and going from there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Learning how to suck...

Today was a good day. Jacob has a new isolette. =) We've already seen a difference. He seems to be more comfortable and sleeps more often. They've also switched his monitor. We feel so much better and we know he does too!

The nurse gave Jacob a larger pacifier to help him learn how to suck. For a while, he sucked and held on tightly to the pacifier. He then gripped my finger and fell asleep.

Jacob's feeding is now 22 mL. Today, he vomitted a couple of times, so they are considering pumping his milk through his tube rather than having gravity give him his milk. They are afraid that it is going down too fast. They've also added fortifiers to the breastmilk to help him gain weight.

Jacob's doctor also decided to change Jacob's hi flow oxygen to the nasal canula (sp?). It is a step up. Depending on his response, they will either keep him on the canula or move him back to the hi flow. Whatever it takes for him to be well and comfortable is alright with us. We know he is working really hard. We are so proud of him. Thank you everyone for your prayers. We appreciate your support so much!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Full of emotions...

Today was an emotional day. During kangaroo time, the nurse had Jacob latch on my breast as he was feeding through the tube. It was an amazing feeling though he wasn't sucking much at all. At one point, he had quite a bit of milk in his mouth, but he spat it right out. The nurses say that sucking, swallowing, and breathing at the same time is a difficult task for him right now. Hopefully, it'll happen within the next couple of weeks.

Jacob was switched into a new isolette on the 2nd. Since then, his temperature has been fluctuating and it concerns us. On top of that, his oxygen level was all over the charts today. The nurse kept telling us not to worry because the new machines were off, but we couldn't help it. It's what we rely on to signal whether he needs additional attention or not. The alarm went off every couple of minutes and we were tense the WHOLE day. We don't like that isolette at all. We hope they give him a different one.

Jacob's milk intake is now 21.5 mL. We called a few minutes ago and the nurse told us that he didn't have any residual from his last feeding, so that's a great thing. His A's and B's are farther apart. He didn't have any overnight and that is wonderful! It was hard to tell if he had any today b/c the machine kept going off. Again, very stressful.

I hope tomorrow will be a better day than today.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Say "Cheese"!


Today was a good day. We learned that the results for his brain scan came out negative. YAY! We were so thrilled when his nurse shared the information with us. Jacob is a fighter. He's so strong and he reminds us of the many blessings that our Heavenly Father has in store for us. He is amazing and we can't be more proud of his strength and endurance. He has taught us so much already. We can't wait to spend many many many more days with him!

Today, I didn't get to kangaroo with Jacob because his temperature was low. I didn't mind much b/c I wanted him to keep warm in his isolette. Instead, Jeremiah and I sat and adored him from a distance. We watched his every move. Earlier in the day, the nurse said he was quite active as he was awake for about an hour! We saw a glimpse of that this evening. It's always so much fun to watch him. We can do it forever.

Overnight, Jacob lost an ounce in weight. The nurse said it's pretty normal. His milk intake is 19 mL. He is now solely dependent on my breastmilk to help him grow. =) In his last feeding, he had 2 mL of residual. Now, if he has a high amount of residual, they will consider lessening the amount of milk he'll have each time. It's okay with us because all we want is for him to grow, be strong, and be healthy. We'll have him tell us what to do. He's our boss...at least for now! *smile*

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Don't look at me!


Today was a good day. Jacob was really tired and slept for most of the day. After I changed his diaper and Jeremiah took his temperature, he was really upset. He cried and then used both of his hands to cover his face for comfort. We thought it was the cutest thing ever!

Jacob's milk intake is now 16 mL. He continues to poop on his own. He now weighs 2 lbs. 8.5 oz. We're glad he's putting on the weight as it will help him regulate his own temperature when he graduates from the isolette. It will take some time before that happens, but we're happy to know that his stomach is able to break down the milk and get him ready for other things. He continues to get a dose of caffeine for his apnea and bradycardia spells. Everytime we hear the sound alarm on the machine, we get really nervous. It's gotten a lot better, but we hope he grows out of it soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Look at my eyes!

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Today was another good day. Jacob is now up to 11 mL for milk intake. When his feeding increases to 22 mL, he will no longer need the PICC line on his left arm for additional protein, fat, etc. His bowel movements show that he is getting rid of the merconium (sp?). It's starting to show more color, such as green and brown. His sugar blood level is also regulating. He hasn't had an insulin shot within the past 48 hours. What's more exciting is he now weighs more than his birth weight.

The nurse put a newborn shirt on Jacob which looked more like a bath robe. It stretched from the bottom of his neck to his ankles. We joked about how he looked like he just got back from a spa treatment. He was sooooo adorable. After the nurse put on his shirt, he was stimulated for quite some time. He had his eyes opened for more than 10 minutes...the longest we've seen. We had to capture it on video!

Jacob continues to have apnea spells during the day. We are learning to accept that it is part of his development b/c he is a premature baby. The good thing about these episodes are that he never turns a different color. With apnea and bradycardia, he still maintains his beautiful pink color.

The NICU nurses at Dameron are so special. They made Jacob feel so loved and attended to when he arrived in their NICU. They gave him beautiful blankets and kept him warm. They placed beautiful covers on his giraffe (isolette/incubator) for privacy. It inspired us so much that we donated fleece blankets to the NICU for other babies and their parents to feel special and comforted as we were at a time of uncertainty and overwhelmness. We are currently working on sewing 6 covers for the other giraffes in the nursery. If you would like to help, please let us know. We'd love your help in donating more blankets and covers for the NICU to support the nurses and their little patients!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jacob's first bath!

Today was a good day. This morning, Jacob had his first bath. He was not happy at all. He threw his arms all over the place and kicked nonstop. Not to mention, he also cried. The best part of the bath was when Jacob was given to Jeremiah to hold and he tooted in his arms. After unwrapping the blanket, we found out that he pooped! It was funny.

Jacob's feeding has now increased to 8 mL. He is adjusting well to the increase as his bowel movements are now regular without the need of suppositories. He had a few apnea episodes today, but not as much as yesterday. Yesterday, the amount of apneas could be because they had moved him from hi-flow oxygen to low-flow oxygen. It's a great improvement, but his respiratory system was not quite strong yet to handle the low-flow so they changed him back to the hi-flow. Today, they also moved his feeding tube from his mouth to his nose. It was nice to see his mouth opened and free.

Jacob also had more visitors today. His aunts and uncles came to see him. They were so lucky because he was out of his isolette when they visited. I bet his aunts and uncles from yesterday would have loved to see him out and up close. We are so happy to have family and friends that are supportive and loving.

Overall, today was a very good day for us. Again, we are so amazed at how strong Jacob is. Thank you everyone for your prayers. They are definitely being answered.

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