Ep. 153 Pregnancy Real Talk with My Husband Andrew St John - theuncensoredempath.com

Ep. 153 Pregnancy Real Talk with My Husband Andrew St John

Listen Here:

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The emotional rollercoaster that comes with being pregnant after having a miscarriage
  • The physical and emotional challenges of the first trimester
  • How pregnancy has challenged Sarah and Andrew’s relationship
  • How to support your partner through pregnancy and pain

Additional Resources:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcomed the Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitive energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small, and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who wants to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no B-S guide to navigating life health and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight to the point, totally holistic tips from me, in real time, as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you. This is a soul fire production.

Sarah: Welcome to another episode of the Uncensored Empath and guest. Things have been a little slow around here, and today’s episode is a little bit different. I have a special guest. Who’s been on a show a couple of times before. I think now, maybe he’s our top seen, top frequented guests. It’s my husband, Andrew St. John. And we’re just here to have a very real conversation about the last 10 and a half weeks of our life. And going through the first trimester of pregnancy. So, Andrew welcome.

The emotional rollercoaster that comes with being pregnant after having a miscarriage

Andrew: Hey.

Sarah: So we’re going to start by, I want to ask you how you have been feeling the last 10 and a half weeks?

Andrew: Happy, elated, terrified, nervous, scared shitless, happy again, frustrated, super duper frustrated and then, more nervous, I guess. I don’t know.

Sarah: So it’s been almost as much of a roller coaster for you as it has for me. I love for you to, I haven’t told anyone this story on social media or in my community. But we had just got back from Nantucket and we took the rest of your vacation up at the cabin.

Andrew: I mean, this time was super nonchalant, almost. Last time it was a big deal. This time I think we were both so unsure of when, and if things would be okay, and how long it would be until your body had gotten to the point where it was safe to try again. And I’m pretty sure you were just, Hey, I’m going to go take a test.

Sarah: Yes. It was seven in the morning. You were still super sleepy. I didn’t tell you I was going to take a test. I just went into the bathroom.

Andrew: And you just did it?

Sarah: I just took it. And then I came out and I was holding it in my hand, but it wasn’t visible. And you were on the couch, super sleepy, and you could tell right away. You’re like, what?

Andrew: The couch?

Sarah: Yes, the couch with the cabin.

Andrew: D0 we sleep there, on the couch?

Sarah: No. You had woken up, and you were on the couch, but still super sleepy. Clearly, you don’t remember any of this. And I came out with a pregnancy test, but it was hidden in my hand. I wasn’t just throwing it in your face. And I was going to say something, but before I could even say something. You read my energy and you said, what is it? And I sort of smiled, slash, I don’t even know how I was feeling. And then I showed you the pregnancy test. And you were, what?

Andrew: Yes, because we weren’t…

Sarah: Well, I had taken two others the week before, but it was really early. It was a little too early to tell, and they came back negative. But I knew I was pregnant from the day that we conceived.

Andrew: Yes.

Sarah: So, I just want to just be honest with the listeners also, about these first 10 and a half weeks of pregnancy. So, we’ve learned a lot in last pregnancy and this one, about how dates are actually measured, and 10 and a half weeks is since the first day of my last menstrual cycle. The night, the next morning, I said, babe, I’m pregnant. And we weren’t quite in the clear, because I was still doing chemotherapy detox. And I was only two months in, instead of the full three months. So this was a little bit of a happy, oops. But we have known for sure for those last four and a half weeks. And let’s just be honest about what’s been going on. How would you describe me, the past four and a half weeks? You can be honest.

Andrew: The past four and a half weeks, you have been all over the map. I think the hardest part about it is watching you feel like hot garbage 98% of the time. Because I’m a fixer and I can’t fix it. And you’re stubborn.

Sarah: I like to be supported, and comforted, and helped, but there’s just not much you can do. I think that’s where we’ve been struggling. You have no idea how my body feels. And then there’s also nothing you can really do to fix me. And so, I think you’ve been getting really frustrated.

Andrew: Well, I feel like an asshole and the bad guy, because I’m, Hey, you need to eat something. Or hey, you need to drink water. And, sometimes it’s less efficient and more challenging to be indirect about it. Like, do you want some water or do you want some tea? When it’s easier sometimes just to be, Hey, you need to drink some water, or you need to drink some tea.

Sarah: No, I’ve told you that I respond better to being handed a glass of water or handed a glass of tea, instead of you should drink water. Or would you like a glass of water?

Andrew: I know you respond better to that. But I guess my hesitation, I don’t know. I just don’t want to waste it, of the time if I make it and stick it in front of you, and then it sits on your desk and…

Sarah: [mimicks vomiting] that doesn’t sound good.

Andrew: I’d rather see what you are feeling. So I ask, before just presenting it to you.

The physical and emotional challenges of the first trimester

Sarah: Yes. So the first trimester so far, has been really challenging physically and emotionally for myself. And I think Andrew picks up on a lot of my energy. I think he is more empathic than he at least realizes. And it’s been tough. It’s been hard. I have been extremely exhausted. It’s reminded me of chronic illness, but worse, as far as the exhaustion and fatigue go. And it’s all the time, and that’s what I’m struggling with is it’s constant. I usually have a couple hours in the morning, maybe, where I feel okay. And then, it just goes completely downhill from there. And there’s fatigue, there’s nausea, there’s bloating, there’s constipation, there are headaches, there’s neck pain, there is back pain. There are all the things that you normally feel, when you are pregnant, knowing that also, everyone’s body is unique and each pregnancy can be completely different. But that’s been my experience this time. It’s been hard. I just told you yesterday, that I watched Whitney Port from The Hills, a little skit thing her and her husband did, a YouTube channel on, ‘I love my baby, but I hate my pregnancy’. And it’s just real talk around what it actually feels like to be pregnant. So is there anything else you would add to just what this past month or so has been like for us, and our relationship?

Andrew: It’s hard. It’s cool to know that this is happening with the little app and everything.

Sarah: I have an app that shows a 3d image of–

Andrew: Virtual Baby.

Sarah: Yes, virtual baby.

Andrew: Yes. But it’s hard because again, I’m a fixture, but on top of that, I don’t like seeing you feel like awful trash. And right now it’s basically almost sun up to sundown, that you feel that way, for the most part. There are good days and bad days. So it’s hard, both because I want to fix and I can’t fix. But then, just to see you miserable, hurts.

Sarah: Do you feel like you have pregnancy cravings?

Andrew: Sympathy, pregnancy cravings? I don’t know, maybe. It doesn’t help that we went and bought a box of cupcakes. A box.

Sarah: A dozen gluten-free cupcakes, because we defrosted the four remaining from our wedding and ate them. And they were so damn delicious. And I actually tolerated some sugar because my body’s also tolerating things that doesn’t normally tolerate. And I’m just trying to get anything in my body. And so then I said, let’s drive to Longmont and get cupcakes. But we actually came home with three pies, 12 cupcakes, two muffins, two pot pies, pumpkin pie, 12 cupcakes. It was a gluten-free bakery. So we stocked up, and we put stuff in the freezer.

Andrew: A smorgasbord.

Sarah: Not the best food for pregnancy, but it sounded really good. And we never go to this place, so we stocked up. So cupcake cravings? I think you’re just stress eating when you eat cupcakes though. You’re not actually having cravings.

Andrew: Probably. Stressful? Yes. I think stressful is a good way to describe it also. Because you’re laid up, curl up in a ball either upstairs, on the couch. Or the hardest times are when I can hear you crying upstairs and I’m downstairs. But again, I think it’s important to give you space in those moments, to process and do your thing. But, my fixer wants to fix or help, or whatever. And there’s nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing I can do besides, unsolicited tea.

Sarah: Right, drink this.

Andrew: Which I don’t think would go over well.

Sarah: I think you’re right that sometimes I just need the space to cry. And it also feels really good to be held in those moments too. After I’m able to get some of that emotion out and feel comforted.

Andrew: Yes. For me, it’s when you have managed to come down from it a little bit, that I can do that. Because in the moment, it’s hard. And I’m not saying it’s hard because I don’t want to be there. I do. But I feel it’s important for you to just get that out, in all of the ways you need to physically, energetically, everything in between. And for me to not because I think you’re right. I think I do start to reflect some of the energy going on.

Sarah: Yes, you for sure, pick up on it.

Andrew: And it’s better if it’s not, in my opinion. I feel it’s better if I’m not there to reflect that at, you.

Sarah: Yes. Like the other night, I just broke down in the bathtub, and had tears and I was just feeling so horrible. And I was just on all fours, on the bed trying to move through pain. And I think that was the night that you were, I’m going to come and stress eat a cupcake.

Andrew: Two cupcakes.

Sarah: Two cupcakes, because you see me moving through a lot of emotion, and a lot of physical sensations and there’s not a lot you can do in those moments.

Andrew: Pretty much nothing.

Sarah: So you didn’t answer the question. Are you having pregnancy cravings?

Andrew: Sure.

Sarah: For what? Cupcakes?

Andrew: Sure.

Sarah: Okay.

Andrew: Going in that cinnamon roll the other day.

Sarah: Oh, you had a huge cinnamon roll the other day.

Andrew: And I don’t normally. I don’t normally eat sugar.

Sarah: Neither of us do.

Andrew: Yes, like sugar’s the shit.

Sarah: Right now, right now it is.

Andrew: I haven’t had pancakes.

Sarah: Okay. So–

Andrew: I haven’t had French toast yet.

Sarah: We’re moving on. Okay honey?

Andrew: Yes.

Sarah: My body has started changing. Is it weird to see my body changing?

Andrew: Well, we can’t see a bump yet.

Sarah: No.

Andrew: But them titties. Like crazy.

Sarah: Yes.

Andrew: But that seems like all that’s changed. I don’t think you’re starting to “gain weight”.

Sarah: No, it’s mostly my boobs.

Andrew: Yes, that’s the physical change.

Sarah: Yes. My nipples were super, super, tender and then the whole Teddy was tender to teas. And they’re just so heavy and so much larger, and filled out than they normally are. And I think I looked pregnant by the end of the day. Just because I get so bloated, but in the morning it’s completely gone, so it’s not real.

Andrew: Yes, I guess. I can’t feel it. I don’t think you look bloated.

Sarah: Pregnant yet. You don’t usually show until later in the second trimester anyways. But it is. It’s been a lot of shifts and a lot of changes. Is your body going through changes too?

Andrew: I have a lot of blow. My nipples are very tender. No, no changes. None for me.

Sarah: So, what are you most excited about? Let’s talking about, because this has been hard. So let’s talk about some of the good stuff. What are you excited about?

Andrew: I’m excited about being a dad. I think I’ve wanted to be a dad for a long time. I think it’ll be fun. I think it’s going to be hard, but I think it’s going to be fun. And all of my friends that have little ones really enjoy it. And talking about physical symptoms, Sarah’s making noises. I call them hicurps, every five to 20 minutes or so. And she’s currently padding one away, so she doesn’t do it into the mic.

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How pregnancy has challenged Sarah and Andrew’s relationship

Andrew: I’m excited about having a baby. I’m also super worried.

Sarah: What are you worried about?

Andrew: What Zach and I talked about the other day. So I’m worried that I won’t have this instant head-over-heels love connection. That I won’t have that instant connection of you are my everything, the moment I lay my eyes on the baby. So that makes me a little worried, question myself.

Sarah: Yes. I think that’s actually more normal than people talk about, to not maybe connect right away. And, I also feel you will. I just feel you’re the type of person who will see that little boy or little girl, and just fall in love instantly. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you or wrong with my child.

Andrew: Yes. I’m not sure I will. I don’t know. I’ve kicked it around in my head a lot. So I don’t know. I honestly couldn’t, I have no idea what will happen.

Sarah: So you’re really excited to be a dad. You wanted to be a dad a long time. But you’re also just worried that you might not have that instant connection?

Andrew: Yes. I’m very excited about having a healthy baby, fingers crossed. I think it’s super cool that, I think you and I will be determined to just go do, and have baby sit into our lives and adapt.

Sarah: We’re both really committed to our careers. So I don’t think either of us–

Andrew: You way more than me.

Sarah: Well, I’m not leaving my job.

Andrew: I’m not leaving mine. Just for the record, I’m not leaving mine either.

Sarah: Right. But either, you stay at home dad or I don’t know.

Andrew: Or I keep working.

Sarah: Or you keep working. Yes. But I want to take some time off, but then, I’ll get back into work. And we’ll find a rhythm. But because of that, we’ll just have to figure out what that rhythm is. And allow our lifestyle to shift and to change, because it’s obviously, going to pretty drastically. We don’t have a lot of close support out here either. So we have to figure out how we’re going to manage our schedules and all of that. But we have some time.

Andrew: Yes. And I don’t think we’re going to be those people who all of a sudden, life completely does a 180, and everything changes. I think you never know.

Sarah: I feel a lot’s going to change, because we’ll have a third, well, a fifth, counting the dogs.

Andrew: If you count Gus, it’ll be a fourth human.

Sarah: Yes.

Andrew: But, I just mean–

Sarah: You mean you’re not going to give up things you love.

Andrew: Yes. Like that kid’s can be on a skateboard, as soon as is possible.

Sarah: Yes. And strap it on, bring it along.

Andrew: Yes. Yes.

Sarah: So I think you’ve answered this already, but what would you say you are most anxious or nervous about?

Andrew: In the short term, successful pregnancy. Just because of what happened previously. And medium-term, a healthy baby, once the baby is here. And then, longer-term raising a human.

Sarah: Sure. So many decisions to make. And so many people have different opinions on how to parent, and how to raise a child.

Andrew: Totally. Playing, dancing the family dance is going to be challenging.

Sarah: Yes. We’ve talked about that with just your parents are still together and they’re in Missouri. But then I have divorced parents and they’re both in Michigan, but we don’t do things together. And then, I have grandparents in Massachusetts, Florida, and Montana, South Carolina. So this is a lot of families to juggle. And it was, very stressful, I think in the beginning, even just because I was high risk. I had to go in for blood work, many times in the very early weeks of pregnancy, to just make sure my pregnancy hormone levels were rising. Which is just an indication that things are looking good. And how would you describe our first ultrasound? Because I also had a ton of nerves that day.

Andrew: It was crazy. I mean, it’s weird. Just even that, that technology is where it is at this point. It was how many beats?

Sarah: We went in around eight and a half to nine weeks for the ultrasound.

Andrew: Eight and a half weeks, and this little blob thing in there. You could see some cells moving and you know, all that stuff. It’s weird. It’s super bizarre.

Sarah: What did you feel emotionally, other than blobs stuff on a screen. How would you describe it emotionally?

Andrew: Do you remember what I said? I was like, I said something like, Oh my God, that’s crazy. Like, wow.

Sarah: Yes, you’re recording a lot of it.

Andrew: Yes. I was super, wow.

Sarah: I thought it was really intense, emotionally. There was so much buildup after the miscarriage to then we had the blood work to confirm that things were looking good. But then, I was just so nervous that morning, that things were, would we hear a heartbeat, see a heartbeat? And I was still just so nervous to meet and see. I mean, we do meet and see the baby for the first time. And do you remember what happened in the car? I had my phone, my phone turned on the music.

Andrew: Then that ominous song came on.

Sarah: Yes. My phone randomly turned on, which it does sometimes. But usually it picks the same song, every single time.

Andrew: It’s the Hey Mama song.

Sarah: You don’t like the song? And this time it played a different song called, “Hey Mama”, by Matt Kearney. Which is a song I love, but haven’t listened to in a really long time. And I think that’s settled some nerves on the drive there because it felt like a sign. And then, once we got there, it was just all these questions, and health history, and yada yada yada. Until finally, she did transvaginal ultrasound and we got to look on the screen, and right away there was a heartbeat. And I think we both just were., I know in the video, you can see me go [deep sigh sound] just deep exhale.

Andrew: Yes, I think there was a ton of relief. But also I think you, again, it was kind of similar with the miscarriage, is that you are experiencing it physically, including a frigging probe.

Sarah: It’s just a lot of pressure. Yes.

Andrew: Jammed inside of you to look at this. So the fact that I don’t feel any of this stuff physically, it’s very different for me.

Sarah: And we got to see the arms and legs wiggle around. And the midwife said that we had a very active baby.

Andrew: Yes, it’s a surreal experience. That’s the best way for me to describe it.

Sarah: It was. Because we’ve never experienced that before it was brand new for us.

Andrew: I mean, I had an ultrasound before.

Sarah: Yes, but not with a baby inside of you.

Andrew: Well, I’m the baby maker. Yes.

Sarah: What would you say has been most shocking or surprising about this journey so far?

How to support your partner through pregnancy and pain

Andrew: How shockingly intense your morning sickness, which is, that’s a little bullshit, morning sickness is like 24 /7. How shockingly intense. that has been.

Sarah: Yes, I wasn’t expecting that. I knew that morning sickness didn’t have to be the morning, but I thought it was just like in the movies, where there’d be this run to the bathroom vomit, and then you’re okay, it’s better now. And that is not been the case. It’s almost 24/7.

Andrew: Yes. I mean, you get up in the middle of the night.

Sarah: Four to five times.

Andrew: And either pee or just, because you are uncomfortable. And that’s been the most shocking and surprising for me. And, I know of other women who have had challenging pregnancies, but again, I’m not experiencing that intimately with them. So that’s been crazy, crazy, surprising.

Sarah: Yes. Every, every pregnancy, as I’ve heard it from friends, and from you guys listening who have messaged me. Everyone has such a different experience. And even what works for you then, to help nausea subside or to get energy back, or when you start to feel better, is also different across the board. So, I’m working on letting go of expectations, and we just hired an ayurvedic doula to just help with support. Because I don’t have all the answers. You don’t have all the answers, and she can coach us through some of this. To at least, for a while, I was just like, this sucks and this is the way it has to be. And now I’m realizing that there are some remedies and solutions that we can at least try, that we weren’t trying before. So, what do you think, girl or boy?

Andrew: No idea.

Sarah: You don’t know?

Andrew: I don’t. No idea.

Sarah: I know this is a really hard question, but do you prefer one or the other?

Andrew: I think it’d be fun to have a little girl. I’ve thought that for a long time. But, after everything, I think the stereotypical answer of, I just want a healthy baby. I mean, it’s stereotypical for a reason that, becomes an overwhelming feeling and desire once you’re in this situation. Especially after a loss. I think it heightens that. So, I think it’d be super fun to have a little girl. I think it’d be awesome to have a little boy too, but I think just raising a superwoman.

Sarah: Help change the world.

Andrew: I think that’d be super cool.

Sarah: Yes. Your family would be very excited about a girl, because we have all boy nephews, on your side. So, I know they’re probably rooting for that. I can’t tell. I felt that our pregnancy earlier this year was a girl. And I felt that way really confidently from the very beginning. And this time, we thought it was twins. Well, many people thought I was having twins. I felt like I could be having twins. And, that’s not the case. At least not, unless one pops up on the next ultrasound. But yes, I’ve had a hard time connecting to any sort of gender. And yes, I’m with you, either way it just.

Andrew: It doesn’t really matter. As long as the baby’s healthy. We’ll see.

Sarah: Try to make it to term.

Andrew: We’ll potentially find out, in a couple of weeks.

Sarah: Yes, we will and we’ll share with you guys. What would you say? Let’s both answer the question. The last question around–

Andrew: At the same time?

Sarah: No. But read my mind? Telepathy, go!

Andrew: You’re hungry.

Sarah: No hungry. But good try, usually I am hungry. I would love for us to each share something that we have learned in the last 10 and a half weeks, through this process. You want me to start?

Andrew: Yes.

Sarah: I was just mentioning it before around, releasing expectations and releasing control, because while there are many things you can try, and support you can call in, and access to resources. There’s still no control over this process. And that’s hard for me, because I thrive on control, which I’ve been working on for years now. And I’ve gotten better, but it’s still there. It’s ingrained in me to some extent. And I just have really been practicing that art of surrender and letting myself feel like shit, because normally, I want to push through. And I shame and guilt myself for feeling this way. Like I’m not being a good enough podcast hosts, or coach, or posting enough on social media. All this bullshit dialogue inside my head. And I get really hard on myself when I don’t feel good. And so, for me, it’s just been practicing, releasing control, releasing expectations of what this is supposed to be like. And letting myself feel the way I do. And then, honestly, I’ve scaled way back on work. And, it was not easy for me, but just allowing that to be. And my body’s clearly asking for it. So surrendering to its needs.

Andrew: I think for me, it’s been similar, in accepting the fact that I can’t fix and just shouldn’t try. Because again, it’s out of our control, your body’s going to do what it’s going to do. We can’t, even if something were to go wrong, we can’t even really do much to counteract that. I’m sure there are some things medically that can be done, but at the end of the day, your body’s going to do what it’s going to do. There’s nothing that can be fixed. I mean, I can encourage you to eat. I can encourage you to drink. I can go buy you ginger chews. I can do all that stuff. But ultimately, that’s pretty surface level and acute. So that’s tough.

Sarah: But do you feel like you are coming to terms with some of that? And maybe realizing some of the even acute ways that you can help and support, versus I feel you’re a normal personality is to try and fix the whole problem. And maybe now, it’s just to support in more smaller ways?

Andrew: Yes. Yes. I understand fully now that I can’t fix the problem. So I can just do the small things that hopefully can help. I can guarantee that they will.

Sarah: All right. That’s all. Thanks for listening. Maybe we’ll do some more of these check-ins. Andrew, thank you for being here. And he had no idea what I was going to ask him, or really what he was getting himself into today. I just said, come upstairs, record a podcast with me. I need some content for next week. So he said, yes. Thank you, honey.

Andrew: You’re welcome.

Sarah: And yes, let us know if you guys have any questions because we’re happy to pop back on, and just share our journey with you guys. This is the Uncensored Empath. Thanks for tuning in. We love you guys. Hope you have a good week.

 

All right. So I know most of you have at some point, at least thought, if not, have worked with a psychic or a medium on your journey. I’ve worked with many, but honestly it’s so hard to find someone who I resonated with and who I trust.

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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for tuning into another episode, hearing my husband and I banter back and forth. After we pressed pause, stop recording. We actually just opened up a dialogue for even more conversation about honestly, how different it has been for each of us, in this journey. Not only through miscarriage and obviously, the physical sensations of that, but the grieving process of that. And now, in this pregnancy, similar, the physical symptoms are obviously very different. And Andrew picks up on my energy a lot, and I can definitely see that when he is. And so, the energy affects the whole household, but I’m clearly the person who’s feeling the physical symptoms. And just that it is a really different process and journey. And one of the things I said to him as we walked downstairs and went outside with the dogs after this recording. Was just, I really opened my eyes up to the fact that through this conversation, realizing this is something that I can hardly take my mind off of right now. The physical symptoms are just so present all the time, that I’m constantly focused on the fact that I’m pregnant.

The fact that I’m growing a baby inside of me. And for him, he doesn’t work in the home. He goes to work four days a week and he has just his mind focus in different areas. And then, even when he comes home, he sees me, he picks up on my energy, but he’s still not going through that experience. And so, it was really beautiful the way that this conversation, I didn’t intend for this, but opened up a whole other dialogue for us to just talk about how this has been different for each of us, over the last two and a half months. And I’m sure will continue to be that way for the next seven-ish months. And even as parents, and the way that we parent, and the way that we experienced parenthood.

So, I just want to say thank you because as we were creating this content for you, it actually opened up a deeper level and layer of healing for me, and for Andrew as well.

I would love to hear from all of you mamas out there, what your pregnancies were like. And just what that was like for you? Whether you’re in it, whether you’ve had losses, whether you have, however many children. Because I’m learning just that there’s so such a wide variety, a vast array of experiences that we each have. And even for me, the pregnancy earlier this year felt really good until the loss. And I felt like I was super woman. I felt very on fire and, this time is the complete opposite. So, I’d love to hear your stories. I’d love to hear from you. And never hesitate to reach out. You can DM me at the Uncensored Empath. And if you did enjoy this, just let us know. And again, we may do some other check-ins throughout the pregnancy, and keep you guys updated. And our next ultrasound is November 4th. So wish us luck. And I hope you guys have a beautiful rest of your day.

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October 29, 2020

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