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12 DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas and My Hardest Pregnancy Moment…

Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding experience. Today I’m sharing an essay about the most difficult moment of my daughter’s birth for ABC News and the UN Foundation’s Million Moms Challenge. Here’s a little excerpt from my essay:

So I was put on bedrest. After a week, my blood pressure wasn’t going down, but instead was going up so they checked me in to the hospital to be induced. After the labor was progressing, I was put on medicine to bring my blood pressure down and it worked so well that it went down too quickly and I passed out. All of the alarms were going off at the hospital. Doctors and nurses were rushing around. I think my husband just about had a heart attack.

Go to Million Moms Challenge to read my essay, and to share your own birth stories. You can enter to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving. When you share your story, you automatically are entered to win the prizes.

And, in the spirit of all things baby, I’d love to share 12 of my favorite DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas:

What was YOUR best or hardest pregnancy moment?? I’d love to have you share it.


This post sponsored by PurseBling:


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  2. Love these DIY gift ideas. Especially the wash cloth puppets. Very cute and seem simple to make. There’s something to be said about handmade gifts. They are usually inexpensive and one of a kind. Much better then mass produced crap. Give an Experience Gift across Oz and NZ with FreemanX Gifts

  3. Leanne – I have a nephew with Williams Syndrome and his mom is a regional coordinator for the Williams Syndrome Foundation. I know that this is a relatively newly found disease, so I wanted to make sure you were aware that there is a great support system out there…

  4. Thanks for sharing the 12 DIY baby shower gifts! I love them! I shared a link to this page on my blog (http://lavenderandlaceblog.blogspot.com/). Thanks again!

  5. My hardest pregnancy moment was when my sons father passed away. I was 5 months pregnant. My second hardest moment was giving birth without his father by my side. Now, I have a handsome and intelligent 16 month old boy who is just as silly as ever. Each milestone he reaches, I think about how he doesn’t have his dad here to see it and how he doesn’t get the “father and son” moments. However, I’m thankful because we are doing really good and no matter what, I’ll always be wrapped around his finger!

    • Melissa – I am so sorry to hear about your son’s father passing away. I am sending you prayers. You are an amazing woman and mom!


  6. My hardest pregnancy moment was when I was told at 20 weeks I had to deliver. I was transported by ambulance to the hospital in the city an hour away. Thank God the doctor there was able to keep baby safe for 5 more weeks. The second hardest was being told I had to have an emergency c-sect at 25 weeks, at least I knew my baby had a fighting chance. She is now 17 months old and doing great! So blessed to have a healthy baby after that bumpy pregnancy.

  7. My hardest pregnancy moment was when I was told I would have to have a c-section at 26 weeks. My daughter is now a four-year-old tornado that never stops! The second hardest moment I had while pregnant was when I was told my son was being born at 29 weeks. He is now 10 months old and was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome at almost two months old. Needless to say, our lives have been turned upside down this past year.

  8. very very nice, I love reading these stories

  9. Connie Kurth says:

    SO here is my story with my second child i was at about 7mths along and went into the dr. and he did an ultrasound and found that my daughter was the wrong way!! SO we had to come back in after a week and i had to have her flipped it was the worst experience ever and painful, my husband just cringed everytime he pushed into my huge pregnant belly she defenitely didnt want to come out!! We got her flipped after about 10min. and she stayed where she was supposed to be. It was a crazy experience but she came out after 7hrs. and my first took 22hrs. so I defenitely had an easier delivery with my second one. I am so blessed with two beautiful children 8yr old and 6yr old! Times sure have changed! Thanks for letting me share!

  10. So I’m supper late, but this is my hardest pregnancy moment. When I was 36 weeks I went in for a check up & they sent me to the hospital for high blood pressure. When I was 37 weeks I had to have a emergency c-section. My daughter weighed 3lbs 1oz I didn’t get to see her for several days because I wasn’t well enough. She stayed in NICU for a month. We lived so far away from the hospital we could only 1 hour a day with her. Now she is a healthy 3yr old we are so blessed.

  11. courtney barnett says:

    I had a perfect pregnancy, no morning sickness, gained weight just in the belly, felt fabulous and was active right up until I went into labor. I was past my due date & scheduled to be induced Sunday evening. I was so excited when I woke up at 1am Sunday and was having contractions. They were mild so I got a few more hours of sleep. I woke my husband up about 7am and told him that I thought we were in the early stages of labor. We took our great dane for a walk, had a nice breakfast, cleaned up the house a little and waited… By lunch time I thought they were still pretty far apart but my husband decided that he was going to time them… I was wrong and we decided to head to the hospital because they were 3 minutes apart. We got to triage & the nurses wanted to check me. I was having contractions but hadn’t started dilating yet. They had planned on sending me home until my husband informed them that we were scheduled to be induced that night anyways and talked them into letting me stay. I got into my room, had them fill up a birthing tub & decided to watch a movie. Then a second and third movie. I was determined to do the delivery drug free. My doctor had warned me(mid way through the pregnancy) that I had a very narrow birth canal so I might end up having a C-section; I knew that it was a possibility but I figured I was going to do my best to have the delivery on my terms. At the 36 hour mark(completely drug free & 100% miserable) my doctor suggested I have an epidural since I was VERY slowly progressing & in very intense pain. At this point I was only at a 4. I gladly accepted and was amazed that there wasn’t any pain in getting it, I am terrified of needles. Within 5 minutes I was happy as can be and ready to get that baby out. Within an hour I was at a 10 and began pushing. I pushed and pushed and pushed. This went on, with breaks over the course of 8 hours. We tried every position and even the vacuum. Nothing was working. I was heartbroken when my doctor said the baby really wasn’t moving down any with each push and she didn’t think it was going to work. We decided as a team that I should have a c-section. I was whisked away to the operating room & within minutes my sweet little Leland was born. A total of 44 hours in labor but he was perfect. Born weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces & 22 1/4 inches long he was a big guy. Things didn’t go as planned but I sure did get a fantastic reward & the best moment of my pregnancy.

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  13. Great iinsght. Relieved I’m on the same side as you.

  14. I am so glad that your little one arrived safely and that you both are healthy. I have found that growing up you just take pregnancy for granted and think, “well, I’ll get married and have babies. Easy as that.” As you are going through conceiving, pregnancy, and delivery itself you realize that it is not always that simple. Thank you for sharing your story.

  15. Alejandra says:

    Being a mom is a blessing. I have two sons, 4 yrs and 11 months. I was in labour for my second child, and the process was long, finally after dilating completely I had a c-section because the baby did not came out… We stayed in the hospital for 5 days and when we were going home the pediatrician told me that my baby had an injury on the head, due to birth and that it was infected and he needed to stay, I felt my whole world crushing down…
    It was really hard, a long long 10 day stay…
    After 10 days my baby was ok and I could take him home, I was so happy!!!!

    Sure the hardest moment.

  16. I already had 2 sons two years apart ~ both were caesarian section due to hypertension and not dilating inspite of inducing me. 3 Months after son#2, I was already carrry son#3. EVERYONE except my gynae suggested abortion but I believed in Miracles. By 6th month, I was already adimited twice at hospital for placenta previa. The placenta had gone thru my uterus scar which was relatively fresh due to which I was constantly bleeding (with clots!!) 2 times during that pregnancy I broke down. One was when I was admited the first time and there was virtually NO ONE to look after my older sons who were then 3years and 6months !! Leaving one at the nursery and the other at a kind soul who was a babysitter at her home was my only option. Knowing that I was bedridden with my little ones so away from me was heart shattering. Then the second time, I had severe bleeding but my second son who was only 6-7 months got pnemonia while I was admitted in the hospital. He was admitted on the 3rd floor and me on the 5th floor. I persistently fought with the authorities and doctors to give me release from the hospital ~ signed on my death form and got discharge and finally made it to look after my baby on the 3rd floor. The emotional pain is what really hurt. Needless to say, the 5 days that he stayed in the hospital were extremely difficult for me physically coz the hospital provided not bed to sleep on for the visitor, only a arm chair which made an extremly uncomfortable sofa/bed. The nurses never considered that I was having a serious pregnancy ~ where I was forbidden from carrying anything, they’d ask me to carry him and give him a sponge !!! When he was better and out of hospital. We flew my mom over to stay the rest of the time. Within, 3 weeks of her landing, I had severe bleeding one Friday morning. They rushed me into surgery. 2Ominutes later, my tiny son, who was only 28weeks was out and into the SBCU for respiratory failure. Me ? 5 hours later, they managed to keep me alive ! I had lost alot of blood during the operation, they had no option but to remove my uterus. I was on the life support for 3 days and later recopperated with alot of pain. I had placenta previa, placenta acreta. The rate of survival in my case before the operation was 40%. I was 31 years without a uterus ~ but I had life. My family, lied to me constantly that my baby boy was doing well, but in reality he had several organ failures and seizures throughout that first week. My husband was totally devastated running between two wards in the hospital and seeing both of us detoriating day after day. By error, it slipped out of my doctors mouth on a routine visit to know about my sons last seizure and I was totally shattered to know he was so serious. But it also gave me exceptional strength to actually get out of the bed, and “sit” ( sitting was a night mare those days with 27stitches ) into my wheelchair to see my son. And yes, I remember seeing this tiny frail purple body lying between streams and streams of tubes and thinking. I believe in Miracles. He survived and after 3 weeks, we got him home. Post delivery I have had a book full of health issues but I think, EVERYDAY, I thank Allah swt for blessing me with the best three babies in the world. They are truly gems of children.

    • Naush ~ Doodlebuddies » Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing you story. It sounds like your son is doing well. I hope so and you are in my prayers I hope your health is improving too. .


    • Wow! I’m so happy you believe in Miracles and never gave up. Good for you for standing up for yourself!

    • What an Amazing story sista.
      May God continue to Bless your family over and over again.

  17. I love reading these stories. Pregnancy & childbirth are such amazing miracles.

    I have to say, my scariest memory of pregnancy & childbirth was realizing baby #2 was REALLY on his way out…and I was going to have to push! {Apparently, 9 months isn’t enough warning…}

    Not knowing when it was really “IT” until THAT feeling hit…I remember screaming some choice words and refusing, saying “I’m not doing this” and “I don’t want to do this anymore” and I think even scooting back away up the bed from them (kind of funny now) but at the time I just did not want to feel THE pain. I’m too scared to try an epidural…And already 4 months later, I’m thinking about next time (God willing!)

    I wish I had written more of the details down back when it was fresh, because I really don’t remember how painful it was.

  18. <3 this.. i have 3 girlfriends right now that are pregnant… so its going to be a fun time getting all kinds of handmade goodies for them.. can't wait to try some of these 😀

  19. Pregnancy was a hardest moment. :-)

    I had to be hospitalized from hyperemesis – IV nutrition and the whole bit. I lost 11 pounds before I even started gaining. Home health poked me with IVs for a month afterwards. I wore a nausea medicine pack for longer than that … I still threw up about 3 times a day up until I decided that I’d take nausea medicine until the end. :-) After about 14-16 weeks things were looking up.

    At 25 weeks I went into pre-term labor. We were so scared she was going to be a micro preemie. They put me on bedrest for 11 weeks! Definitely the hardest moments. It was all I could do to stay in bed! I was so excited to get up (and have her!) at 36 weeks. Then, the little booger had the audacity not only to stay in me, but come a week late!!

    I was induced and hoping for a natural birth, only to end up having a c-section. Ha. After she came the drama died away. We want another one, but 2010 was so stressful we have to gear up. Not sure how long that’s gonna take.

    :-) But she’s wonderful (and almost a year old!) and I’m so glad she’s healthy and here with us.

  20. What a scary story! Glad all worked out ok! Thanks for the roundup of ideas, I’ve got a lot of showers coming up and these are some great ones!

    • Thanks Jessica. Aren’t those ideas fun?? I want to make some for some showers I have coming up too!!

      Thanks for your sweet comment.


  21. My hardest pregnancy moment was when I had my 3rd son and my mom died the day before. People were coming into town and my husband and I were trying to buy a new car to fit our bigger family. My water broke in the new car as we were driving home. I said to my husband I can’t do this today. He said well I guess you are going to have too. It ended up being a gift from God. I could finally sleep and I was able to make it to my mom’s funeral and give her life story which was really important to me. I always tell my son that he came to earth when he did to save my life. I’m not sure if I would have made it if there wasn’t a baby to worry about and feed. It made me have to get had out of bed and tend to the baby and my other kids. Truly a tender mercy when I look back on it now.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Yvette. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I felt the same way about my baby Ella. My dad died 4 months after she was born and I was devastated. Caring for her gave me something to look forward to each day as I was grieving from the loss of my dad. And loving her and my other children helped me heal and be able to remember the good times with my father.

      Bless you.


  22. I just read your article. What a scary time for you and your family. All of it! I’m so glad your Dad got to met her.

    I went into labor at 30 weeks. I was dilated to 3 1/2 and the contractions were fast. It was kind of scary. Luckily, the mag sulfate stopped it and I was then put on hospital bed rest for a week and bed rest at home for 6 weeks. Abby was born perfectly healthy at 37 weeks exactly!

    • Oh that;s so good they were able to stop your contractions Jenny!! Your Abby is so cute!!


  23. Honestly I am not sure that there is one moment that sticks out most in my memory from my pregnancy with my daughter. It began with finding out two days before my husband of a month deployed to Iraq for the first time. He was sent into the middle of Baghdad for most of my pregnancy and had to routinely go on missions. Also during this time my sister had a wreck and flipped her car, my dad was hospitalized for a few days, I was having gallbladder problems, we had a very close family friend pass away and then with in a week his brother also passed away. We luckily made it all the way through the pregnancy and my husband made it home on his 2 week r&r the day before my 40 week check up. We went to the appointment where my doctor knew that if we made it to him getting here that I would like to induce. She basically checked me out and said that everything was great and was like ok he is here let’s talk induction. She said she needed to check her calendar and walked out of the room. Two minutes later she comes back and says, “How about tomorrow?” and we were like “Okay.” LOL We call everyone to let them know and they started to freak out thinking that something was wrong. After having a big celebration welcoming my husband home that night we went to bed ready for the next morning. Everything was going great and after 8 hrs they checked to see where I was on my progession to find out I had not dilated past a 3, where I had been for the last few weeks. My doctor asked me if I knew what a c section was and I said yes and she looked at me and said you are having one and I said okay. As you can see my dr and I were always very basic and to the point lol. After having to get my husband to snap back to reality I told him to go tell everyone. Several minutes later I got to see my beautiful little girl. I did not get to hold her right then as they were doing their job and I was being closed up and taken to recovery. As I am being wheeled into my room my nurses let it slip that my daughter was in the NICU before my family had a chance to tell me. We spent the next 13 days with my daughter in the NICU. They ran every test possible to find what was causing her rapid breathing and could never find a cause. They sent her home on medicine and after finishing it up she never needed anything ever again. However I still think my favorite part was as they were taking me to my room from recovery they stopped to let my family see me again and my mom looks at me crying and says, “You do good work.” LOL

  24. My hardest pregnancy moment was the 39 hours of labor that ended up with a c-section. :( I’m just happy he came out healthy!

    Thanks for the shower ideas! I am hosting one for my sister-in-law in December and needed a bit of inspiration!

  25. My first daughter was born at 32 weeks and 5 days. I didn’t know I was in labor!! I had no pains what so ever and little uncomfortable but let’s face it what pregnant lady isn’t? That night I kept using the bathroom but that was about all. My hubby was a little concerned and took me to the hospital. He drove the speed limit and I kept saying to slow down because there was no reason to be going to the hospital in the first place. Once we got there the nurse checked me and I was at an 8! When the nurse said “honey you are having your baby tonight” I thought she was crazy! Then my poor husband was told and he turned as white as a ghost and asked for the phone to call family for support. My room was covered with nurses and doctors galore. 4.5 hours later my 5 pound daughter was born. We didn’t get to hold her or really even see her. All we saw was a little tiny face and then she was ran to NICU right past our family members. We knew nothing about what was happening to her. My husband ran out after them to find out leaving me with my sister and my doctors. Madalyn spent 3 weeks in the NICU with ups and downs everyday. She was 8 days old the first time we held her and she turned blue in our arms and whisked right out so they could help her. Thank goodness it was just sleep apnea. She was released to us on my hubby’s birthday on machines and meds. It’s now 10 years later and she is amazing! My second daughter now 5 was an easy pregnancy and labor. Although she was born 4 weeks early because my water broke. Went to the hospital and 4 hours later was holding a healthy 6lb 6oz baby. Then there was my son born 4 years ago… Started labor at 32 weeks but with doctors, meds and bed rest was able to hold it off to 37 weeks. That labor was an intense 2.5 hour painful labor! He was 8lbs 3.5 oz & very healthy. Still to this day can’t believe I had all three with no pain meds at all. God knows I wanted them with my son cause I was only a 3 when I got to the hospital right after my water broke but he had a different plan and wanted to meet us.

  26. My world flipped upside down when I heard, that my baby has Down syndrome. I so wish I could see the image of my life now THEN. It was such a heart-breaking thing that the recovery from the diagnosis stole minimum 6 months of my life. Now I know that my son is the best thing that could happen to me!

    • Thank you for sharing your story with us Sandryte.

      Your son sounds wonderful and he is lucky to have you for a mom, I can tell.


  27. All but one of my 6 births had a little drama. #1~ very low (50 over palp) blood pressure after getting an epidural. #2~ induced due to raised blood pressure; after 4 hours, the nurse barely caught him as he came out, because I had been left alone in the room, & when I’m ready, things go fast! #3~ the least dramatic, but born within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital. #4~ we’ll get to him in a minute.
    #5~ induced due to the increasingly rapid arrival of her previous sibs, but took 7 hours!
    #6~ also induced, but being 7 years younger than the previous sib, acted more like a first. I was told for many hours to ignore my urge to push because I wasn’t dilated enough. Eighteen hours into the labor, the nurse at the shift change said I could give a little push to help relieve the urge. 15 minutes later, I was holding Son#5!
    Back to #4~ 18 years ago today, I went into labor, drove to the hospital (OK, Hubby drove!), checked in, got examined & started walking down the hallway to a labor room. 5 steps, my water broke. 5 more steps, Son#4 was crowning. Several more steps with nurse holding baby in, while Hubby, a hospital employee, looked for a gurney. He found one parked around a corner in the hallway, I got up on the gurney (not an easy task!) & was holding Son#4 5 minutes later! Worst part~ they stitched me up right there in the hallway!

    My sister has a better one~ she gave birth never knowing she was pregnant!

    • Wow Dee – those are all such fast deliveries! And so crazy that you sister never knew she was pregnant. Wow!!

  28. the hardest moment for me was holding my 4 week old son in the NICU as he suddenly stopped breathing and then witnessing his intubation and wondering what went wrong.
    thank you for letting my voice be heard. i needed to get that out.

  29. Oh, so cute! Thank you! I’ll be making some of these for Christmas gifts! :o)

    • Michelle » You are welcome!! I think they are all really fun and easy to make gift ideas :)


  30. Thank you so much for sharing my monthly onesies! I’m not a mom yet, but I love making cute things for showers…love all the ideas you shared!

  31. My first pregnancy was with twin girls. My water broke, so we gathered up our things and started the hour-long trek to the hospital, knowing it would take a little longer because we were in an ice storm. We decided that even if we got to the city and had to drive around for a bit, we’d be better off than waiting and worring that the roads might be worse. When we got there, they took us to a monitoring room instead of a delivery room and a nurse checked to see how far I was dialated. She promptly called in another nurse for a second opinion and we were wheeled down the hall… I had walked in the hospital at 10 cm and didn’t even know I was in labor. I remember being uncomfortable, but I couldn’t tell when the contractions were starting and stopping. We ended up with two beautiful girls less than an hour after walking in to the hospital!

    • Wow – that is crazy!! I’m so glad you made it to the hospital in the nick of time!


  32. What if your hardest pregnancy story is just to get pregnant? That’s what we’re going through here although it’s not a huge rush. We’ve been somewhat trying for a year but I’m still young and we can wait. :)

  33. It’s so hard to come up with a defining best or worst moment. I loved feeling the kicks, I loved having the round belly, I loved the excitement of everyone guessing if the baby was a girl or boy. I struggled with a stressful remodeling project throughout my second pregnancy. And surviving a horrendous stomach bug during labor/delivery and for a week after was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

    I recently hosted a baby shower for my sister. I put together a tutorial for baby washcloth lollipops that your readers might be interested in: http://www.greatjencreations.com/2011/09/tutorial-making-baby-washcloth.html

    • Thanks for sharing your pregnancy likes and dislikes Jenny! I am excited to see your washcloth lollipops!!


  34. My worst pregnancy moment was right after I arrived at the hospital when my water broke. A nurse came to check my progress (2 cm). All I had was a gown, no IV, monitors, belly band thingy, nothing, but the nurse said we had plenty of time and went to check something elsewhere. Within 10 min. I was screaming at my husband that It hurt so bad and I felt like I had to push! He grabbed a nurse who was all “no, no, You don’t need to push for ages yet… Where is your monitor? Let me check you.” (8 cm) “Let’s put on the monitor and see what’s going on.” (I’m doubled over cursing through gritted teeth because of the pain!) Then there is a mad panic when the nurse realizes that I am having one continuous contraction. (No normal rise and fall of the pain) There was panic, all of a sudden I was surrounded by 6 nurses, all yelling that we needed a doctor NOW! Eventually they got an IV in and gave me some drug that made it all stop, but it was the craziest 20 min. of my life. When it was all finally over I just looked at the nurse and said “That wasn’t normal was it?” “No”

  35. My hardest pregnancy moment was a Doctor visit at 38+ weeks…. being told there was no longer a heartbeat. From then until my daughter was stillborn will always be a sharp blur (does that make sense?) in my memory. That was almost a year and a half ago and I miss my little girl more each day.

  36. The best moment of my pregnancy was finally giving birth to my little diva doll. I had an amazing birthing experience (I was in active labor for about almost 6 hours (so that wasn’t too long), I got to have my daughter all natural and no drugs). I can’t say the same about my pregnancy considering I had morning sickness the entire time, but regardless I did love being pregnant with my baby belly :) Oh and I had my daughter exactly on the 40th week mark, which is perfection for any mom and baby; definitely means healthy, healthy, healthy.

    • Thanks for sharing your story with us Daneilia –
      So glad your daughter was healthy and you had such a great labor!!


  37. My hardest moment was just minutes after Sullivan was placed in my arms because he was taken away due to respiratory distress. He stayed in the NICU for one week. As his first birthday is almost here this month my emotions are still really strong when I think about not being able to hold and snuggle my baby for a week after birth.

    • Oh Megan —

      I’m so sorry your son had a hard time breathing when he was born. My Ella had to be in one of those incubators with billirubin lights for 4 days and it was hard not being able to hold her. I’m glad your son is doing so well and almost one. Happy birthday to him!!


  38. Such great stories; it’s exciting to see the amazing gift God is giving with each of you. I’m not a mom yet, hopefully someday I’ll be able to share someting fantastic like this too! Jen, you look AMAZING for being in the hospital, just having given birth!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing, I love the ideas, I don’t have a baby but, I go to lots of baby showers and unique gifts are fun! :)

  39. When I was 3 months pregnant with our first child, my husband left for training in the Navy. We saw each other once a month until I was too pregnant to fly. The baby was due Jan 6, and my husband had 2 weeks off for Christmas. We had moved out of our home and were living with my parents, so throughout his Christmas break we kept praying for the baby to come early. On December 29th, we met our precious little girl and my husband was THERE! It was the sweetest moment of that pregnancy and we still had 5 days to enjoy her together before he had to return to training. God answered our prayers and I still revel in that fact!

    • Lauren —

      I’m so glad your husband was home from training for your daughter’s birth. What a blessing!


  40. Being a mama is such hard work, but so very rewarding! I love birth stories 😉 And those baby shower ideas are adorable!! I’ve always loved those little wash cloths at Martha Stewart :)

    • Liz!!! How are you?? I was so excited to see your comment!! I love hearing everyones birth stories too. I hope things are going great for you guys!!!



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