Unneeded or expired medicine in your home is simply poison within reach!

Lourdes Diary

I am a keeper. In fact, I can keep an empty perfume bottle for 5 years – I have a Beyonce Pulse perfume bottle that is older than Jabali (wahala!!!) not for anything but just for optical nutrition…I look at the beautiful bottle and smile!

And even after having Jabali, I extended the keeping madness even in medicines- what a terrible mess! On Sunday, I took Jabali to Nairobi Hospital and was diagnosed with an ear and throat infection. He was given 1001 medicines, which I had nowhere to store them and that is when, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after taking the forbidden fruit, my eyes opened shwaaaaaa! and I thought to myself, ‘what if Jabali, with his mighty strength, managed to open just one bottle of Argumentine, cetamol or even Zyrtec and sip it generously?’ The picture that flashed my mind of what can…

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Unneeded or expired medicine in your home is simply poison within reach!

I am a keeper. In fact, I can keep an empty perfume bottle for 5 years – I have a Beyonce Pulse perfume bottle that is older than Jabali (wahala!!!) not for anything but just for optical nutrition…I look at the beautiful bottle and smile!

Beyonce Pulse

And even after having Jabali, I extended the keeping madness even in medicines- what a terrible mess! On Sunday, I took Jabali to Nairobi Hospital and was diagnosed with an ear and throat infection. He was given 1001 medicines, which I had nowhere to store them and that is when, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after taking the forbidden fruit, my eyes opened shwaaaaaa! and I thought to myself, ‘what if Jabali, with his mighty strength, managed to open just one bottle of Argumentine, cetamol or even Zyrtec and sip it generously?’ The picture that flashed my mind of what can happen made me sweat and shudder!

New Image

Keeping medicines after they are no longer needed creates an unnecessary health risk in the home, especially if there are children present. It goes without saying that very young children explore their world with their mouths. And being young, they do not know which items are safe to eat and that means one thing: they are vulnerable to being poisoned. It only takes a few seconds for a child to swallow a dangerous amount of poisonous product and the rest becomes a painful history.

 

POISON 1

 

Part of the poison in my house

 

 

Accidental exposure to medicine in the home is a major source of unintentional poisonings as it provides an opportunity for a child or pet to accidentally take the medicine. Medicines can result in fatality if they are accidentally taken by children. Some of the possible harmful effects include breathing difficulties or heart problems, which can lead to death.

Child proofing your home in a nutshell:

  • Never leave vitamin bottles or other medications on kitchen tables, countertops, bedside tables, or dresser tops. Small children may decide to try to copy adults and help themselves.
  • Never tell a child that medicine tastes like sweets…this will motivate them to try and eat the sweets even when you are not around.
  • Store all medications — prescription and nonprescription — out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet. Even items that seem harmless, such as mouthwash, can be extremely dangerous if ingested in large quantities by children. Just because cabinets are high doesn’t mean kids can’t get their hands on what’s in them — they’ll climb up to get to items in the medicine cabinet
  • Close your medicine caps tightly after every use. Choose child-resistant caps for medicine bottles, if you’re able to.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet by getting rid of unused or expired medicine. Safely dispose of unneeded medicine in the household trash or flush the medicines down the sink or toilet to remove this risk from your home. Before throwing out your empty medicine packaging, remember to scratch out all personal information on the prescription label to make it unreadable.

For records, I packed all the ‘poison’ in my house and disposed of them. I encourage you to do the same.

Have a safe weekend and a safer home!!!!!

 

PACKED POISON

 

my packed poison ready for disposal

 

 

Early bird: The highs and lows of parenting a premature baby

It is every mother’s prayer and dream to give birth to a fully baked baby- at least 37 weeks because, generally, the earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of complications. Although the miracle of birth might be overshadowed by concern about your preemie’s health, the ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks are always present.

 

PRETTY AZ

Pretty Azalea

Christine Wachira gave birth to her daughter Azalea at 34 weeks. I still remember her message popping up on the chat ‘believe it or not, I gave birth to baby Azalea Grace Njeri last night’ Wahala!! I checked my calendar to ensure it was not April fools day. And since by then I lived a stone throw away from the hospital where she was admitted, I dragged my 70 something kg pregnant self to Uhai Neema and behold the preemie princess was indeed born. Christine Wachira has shared her experience parenting her preemie princess…please enjoy the read.

 

 

Christine and AZ

Christine and her daughter Azalea

 

When I first found out I was pregnant I didn’t know what to feel!

 
I was both elated and out of mind excited! But was also a little nervous.
I mean yes getting pregnant was something I’d always dreamt about and the thought of a little girl that was a mini me was just a dream! I didn’t waste a minute informing my mother and siblings and they were all excited too.

 
I broke the news to her father who also joined us in celebrating.
After 4 months as we headed for our routine prenatal clinics a nurse advised me to get a scan because I’d shown interest in knowing the baby’s gender. Excited, we went to the radiologist’s office and lying there happy and waiting for the news he had a concerned look on his face.

 
“Uum everything is fine with the baby, healthy weight…viable heartbeat…as far as I can tell SHE is a healthy baby!” OMG I was going to have a daughter, a true little version of her Mama. Amidst all the excitement couldn’t help but notice there was more to it. He went ahead to tell me, that he could clearly see that my cervix was dilating quite early. My cervix dilating 5months early couldn’t be good.

 
I was sent back to my gynaecologist to further explain this to me. Due to the cervix dilation, it meant that I couldn’t exert more pressure on myself as it would make the baby move further down and this would mean a premature birth. I was given total bed rest for the remaining months, no leaving the house or doing house chores. No physical exertion of any kind. This was the hardest part or so I thought at that moment. All that time on my own meant more time for worrying about everything that could go wrong with my baby, what if I did something wrong and I lost her?
Dr Ouko at Uhai Neema Hospital was one of my biggest supports during the remaining months.

 
During those months in between cramps and leaking amniotic fluid it became an even more challenging pregnancy as taking stairs was banned at all costs. The more recent scan showed that the fluid had reduced immensely because every time I went for a short call I would feel lots of it leak afterwards.
I would speak to my little girl and ask her to hang on, at 32 weeks were almost there.

 
At 34weeks on a Thursday morning, I went for my routine scan and was told so far so good. Lots of rest was doing us good. I left for home and decided to nap on the couch, but little nagging cramps that were so distant kept me awake. By evening they were more intense, and as I was home at Mums’ she quickly advised a hospital check up at 11pm. The drive there seemed really long and at the hospital reception I couldn’t wait any longer and walked myself to the maternity wards to find my gynaecologist as that was his night shift.

 
It was clear for everyone except me that I was going into labour. As I was getting a V.E done I was informed to my shock and horror that I was 8cm dilated and my water had broke. In half an hour I was in serious labour and before I could blink thrice my baby Azalea Grace Njeri was born at 2am 11th April, at 34weeks weighing 2kgs.

 

AZ same outfit months apart

Azalea: Same outfit, months apart

Usually, Mums spend on average 2nights maximum in the hospital and leave with their babies.With a premature baby, breathing difficulties are common in the beginning even though I had prior received 2 steroid injections to boost the maturity of her lungs as a premature birth was expected 

 

Nights in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) proved the most difficult week of my life as it was characterised byswollen feet, sleepless nights as the baby would wake up randomly and want a feed, unable to breastfeed we had to express and cup feed. I remember several of us mothers in the nursery at 2am, our babies chest to chest in kangaroo therapy, praying for our extremely delicate angels, praying to get out of there healthy and alive.

You would change and feed your baby and slowly creep back to bed to catch even 10minutes of sleep and just when you shut your eyes, someone’s baby crying would wake you up or someone would wake you up to tell you yours was awake. It would be accurate to say we slept and lived up and down the corridors with huge feet that didn’t fit in slippers any more Lol sounds funny now.

 
On the fourth night, I was given my baby for the first time to sleep with in the ward ready to be discharged the next day. I remember not sleeping and just sitting up staring at her afraid to squash her in my sleep!

 
In preparation to leave, after I’d packed ready to leave for home, the paediatrician realised Azalea was jaundiced and she had to be admitted back for photo therapy for 2days! I was crushed, crying and refusing to let go because it felt like they were stealing her AGAIN. A certain Lady who was being discharged stood with me at the glass window, where I was weeping, watching my child in just a diaper and blindfold alone under the blue photo therapy light, she hugged me as I cried and spoke encouraging words to me. “The God that gave you this baby, will hold your hand through it all. You and your baby will leave here victorious”
True to that after 2 days we were discharged.

CHRISTINE AND AZ2
The stay at home was easier because I had people around me who were always there to help me. Today my princess is a happy healthy baby and I’m forever grateful to God for this blessing.

Has your baby arrived earlier than expected? Hang in there he or she will make it out of hospital healthy and stronger.

Thanks very much Christine Wachira for sharing. May Azalea grow heathier and continue being a source of joy to you and all the people around her.

Breastfeeding twins: Does double feeding means double trouble?

When I was expecting Jabali, I needed a support group. A friend recommended Pregnant Mom Support Group then one day as I was going through the posts; I stumbled into a post asking all those whose EDD is May/June 2015 to drop their numbers so that they can be added into a Whatup group.

‘Brilliant’ I thought to myself. And without wasting more time, 0720 97…3 was dropped.

‘Welcome Lourdes, how many weeks are you? When is your EDD?’ said the ever warm admin called Tancredi (Tan) whose words became the group’s signature welcoming statement.

A slasher here and a tarimbo there left the group with 37 awesome diamonds. Close knit friends who were brought together by social media and equalized by pregnancy and motherhood. We fight, we resolve, we laugh together, cry together and give each other both virtual and real hugsT…it is such a beautiful story that needs to be told in a separate post I promise I will.

 

MUMS AND BABIES

 

Awesome Diamonds

 

 

Long story short, I came to learn that Sandy is also the admin of the group. Sandy is our big sister. She will answer your distress call at 2am. She cools the temperature when emotions and hormones speedometer is reading ‘very high’. She is a special and strong mother of Twins- Zuri and Zuriel (say aaaw!) Please hold you glasses of champagne and let’s toss as Sandy shares her experience breastfeeding twins. Please enjoy the read!

From the time I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I instinctively tuned my mind to breastfeed exclusively for six months as I had done before with my older children and continue thereafter until when they were at least 2 yrs old. Being a third time mum this sounded easy because I had done it 2 times before. Uncle Google & all the support groups on social media were also a click away.

Come the day for my first ultrasound scan at 8 weeks ahem!!! The sonographer first asked me how many children I had and I said 2. Then she said it casually more of a joke “mama prepare for twins” and I asked her my eyes popping “really?” she answered “we aren’t even started yet.” She asked me again “What would you do if you found out you are carrying more than one baby?” I told her jokingly “who am I to do anything if God saw it fit to double or triple bless me?” She looked at me as this strong & courageous woman, not minding raising more than three children; I wish she knew how inside I was busy telling God to please let it be a singleton lol.

 

Zuriel and Zuri

 

Zuriel and Zuri at one

 

 

God must have been looking at me smiling saying “huyu mama yuko na jokes” as one of my friends would say. She then dropped the bomb on me this time for real “then prepare for 2 more because I can see two heartbeats” I didn’t know how to react, I just stared at her with mixed emotions our earlier conversation playing in my head. When I found words I asked her if she was sure and she turned the monitoring screen towards me carefully monitoring my facial reactions & voice to try & pick what I was thinking. From the moment I saw the tiny movements of heartbeats on the ultrasound screen I fell even more in love with my soon to be bundles of joy. I finally felt so strong & told myself “with God on my side I can do this” I swore to do anything within my capability to take good care of the pregnancy & soon babies. It took my husband a few days to wrap his head around this and accept that God had indeed given us a double blessing.

Sandy

Funny thing I had never been anywhere near newborn multiples. I had to learn about raising multiples from scratch. I was lucky to find a group by the name ‘Multiple Blessings’ and the ‘Multiples to Multiples Society’ both founded by the awesome Dr. Elizabeth Wala, who herself is a mother of triplets. Here I found parents and guardians of multiples from twins to quadruples, you name it.

I drew a lot of strength from this group, knowing that I wasn’t alone in this walk. It was the only place where I could get answers to questions only a parent of multiples understood. It is here where I learnt it is possible to exclusively breastfeed multiples for the first six months just as you’d do singletons but with increased dedication and extra work.

I became more determined than ever to exclusively breastfeed because I believed it was doable. The preparations began, I bought almost all the necessary accessories for breastfeeding, from a breast pump to feeding bottles, twin breastfeeding pillow to nursing bras you name it! I also watched, read & asked questions in tandem with nursing on YouTube, web pages & social media support groups for multiple parents.

 

Young Zuri and Zuriel

 

Zuriel and Zuri at birth

 

 

The day finally came I finally met my munchkins at 38 weeks. They were tiny and delicate, weighing 2.2kgs and 2.4kgs respectively. That weight to multiple parents is a big blessing because the babies will not need to be in the neonatal intensive care unit not unless there are other complications and this also means shortened hospital stay.

I knew breastfeeding was the first sure way to boost their immunity & help them gain weight. I was lucky I had milk trickling within few hours of giving birth. As soon as I was fully awake and completely recovered from anesthesia since I had a cesarean section, my babies were brought for our first meeting. Aaaaaw it felt so beautiful bonding for the first time outside the womb, and what more could we cement the bond with other than breast milk?

At first I found it difficult latching both of them together and maintain a good posture owing to pain on the CS incision. I developed sore nipples but luckily the obstetrician /gynecologist & pediatrician I was under came to my aid. They were both so determined to see me breastfeed and did everything they could to make sure I nursed correctly.

Never in my life had I seen any man teach someone how to nurse because naturally, nursing is a female affair but ah ah! Dr.Odawa did it so well God bless him; Dr. Mirriam Karanja was of great help too. On our second day in hospital the twins were found to have jaundice. They were put under phototherapy treatment and I was encouraged by the pediatrician to breastfeed them more, to increase their bowel movement which helps secrete the buildup of bilirubin. I did this diligently amidst fatigue.

We got discharged from hospital after 7 days and now it was time to face the real world. During the first few days, the babies were constantly hungry and it seemed like all we did all day was breastfeeding and pumping. I couldn’t keep a nursing schedule and this became very frustrating, I was almost going into depression but I am grateful for my husband’s support. I learnt to stop having unrealistic expectations of things because there is no guarantee that whatever I read or experiences shared with me must match 100%. I learnt to eat right and keep myself hydrated, accept whatever amount of help from relatives and friends which in turn allowed me to have more physical and mental rest which is crucial in milk production and live each day at a time.

 

Sandy and the Twns having a good time

 

Sandy and the twins having a good time

 

 

Though I did not manage to exclusively breastfeed for six months because of health issues we still breastfeed even after weaning. We are 16 months old now and breastfeed on demand.

Double feeding does not necessarily mean double feeding trouble. With the right attitude, determination and sacrifice I believe exclusive breastfeeding of multiples is manageable and achievable.

 

Sandy's children

 

Sandy’s Children: Nicole, Zuriel, Jaeda and Zuri

 

 

Thanks Sandy for sharing your story.

7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk

 

MILK STORAGE 2

Frozen breast Milk- an intelligent idea!

 

The term ‘liquid gold’ is very common to breastfeeding mums. I guess most mums especially those active on social media have used that term at some point…I used it a lot when Jabali was younger and when I was so determined to exclusively breastfeed him. I jealously guarded my liquid gold that I didn’t want even a drop to go to waste. Blackouts literary gave me malaria especially thinking that my liquid gold will thwart and therefore rubbish all my pumping effort. There was, this time, I had said should the blackout go for more than five hours, I would carry Jabali and go cry at the KPLC’s boss office- those were postpartum hormones talking hahaha!

So in my reading escapades yesterday, I came across a blog post by World Vision and that term was used. Nostalgia is an understatement- I guess I am already missing breastfeeding a newborn- anyway, let Jabali have his field day until 24 months then I will see how it goes (Wahala!!).

Back to the blog post by World Vision, the headline was the same as that on this post ‘7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk’ and the information therein was simple yet mind blowing. I have copy pasted the post as it was please have a read:

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2016. It’s designed by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. 

As global citizens, we want to applaud mums who breastfeed. They are paving a way for healthy futures.

Did you know breast milk is considered liquid gold for babies? Exclusive breastfeeding provides all the water, nutrition and immunology a baby needs. Not only is breastfeeding good for the baby, but it’s good for mum too! In honour of Breastfeeding week, ready learn more about breastfeeding? Here are 7 Golden Truths about Breast Milk:

  1. Breast milk is free and universally available, even in very resource-constrained settings.
  2. Milk changes its nutritional profile as baby grows (milk made for a 3-month-old is different than for a 9-month-old).  Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.
  3. Breast milk contains endorphins which soothe and calm babies during times of stress.
  4. Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children.
  5. Breast milk is filled with disease fighting bacteria that keep baby’s digestive systems functioning properly.
  6. It is safer, easier and less expensive to give the mother more food than to expose the baby to risks associated with breast milk substitutes.
  7. In the long term, breastfeeding reduces type 2 diabetes and cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian for the mother.

Mind blowing, right? It’s no wonder why this Liquid Goal is crucial for a child’s nutritional development in the first 1,000 Days of life and is key in making a #HungerFree world possible.

MILK STORAGE

I hope you enjoyed these golden truths as much as I did.

#BreastfeedForHealthyFuture

#Worldbreasfeedingweek

 

Easy? I wish I knew how easy: A first-time mum breastfeeding chronicle

Reading about breastfeeding is one thing. Doing it on your own is something else. To be true to myself and to you my reader, breastfeeding can be challenging but the benefits of it override the challenges. In the spirit of marking the World Breastfeeding Week, I asked Roselyne aka Mama Tamara to share her breastfeeding experience and challenge as a first-time mum. What melts my heart is that she hacked exclusive breastfeeding regardless. Please read on…

 

 

roselyne and Allan

Roselyne and her husband Allan

 

Right after six hours of intense labour, she joined my world. I have never been this blown away in my life!. She couldn’t hide the excitement either, I saw her trying to open her gorgeous eyes to get a glance of me and that of the world. She then started licking her tiny lips as if thinking of something. Me being me, the lip licking reminded me of her father, Lord have mercy!. ‘Well, baby needs a feed’ the midwife said as if reading my mind. ‘ooh that’s easy’ I thought.

 

tamara 2

Little Tamara- I love her eyes!

 

 

I held her but somehow her tiny self could not reach out to the breast and neither could her mother’s ‘tiny’ brain figure out how this would happen. Just then my mother walked in, ‘mum how do I do this?’ I asked already frustrated. ‘First calm down, relax and be comfortable. She put a pillow to support my back, showed me how to hold the baby and bingo the tiny us were all good or so we thought.

Wait a minute, ‘what is that pain?’ I thought. ‘mum am I in labor again?’ I asked rather scared than concerned. She called a nurse who assured me that it was the uterus going back in place hence the contractions, ‘what has my breast got to do with my uterus?’ I murmured and the nurse thought that was hilarious, wow! This woman should learn to take women with contractions seriously! I thought. So here I am baby suckling but no milk. I could not figure out how my baby would survive, my baby depended on my breasts and not only breasts but milk in my breasts. The nurses then made it their job to press my breasts like their end month pay cheques depended on it, the pain!.They only squeezed out little amount of water and the nurse assured me that that was enough for her, I did not believe her.

 

roselne and her daughter Tamara

Roselyne and her daughter Tamara

 

I started taking hot drinks one mug after the other but milk was not happening. All I had to show for the many mugs was a bursting bladder and never mind an episiotomy. It was frustrating. ‘Did you ring your bell?’, ‘yes I did’, I think the baby is hungry please pick her and give her formula’. She picked her with a concerned look on. I prayed to God once we got home and asked Him for milk, it did not take long, I could hear my baby gulping. I was so happy.

After a few days home my breasts were in pain, they were all red with engorgement. The nipples had cracked and breast feeding was a nightmare. I remember one night baby could not stop crying, she was hungry but I could not withstand the pain, I cried with her but finally closed my eyes and endured the pain. I had had enough of it.

All through my pregnancy journey, I walked with a group of amazing women whom we met on Facebook. I talked to them about my predicament and one of them came to my house for a little mother training which helped a great deal. She felt my pain, we used hot water to ‘burn’ the breasts which eased the engorgement slightly. I had a baby but I did not know how to breast feed her, she was asleep then and she used a teddy bear for demo. ‘Make sure you support your back to avoid back pains’, ‘at all times let the baby’s stomach and yours lock’, ’make sure the baby’s neck is well supported’ she went on. I was so keen, you should have thought it was a PHD class but I needed this badly. She then advised on the things that would make it easier, a breastfeeding pillow, nipple cream, breast pump and feeding bottles. After the session, my husband bought what we needed and all my problems were gone! We breastfed exclusively for six months and it was a wonderful journey. I am glad I asked for help. God bless you Brenda Asiko.

 

Tamara

Tamara at one

 

Breast feeding is an art. Looks simple but once done wrongly it brings with it complications. The nurses, midwifes, doctors and older mothers should take time to teach first time mothers the art of breastfeeding. My thinking was ‘nipple in the mouth, milk, baby full, sleep. The shock I got! We still breastfeed up to date, we are 14 months and it is our all-time favorite. We now can breastfeed however and we wake up ten times every night for ‘nyonyo’. When mum ignores, ’I know where to get it’. You really don’t know easy until you make it easy.

I celebrate all breastfeeding mothers, Keep up the great work!

Thanks Roselyne for sharing your story. I celebrate you for exclusively breastfeeding Tamara despite the challenges on the runway. Thanks Brenda Asiko for always being there for the first time mums and all the mums under the 37 Diamonds umbrella please know we all appreciate you.

It is World Breastfeeding Week!

This is my favourite week! I am so excited! Not because it is payday and therefore my purchasing muscles have been empowered; well am excited about that too but what excites me more is because it is World Breastfeeding Week. As a maternal, newborn and children health advocate, I will have an opportunity of speaking and writing in depth and breadth matters breastfeeding and thus increase awareness of breastfeeding and its related benefits to the baby, the mother and the country in general.

JABALI

 

Lil Jabali enjoying his feed

 

I naturally love breastfeeding especially when my Jabali looks straight into my eyes partially smiling as he suckles. Jabali is 15 months and loves ‘nyonyo’ so much and acknowledges it is his right to breastfeed. I love this boy because immediately I enter the house, he will run to me, give me a tight hug and say ‘mama, titi’ aaaaaw! He cries when I delay him because as a rule, I must wash my hands and my breasts before we get into that serious business. For the records, I intend to continue breastfeeding him until he is 24 months so, 9 more months to go!
The experience of breastfeeding is special for a woman for so many reasons for example:

  • The joyful closeness and bonding with your baby
  • The specific and special nutrition only you can provide for your baby
  • The cost savings since it is FREE
  • You miss less work because breastfed babies are sick fewer timesLOGO

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week will run from 1st through to 7th August with the theme Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development. This theme is about how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.

This year, the focus is on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Governments around the world have agreed to achieve by 2030.The SDGs aspire to tackle the root causes of poverty and offer a vision of development that works for all people, everywhere.
Objectives of World Breastfeeding Week 2016

  • To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF)
  • To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development
  • To galvanise a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the SDGs
  • To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding

Tomorrow, I will share with you individual links between each of SDG with Breastfeeding. Ensure you Click, read, share and follow this blog lourdesdiary.wordpress.com for more insights on matters breastfeeding and maternal health in general.
Remember, breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development…Support it!!!!

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