How far into labor were you before you got an epidural (centimeters & hours)?

Jess - posted on 02/25/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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How far into labor were you before you got an epidural (centimeters & hours)? Were you happy with the decision/outcome? Did you have any pain meds in early labor?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Selia - posted on 03/05/2010

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I had a 26 1/2 hour labor, and had absolutely no meds, and I am so glad I didn't! (to be honest though, I had a home birth and had I been in the hospital I probably would have given in and had some after about 18 hours, as I was still at only 2!)

Jennifer - posted on 03/10/2010

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I was induced. Zero cm when I went into the hospital, they started me with Cytotec and a few hours later started the Pitocin. I had the pitocin drip for 5 1/2 hours and was 4 cm before I got an epi. A hour and 15 mins later I was 9 cm. lol They must have had a nicely dosed epi in me too, because they gave me a PCA button and I never had to use it. Was pleasant as can be during pushing, having a full conversation with my dr and nurse. lol

Leslie - posted on 02/25/2010

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I was at 4cm ( and 2 hours into labor) or so with my son 5 yrs ago. Within 2 hours he was born. Had him on a Friday and went home Sunday morning. With my daughter, born in May, I was at 8cm (and 4 hrs into labor) and had her within an hour. Had her Saturday lunch time and went home Sunday lunch time. I had no complications from either epidural and it worked for me.

Sarah - posted on 03/10/2010

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i had a great labour well other then the contractions..when i got to the hospital i was 7 centimeters dialated n when i got the epidural i was 8 centimeters it worked out great ..no pain after that....im not sure how many hours though i know after i got the epidural i had my son within an hour and a half but it only took 6 minutes to push him out and i got the epidural 20 minutes after getting to the hospital

Melissa - posted on 02/25/2010

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oh, i was about 7cm and 9 hard hours into it. i was induced with my 1st because my water had broke very early and i was forced to deliver. terrible. i did not have an epidural with my 2nd...and if i ever have a third i WILL NOT EVER have an epidural again. that is as long as i am having a natural labour. this sounds strange but pushing that baby out was amazing, i felt so great afterward. awesome experience. dont go in saying i need an epidural, it slows your labour and your baby. i stayed home as long as possible, i was labouring all day, i got to hospital 3hrs before i delivered and lay in the tub for a while(sounds nice, but i was not that happy in there, lol) then i used the gas in my last hour. oh, but i was begging for an epidural and cried like a baby when they said it was too late. im glad they didnt give me one and it was fine for me, but everyones different i guess.

oh and its also harder to push with epidural because you cant feel what ur doing...

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Jennifer - posted on 06/19/2011

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with my first my water broke at 5am and I ended up having active labor pains right away and I was only 2 cm going into the hospital. finally at 12:30 I got the epidural and they gave me so much since I was in so much pain that I couldn't feel anything from my boobs down. I was glad that I did get it afterward's, but know I'm mad that I did cause of all the side effects. After 7 hrs of active labor and not moving at all I had to get it so that I could get some rest and hopefully it would help.

With my second one my water broke again before I went into labor. It broke 6am and I got the epidural @11 and he was born at 12:15pm and it didn't even kick it cause when the guy was putting it in he got a lot all over me and the bed so I really didn't end up with that much in me and I felt everything.

Dyan - posted on 03/10/2010

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5 hours in with my first at 8 cm...realized it wasn't necessary for me as I delivered less than an hour later (delivery time was 15 minutes) With my 2nd I opted for a midwife and NO drugs whatsoever. There were some meds available to me but I didn't even leave for the birth center until I was in transition because the pain was manageable, then all of a sudden I started feeling pressure! Luckily it was a Saturday morning so no traffic and only about 20 minutes away. I delivered within 17 minutes of arrival. BUT for those of you who don't want to brave it drug free...get it early then ask them to back down the dose when you get closer to delivery. I know that sounds crazy but it is best to be able to feel something. As a comparison...BOTH of my labors were less than 8 hours, BOTH deliveries were less than 20 minutes...BOTH boys were within a pound or so of each other. With epidural...I could barely walk for a week and had percoset prescribed. I had pushed too hard. With no epidural I could push only as needed and I was showering on my own within 3 hours and the only pain meds I needed was ibuprofen.

I am no against epidurals, but if you have any pain tolerance at all try to go without. It really isn't that bad...

Chaya - posted on 03/10/2010

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Naturally every woman has to do things her own way, and decide what is best for herself, but I had no medication of any kind at any time during labor. They have to back down your med when it's time to push, so instead of a gradual increase of pain (nature plans these things well), that your body can get used to, you mask the pain then overload your body all at once with the worst part of the pain. I'm not saying it didn't hurt, but natural childbirth wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. I was also carrying on a conversation between contractions....it felt for a bit like it would never end, then my midwife told me to reach down and feel my daughter's head crowning, and then I knew it was all working, and it was only a couple more pushes and she was out! Hope this helps you!

Sarah - posted on 03/10/2010

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oh and i was up walking around within half an hour doctors were impressed...and i was only getting contractions for 2 hours before going to hospital

Malinda - posted on 03/06/2010

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I was 39 weeks and went in for a scheduled induction at 6 AM. the dr broke my water at 7:30, I had the eppy at 10:30AM. Abigail was born at 1:15 PM :) I waited as long as I could to get the eppy, I was 7cm by the time they gave it to me, They had to ask me to wait to push until the Dr. got back in the room :) She was really impressed as this was my first baby...

Stephanie - posted on 03/05/2010

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I was 9cm and I think like 8 hrs in to labor. I was determined to do natural. My labor had started about 2pm the day before...and it was back labor and it totally sucked! lol But to me that is what my body was meant to do.

Since the back labor was so intense they gave me some narcotics to ease it, which was fine with me. I have chronic migraines so I was used to the meds.

Well any who...my little one was turned funny and they said either c-section or epi because I wasnt gonna be able to push her out or take the epi lay a certain way relax then try again. So I totally said epi and rest!! ahahha

I got about 2hrs sleep and then woke up feeling like I had to push. They only gave me a partial epi so I was telling the doc when I felt the contrations and when I was ready to push.

I didnt feel the full effects of the epi till after she was born. My legs went numb.

I dont regret how it went because I was just happy they didnt slice me open! I totally loved being in control and didnt mind the numb legs so much after lol

Leasa - posted on 03/05/2010

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i was 8 1/2 centimeters dialated and i waited about 8 hours before i got the epidural.Yes i did have some iv meds too but they really didn't help me at all. i was very happy with outcome and my decision to have the epidural.the reason i got the epidural was because i had trouble remembering to breath when i had a contraction come and with it being this way i was ok and i didn't really feel anything but pressure.
hope this helps
Leasa

[deleted account]

My water broke about 6 hours before I started having real contractions. I was in labour for about 12 hours and only 1 cm before I caved and asked for an epidural. I was exhausted and couldn't relax through the pain so I thought the Epi would help along the labour. Man, I was so in-love with the Doctor who administered the epidural...lol. Felt a million times better. Oh yeah, the reason I was only 1 cm after 12 hours was because my son had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice!! Ended up having an emergency c-section.

Jill - posted on 03/05/2010

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Long story short, I tried natural childbirth and waited until I was 9 centimeters before the epidural (my only pain medicine). I only took it because I had not eaten in 36 hours and was exhausted and they were putting me on Pitocin. I ended up needing a c-section after. I'm happy with the decision because my labor would not progress. But, I will try a natural delivery if I ever have another child.

Melyssa - posted on 03/04/2010

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My epidural came thirteen hours into my 23 hour labour. I was only 5 centimeters. My water broke right before I recieved it. However I also needed to have an epidural due to other heart health issues so we wanted to keep as much stress off my heart as possible.

Alexis - posted on 03/04/2010

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I didnt have any at all and i am so thankful. The pain wasnt as bad as i expected and i felt so much better that i didnt have anything! you can do it.

Ericka - posted on 03/03/2010

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i never had an epidural after about 30 hrs of labor i had iv meds so i could get some sleep. i really wanted an all natural birth. just make sure you talk with your doc about what you want. somethings they dont tell you is that the epidural actually slows down your labor. many times that is why they will give you pitocin once you get the epidural which slows your labor before it speeds it up. when you think about it you are giving your baby all the drugs that you are getting too and they are drowsy at birth. sometimes that is why they dont nurse right away too. they like you to be at least 4 cm before you get an epidural. the best thing to do while in labor is to walk or rock to help your hips open up and once you get an epidural you are confined to the bed. also, on your back is the hardest position to birth in just so you know. not all hospitals/doctors allow you to birth in other positions but if you can ask. the best was is actually standing up cause your hips open more easily but on your side works better than on your back. please dont think i am trying to make you go all natural just want you to know that our bodies were made to have babies. if you feel you need the drugs that is your choice and i dont look down on anyone for it. i ended up with a c-section after about 35 hours of labor and since i wasnt on the epidural it was quick and easy for the doctors to give me a spinal and make sure my daughter was ok. meds for a vaginal birth and meds for a c-section are very different and it takes time to change them. also, you only get so much epidural meds before you cant have any more, that is what i was told by my doctor, so the longer you can go without it the better your chances for having it if you do need it in the last part of your labor. i have a friend who actually had no more pain reliever cause she started it as soon as she could and took so long. things change so often that you are really gonna have to talk to your doc. good luck :)

Christine - posted on 03/03/2010

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I had both of my daugters with absolutely no drugs! My labor was hard and fast with both! And I was a fantastic pusher because I was able to feel everything! Literally delivered my second by pushing for 90 seconds!

Diana - posted on 03/03/2010

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I was between 5 and 6 cm 22 hours after my water broke when I got an epidural. When the nurse checked my cervix about 20 minutes after the epidural was in I was 10 cm and ready to push. My daughter was born an hour and a half later and I don't think I could have gone on any longer without the epidural. I am happy with my decision and have no regrets about my first birthing experience.

Anita - posted on 03/03/2010

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I had none, I had a homebirth, so no epidurals there. I had a very quick labor: 3 hours and after that just 21 minutes of pushing. It could have been faster (6 minutes according to the midwife), but I had to hold everything back because the midwife wasn't ready yet... :P

Hannah - posted on 03/03/2010

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I was 14 hours into labor and 5 cm dilated. I regret the decision because the epidural only worked on the right half of my body... The left half.. I felt EVERYTHING and it was back labor. I finally went completely numb about an hour before it was time to push, so I wasn't able to push very effectively. I hope I will be tough enough not to get an epidural the next time around.

Sylvia - posted on 02/25/2010

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I, um, don't remember.

Based on what I do remember, I would guess I got the epidural maybe about 34 or 35 hours in. No idea how many centimetres -- I had back labour (the effect of which is that the pain does not go away at all between contractions) and dysfunctional contractions, I needed to push and they wouldn't let me, etc. I had no pain meds until that point.

I was not, and am not, happy with my decision to have the epidural, both because I feel I was misled into making that decision (I was in the middle of transition at the time, and if the resident had said "you're in transition, it'll probably only be this bad for another 45 minutes to an hour" I would never have asked for the drugs; what she actually said, and she was TOTALLY WRONG, was "you're not having this baby today" -- it was the middle of the afternoon) and also because as a result of the epidural, I couldn't feel a bloody thing -- literally not anything -- when it came time to push, which meant I couldn't push effectively and that stage took several hours instead of 20 minutes. Also, not surprisingly, the epidural slowed things right down so that I "needed" to be given pitocin to speed them up again.

OTOH, it could have been worse: at least I didn't end up needing an emergency c-section, and the baby was never in any distress during the proceedings (unlike her mom and dad ;^)). So I guess I'm happy with the outcome. But if we are ever lucky enough to have another baby, I will be skipping the OB and getting my prenatal care from a midwifery practice. I would like to be looked after by someone who actually takes my desire for a drug-free birth seriously instead of thinking it's cute and idealistic, and who (unlike the very nice L&D nurses I had last time) has some clue how to deal with a labouring woman who doesn't want drugs. And at least that way I'll have met the person attending my birth at least once before I arrive at the hospital :P

Charmaine - posted on 02/25/2010

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i was 20hrs into my labor when i got it... i was super tired and needed a rest... i ended up getting a c-section so no i do not regret it

Ariana - posted on 02/25/2010

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I had starts and stops for a full three weeks, and got to three centimeters and halfway effaced before I had to be induced at 41 weeks (my water was slowly leaking and there was almost no amniotic fluid left). The pitocin contractions were really painful. I went five hours before I asked for pain meds (I think it was stadol they gave me) and then after another three I decided to go for the epidural. I think I was about 6 or 7 centimeters. To further complicate matters, I had back labor, which was made worse by the fact I had a back injury from a car accident that happened shortly before I became pregnant. After 20 hours of labor, I wound up having a c-section because my daughter had turned and lodged herself in a strange position while I was in the middle of labor and no matter how well the doctors said I was pushing, she wasn't coming through in that position. I probably wouldn't have had the c-section if I hadn't had the epidural because I might have been able to move around more and jiggle her around, but it took me about 14 or 15 hours to even hit 9 cm and I really don't think I could have lasted that long. I think being induced actually played just as much of a role in leading me to a c-section as the epidural did, and I really wish I had just gone into labor naturally, but I had no choice (it would have been dangerous to wait any longer). Better luck next time, I guess.

Krystal - posted on 02/25/2010

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I loved it! I had my waters broken at 8.10 and induced with Syntocin. By lunchtime my contractions were 2cm apart and i started on gas. At 3pm i was only 3cm and had the epidural. It was my lifesaver! At 9.36pm my gorgeous boy was born xx

Ori - posted on 02/25/2010

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I was in labor for 19 hours without an epidural or any other pain meds before I had to have an emergency c-section. I received a spinal block then. I never dilated any. I did, however, have very strong contractions one on top of the next!! I did consider an epidural, but really didn't want to get one.

Hannah - posted on 02/25/2010

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they were trying to induce me- I was 0 cent. and not in labor. They told me I could have it from the start. I waited 7 hours and then was in too much pain so I had it. Ended up w/ a c-section, but it was prob. because my cervix was not ready to go!

Christy - posted on 02/25/2010

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I wanted to try and have a natural birth, but after twenty hours, my body and psyche were worn out :) I was not able to get through contractions and my body was shaking really bad from the pain- so . . . I had it at that point- I had been having somewhat inconsistent contractions, but the furthest apart they were was about five minutes and most were lasting at least two minutes for the eight hours prior to the epidural- it was very intense labor and my body was not progressing. I was only dilated to three when I had it. I ended up delivering seven hours later and I am very glad I had the epidural, it gave me a chance to rest (not really sleep) and it took the pain away, my baby was born healthy and alert. In future labors I would try to go natural again (hopefully I progress more quickly with subsuquent labors), with more time spent on practicing, especially knowing better what is to come during labor. But, I wouldn't have done it any other way this time.

Megan - posted on 02/25/2010

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I didn't have drugs with any of my kids and had homebirths with the last two. I wasn't about to take the risks associated with someone punching a whole in my spine. Labor is one of the most empowering things you can do as a women if you are properly prepared. Here is a link to the top 100 Natural Birthing Blogs, they are loaded with awesome info. http://www.mritechnicianschools.org/top-...
Nursing Birth is a labour and delivery nurses view from the inside, http://nursingbirth.com/. Ten of my friends had babies around the same time I had my first(super baby boom) and the moms who had an epidural took longer to recover(in their own words) and I know four of them would never have one again. Again, natural birth can be so empowering. Having my babies at home was over the moon. I was surround by my family, not a cold sterile environment like most hospital birth although I know some of them have really nice birthing suites now. I got to sleep in my own bed and I wasn't pestered all the time. And please, before anyone says that homebirth is dangerous, do your research.

"Though the United States spends more money on childbirth than any other nation, it has one of the world's worst records for infant mortality and maternal mortality, said Cheney. The infant mortality rate is nearly 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ranking the U.S. 30th in the world in 2005." Taken from an article By JEFF BARNARD Associated Press Writer
ASHLAND, Ore. November 19, 2009 (AP)

Nikki - posted on 02/25/2010

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i'm in the middle of reading "ina mays guide to childbirth". and i'm finding it very empowering about letting childbirth be a natural experience. i highly recommend it to any pregnant women, i'm on my second too, and this time i'm going to go all the way natural and put off going to the hospital until extreme discomfort... we'll see how that goes. but i have a good midwife who labors with you the entire time your in the hospital and does all the different birthing positions and techniques, so i'm hoping to have the labor and birth i want

Jess - posted on 02/25/2010

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Thanks Lauren, this is actually my second and I had an epidural for my first. I did not get it until 8cm and fully effaced/dilated. The labor came on strong and very fas but petered out after that. My daughter was 'sunny side up' so I don't know which thing caused the slow down, being on my back, the epidural, her position or a combination. So, I am considering a natural birth this time.

Kari - posted on 02/25/2010

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I was 3 cm's dialated a week before my due date, the doctor also saw that my blood pressure had gone up so they decided to induce me. At 9 am they broke my water, and by 11am I wanted the epidural, I was so exhausted. The nurse wouldn't tell me how much I was dialated at that point but by 12pm I was 5 cm and only an hour later I was a full 10 cm and ready to push. People always say epidurals slow down labour, but that definitely didn't happen for me.

Brandy - posted on 02/25/2010

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30 hours and 4 centimeters. lol. I think at that point, I deserved a little rest. I would never take it back if I could. That was my first baby. With my second, I had no pain meds, no epidural and had a good labor experience. I think it depends on the labor and believe that not only every woman, but every labor is different and you just have to adjust to the circumstances and make whatever decisions need to be made.

Adrian - posted on 02/25/2010

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My water broke before labor started on both deliveries. But labor soon started to set in on both. I went 12 hours the first time around and to 4 cm before I had the epidural. They told me I would have to have pitocin to regulate my contractions and that's when I opted for the epidural. It helped with the contractions but I pushed for 3 hours before she came out and I felt every bit of that including being sewn up from an episiotomy. The second time, same problem. I was given a couple of hours to labor on my own, did a lot of walking, my contractions didn't regulate. So I had to get pitiocin. I went ahead and had the epidural before the pitocin and didn't feel a thing after that. It was the best labor and delivery. Only labored about 10 hours total and she came out within a few minutes of pushing.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/25/2010

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With my first kiddo I wanted to push it off until the last minute. I was 4 cm when I got there and said, "No, not yet" to the epidural. By 8cm I was in agony and begged for it. They did it and it failed. The only reason they re-did it was because I needed an emergency c-section. Otherwise I would have had to deliver naturally which would have been terrible!!
My advice would be don't put it off, and request it when you START to feel uncomfortable. It takes a while for the anesthesiologist to be requested and show up and the last thing you want is to be writhing in pain or too far along to have it!!!! You'll be glad you did when you still have the energy to visit with your little one!!! I was passed out from exhaustion for the first 12 hrs. of my first daughter's life and I would much rather have been spending it with her!!

Erin - posted on 02/25/2010

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I believe I was about 4cm but 20hours! I just was too exhausted, the contractions were coming every minute for 45 seconds each for a few hours before getting it. I ended up with 26 hour labour but after the epi didn't feel a thing....it was heaven and I was able to rest for a couple of hours.

Marissa - posted on 02/25/2010

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I was 10 cm and about 3.5 hours into labour. My nurse was awesome and got it for me because she knew I was going to be pushing for a while and it would've been brutal without one. I was pushing for 2.5 hours. I'm so glad I got it because even with it it was still very painful! The only other thing I tried was laughing gas while I was waiting to get the epidural and all it did was make me nauseous.

Lauren - posted on 02/25/2010

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I chose not to have an epidural, due to the risks:

They can slow down your labour by making your contractions less effective, so labour lasts longer, you need more pain killers (because they wear off), you may need Pitocin to make the contractions stronger (but Pitocin cotractions hurt more), and the chance of a stalled labour that leads to c-section is higher.

Plus the Apgar scores of babies born after epidural are lower, they may have trouble latching to the breast at first because they're still "high"...

And don't forget that there is still a risk of paralysis because they put a hole in your spine to deliver the epidural drugs.

I had a fast and HARD labour, and certainly had pain medication - I'm not saying I was a martyr or that birth was a walk in the park! - but I really think people need the whole picture about epidurals. These days "everybody" has them and so we forget that it's a pretty serious procedure and some heavy-duty drugs.

Make your decisions based on YOUR labour, YOUR wishes, and YOUR doctor's advice, in that order. I wish you the best labour you and your baby can have :)

[deleted account]

it depends on your doctor. mine let me have when ever i wanted it, because he didn't want the contractions to wear me out. i toughed it out for a while but i couldn't breathe the pain was so bad so they finally gave me the epidural, (which they didn't tell me i had to lay all the way down for it to work) i was about 4 cm, it is a miracle drug!! but it does wear off eventually (i think 3-4 hours), when i started to feel the pain strongly and they restarted it for me. every delivery is different, i was in labor all day from 11:30am to 12:02 am. my doc also, left the epidural on during delivery just in case i needed to be sewn up, which i did rip--not with the head i pushed to hard and fast to get the shoulders out, then i ripped!

no regrets, i was ready to do it again the next day! hahaha

good luck and congratulations!

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