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The Ultimate Birth Story

Earlier this week, a baby girl made quite the untimely entrance into the world. The weather was nearly constant rain -- and typical of traffic conditions in bad weather in D.C. -- mom, dad and arriving baby got stuck in traffic on the Beltway on the way to the hospital.

On dad's distress call, you can hear him saying, "Baby's head is out, baby's head is out." And later, "The baby is out, the baby is out, the baby is out."

Needless to say, dad was not the calm, cool and collected person our birthing instructor told dads to be. But would you be?

Stories like this remind me how lucky I am that I made it to the hospital during the birth of second son. His labor was one of those quickie births you never expect. First labor pains at 11:15 p.m.; baby pops his head out to the world: 12:30 a.m.

The only time I ever yelled at husband in two births was during that drive to the hospital. I could feel myself ready to push. Needless to say, I wasn't all that calm. Husband said, "Don't worry, honey, the baby is coming." My response: "DON'T SAY THOSE WORDS!" At the time, I was afraid to tell him how close the baby was to arriving in the car. After all, he was driving and I didn't want a freaked-out driver on my hands.

How about you? Any fun or interesting birth stories to share? Anyone else have a near-car-delivery story?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  May 14, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Babies
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No such luck. I labored for 31 hours and then they finally delivered my daughter C-section. They decided her head was never going to fit through my pelvis.

Second kid is coming by planned C-section.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 14, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Ya, me either. Induced a week late, 16 hours on pitocin, 2.5 hours of pushing. My daughter was positioned totally wrong. She presented sideways with her hand at her face. Next time I'm going to at least 42 weeks and hopefully the positioning will be better!

Posted by: atb | May 14, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Not me, but my husband's coworker had to pull over when driving. Baby arrived in car. Just enough time for Mom to move to the back seat.
Mom and baby continued on to hospital in ambulance, then (apparently) jerk of a cop hassled Dad about you have to move the car NOW while his hands were still bloody. Older, kinder, wiser police officer gave him a towel and said "follow me, I'll put the lights/sirens on and guide you there".

Posted by: inBoston | May 14, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the 30-hour-followed-by-c-section-club. I can't even imagine what a quick labor must be like.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 14, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

No such stories here (not completely). With number one, I was sitting at home, just watching TV (price is right) and I felt something. NOT a gush, like in the movies and TV. Funny story, I guess I can tell it here....can't really tell it much at parties.

So, I take a shower, go to the bathroom. Still coming...Okay, so I'm in the basement, and the contractors are upstairs - working on the house. Okay, so what do I need to do? Since I haven't needed them for many months, all the pads and stuff are upstairs - so I have to go upstairs to get some, hoping that no contractors are coming. Luckily, none were.

So I call OB - say I need to come in - then call DH and say that I have an appt (did I say I wasn't yet at 34 weeks at this point?). I tell him he doesn't have to come - I'll be fine. Well, 10 mins later (20 mile drive, okay, I'm exaggerating) - he's home to take me to dr. I'm at dr's office, she's looking around, can't see anything, doesn't know what's going on then GUSH - that's when I get her ALL WET. So, they don't have any pads either at the OB, I'm using an infant diaper (oh, this is all about my water breaking).

So I'm admitted to the hospital. First person to come in is neonatologist to tell us all the things that would be wrong if the baby was born right now. GREAT. I don't even have a bag packed for the hospital - it's so early. I'm crying when they ask me about my pediatrician, cause I have appointments to interview them in like, two weeks (so how horrible a mom am I?).

So, since I did not go into labor, I'm told we're just going to wait. So we wait. And we wait. And we wait. Okay, it was only about 10 days, but I couldn't really go anywhere (thankfully I could eat whatever I wanted - DH would go get me food all the time).

Then I got induced - about 1 PM, baby came about 1 AM. He was perfect - but they whisked him away right away cause it was a wee bit early - he was just a little bit small, but otherwise, went straight to the nursery, and home with me.

Another funny part was that when I was laying in the hospital bed BEFORE the baby was born, the nurses did EVERYTHING for me - got me remotes, got me water, moved trays, etc - so I was totally used to that service. Well, after baby is born, they want you to move around, etc, so I'd say something like: oh, can you get me water, and they'd reply: the sink is over there. :)

Second story, not as exciting, will post separately.

Posted by: atlmom | May 14, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Second baby - Okay, it was only a week or so before I was due - and I would keep going to the dr, hoping they would induce. The first time I was early, and all was well, so I just wanted the baby out (I never went through the last four plus weeks, so I had no idea how uncomfortable it was - no matter how much people tell you...).

So about 3 days before my due date, my OB was the one on call, so I went to see her (the other thing was the only doctor I didn't like was on for the three day weekend and I didn't want him to do the delivery). So, she looks at me, can't tell, but thinks my water has broken - sees that my fluid level is low, and tells me we're inducing. So I don't even know where to go - cause last time someone took me in a wheelchair - and she's implying that she'll meet me there later, after I check in. Hmmm. Okay, so I have to ask where it is, hope I make it there, etc. So, I take the tunnel under the street to the hospital and walk to the L&D area. They aren't quite sure what to do with me, but figure it out.

I've called DH, he's on his way. So I get the pitocin at 3, the epidural at 6, baby comes at 9 (in retrospect, epidural is not a good idea...;).

So, when I got the epidural, I feel something wrong. I don't know why, it just is. Then the anesthesiologist turns as she's leaving to tell me all these things that could go wrong, and what the symptoms are going to be. Okay, weird, but okay.

So all is well, baby is perfect, since baby is born just a little before midnight, I won't have quite as much time in hospital, and I'm TIRED, but oh, well.

But I was complaining to every doctor and nurse that came in about pains, here and there. And they're all telling me it's fine - no big deal, that I just gave birth, etc (oh, did I say that DH told me baby basically crawled out, as in he wasn't waiting for me to push... - hasn't stopped running since).

So, I still feel horrible. Both sisters are coming that weekend (three day weekend) I don't feel okay. So when DH and Bro in law take the kids somewhere, my sisters and I are hanging out and I call dr. to tell about symptoms and what anesthesiologist said - and he tells me to go to hospital - so one sis takes me other watches baby.

So I go and get the hole where the epidural is 'plugged up.' Not the most fun you can have, but not too bad. Basically not liking form that says I accept all risks and part of those are paralysis and death (dr. says that he's never seen that happen - he's been there almost 20 years). Then there was the hassle with the insurance company as I didn't 'call them before...' as if it was a 'new' thing that happened (and sister is SO annoying - as in, she helps to 'check me in' but she's all snotty like: oh, you KEPT your MAIDEN name - YOU KNEW I didn't change my name, it's not a big deal, why even MENTION it).

So, the dr. I did not want to do the delivery is the ONLY person who comes through for me in the end.

Posted by: atlmom | May 14, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing one actually figured out what the father was saying, kudos to the dispatchers:

Also, a cop and two ambulance personnel helped deliver a baby being delivered at home in the middle of the night in North Bellport, NY.

I have a cousin who was born in an ambulance on the side of the road (also Long Island), and for the longest time, there was a blue stork on the side of the ambulance to note that! He was my aunt's third child...

Posted by: WDC 21113 | May 14, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Not exciting, just miserable. Induced a week late, after every possible attempt to get her to arrive on her own. Alas, they didn't tell me that sometimes cytotec triggers uncontrollable contractions. First dose did nothing; second dose, within 30 minutes I had contractions lasting for 2-3 minutes with only @ 30 second break in-between. Finally flag down nurse, begging for epidural; she's giving me the, "yeah, sure" look, and is then hugely surprised to discover that I've gone from 1 cm to 5 cm in the last 45 mins. Anesthesiologist is in an emergency C-section, but pretty irrelevant anyway, because when he finally does get the epidural in, it works for only @ 15 minutes before crapping out (found out later there was a hole in the line and a giant puddle of medicine behind my back).

Fully dilated within 3 hrs, pushed for something like 2 1/2 hrs (apparently, the epidural did work well enough to interfere with pushing). Baby's heartrate started dropping and not coming back up; turns out, she was sunny-side up, with giant bulbous cranium. So they ended up trying both vacuum and forceps to get her out -- poor little toaster head, took her about 3 days to even start looking like a baby. She wasn't breathing much at first (double cord wrap to boot), but ended up settling in just fine within 10-15 minutes. But I was too weak and shaky to hold her long, which was sad. Ended up with 4 days in hospital (retained placenta, BP 60/40, nurses basically jumping on my stomach @ 4 AM to expel clot the size of Manhattan, call doc in for surgery, 2 units of blood, etc.). Totally mucked with my milk production, but I was just so happy to have a healthy baby.

Boy was a freaking delight in comparison. Induced because of gestational diabetes (was well over 8 lbs at 37 weeks), but no cytotec this time, just straight to pitocin, which was fine. Got an epidural at 3-4 cm, and it WORKED -- I can remember thinking, aaaaah, so THAT's why people have more than one baby! :-) Slightly longer labor, but still only about 7 hrs overall, had my iPod pre-programmed, and really no significant pain until the last 30 mins or so (we do seem to breed giant bulbous craniums -- at 2, the boy was too big for size 3-4 hats!). A little forceps given the size, but all was fine -- and thanks to the epidural, I had energy to hold him right away, and we all went home on time. Breathing a giant sigh of relief.

Posted by: Laura | May 14, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The heroic backseat birth story always makes for good local TV. We birthed at home so we just walked.

Posted by: Josey23 | May 14, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My most amusing birth story is with my twins. At 38.5 weeks I marched into the hospital at 4pm on Sunday with my husband sheepishly behind me and announced to whoever was listening that I simply couldn't take it anymore. The nurse looked at me funny and said "Are you in labor?" I said "No, but it is time for them to get out, now". They did a quick ultrasound and determined that the babies were no longer in a position conducive to natural birth and did a c-section right away. Apparently it was a slow day because I had two healthy 7 lb babies by 4:30!

Posted by: Momof5 | May 14, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

After a full night's sleep, and no indication of impending labor, I was awoken by a contraction at 5:47. The contraction never stopped and my baby was born in our bathroom at 6:15 - surprise! My doctor told me that if I planned more children I should think about being induced a little early to avoid a repeat precipitous delivery.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

i was a huge pregnant woman - i do mean huge. gained something like 75 pounds. my ob/gyn told me that i couldn't go into labor that weekend because he had it off. i understood, his wife had miscarried about a week earlier. sunday night i have really bad indigestion; i'm thinking it was the second klondike bar i ate. my sister-in-law said that when she went into labor she thought she had indigestion at first from the hamburger & my mother told me that she thought her first labor was indigestion because of the pork chops.
drive to the hospital & get hooked up to a machine. the baby's heartbeat is fine but they can't "find" him. contractions stop. we go home. i take monday off. i call the doctor tues & he recommends that i come in to hospital. i get hooked up to ultra sound. it turns out i have practically no amniotic fluid. c-section time. it was right around my due date so i'm fine with it. i'm awake during the entire c-section. heard the surgeon say "oh, da&* it". not exactly something you want to hear your surgeon say. turns out my son fought tooth & nail against coming out. he was nice & warm where he was. the surgeon had trouble getting a grip on him. finally got him out.

Posted by: quark | May 14, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Just had my third 4 weeks ago. No contractions. Water broke at 3:50am; left for the hospital at 4:04am; baby arrived at 4:21am. Crazy.

Posted by: homefornow | May 14, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

First baby: water broke a month early while at the gym. No contractions for hours, so doctors saw fit to send in the neonatologist to try to scare me into a C-section, telling me how damaged my baby would be otherwise. Thankfully, my midwife intervened, and whisked me off to a quiet room where I could relax in peace. Contractions finally started on its own several hours later and rapidly built up -- baby was born 90 minutes later, very healthy.

Second baby: I'm worried that fast labor the first time will mean I'll have the second baby in the car. Luckily, my midwife briefed me on the signs of preterm labor. At 36 weeks, I woke up with back pain and frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions. I didn't want to believe I was going early again, but I drove myself to the hospital, thinking it would be just a checkup. I was under observation for a few hours, not knowing what was going on. Labor finally did start on its own after my husband and baby #1 arrived -- and within about 70-80 minutes (30 minutes after I signed my admission papers), baby #2 was born. Thank goodness my midwife told me what signs to look for, or we might have had the baby en route!

Posted by: 2quick | May 14, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Our next door neighbor was 39 weeks, kept having super-painful on-and-off contractions for a week (but 15 minutes apart at the nearest). Goes to the hospital, hooked up to machines, sent home. A few days later, repeats. One night, around 1 a.m., cannot take it. Goes to the hospital at 1:30 a.m.. Sent home at 2. Around 2:30 a.m., our phone rings (my husband is a doctor, though not an OB). It's our neighbor (the husband), asking my husband a question. My husband hears a scream in the background, an "oh, [bleep!]" from the neighbor's husband, and then we hear screaming on the phone. At 2:35, we hear a baby cry. We ran over to their house and called 911. The baby was born in the bathroom - the neighbor wanted to go back to the hospital and was on the toilet when the baby basically slid out.

Posted by: Anny | May 14, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I had preterm labor at 28 weeks; was put on medicine/bedrest until 36 weeks. When I went off the meds, I had prodromal labor for 8 days...contractions about 4-5 minutes apart for several hours off and on for 8 days. I finally couldn't take it anymore (I had been bouncing in and out of the hospital and dilated to 3 cm and 90% effaced over those 8 days) and at 37 weeks convinced my ob-gyn to induce me. I was never sure my due date was accurate anyway. Induced at 5 p.m., fully dilated by 10:30 p.m., and she was born at 11:19 p.m., 7 lbs., 2 oz., and completely healthy. Sometimes moms know best. :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm a third born, so birth was old hat for Mom. She woke up at 4 am in labor, went back to sleep. Woke up at 6, showered, got my brothers up, dressed, fed, etc. Called my Dad home from work and went to the OB's office.

OB: OMG, don't stand up! You're ready.
Mom: Oh good. Can I just have it here?
Mom: Can I put my pants back on?

OB had my Dad pull the car around, while OB carried my half naked Mom (wrapped in that awful paper from the exam table) out. Luckily, the hospital was right across the street. I was born about 20 minutes after they arrived.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hee, hee! 10:57am, that's a great story.

First baby: Water broke, no contractions for 12 hours (tried nipple stimulation, etc.). I had a doula and midwife. We were in and out of the hospital, finally, after caster oil to try to get contractions started (no luck, but I was cleaned out), pitocin, epidural, and baby! 5lbs 13.5oz -- they were surprised at how small he was. Today, he's tall, slim and healthy.

Second baby: This September. I'm planning on a water birth at our hospital (they are one of the few who offer it). Midwife and doula again -- I love feeling like I'm being taken care of by experienced professionals who also care about ME, not just the monitors and hospital protocols. I feel less alone and fearful. DH is there, but but as a man, his contribution is different. Plus, they care about and support him too. He doesn't deserve to feel alone and stressed to an extreme either.

Posted by: SJR | May 14, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

my poor best friend was in labor for 63 hours (not that she was counting). She went to the hospital 3 times before they finally took her - she was so close to a C-section but wouldn't let them because she had already pushed so long and the baby was fine. I hope for her sake she can write one of these stories next time...

Posted by: tsp 2007 | May 14, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

1st Baby I was in labor 16 hours. She was born face up and was over 9lbs. Needless to say we had to use a vacuum to get her out.

2nd Baby, 2 weeks prior to due date I had an appointment and I was 3cm dilated. The Dr. said she could check me in that day and induce. I thought she was crazy and said 'No, No, I have too much stuff to do. I will just wait'. Silly me. My Mom happened to be in town and she cooked us a big dinner and told me I should think about packing. I again thought this was crazy. As usual, I was up every hour to pee and at 4 am felt a bit off. I laid in bed thinking I hope I am not in labor because I am too tired to deal with it. I got up again to pee and my water broke on the bathroom floor. I screamed for my husband and my Mom. They proceeded to run around the house like a bunch of idiots trying to gather stuff and I realized that I was going to throw-up (the big meal my Mom had cooked earlier). This freaked out my Mom and she whispered to my husband that this was NOT normal. I left the house at 4:45, got to hospital at 5 am. The desk clerk proceeded to ask me every single question that I had answered on the pre-admission form. I yelled why does one fill out those forms if you are only going to ask them again. That went over really well. I got to my room around 5:15. My husband had to leave to move the car from the ER entrance and the nurse checked me out. She tells me that I am 9cm dilated. I immediately ask for an epidural and she says that it is too late. I start crying that there is no way I can give birth without one and she says I will be fine. My husband comes back in and the nurse tells him that I am 9cm and he says "Oh you better get her an epidural" she consents and says that she will need to give me and IV first prior to calling the anesthiologist. She walks over to the bed and starts to wipe off my arm and right when she does that I scream "OMG, I am going to poop" and my husband responds 'It's Ok baby, go ahead and poop'(this is my husband favorite part of the story) but the nurse jumps up on the bed and says 'No, you are having the baby' and I say 'No, No, I am pooping'. Well 3 blood-curdling screams later my daughter is completely out at 5:29. I look up and there is like 4 people in the room at this point. It is amazing how that happens. I proceed to tell them about my appointment that day and my response to the Dr. and they all laugh and say next time I should consider listening. So at 5:40, my husband calls my Mom and she is completely freaked out that I am dead because I threw up and that he was calling so soon, but he assured her that I was fine and the baby was fine. BTW, the Dr. only made it to stitch my up but charged me for the full birth. I think the nurse should have been paid for it!

Both of my children LOVE to hear their birth stories. Does anyone else's kids like that?

Posted by: SE | May 14, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Both of my children LOVE to hear their birth stories. Does anyone else's kids like that?"

No, but my daughter does love to hear about her experience with Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. (something to do with carrots and green beans at the same meal).

Posted by: Laura | May 14, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

My mom almost had my brother in front of "Army Map" (what it was called before the Defense Mapping Agency, which is what it was called before whatever it's called now). She was on her way to Sibley belatedly because she never had regular contractions.

I was chastened by this, thank goodness. I was evidently in labor all day with my second baby and didn't know it. Finally felt "something" that evening, but nothing regular. I got to the hospital, sure they would call it a false alarm and send me home, and I was 8 centimeters. The baby was born a couple of hours later. Four pushes.

Yes, I got the epidural. Color me wimpy, I don't care. I got nothin' to prove. ;-)

Posted by: MarylandMom | May 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And the Oscar for the dullest topic ever on this blog goes to....

Posted by: Born Free | May 14, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I loved to listen to my mom tell me the story of when I was born. I'm sure it's not so exciting to all of you, but...

I was number three, so my mom knew how to go about all this. So it's the afternoon, my sisters are home from school. My mom thinks: I think I'm in labor (I guess she then calls the doctor to tell them she's on the way). She calls my grandmother, who's at work, and she told my mom that she would leave to take care of my sisters.

Well, then my grandmother gets there (she was in NYC to get to LI to my house) - and apparently the door was open and no one was there. So my grandmother said the phone rang just as she got there, my mom's friend called to tell my grandmother that my mom couldn't wait, she dropped the kids off at the friend's house, and drove herself to the hospital, and I was born about an hour later, or so.

Dad wasn't involved - I guess after I was born someone let him know. :)

Posted by: atlmom | May 14, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

i don't go into quite the same detail with my son. sooner or later he'll figure out he was born by c-section. however, he does find it funny that he fought the doctor. that is the only part i think he really understands.

Posted by: quark | May 14, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

My brother was born breach in the back seat of my grandparent's station wagon on the DC beltway in route to Providence hospital. My grandmother delivered him while my grandfather drove like a maniac around the beltway. The police officer who stopped him for his erratic driving ended up giving them an escort to the hospital.

Posted by: momof4 | May 14, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

EEEEEWWWW! ICK! BLECH! My stomach is turning from all this TMI. We don't want to hear about this garbage. Why didn't you think about that 9 months earlier, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for all of you who shared your stories. I am currently 7mo with twins and learn so much from other people's experiences. I understand that these topics are discussed in waves, which is helpful as I go through different phases of preparing for motherhood. For those who are bored and grossed out, this is probably not the place for you to begin with. Thanks again for sharing.

Posted by: Soon to be | May 14, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, anon at 3:34 - why are you reading a blog about births if you didn't want to know the details?

I was supposed to be labor support/doula for a friend at the beginning of the year. They called me at 5:30am New Years Day, and I lived closer to the hospital than they did, but I completely missed the birth. First, there was confusion with the nurses, and they wouldn't let me into L&D, and I started hearing calls over the intercom for "any surgeon or E.R. doctor to come to L&D, stat", so I knew somebody was in trouble and I just stayed out of the way of the staff. Turned out it was my friend - they thought they were going to have to do a C/S for decels, but she was fully dilated when she got to the OR, and she pushed him out on the table, because that was faster than the C/S.

I got to see him before they'd cleaned him up, and got to be there for his first feeding. Then I went to their apartment and picked up big sister (22 months at the time) from her babysitter, so she could meet her new baby brother. Pretty neat start to the year!

Posted by: Sue | May 14, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I had my son at the Bethesda Maternity Center, and am so sad it has closed for births! They were wonderful. I went to 42 weeks, and the day I was scheduled to be induced the midwife broke my water and sent me to the mall to walk (went shoe shopping!)until labor started. Seven hours later I had my 10 pound, 2 ounce son. He was a whopper! But we were all home three hours later, healthy, happy, and well. I wish that birth center and those midwives were still an option for any family that wanted it. A shame.

Posted by: Mommabean | May 14, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, 3:34, I'm with Soon to be. As a Hope to be, I'm super happy to get as much information as possible so I CAN "think about that 9 months earlier".

Posted by: tsp 2007 | May 14, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Quick labors abound - my second was born Xmas Day -- I felt my first labor pains at 12:00am and left for the hospital by 1:00 -- baby was born at 1:40 and the taxi driver who kept saying "I have 4 kids, you aren't even close" had *no idea* how close I was! Nor did the nurses checking me in, doing data entry. I kept saying, "you know, I really think I need to see a doctor..." and you know? my water breaking got that message across. My son was born 11 minutes later. I so empathize with the woman who gave birth en route.

Posted by: MamaBird/SurelyYouNest | May 14, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

No great stories of my own children's births, but a former co-worker told me her middle name was Key because she was born on the Key bridge...

Posted by: a mom | May 15, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

No interesting stories about my own children's births, but a former coworker told me her middle name was Key because she was born on the Key bridge...

Posted by: a mom | May 15, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

When my first came, almost 30 years husband rushed me to the hospital right away. 6 hours later I had a wonderful baby boy. I go smart for the second though! Or so I thought!! I went into labor with guest at our house, one of which was a obgyn nurse. For 1 hour the pain increased and I kept it quiet...not easy, hidding in the bedroom and coming back and forth to pretend all was well. Finally the contractions were so close together that I had to get to the hospital. To this day I do not know how my daughter managed to wait until we arrived at the hospital as on the way over...she was more then eager to show her beautiful face. We arrived, i sat in the wheel chair...they quickly moved me to the bed and within seconds she arrived(:

Posted by: Bren | May 28, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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