The Loop
Teh Update, Okay, Fine

Much Like the White House Party Crashers, This Is All Reality Television's Fault

Yesterday, 2 pm, after a combination of 1) mild yet persistent stomach issues, 2) boob weirdness, 3) overwhelming craving for an entire can of black olives in spite of said stomach issues, 4) the realization that condoms DO INDEED have an expiration date, hellooooo May of 2008, and 5) entirely way too many episodes of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, better known in our house as The Oops You Had a Baby In Your Pants Show:


Better known as Exhibit Wait What Squint Squint No Way Squint Oh Shit

Yesterday, 5 pm, after my plan to wait until morning to retest failed miserably in the face of Googling for pictures of other people's store-brand peesticks with very faint second lines but not like, a real second line and I totally didn't actually think I was pregnant, I was just checking, because taking unnecessary pregnancy tests is kind of a hobby of mine:


Better known as Exhibit That's More Like It

Today, 7:30 am, after a restless still-unconvinced night of boob-poking, attempts to imagine life with THREE OF THEM, followed by fits of maniacal laughter:


Better Known as Exhibit Well Now We Know How We Really Feel About THAT

My fellow peestick aficionados: Total false positive/defective test, yes? Proof that Discovery Health is a front for pregnancy test manufacturers to ensure that you always, ALWAYS opt for the three-pack over the single test? I can believe those two negative tests, yes? Is okay to go soothe my stressed-out nerves with wine? Should I still cancel that combination amusement park/camping/cross-country tour of public restrooms vacation we had planned in about eight months or so?

For those of you who have no idea but would simply like to tell me what I want to hear: Yes. Total false positive/defective fluke of a test. We've decided to hold off on any talk of a third baby for awhile, because it turns out that babies turn into children. (I know! The FTC should look into this.) Anyway, I thought we were being quite responsible but apparently my husband thinks condoms are everlasting like Twinkies or something. And seriously, this one woman on that show had a baby in an amusement park restroom and it fell on the floor and was just lying there and about 10 people opened the stall when they heard her screaming and were like, "WAIT HERE. I'LL GET HELP." Like she was going to wander off and get on the goddamn Tilt-a-Whirl or something, and I sat there screaming at the TV for someone to GET THE BABY OFF THE BATHROOM FLOOR FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and so that's why I had to take a pregnancy test. I had to. You wanna read a lame blog post about peesticks or you wanna walk into a bathroom stall and have to pick my baby up off the floor next summer? HUH? YOU WANNA?


Hey You

YAY! More new baby pictures! There is no such thing as false positives and I see lines in 1 and 3. Wheee!


I'm thinking congratulations are in order. I'd retest..


i see lines on all three. my first test looked just like your 2nd and 3rd, and now i'm 21 weeks pregnant.

Heather Ben

you gotta test tomorrow morning and let us know...


Like several other commenters have said, I also see faint lines on all three tests. And, I concur that false positives are a rarity. Dude. Keep us posted.

Heather Ben

opps, sorry - helps if i pay attention to the dates/times a little better from your post. hmm, i would tend to say the first test might be defective, but I would get another brand from the store and try again bc if one in a batch was bad - then they might all be bad and you don't know which one is wrong...the pos or neg!!!


I don't know if you will even get to this comment all the way down here, but here I go anyway.

Early on, your chemicals that show you are preggers are really weak. They only make the second line when at high concentrations. NOT after a litre of Sunny D.

With my second baby, I KNEW I was preggers, but the lack of the second line at the clinic said "no". However, after scooting my way out the door, the doctor came running out yelling for me to come back in. He showed me that the second line did, in fact, show up. And it was faint. But hells, it was there.

You need to take another test tomorrow morning. PRONTO!

And I, for one, hope you are preggers. :) Selfish? Maybe.


Hmmm...Not to make you more paranoid, but when I was pregnant, it was a very faint line. For the next two days, it was even more faint than the first day that I tested. Finally, the third day I got a solid line. You might want to try another test in a few days...Just in case.


I think pregnant too. Test again with first thing in the morning!


Um, false negatives are pretty hard to come by, as in they look for HCG and if it's there, it's there, and it's only there if you're pregnant. So, um, I'd wait a week and try again. Way back in December of 2000, I was trying to get pregnant, did it a lot right before my ovulation date of 12/7, missed my period, tested negative, tested negative, tested negative, had all the symptoms, KNEW I was pregnant, and still tested negative until December 28, and only with the First Response test. Nine EPTs said I was not pregnant. She turned 8 in August. Didn't test positive with the EPTs until mid-January.

Go get another box of tests, Amy. Get the ones that work earlier.


Ummm...we might live parallel lives except on opposite sides of the country. Your Ezra and my Jack were born a week apart in age and I JUST had the same experience with a pee stick. Super light second line, kind of couldn't tell, really thought it couldn't really be positive. Except, it is. And we are. Hello babies less than two years apart.


Hmm, I see a line in that last exhibit. Perhaps more pee sticks are in order? I never used the digital ones, but I think this case warrants one. Let us know!


Oh! And yeah, we were using expired condoms too. Oops.


Long-time reader, rare-commenter stepping out of the shadows to say that your story was like déjà vu for me and now she is 6. Good luck because I think next Christmas you will be an extra stocking hanging on the mantelpiece!


Oh, dear. I mean, I understand the scary factor, but y'all are going to have the sweetest, most cherubic baby. A girl. I'm sayin' it now.

Mary Lou

Hi Amy!

Don't worry whatever it is it will be OK! Baby Yay! No baby Yay! Bring on the wine : )

I once had a test like that but very very faint and then two negatives and I didn't have a baby so i think you might not be pregnant.

Many Blessings to you and your sweet family...

On an other note I meant to tell you this earlier, but Kayne West also sees colors to music : )
I don't know if that makes you sad or glad but I thought it was very interesting.


Nearly 3 years ago, I felt similar symptoms, took a pregnancy test, and it was negative. I was trying REALLY hard to get preggo, and was extremely disappointed (and in that wacky, crazy, spend ENTIRELY too much money on pregnancy tests mode). I waited a couple days and no period. I took another cheap brand. VERY faint line. I sent a pic text (is that pixt?) to my sister, who responded that I was so totally preggo. I send another to my hubby with a "we might be pregnant? I don't know. I can't tell!" On the way home from work that day, I bought a real pregnancy test (EPT, I believe). Overwhelmingly and obviously positive. I then took another one. Just to be sure.

So, no expert but... I'm betting on preggo. Early. And add me to the scores of people who see a faint line in the 3rd pic.


Please do that retest early, tomorrow, Amy, or I will be refreshing this damn page ALL. DAMN. DAY.


Um, I see really faint blue lines on the last two tests. They're really faint, but I see them.

Kind of like my really faint pink line back in July. REALLY, really, really faint. As in, I had to ask my six year old if she saw the second pink line.

But it was there. And here I am, 28 weeks pregnant with my third (SURPRISE!!!) baby, conceived while on the pill, conceived with absolutely no intention of having any more kids.

So I'd totally wait a few days, and test again. Cause I'm seeing lines in all three pics. :)


You will never read this, because hazah woman you can make comments out of pregnancy tests.

I have no pregnancy test experience, other than the few negatives I have had. Man cub was a suprise phone call from the Dr.'s office that went "no, you are not infertile as you are pregnant, come back in a couple days so that we can double check."

Anyway, I hope for you whatever you hope. But, damn you guys make cute babies and a third would just be awesome blog-fodder.


Is it bad that my first thought was "Wait, maybe this means Amy will write another Birth-to-40 while *I'm* pregnant!!"?

Try a digital test, or one of the pink first response ones. I just found out I'm pregnant and the that pink one showed up all "I am HERE, the crisp bright SECOND LINE!" really fast.

Hairy Farmer Family

This may be a UK-only thing, but the digital tests we have here are regrettably not the last word on knocked-upness; they are generally only sensitive to 50mIU. The 2-line non-digital ones will generally pick up lower HCG levels: around 20 to 25 mIU.

Just... ummm. Just saying. Have squinted at a helluva lot of these things, and picked at least one later-turned-out-to-have-a-heartbeat stick out of the bin that I can think of.

Blood tests, now. They rock the whole accuracy thing. You can has?


Oh, and what the hell is the deal with the expired condoms? Haven't you all watched Friends?

Seriously people there are a bazillion better contaceptive options out there.

Hairy Farmer Family

Not forgetting, of course, the fabulous (although now outdated)

Sorry, Amy, we're messing with your head here, I'm sure.


I kind of see a faint line on the third test too...

I've found that Walmart has really good prices on First Response 3 packs. And despite months of wishful thinking, I didn't get a single ghost line on them until I actually got a very for real (just found out its a boy!) positive.


When I was pregnant, my peestick looked just like that first one. Put then I retested and got another that looked exactly the same. So I didn't trust either of them and I went out and got the kind with WORDS. And the first one said "yes." So I did another. And it said "yes," too. My point being, if only the first one looked like that and the second were clear negatives, it was clearly a defective test, as much as I'd love to watch you blog through another pregnancy. Congrats on NOT being pregnant!


ummmmmm, as much as I wish I was, I am decidedly NOT high. I DO see faint second lines in all of them.

anne nahm

I think congratulations are in order! Congrats!

My third was faint too (, but those lines turned into a baby.


Like many others have said, false positives are hard to come by. HOWEVER, condoms AND peesticks have expiration dates. Any chance the peesticks were expired?


Yeah, you're probably pregnant or at least carrying some HTC or whatever it's called. I mean, you don't get false positives. I would (& I'm sure you will) retest in a 3-5 days or so. I would also have that glass of wine. And don't cancel the vacation. But you don't get false positives, right? Only false negs? Right? Don't worry - I had my second when you had Ez and I'm due with my third in March! Huzzah.


I had a test come up with a line like that first one, in May.

Don't worry though, I hear the parasite only completely takes over your body for 40 weeks give or take.

At least I hope so, cause I'm kinda tired of getting kicked in the ribs, and this one's due to exit in the next month or so. ;)


Um. Wait a week, and test again. This was me in 2008.... and my 3rd kid, the "no it cant possibly be two lines" will be 1 on Jan 1st. Ditto on the digitals... totally worth the money.


You are pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!! yayy!!! hooray!!! You are you are you are !!!!


I draw your attention to an Advice Smackdown column written by a woman from Georgia who discovered she was pregnant 24 weeks into said pregnancy. That woman would be me. That woman, also me, also took a pregnancy test early on that was faintly positive. She also took about 12 followup tests after that... all of which were negative. She resigned herself to the fact that she was, indeed, not pregnant. Fast forward about 24 weeks later when she felt the nonexistent baby kicking. I'm just sayin'. :) I'm also going to go out on a limb and say congratulations.


I love that show! Also, dollar store pregnancy tests work just as well. Plus then you can take 20 of them for the same price as one in the regular store! yes! Added bonus: the cashiers there look really really confused when you show up with an entire basket full of them. Like, wth lady? It's awesome.

Sprite's Keeper

I've burned (peed) through so many of those tests, my husband has recommended I test with the dollar store brand. He calls them the "fuck for a buck" brand. :-)


I think we're all secretly rooting for a third....obviously without consideration for your sanity AT ALL. But that third one?? That second "window" looks entirely too bluish to me....


Yup, got to agree with previous posters, I see faint lines on all three.

For an ... um ... postive spin? I have gotten a positive HPT that did not turn into a baby, though I suspect I was peeing too early and picked up a chemical pregnancy.


I don't see lines on the 2nd or 3rd tests on my fancy-pants calibrated monitor. If you squint enough you can see lines even before it's been peed on so I wouldn't read too much into that.

Re: "no false positives" - there's a combination of being pedantic and euphemistic that I'm not sure is actually helpful in this case. Just because you get some hormones doesn't mean you have anything viable there. I'm not sure the euphemism "chemical pregnancy" helps either. You can have fertilization and the implantation just doesn't go well, or there's some copying error in the DNA, and it just never really gets started. But the tests are sensitive enough to pick it up. Given that Amalah ovulates irregularly it's quite possible that there was fertilization but it's not going to go anywhere because it's the wrong time.

Really there's nothing to do but try not to go too crazy and maybe do a higher quality pee stick test each morning for the next couple of days.


I'mma troll y'all. It's a crappy digital picture, I don't see double lines. Except the first one. That's kind o hai thur.

...that being said, unless you wanna pull a Natalie Portman and have yo' baby in Walmart * o srry ur classy, Tar-jey* Blood work?


This? Is my nightmare. And why I'm glad I have access to student health where you can get a blood test within an hour of freaking out.


I love how we get to discuss your ovulation schedule on here :) Luck you!

*refresh* *refresh* *refresh* even though I KNOW you won't be testing again until tomorrow morning. Right? RIGHT???!?

Though - you could blame the recent shapewear fiasco on this...


I got a false positive with an expired test, so I would totally lean towards not pregnant.

I, like others, would get the "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" HPT and be done with it! :)


HA! Ha ha ha ha ha ha aha ha ha ha ha ha.
And also: HA.

Awesome :)


I am officially an idiot. The CONDOMS were expired...not the test.

So...yeah. I would say pregnant.


You so cannot leave us hanging like that. You just can't. Go buy a PREGNANT/ NOT PREGNANT test RIGHTNOWFORTHELOVEOFGOD and post an update TONIGHT! And TOMORROW!


I've gotten faint false positives on blue dye tests. The ones from Target specifically. I've read that happens a lot with blue dye tests.


I see lines in the last 2 tests. I would test again in a few days with a digital test. You can't deny it if it says "Pregnant"


Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who looked at that third test and saw the faint line...

I'm glad you're going to get another test... cause the suspense is killing me!


OK, so, here's a trick I learned in the infertility trenches - invert the colors of the photo to look for a line. Here's your 3rd pic inverted: I don't see anything there.

If the first pic was taken after it sat overnight, that's not a reliable indicator for the rest of us. I'm more willing to think your eyes were just deceiving you with that one.

So you'll be happy to hear I'm officially coming down on the side of Not Pregnant. Totally a fluke. You still, of course, need to keep testing.


Uh, that looks pretty pregnant to me. When I got pregnant, it took until I was 6 weeks along for the test to show fully clear 2 lines. I just wasn't "pregnant ENOUGH." Get a digital test.


I am putting my "expired condom, not ovulating, husband had a snow day but daycare was open" one year old to bed right now. He is a mere three weeks younger than the Mighty Ez. As my doctor told me when I asked her to do a blood test, those tests are only designed to give false negatives.

Mother in law smiled when my husband announced baby #3. And said Like Father, Like Son.

And, for the record, the condom had expired three YEARS previously--just before baby #2 was born. We left the hospital with baby #3 and a good tubal ligation.


Wow! I see them! I hope to be joining you in a couple of weeks with my own #3!


Here's another possibility; I had the wierd symptoms, making me think I should take a test, and it was a follicular cyst on the ovary which went away on its own. But I seriously had the sore boobs, etc. and all the girls I worked with were ready to go buy baby stuff......


My friend had a false positive with an expired pregnancy test - so, pregnancy tests, as well as condoms tend to not work as well if they're old. So maybe you got a box of crummy old pee sticks.

Also, my pregnancy took awhile to show up on the pee sticks - I took three, and each one was slightly darker than the last -the hcg doubles every day, I think.

Just a few thoughts to tide you over until your next pregnancy test. :) Good luck!



You're with baby, girl.

(Said like Whoopi did in Ghost.)


Perhaps I'm feeding your disease, but you DO know that the dollar store carries perfectly legit pregnancy tests... for a DOLLAR. You can test to your heart's content with change you find on the floor of your car!

The last time I went and got them, my husband and I were getting ready to try for #2... I bought ten tests and, while checking out, said to the teenager behind the counter "I guess that buying ten just means I'll get pregnant the first try, huh?". She looked at me like I had grown horns right in front of her before saying, incredulously, "you mean you're TRYING to get pregnant?" Heh.

Amy Jo

Um, holy shit? Either way.


Um. I think it's nigh impossible to get a false positive unless you have something wacky going on with your hormones. And I gotta say, I see the faint line on the third pic too.
You might want to wait a week and try again.

(and by the way, CONGRATS!)


When this happened to me, it was the result of a chemical pregnancy. I had just enough HcG to register a positive in the morning, but not enough to keep getting positives throughout the day.

When it happened to my best friend, she got baby #2.

Take another test tomorrow.


Okay, I don't know why everyone thinks it's NOT AT ALL POSSIBLE to get a false positive. They happen. ESPECIALLY if you look at the test too long, because they are time sensitive and can eventually turn positive even though they're negative.


Any chance that the pregnancy tests were as expired as the condoms? ;)

Also, you probably already know this ... but just in case ... on most tests, if you look at the test AFTER the recommended time you start to see lines show up making it look like a positive test. My negative went to a positive after 10 minutes when we were trying to get pregnant with my son ... I had walked away from the test all bummed ... but then I came back into the room a few minutes later and saw a + sign and got a bit excited before reading the fine print that says the test is not reliable after the three minute mark.


I'm trying to figure out what kind of pregnancy test this is, because I've never seen anything like it. The pee sticks I used are white and have pink lines. I agree with everyone else...go buy the digital ones that tell you "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" I have some leftover pee sticks if you want me to send them to you! Love this post!!! You KNOW that I am rooting for a pg Amy.(LOL)


It's been so goddamned long since I took a home pregnancy test--seriously, I think I had to start with a rabbit and some rocks--that I thought, upon opening this post and looking at those terrifying photos, that you were TELLING US YOU ARE PREGNANT AGAIN. Not telling us that home pregnancy tests, for all their advances, are still kinda tricky.

Whew. Not that you don't hatch the most beautiful and fascinating children; you and Jason seem to be preternaturally gifted at that. But as the mother of five kids who are now flown away... GAHHHHHH. I am guessing you've already stocked up on condoms whose expiration dates are well into the next century.

Kristin H

What? Who are all these people who are seeing lines on tests and two and three? They are insane. You're not pregnant.


hmmm.... those look an awful lot like the pregnancy tests i took last feb. you know... the ones that weren't sure whether i was really pregnant with my now eight week old.


I would love to say it was a fluke. But, um, I was despondant over a line like that - so sad I wasn't preganant. The line 48 hours later was unmistakable and she's 4 now. Sorry.


I don't think the line on test #1 is faint. I've had lines like that before on Target tests and those lines are now living breathing children. I would call the line in #3 faint though. I would suggest bloodwork with your OB.

Catherine S

Holy shitballs, this one is a nailbiter. Either way, hope you are happy with the answer. FWIW, I also thought about the chemical pregnancy thing.


Ummmm, honey, I hate to say this but that first line isn't faint at all. If I had to guess, I would say congrats on #3.

Sugared Harpy

So, yeah. Pee again and well, I'm sure you've peed on six more already.

I'm due in July with my faint/disappearing line tests.


no opinion either way, but i love that you say taking uneccesary pregnancy tests is a hobby of yours. it's kinda one of mine too. haven't had sex in a few months? had periods? nah, i could still be pregnant. better take a test!

i'll be waiting anxiously for a follow up.

Angie doctor claims there is no such thing as a false positive. That's how we got our number three this year. The line on my test looked exactly like yours! Maybe you should have a professional check on that for you...


Uh, I don't know but all this talk is making me anxious and feel the need to go take a test to make sure I'm not pregnant!

Will also be waiting for an update!

sarah gilbert

I love that you are trusting us, the internets, with your sparkling digital photos of peesticks and I am afraid that I cannot tell a story that does not end with a faint-line-that-became-a-baby. mine was Truman, and I was utterly convinced I was seeing things on that pregnancy test, I held it in all kinds of different lights. in the end, I waited until the next day, or maybe it was even four days later.

I have three boys and they are all an enormous challenge and they have changed my life in ways that would have crushed a younger version of myself. and I'm far, far happier than the dream version of my life would have made me.

extra bonus: writing material. thanks sweet boys (those currently in my home and those yet to surprise me by appearing in my uterus).


Wow. That looks like a pretty dark line for a false positive... Count me in with the people who say that there is no such thing as a false positive too - although the more sensitive a test is, the more likely it will pick up a chemical pregnancy, which I think a lot of people equate to being a false positive.

That being said - a negative test can get a line on it outside of the designated time frame. So unless those pictures were taken w/in 5 minutes of peeing on them, the faint lines that appear to be showing up on the last two may not be real.

If you are, write another 40-week post. Thats how I found your blog - and seriously - it was one of the only "this is what is going on this week" baby blog I could stomach! Most of them are a little too "sweet and precious" for my taste. ha.

Oh - and when I was trying, I bought the cheap 50cent ones online. They worked really well. But you have to buy them in packs of 20 or so.


Um yeah, condoms. That's how I got my 13 year old!

Please see the doctor for a blood test and/or buy a different brand of tests.

I'm seeing lines on picture two and three...


I'm glad everyone else sees a second line in the third test, too. Thought I was going crazy.

I'm going with congratulations, Amalah. you are so pregnant.


I'm glad everyone else sees a second line in the third test, too. Thought I was going crazy.

I'm going with congratulations, Amalah. you are so pregnant.


yeah, I agree with Kim up there...I see faint blue on that 3rd picture. Better get another 3 pack!!!


Heh heh heh. Your ass is SO pregnant. Okay, maybe not your ASS...


As your partner in pee stick expertise, I'm here to say that the "false positive" I had last year is now seven months old.

The second one looks like a ghost line, but the third one looks like a possible faint line.


I had a much fainter line both pregnancies. Two healthy boys!

Hoo boy ... or girl?


In case you haven't heard this enough- yeah, I see faint lines on the other 2 tests, too. The only way you can know for SURE: get a blood test.

flox dye tests are pure EVIL. If it were a pink dye test, I'd be chanting "pregnant! pregnant!" with the rest of these chicks; but blue? Nah. Blue just likes to fuck with you.

Hope a pink test gives you the results you want!


I see a second blue line in both "negative" tests.



I vote for an evaporation line on the first one... Had one of those once when we weren't exactly trying and it scared the bejeebus out of us, but no baby...


May I just debunk the whole digital thing? Because if you pull the digital test stick out, you see a stick with lines. And I had one that said negative, and when I looked at the stick part inside, it had a (very faint) line. My levels were just low. But pregnant indeed.


My faint line is peacefully sleeping in his room right now. I didn't get a really dark postive line on a pregnancy test until I was almost 2 months pregnant. What can I say? Order up a blood test ASAP!


i'd like to offer "good luck". either way.

& i saw more of a smudge, rather than line on the 3rd test.

my thought is: you're making good strides with noah, & ezra is rather mobile. you have finally figured out a way to pay for services to help noah to your satisfaction.
doesn't that automatically mean you must be pregnant?

kinda like how someone decides to not "try" for awhile, since they got a new job. but then they have your "celebration" baby & was pregnant each and every day they worked at that job....

best wishes!
can't wait to hear the outcome.
(tho' am i the only one thinking you already know the outcome?)


I did get a false positive once, but the pregnancy test was expired and NOW I KNOW expired tests don't work. FYI. Besides an expired test, though, I've never heard of a false positive and I have to admit I also see those faint lines on all of the tests.

I think your eggo is totally preggo! Yay!


I see lines on all three of them. I think I'm crazy.


Dude. That is SO a faint line on the third one. And I have squinted, (too) many times at wait-OMFG-is-that-faint-or-my-imagination-holy-crap-I-can't-be-knocked-up-at-our-wedding lines

Go for the blood test.

(Also, hi! I don't believe I have actually commented on your blog since...uh...Journalcon in DC, like a million years ago?)


This may be a bit of a horse/barn door kind of thing, but I lurve my IUD, which totally does not interfere with nursing and which means I hardly ever get a period. And they don't expire!


Well I've been having the debate about whether or not to go for three, but looks like I'll be able to just do so vicariously through your blogs. False positive? Does it exist?


You're too funny. Noah, Ezra (ok, Jason too) are very lucky. I would have been off the deep end a looong time ago. Thanks, you make me laugh. Lots. Happy Holidays! (nice loop map, btw)

Jessica (@ It's my life...)

Amy I am SO sorry to say that I also see a very faint line on that third pee stick. Test most definitely not conclusive... Ulp.



Well, I *don't* see lines on the second and third pictures if that helps.

But I don't call that first test "faint," either. Maybe it was a chemical pg? You could have dodged a bullet...

I think I'd be pretty tempted to go get a digital and/or blood test if you do not have the period to end all periods by the time morning rolls around.

My fingers are crossed for your desired result (whatever you say it is)!


Prego!! Get a blood test! ANy line of any kind is positive! False negatives happen, but false positives are rare! Congrats!!!


Blue line tests are kind of notorious for streaking that looks for all the world like a (false) positive. I'd still test again with a pink dye test or a digital. But the "NUH-UH, false positives never happen evAr" people are flatly wrong.

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