To feel like a murderer

(77 Posts)
TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 16:19:00

I have never known pain like this
I feel like my life is over

My child was stillborn recently and I feel like I killed her. So many things I didn't do 'right' in pregnancy through ignorance or being too blasé about it all. We don't know why she died yet.

The main thing that's worrying me is that I had a few rare steaks and medium burgers. One just before she died. I've now read about toxiplasmosis and how it can cause stillbirth and I just had no idea. I thought the worst you could get with undercooked meat was a nasty bout of vomiting. I didn't realise there were direct risks to my unborn child. And I consider myself educated and well read up on pregnancy. How could I be so stupid.

I also didnt know there was a listeria risk from pre packaged sandwiches, bagged salad and cold meat. I do now.

I've convinced myself that it was one of these things that killed her, in the absence of any other solid findings. She was just healthy and fine one minute, and dead the next.

If I find out it was something I did, I really don't know how I can go on feeling like a baby-killer.

My heart is breaking. I feel like the unluckiest person in the world.

HeartShapedBox Thu 20-Feb-14 16:23:28

oh no, I doubt it's your fault, sweetheart.

even if you "did" something, you're not a murderer. you didn't mean to harm your child.

I'm so sorry for your loss. thanks

That isn't why she died.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but you did nothing wrong. A lot of women have healthy babies and don't even know they're pregnant so are eating and drinking all sorts with no ill effects. Heroin addicts have healthy babies. So your few rare steaks wasn't what did it- it was just shitty unfair luck.

Thinking of you OP.

CailinDana Thu 20-Feb-14 16:24:50

You did not kill your bsby daughter. You loved her and wanted her and she was taken from you. That is totally and utterly awful and unfair but you are not to blame. I know that won't make you feel any less responsible but that's the truth. Shit horrible things happen to people for no reason and you had the terrible bad luck that this happened to you and your daughter.

Would you like to tell us her name? And maybe a bit about her?

So sorry for you loss flowers You should speak to someone about how you are feeling maybe SANDS? Don't blame yourself xx

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 20-Feb-14 16:26:17

Oh sweetie, I very much doubt you did anything. It was the worst possible luck but that's all it was. Rotten luck!!!!

The chances of you or your baby getting sick from any of the things you listed are extremely slim.

If you avoided all the foods and stuff listed you wouldn't have eaten or done a thing.

Please stop blaming yourself it's incredibly sad but sometimes these things just happen. It was nothing you did xxx

So sorry for your loss thanks

neiljames77 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:26:19

You have been exactly that. Unlucky. Sadly, these things are beyond anybody's control. Don't punish or blame yourself.

phantomnamechanger Thu 20-Feb-14 16:27:33

I delivered a stillborn DD3 after we terminated a much wanted pregnancy for serious medical reasons. DD was 20 weeks, with a very rare chromosome abnormality, and was showing signs of slow growth and probably would not have made it to term anyway. My friend choose to carry her baby to term knowing he would be born with downs syndrome, and sadly her baby just died in the womb at 38 weeks. I don't know whether you were full term or not, but it is very very unlikely, unless you were being reckless with drink and drugs, that anything you did or ate caused your baby's death.

I am very sorry for your loss, I hope you are getting counselling and all the other necessary postnatal care for your own physical recovery. You will never forget your precious baby but please know that you are NOT alone, stillbirth, for no known reason is one of the taboos of our age. Look after yourself and know that the pain will lessen in time, it really will. I hope you have lots of loving support around you, please do not feel this was in any way your fault.

DoItTooJulia Thu 20-Feb-14 16:28:15

I always post this link in these circumstances. OP, it's a fantastic place for parents who have lost babies.

I'm sorry for your loss.

sadbodyblue Thu 20-Feb-14 16:29:08

this is not your fault. it's just a dreadful tragic accident.

are toy getting any support? flowers and hugs xx

bearsprout Thu 20-Feb-14 16:31:40

This is not your fault. You have not put her at risk, you have both been the victims of a terrible, terrible tragedy.

The things you mention are things we have done, and you know they're things we didn't do with the baby we lost.

Sometimes there is little rhyme or reason to life, it just is what it is and it becomes increasingly important to understand and accept that. It breaks your heart enough - don't search for reasons that make it worse.

This is not your fault, it really isn't, please don't think that - I could cry tears for you. Will pray for you both.

persimmon Thu 20-Feb-14 16:31:43

I'm so sorry for your loss - I can't begin to imagine how awful it must be. You poor, poor thing - it was just random terrible luck, not your fault. When you feel ready you must contact other similarly bereaved parents.xx

Tiredtomybones Thu 20-Feb-14 16:34:23

Absolutely not your fault I'm sure. Accept any support you feel able to and be kind to yourself.

HadABadDay2014 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:35:34

Nothing you did or didn't do caused your daughter to be still birth.

I am very sorry for your loss.

usernameunknown Thu 20-Feb-14 16:35:57

I'm sorry for your loss.

I have been where you are and I think it's natural for us to blame ourselves when there is no real reason for it happening. It took me a long time to realise it wasn't my fault and you too will eventually believe those telling you that xxx

This is absolutely not your fault, just a very, very sad loss that is cruel for you to have to suffer.

I cant imagine how awful you must be feeling, but please try not to blame yourself at all. I am so sorry for your loss.

TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 16:39:36

I just don't know how I could be so ignorant
I really had no idea I could kill her with a bit of pink burger, but I've looked now and that information is everywhere. I wouldn't have touched it if I had known.

Post mortem may tell us, but it's weeks away.
I hate myself. I can't believe this is my life.

Guitargirl Thu 20-Feb-14 16:39:41

Your dreadful loss is absolutely not because of anything you have or haven't done. It is totally normal to feel how you do but your baby's death is not your fault.

A friend of delivered a baby at 40 weeks, her baby had died because of an 'unspecified infection'. It was just rotten, rotten luck, absolutely nothing she could have done to prevent it although she also felt like you are feeling now. I don't know many mothers who wouldn't feel guilt and want to look for a reason. But it is absolutely not your fault. The medics will be able to reassure you on that.

Keep posting on here, there are others who have had similar terribly sad experiences and may be able to help.

angelopal Thu 20-Feb-14 16:47:31

Sorry for your loss. You are not blame. However after loosing dc1 neonatally I understand how easy it is to blame yourself especially when you do not know the cause.

SANDS are very supportive. Its good to talk to people who are going through the same thing and know you are not alone.

TimeToPassGo Thu 20-Feb-14 16:49:46

You are not to blame OP and your pain is obvious and heartbreaking. Take whatever support you can in RL and here. I am so sorry for your loss - it is every pregnant woman's worst nightmare and the arbitrary nature of it only makes things worse. Thinking about you x

LurkingNineToFive Thu 20-Feb-14 16:52:51

Im so sorry for your tragic loss. It's absolutely not your fault, you would never have done anything knowingly that would harm your unborn child. I've only just realised by reading this that sandwiches are an issue. We can't all know everything about everything.

gordyslovesheep Thu 20-Feb-14 16:54:06

Oh OP sad it really must be the worst pain but please know it will be NOTHING you did NOTHING

The most heartbeaking things with stillbirth is there is usually no reason at all xxxx

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 20-Feb-14 16:59:19

I'm so sorry OP, it's a horrible tragedy. But you didn't kill her, it's a cruel and awful thing to have happened and I am so so sorry for your loss.

I'm so sorry, OP.

It is really very unlikely to be anything you did.

Everyone panics about cot death/SIDS but stillbirth is far far more common, just doesn't get talked about as much. In the vast, vast, VAST majority of those cases there is nothing at all the parents did that contributed to their baby's death.

Please talk to someone at SANDS. They have been where you are now.

eurochick Thu 20-Feb-14 17:00:05

This is not your fault. The chance that toxo or listeria led to the stillbirth is vanishingly small. It is much more likely that it was a clot in the placenta or an infection or something else completely unpreventable that led to your daughter's tragic death. Please do not blame yourself.

jendot Thu 20-Feb-14 17:04:45

This is not your fault. It is grief messing with you. Eating a rare burger or pink steak was NOT going to harm your baby. You would have had a serious bout of food poisoning first and even then in the majority of cases no harm would have been done to your baby. Please please do not blame yourself in any way for this. Sending hugs.

NaggingNellie Thu 20-Feb-14 17:07:34

theres no way on earth you should feel like this,

these things do just happen, be kind to yourself

I'm so very sorry xxxx

Sweetheart, if it was the meat then you would have been very ill - listeria would have given you serious serious d & v - you couldn't hand had it and not known about it.

This was just the worst hand you could've been dealt; nothing you do or didn't do.

rumbleinthrjungle Thu 20-Feb-14 17:32:33

I'm so, so sorry thanks

I felt so responsible after a late mc, no logic to it at all but I dreamed for months afterwards about the guilt. Even a kitten in the house months and months later triggered me as I felt so totally unsafe to be trusted around something tiny and vulnerable. Or maybe the conviction it had to be my fault was trying to make sense of something too wrong and devastating to be processed, that just should not in any fair world have happened.

So sorry, please look after yourself.

CremeEggThief Thu 20-Feb-14 17:48:38

So very sorry for your loss. What an awful thing to happen :-(. You were not to blame in any way. thanks

sebsmummy1 Thu 20-Feb-14 17:58:41

I refuse to believe the things you listed were the cause of your baby's death either. I think you are grieving and you are punishing yourself.

I don't know what to say. I have had an early mc myself recently and am struggling, absolutely nothing compared to a still birth. But if the pain I'm feeling can be multiplied by a thousand I imagine you're probably another few steps up from that. Devastating and I wish we could turn the clicks back for you and make everything ok.

Have you joined any groups with Mothers who have been/ are going through the same? I have no idea if it helps but it makes sense to me that talking about an event with someone who has gone through the same might give more comfort than trying to talk it through with someone who has no idea.

Cinnamon2013 Thu 20-Feb-14 17:59:36

I'm so sorry you are going through this. A huge loss. Please don't make it harder by punishing yourself - it was not your fault. As others have said the chances of the things you say as minute. There's also a whole load of contradictory information (and just plain misinformation) out there, so I've yet to meet the pregnant woman who's sure she's doing everything right. Try and be kind to yourself and give yourself time to process what's happened. You are a good person and sadly you've have had a tragic experience. I wish you strength.

Oh sweetheart this is not your fault at all sad

I'm so, so sorry x

neverthebride Thu 20-Feb-14 18:04:19

Listeria or toxoplasmosis would have given you symptoms - you would have known if you had it.

So sorry for your loss. Wasn't your fault x

Stockhausen Thu 20-Feb-14 18:06:10

Im so sorry, but its not your fault.

Please speak to someone (your gp or midwife) or even just sands.

As upthread, heroin addicts & even people who starve themselves have healthy babies.

I also remember reading about french women eating blue cheese & pate etc. The author said something along the lines of it being a miracle the french existed if we were to believe all the do & donts.

dont suffer in silence. I hope you can find some kind of peace soon.

Ohbyethen Thu 20-Feb-14 18:16:25

I'm so sorry.

When we lost our son I thought I already knew about grief and so when I felt guilt that felt like it would crush the life out of me I accepted it as truth, I felt guilty because I was to blame.
It's not truth, you will feel guilt and that is the cruelty of the grief that losing a child in any circumstances brings. If only I had/hadn't/did/didn't, what if?

You didn't cause this to happen. You loved, wanted and cared for your baby. You did nothing to harm her.
After we lost our little boy I got pregnant again and I had no idea until 5 months (due to fertility issues it was unexpected) in that time I had eaten and drunk freely & hadn't ensured I hadfolic acid or anything like the best diet - he was born a healthy little boy. That should have been joyful but if felt a bitter pill for a while - how could a well managed pregnancy mean one died and an unmanaged one lived. Eventually as I worked through things I could accept that it was not as simple as that, it wasn't cause and effect - it was nature and luck.
And it's hard to accept how little control one has over something within your own body.

You can't make yourself feel differently but please know that this will not last forever. You will never forget but you will be able to see past this fog of pain. There are sadly lots of people to talk to, when you feel able it can be very helpful. Permission to feel how you do and will can be invaluable.
You probably won't feel deserving at the moment of being kind to yourself, but cut yourself some slack at any opportunity. Don't punish yourself for something you didn't do.

Slutbucket Thu 20-Feb-14 18:24:33

To say the information is everywhere I certainly wasn't aware of pink burgers. I knew about alcohol. If it was really that much of a risk your midwife would have drummed it into you. Please be kind to yourself. Unfortunately still born births are remarkably common and can just happen. I think losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to you so please accept my sincere condolences. X

RhondaJean Thu 20-Feb-14 18:28:00

I am so so sorry for your loss.

Are you able to tell us your little daughters name?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 20-Feb-14 18:32:53

Agree with what several others had said. If you had had listeria you would have been very very ill.

BlueFrenchHorn Thu 20-Feb-14 18:38:07

Op it was nothing you did, nothing. What a horrible thing to have to go through you have my sincerest thoughts and sympathies but it was nothing you did.

DreamingofSummer Thu 20-Feb-14 18:52:02

So sorry for your loss.

You did nothing wrong, please do not blame yourself.

DevlinMaccabee Thu 20-Feb-14 18:55:44

I'm so,so sorry. It wasn't your fault. Like a precious poster said, you would have known if you had been poorly due to the meat.

Tell us more about your daughter, what was her name?

maddening Thu 20-Feb-14 18:58:55

you did nothing wrong thanks

and until you get the results then consuming yourself with what ifs is only going to tear you up and most probably unnecessarily while you could take this time to deal with your grief and loss. The wanting to know is natural but definitely speak to someone like sands and your gp to access help.

so sorry for your loss xx

joybee Thu 20-Feb-14 19:04:54

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't torture yourself this way. Sometimes terrible things just happen. Nothing anyone can do to stop them. Sending you lots of love.

Acinonyx Thu 20-Feb-14 19:15:20

I think there is something in our mental make-up that makes us think like this. My first pg was m/c and I became quite obsessed with the idea that I had killed it. There was no substance to it - but I just couldn't shake the conviction and became, frankly, quite unhinged for a while. I do hope you are getting some counselling and help. I do understand how it is to be gripped by this idea - but it's just that - a compulsive idea. flowers

Heebiejeebie Thu 20-Feb-14 19:18:28

Our brains are hard-wired to look for meaning in chaos, for faces in the fire or pictures in the clouds. That's how we spot the tiger in the jungle or a friend in the crowd. Sadly, it also means that we look for a reason in the senseless, to try and find an anchor in a storm. It iS not your fault, it is an incomprehensible tragedy and your grieving mind is playing tricks on you. I am so sorry that your baby died. You are not to blame.

TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 20:01:03

Thank you for all the comforting posts, it really means a lot
Everyone I know is telling me I'm being irrational, that it's the grief talking, and that makes me feel better but it still feels very real to me, that I could have let my baby die due to ignorance and a very cavalier attitude to this pregnancy

I won't say her name for fear of someone recognising me, but she was a beautiful, chubby little girl with perfect hands, long nails and feet and little rosebud lips. I adored her.

Calloh Thu 20-Feb-14 20:04:08

I agree with what everyone else said - Listeriosis is incredibly rare (maybe one outbreak every decade) and even if you had got it (which you would definitely know about) it might not have effected your baby.

There is nothing you could have done to stop this happening, nothing. It was shitty, shitty luck. I hope the pm comes up with something concrete but regardless you must accept it was not your fault and was beyond your control.

I am sorry TWP. thanks

AnnieOats Thu 20-Feb-14 20:37:34

Oh love you didn't do anything to cause the loss of your baby. You're thinking like this because you're trying to find a reason for it happening. Like others have said you'd have been really ill yourself if you'd have eaten anything dodgy.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Try not to be too hard on yourself. thanks

AndHarry Thu 20-Feb-14 20:44:08

I am so sorry that your baby girl died. It isn't something that any parent should have to endure.

Please talk to SANDS. They will help you to stop torturing yourself like this. As other posters have said, if anything you ate had the potential to harm your baby you would have been very unwell yourself too. Your daughter did not die because you ate a burger or steak.

chippers1 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:45:11

no way in the world is this your fault and please never feel like that - I am so very sorry for your loss

HadABadDay2014 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:48:38

Your daughter sounds beautiful.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Thu 20-Feb-14 20:59:32

This happened because life is not fair. You did nothing to provoke it. Listeriosis is incredibly rare, my GP recently told me she'd never seen a case of it. You would have been unwell I'm sure, if it was that.

Please be kind to yourself. The sadness of your loss will never leave you, but it will be easier to cope in time.

moonriverandme Thu 20-Feb-14 21:02:48

I am so sorry about the loss of your baby. I am sure that nothing you did caused the loss of your daughter. In my experience it is human nature to try and find a reason for the loss of a baby, and very common for mums to blame themselves in some way. I still blame myself, even though in my head I know that it was not anything I did, just a cruel, devastating thing to happen. I do not think you ever get over the loss of your baby, you just come to terms with it and learn to live with it. You will never forget your daughter, she will be a much loved part of your life and memories.
Be kind to yourself and take care. Talk to whoever will listen, it helps to sort things out in your mind. There are sometimes no answers for your loss unfortunately. Thinking of you. thanks

LST Thu 20-Feb-14 21:03:01

I am so sorry for your loss op sad

I have no words xx

zumm Thu 20-Feb-14 21:17:25

I understand where you are coming from. I felt my dc died because I painted my nails & used a certain sort of (possibly toxic?) face cream. op: you would tell me this is not so, or that plenty of people paint their nails and don't lose their baby. I hope you can hear what everyone is saying to you. The grief is beyond and above - so sorry for your loss.

Dwerf Thu 20-Feb-14 21:19:20

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think the guilt is part of the grieving process, you have no answers as to why this tragedy happened and the easiest thing is to blame yourself, because you were carrying her. I hope you get some answers and find a little peace. This isn't your fault, this isn't your doing. xx

TheWorstPain Thu 20-Feb-14 21:26:53

Thank you all again
I just keep thinking what if, what if the results come back and say it was something I ate. How do I go on knowing that the only reason she isn't here now is because of a piece of fucking steak or a salad??

My life until this happened was lovely. I was the happiest person in the world. Now I would swap places with almost anyone. I think I'm one of the saddest people on earth tonight, and probably always will be.

I am so sorry to hear of all your tragic losses and I admire all your bravery so much

TheWorstPain ask them to check for Strep B
It's something I knew nothing about, my DS (now 14) was born after I was ill for a week (he was a week late) and they did every swab and blood test under the sun. Kept asking "have you been abroad? Have you eaten cheese/liver/blue cheese"

I only found out by chance a year or so later.

It won't bring your precious baby back but the information will be useful if you plan to have another baby when the time is right.

sad - but you cannot go through the heartbreak of self blame after the heartbreak of what you have been through.
People do allsorts in pregnancy and eat a whole manner of things.
Once you get the results, at least that question will be answered.
Take care.

ScaredToBeHonest Thu 20-Feb-14 21:56:50

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. Please don't torture yourself, I very much doubt it was anything you did or didn't do. Life is just so bloody unfair sometimes.

Heebiejeebie Thu 20-Feb-14 22:00:45

Oh darling. Sometimes people control their sorrow by hiding it behind a big lump of guilt. Find your own way but please know, there is literally no one else in the billion people on earth who would think that you should feel responsible.

SugarplumKate Thu 20-Feb-14 22:04:52

Sweetheart, it is not your fault. Please, please talk to someone at Sands or Tommys. I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter xxxxx

curiousgeorgie Thu 20-Feb-14 22:09:07

I am so so sorry for your loss. I'm sure feeling like this is normal and part of the grieving process.

I am so sure you did nothing wrong, sadly things like this happen to people who do everything right, unfair and awful as it is.

As other posters have said, speaking to someone at SANDS might be really useful xxx

OwlinaTree Thu 20-Feb-14 22:13:30

I'm so sorry OP. We lost our first born at 3 days old due to birth complications.

This is a stage in your grief, you go over everything you did during the pg, trying to work out where it went wrong. Chances are, sadly that there would have been nothing you could have done or should have done differently. It's just terrible, terrible bad luck.

You are not at fault here. You loved your child and would do anything to have her with you now. Please do consider SANDS for support. The bereavement midwives at our hospital offered us good support too. There's a thread on the conception talk page for angels and rainbows, I found a lot of support on there too.

You need time to grieve now, give yourself that time. There will be many on here thinking of you tonight.

pamelat Thu 20-Feb-14 22:16:28

You are not to blame.

Sorry for your loss x

OxfordBags Thu 20-Feb-14 22:52:22

I'm so sorry for your loss, OP. I won't insult you by pretending that I understand the pain you are in, BUT I will add to all the voices here to reassure you that you are not responsible for your precious LO's death.

When something terrible happens, we feel so powerless, so confused and so out of control, and we search for reasons, we try to claw at anything to feel some sort of control in the situation, even if it is something awful. This is what you are doing now - torturing yourself with the notion that you are responsible is giving you a feeling of control in the events, even though that very notion is destroying you.

As others have said, you would have been very ill had you contracted something that had affected your baby. A very small number of women will get ill (and not nec. even lose their child) from consuming certain things - the medical profession has to cover every possibility when talking about risks, as they do not want even a tiny number of women and babies to be adversely affected. And even if a tiny number of women lose their babies due to problems with certain foods, then it's not their 'fault'. They wanted their babies, they did nothing wrong.

Think about the sorts of conditions the majority of the world's population live in, or even their diets. If eating certain things could cause stillbirths so easily, then it'd be absolutely endemic; it'd be more common, in fact, to have a stillbirth than a live birth.

I know you are in incredible pain, but please try not to make it even worse with this self-blaming. My heart truly goes out to you.

Mim78 Thu 20-Feb-14 23:11:03

You haven't killed her. It was just a terrible tragedy. So sorry for your loss.

Women in pregnancy eat those things all of the time. It is so unlikely that this is what caused her still birth.

Wantsunshine Thu 20-Feb-14 23:13:44

You are not to blame, so sorry for you loss x

JockTamsonsBairns Thu 20-Feb-14 23:18:52

What oxford said. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't blame yourself, the trauma you're going through right now is too awful for words - but please be kind to yourself. I wish you peace thanks

TheWorstPain Fri 21-Feb-14 13:28:29

Thank you everyone, it's unbelievably kind of you to reply, I really can't thank you enough and I wish I was able to send you all a message individually but I have read and reread every post over and over again

Had a bit of a meltdown last night, which was quite frightening, and my husband is off work making calls today to try and help me access a bit more support while we wait for the PM results. I just want to go to sleep and wake up when this is all over (not that it ever will be)

CailinDana Fri 21-Feb-14 13:36:05

You will always miss her but it won't always be this hard. It will get easier.

She sounds gorgeous. Do you have photos you can look at?

Supercosy Fri 21-Feb-14 13:55:36

Your daughter sounds absolutely beautiful. I'm so sorry.

As everyone has said i'ts not your fault, it really isn't. I know people who have knowingly taken huge risks during their pregnancy, such as getting drunk regularly and taking recreational drugs and their babies have been born well. I also know people who have been really careful in pregnancy and their babies have been still born or ill. I wouldn't wish this on anyone at all but you have been unbelievably unlucky (that word just doesn't seem to cover the magnitude of your misfortune I know).

I'm so sorry that you are going through this and I hope you will feel able to come here for support in the months ahead. Massive hugs to you x

AmyMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Feb-14 16:28:34

Hi TheWorstPain,

We're so so sorry to hear of what you're going through and we're sending you and all other posters who have shared their stories our dearest wishes.

We've moved this to bereavement for you.


MrsWolowitz Fri 21-Feb-14 16:33:11

OP I'm so sorry for your loss.

It isn't your fault. It isn't. flowers

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 21-Feb-14 17:30:46

People are being kind because you deserve it. It's clear how much you loved your little girl and how you would never have done anything to harm her. This was not your fault.

fromparistoberlin Wed 26-Feb-14 21:55:40

oh my poor darling

stillbirth is a tragedy, but to then read you are blaming yourself...

I am so sorry, and you are NOT a murderer

RIP xxx

Wishyouwould Wed 26-Feb-14 22:00:58

Oh OP my heart goes out to you, I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter flowers

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