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  • "rockchick" started this thread

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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 11:37am

Feel like such a crap mum :(

I am feeling like such a crap mum ;( and really don't know what to do anymore. Everything seems to be such an effort and I can't enjoy my ds as much as I want to. I don't really know where to start but we seem to have so many problems with his sleeping (both day and night) and I think this is afffecting his mood/eating in the day.
1) It is a huge battle to get him to have naps in the day and if I manage to get him to sleep then he will not sleep for more than 20-30 mins twice a day. I have to rock/cuddle him to sleep which is causing me problems with my back(ds now 8 months)I have tried pick up put down(doesn't work as he doesn't stop crying for me to put him down!)have tried letting him cry himself to sleep but he just gets more wound up and agitated so that he wont sleep. The only way to get him to sleep is to cuddle him until he falls asleep in my arms then put him in his cot. He generally wakes up yawning and crying but I cannot get him to go back to sleep or extend his nap. Should he be sleeping for longer at each nap and is 2 naps a day enough at his age?
2)At night, he usually falls asleep during his last breast feed so I again have to put him down in his cot asleep. Within 30mins of him going in his cot at night he is awake and crying and will not settle until I pick him up and gently sway him to sleep in my arms. From 4 and a half months until approx 6 months he would sleep through the night from 7pm until 7am but since 6 months he has been waking in the night anything up to 4 times and will not settle without a breastfeed. We have tried DH going in to settle him so that he can't smell me/milk but he just screams relentlessly until I eventually give him the boob! He then feeds to sleep, I put him down and within 5 mins he is crying again so I have to pick him up, and repeat until he eventually settles. Have also tried putting him down in his cot in the hope that he will settle himself (both day and night) but he just flips from one side to the other craning his neck to look around then starts crying until I eventually pick him up. I have tried leaving him for 5-10 mins in the hope he will get the idea of settling himself but it doesn't work and I really don't have the energy/patience at the minute to listen to him cry(he is such a noisy boy :snigger: ) Don't know what we are going to do when he no longer breast feeds ?(
It is becoming really hard work and starting to cause friction between myself and DH as we are both so tired. Every time DS wakes in the night it disturbs DH and then he can't get back to sleep so he is tired for work. His job is physically and mentally demanding and he works fairly long hours so really needs his sleep. We fell out at 3am this morning because I was so frustrated and DH then couldn't get back to sleep so he became short tempered with me saying he would be tired for work and would struggle because I had wound him up :!: Because I am also tired from the night (probably get a total of 4-5 hours sleep)I feel like I can't cope during the day as DS is so grumpy, crying, etc and wants constant attention so I am unable to get anything done around the house. I am constantly grinding my teeth, clenching my jaw and feel so wound up/tense all the time. I know DS will pick up on this but I really can't help it as I can't see a solution to it all. :sadface: and I'm not sure how much longer I can cope with things the way they are.
Apologies for the long post (just realised I am letting off some steam!) but I really needed to get this out of my system and also hope that I can find some answers in any replies xfingers I have 3 months maternity leave left and would really like to enjoy being around my son before I go back to work. I feel so guilty having these feelings when we have waited so long for a baby and have been blessed with a gorgeous son. I feel so lucky to be a mum but just wish I could enjoy it more. We had hoped to try again soon but this has really made us think twice despite wanting a sibling for DS.

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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 12:06pm

Oh dear Rockchick, no wonder your tired and rowing, lack of sleep is a form of torture in some places remember that. I did the Gina Ford method with my son (loosely) and apart from illness and some stresses weve had recently he still sleeps very well. 2 naps a day at 8 months sounds about right for me and what we did. but he did nap for an hour/hour and a half each time and all babies are different so its hard to say. He used to nap mid morning and mid afternoon. But it is difficult to hear them cry and I have no solutions really tbh as all babies are different.

:hugs: and I hope it gets better soon. x





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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 12:07pm

Oh and meant to say youre not a crap Mum your just tired thats all! x





macD

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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 1:26pm

Dear RockChick,



OMG, I empathise so much with you! My DS was exactly the same! He never slept in the daytime and woke up every hour at night, only falling asleep with a BF. I had to do something because I was going back to work (working night shifts!) and my husband couldn't BF him to sleep obviously! This was when he was about 9 months. We ended up going to see a Health Visitor who specialised in sleep (or lack of it!) I can't remember the exact details but it was a bit like controlled crying. I was allowed to give him his BF to get him to sleep at night, but then when he woke in the night (EXACTLY 30 minutes after going down, every night!) I wasn't allowed to BF. I had to go in to him (it had to be me, not my DH) and not pick him up from his cot. I had to pat him down and talk quietly to him saying the exact same phrase each time: "It's ok DS, mummy and daddy love you, you're ok, it's time to go to sleep". He was supposed to have a toy and you were meant to say the toy's name saying they were going to sleep too. You did this until he calmed down (not necessarily asleep) and then you would leave the room. If he started crying again then you waited no more than 30 seconds and then repeated exactly the same thing. You just kept on repeating until eventually he went to sleep. If he woke again in the night then you did this all over again. You have to be strong and consistent, don't break! I had my doubts about it working and it was really hard for me (30 seconds can seem like a very long time!) but within a week he was sleeping much better and didn't need that BF to get him back to sleep. After the week, my DH could get up to him if necessary. I would recommend that you speak to your HV about it though and maybe she can put you in touch with a sleep clinic.



As for daytime sleep, don't worry too much about that (easier said than done!) My DS would only sleep in the pram (and even then not always!). I started a routine where I went on the same route every day. I started off with him sitting up in the pram, then after 10 minutes I put the back rest down a bit, then 5 minutes later put the backrest flat. Within a few minutes he was asleep and it was a quick dash home to get on with as much as I could! He did tend to wake up pretty soon after the pram stopped at home sometimes but at least he was getting a bit of sleep. We stopped the daytime sleep altogether probably by about the age of 1. We just found that he would go to sleep earlier at night if he didn't have a daytime sleep. This is not always the case though and they do say that if they're overtired they can be fussier at night. I guess you just have to do what works for you.



Just out of interest, is your DS very alert and active?



I wish you all the best of luck with this. You are not a crap mum at all, you are brilliant. It's no wonder you're both a bit snappy with each other, people keep telling me that lack of sleep is a form of torture in some countries!!!



If it's any consolation, I am delighted to say that my DS has now slept all night in his own bed for the past 4 nights!!!! (He is 4.5 now though!!) I am surviving and still married!!



Take care, love, macD xxx

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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 3:56pm

Hi sorry you are having a crap time but you certainly aren't a bad mum. I know that we have waited ages to have our children but we are still human and therefore we still have the same feelings as any mum. My DS doesn't have a sleep during the day much. He occassionally has an hour but that is unusual for him. If your son doesn't go to sleep during the day he may sleep better at night.
I know it's not everybodys answer but have you tried getting him to settle with a dummy. He will get the same sucking sensation and this might be enough for him to go back to sleep through the night. My DS has a dummy and he starts sucking it but takes it out just as he is going to sleep. You also hear him through the night if he wakes looking for it. It is just a comfort thing.
I hope that things improve and that you all get some sleep soon.

Christine xx





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Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 11:15pm

Hiya Rockchick

As the other mums say, you definately are not a crap mum, you are an extrememly tired and normal mum who is going through what many new mums do. The age that your son is now is about the age that separation anxiety sets in, which is where your son is realising when you are near or not. It is totally normal for babies to get a bit clingy now and want you more than they did before.

I totally agree with macD about getting in touch with a sleep advisor. A close friend of mine spoke to a health visitor who refered her with her 1st child who like your son, did not sleep day or night. They will give you lots and lots of helpful tips, advice and will also visit your house to witness what your son does at sleep time. Also, it might be worth asking a friend or relative to come over to your house for the day to let you get some rest to prepare for a night or 2 of perhaps 1 or 2 hours sleep whilst you try new techniques and find one that works.

Is your son tired in the day when you try to put him down for a nap?? Some children just don't need to sleep in the daytime and i've come across 2 or 3 children in my work in day nurseries with children from about 6 months - 1 1/2 years old.

Just went back and read your 1st post - you say it's been since about 6 months. Is that when you started weaning? Perhaps he has an intolerance to something and it is making him uncomfortable. Dairy and wheat are big players here. How much dairy does he have in a day? Could you try to substitute it for a while to see if that makes a difference?

As for relations with DH - totally understand there. I am also in the 3am argument club!! lol My DH gets up at 5am so when my DD is screaming at 3am he is the first to go off on one about being tired for work. I just tell him that there is always the sofa downstairs to sleep on! Especially when he doesn't help at the weekends too. Perhaps if he came with you to the sleep clinic (when you get referred) he may understand more and help out. Failing that - buy him a pair of earplugs :)

Hope you get some help soon, even if it is just someone letting you sleep for an hour in the day. Keep us posted on how you get on. And remember, it all works out in the end. You are a fantastic mum!!!!!




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Thursday, March 31st 2011, 9:07am

Hi there,

I don;t have as much advice to give as the others but didn't want to read and run and also wanted to reassure yout hat you are not a rubbish mum, just a very very tired one who can see no light at the end of the tunnel.

My little girl is now 15 months and I'd say she still only sleeps through the night 3 or 4 times a week. Fortunately if she does wake it does seem to be around the 11pm time now but that never used to be the case! Whilst I was on maternity leave I did every night, partly because I was still BF and she wouldn't reliably take a bottle until 9 or 10 months but also because my partner was working and I felt guilty about him not getting a full night's sleep.We also slept in separate rooms to minimise disruption to him (with him sleeping on a mattress in the sitting room when grandparents were staying in the spare room). Do you have the space to sleep separately? Even if you only do this 2 or 3 times a week it might at least allow one of you to get a good night's sleep. The other point I will add here though is that I have now returned to work 3 days a week and have realised the error of my ways! My partner and I do similar work (no driving or heavy machinery involved so in no danger if tired) and it is honestly much much easier to come to work after a broken night's sleep than it is to deal with a baby, especially one who is tired and resisting daytime naps!! If we have another baby there is no way I am doing all of the nights again whilst on leave.

Does your DS sleep in a pushchair at all? Martha will go down for daytime naps in her cot but we are often out during the day and so she ends up sleeping in her buggy. The odd thing is that, despite having less space in her buggy, she does seem to sleep better in it during the day than in her cot. Her naps are always longer in the buggy, she goes to sleep with less fuss and just seems less restless in it. I think the main reason for this is that she is outside breathing in fresh air. Even in the cold weather I leave her outside (she has a Kaiser footmuff so is really really toasty) if she is sleeping after a walk and she is absolutely fine. At nursery she usually has her daytime nap in a pushchair on the decking under a tree (nature's mobiles!). I find we don't even have to walk her, just pop her in there when she is tired and within a few minutes she is asleep.

I can't say I ever stuck rigidly to a routine during the day as I found the idea of one very restrictive as we go out a lot but from about 8 weeks we tried to use the Baby Whisperer EASY method. I think this would be very hard for you to do now that your DS is older but I found that breaking the association between a feed and a sleep made it much easier for daytime napping in the long run.

oh, and we had a nightmare at around 8 months for about 6 weeks with her waking many many times in the night. Looking back it coincided with her getting her first two teeth (a month between each one) but I was far too tired to realise that at the time.

best of luck xxxx


me 38, DP 44, ttc since 2005
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BFP Jan 08 -m/c @ 11 wks (D&C)
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Thursday, March 31st 2011, 12:45pm

Hello,

You are most certainly NOT a bad Mum. So get that one out of your head right now. Like Jensqui said, you are just a very very tired Mum.

Whats the routine like in the day? How is the weaning going too?

I didn't really follow a routine. I just put my LO down when she looks tired. And feed her when she's hungry etc etc.

I met a LO the other week who didn't have a daytime nap at all and she was only about 8 or 9 months. She was just on the go all the time.

I agree with what the others have said though about speaking to your HV and getting some advice.






Our miracle was born on 25.02.2010!!



Jo101

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Thursday, March 31st 2011, 3:54pm

I just speed read this post, anyway for what is it worth we did controlled crying and yes it worked. We worked hard and DDs sleep from the minute she was born got to six months and she was still waking 3 to 4 times a night. So I needed sleep and had to do something, I tired all the softly softly stuff too before resorting to it because I really hoped I would not have to do it. Turns out after 1 night herself was sleeping through. As a results she can now also nap for much longer, she was only doing the 45 min thing, if I was lucky! Now she can go up to 2 hours no problem. I really can not recommend it enough and have spoken to many friends who totally agree. You are not being a bad mum by doing it, just teaching your child a life skill.
Good luck

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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Jo101" (Mar 31st 2011, 3:55pm)


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Thursday, March 31st 2011, 4:41pm

Firstly like the others I would like to reiterate that u most definately are not a bad mum - sleep deprevation is a from of torture!!
My advice being a mum of 2 and a childminder of 6 - would be firstly try either weaning him off the breast completely or offering formula aswell as breast, how is he doing with solids? A big part of waking at night can be hunger. If you aren't already; try giving him something more substantial at suppertime than just milk (maybe a rusk or baby porridge).
Secondly controlled crying method really really does work! Constantly picking up a crying baby only teaches them that if they cry loud enough and hard enough they will get lifted, as for the naps during the day that doesn't sound like very much for an 8 month old (although obviously all children vary dramatically in how much sleep they need) I look after a 15 month old and she sleeps in morn for 2 - 3 hours and at least another 1 - 2 hours in the afternoon. My own son was a terrible terrible sleeper so I really do empathise with you - he used to cry untill he vomitted - frequently between 9 & 18 months, Once we PROPERLY adopted the controlled crying method he improved so dramatically it was unreal. I firmly believe that my half hearted efforts (trying in spurts to let him cry then always giving in and lifting him) between those particulary bad months were the reason things got so bad, babies very quickly learn that if they cry harder or longer that they will get what they want, its called conditioning. The first couple of weeks were'nt easy in fact they were horrendous (often involving Ds roaring and crying upstairs and me crying downstairs with fingers in my ears) but please have faith. BOL xx
Kate

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Friday, April 1st 2011, 1:21am

Ahhh rockchick, you're certainly not a bad Mum and don't think for one minute that you are!!!! Your son is just learning how to live in the world and it's testing you to the limit. A testament to your dedication is that you're blaming yourself for each blip. What you really need to believe is that your experience is the norm rather than a failure. Consistently sleeping, peaceful, placid and easy babies are a very rare thing!


My advice being a mum of 2 and a childminder of 6 - would be firstly try either weaning him off the breast completely or offering formula aswell as breast


It's a common misconception that breastfeeding leads to clingy and hungry babies who are unable to settle. Indeed, among formula feeding circles it's seen as a huge problem that breastfed babies may get hungry sooner than formula fed babies and therefore have wakeful nights. Our human babies have evolved to survive on breastmilk and if they are hungry then they ought to be fed on breastmilk, not on the modified milk of a cow. If a Mum is keen to wean from the breast then of course that decision should always be supported but a Mother should never be advised to wean from the breast purely to make her baby sleep longer or settle quicker. That kind of reasoning perpetuates the myth that a happy baby is one stuffed full of artificial milk while a breastfed baby is somehow struggling by on an inferior diet.

It's also well known that a change to formula can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as wind, colic, constipation and reflux. Many Mothers have then to deal with a whole new set of problems.

I do agree that controlled crying is a good way of addressing this problem. It's not for everyone and requires a will of steel but does have good success.

Good luck rockchick. We've all been there!! x

macD

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Friday, April 1st 2011, 8:47am

Hi rockchick,



I agree with Bells about the formula. My DS refused to BF after just over 3 months and we ended up giving formula for a while (until he refused that!). I was absolutely devastated and cried almost every time I had to give him the bottle. I did put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself though (what with being a midwife and all that!) My point is, when DS was having formula, he STILL woke up throughout the night! So on my experience (and of course everyone is different and entitled to their opinion) formula is not the answer.



Hope things are settling for you. Take care, love, macD xx

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Friday, April 1st 2011, 2:31pm

Hiya,

Can I say I also agree with Bells, I have a friend who weaned very early in an attempt to get her baby to sleep and it didn't do anything. Most of the things you will be giving your LO when weaning are lower in calories that your breastmilk and are easy(er) to digest. And if you're Baby Led Weaning your LO won't be eating much straight away.

Also we formula fed and tried to change to the next stage milk and my LO was sooooo constipated, it just shows how sensitive their little stomachs are.






Our miracle was born on 25.02.2010!!



  • "rockchick" started this thread

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Friday, April 1st 2011, 9:09pm

[zx050] everyone for your replies!!!! It has meant a lot to me. :)
Sorry for not personalising this but without going back through all the replies I would never remember who said what :snigger:
I have spoken to my Health visitor and tbh she wasn't much help, she is a lovely lady but one who doesn't have any children herself and covered her ears when H was crying!! She has told me I should be doing the controlled crying and left me a leaflet going through it but it has some pages missing :wacko: Both myself and Dh are now recovering from the d+v virus that is spreading around our area so when we feel a little better I am going to make a decision on the way to tackle this and give it a good try.
We have had a couple of better days though this week since 2 bottom teeth appeared!! :D so that was obviously causing some of the trouble but not all of it.
Our general routine is as follows although it does change slightly depending on what kind of night he has had and what time he wakes up

0700 - awake and breastfeed
0800 - approx 4 desertspoons of porridge with a teaspoon of fruit puree (he doesn't always eat it all but some days he has more)
0830-0900 - approx 30mins sleep in cot. will take him back to bed when he starts yawning which is usually around 1and half hours after he wakes up
1000 - a petit filous yogurt
1200 - approx half a jar of organix stage 2 meal or dairylea on toast, followed by fruit
1300 - approx 30mins sleep ( in cot if home or either in car/pram if out)
1430 - snack - varies from rice pudding, rice cakes, rusks or fruit
1700 - same as 1200
1800 - finger food whilst DH and I eating our meal
1900 - breastfeed to sleep

There are a few more breastfeeds inbetween the above but I still feed on demand and it varies from day to day but generally 2-3 feeds. I am trying to mix spoon feeding with blw as DS seemed to be too hungry on just blw and I couldn't seem to fill him with breastmilk. Would appreciate any advice/comments on the above and also what I am feeding in terms of times between and also quantites. Does it seem enough/too much? DS was weighed 3 weeks ago and was 17lbs 3oz. He is following the 25th centile more or less and has done since birth. He is so active all day, doesn't like to sit still and constantly wants to bounce/move around which isn't easy when he relys on me to do this (apart from when he is in his jumperoo or walker)

Thanks again for taking the time to read/reply!!
blowkiss

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Sunday, April 3rd 2011, 4:04pm

Hiya rockchick - your post seems much more relaxed this time so those teeth must have made a HUGE difference for you. Bet that was a huge relief!!

Quantity wise, what you are feeding your LO seems ok, however there does seem to be a lot of sugar in the foods there. Fruit is great and a lovely natural source of sugar, but things like the petit filous yog has such a high sugar content. Petit filous has the highest sugar content of all the children's yogs. Have you tried natural yogurt with fruit in?? I used to buy a bag of frozen summer fruits from tescos and defrost about 4 or 5 berries each yog time and add it to the natural yogurt. My DS loved it and still prefers it to all the branded flavoured yogs. Also, the fruit you are giving - is it fresh fruit or is it those fruitpots? they too have a high sugar content. That could be a reason your LO is awake so much.

Snacks could be things like breadsticks and raisins which are great things to have handy in your changebag aswell.

My HV also has no children which totally grates me as how can they possibly advise with no personal experience. Do you have a number in your red book of the HV office?? Perhaps you could ring them and ask about the sleep clinic.




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Monday, April 4th 2011, 6:14pm


My HV also has no children which totally grates me as how can they possibly advise with no personal experience. Do you have a number in your red book of the HV office?? Perhaps you could ring them and ask about the sleep clinic.


I hope you don't mind saying that have no children, but I work with children, and I can assure you that I am qualified to advise parents. HV are qualified and go through training to become one, then don't advise just out of their personal experience with their own children. That would be unprofessional and what works with one child may not work with another. Teachers, social workers, midwives etc. all go through lots of training. You don't need to have children to work with children.

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Monday, April 4th 2011, 6:48pm

I agree that you dont need to have chn to work with them - i was qualified to work with children before I had them, but when it is things like sleep deprivation etc, personal experience counts for a lot as you can only truly empathise when you've been in the same situation.




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Monday, April 4th 2011, 7:07pm

It can also make you less objective about things. Maybe someone else's point of view with no personal experience but with knowledge and work experience can be as helpful. I am sure she can understand how you feel as she's seen it in her work with other parents. She doesn't have had to be in your situation to empathise. My doctor empathises with me, even though she has children and I haven't. She is very kind and helpful when I talk about how I feel, IVF and the stress of TTC, but she has never been in my situation of not being able to conceive, yet she understands, empathises and gives me some good advice- not just medical stuff. That is because she has learned to empathise at work with her experience of other people in the same situation as me and with training.

Pootle

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Monday, April 4th 2011, 7:58pm

Hi Rockchick - you sound brighter, and that's fantastic. Hope you are still feeling more upbeat. I just wanted to say that absolutely you are not a crap Mum - so many of us doubt ourselves or worry that we're not doing things right but actually the fact that you're doing the absolute best that you can, and worrying that it might not be good enough, shows that you're a lovely Mum.

Re. the HV thing - I've never had a good relationship with our local HVs and have found them to be little support at the times I've needed help. I definitely envy those who find their support useful. HOWEVER, I agree with Maria really - every child is sooooo different that it probably wouldn't make much difference if a HV had kids or not e.g. hers may have weaned easily, slept through from a tiny age etc and she may not have experienced a child who didn't sleep through til they were 2 1/2 (like my DD1!) or who had food intolerances and therefore weaning was rather tricky (again like my DD1). I think the most useful thing for HVs to do is to listen, not make us feel useless and give us the most up to date information and advise available - not sure you need to have kids to be able to do those things.

x






My family is complete...I am grateful every day

DD1, natural miracle, 2005
DD2, IVF miracle, 2008


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Monday, April 4th 2011, 9:44pm

Hi RockChick,



Just going back to diet. I used the Annabel Karmel book. I didn't do all the recipes but found it a good source of information as to what they should be having. Are you vegetarian by the way?



As for the HV being able to empathise, well I guess it's a very individual thing. As a midwife I didn't feel I did a bad job before I had DS. I just find now that I have a bit more to talk about, but I wouldn't say I was a better midwife because of it! Everyone is different.



Good luck with everything. Take care, love, macD xx

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