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26 August 2010 @ 12:36 am
Placenta Party!  
My placenta was so much bigger than I thought it would be. I don't know why but I envisioned that it would be maybe the size of a fist, but it was more like a flattened basketball. Even though I wrote in my birth plan that we would be taking it home, my mom had to chase it down as the nurse wheeled it away on the birth cart after Danica was born.
She took it home and put it in the fridge.  Three or four days later, I went over to her house and she and my doula made placenta prints with it.  They used only the natural blood that was on it, and there was enough for about a dozen prints.  They experimented with many different positions by laying it down on watercolor paper.

Here is a fresh one.  As you can see, the blood is still bright red:





They got a bit darker after they dried.  Here is the one that I had framed (sorry about the glare).  It's hanging in my bedroom now:




After they got done making prints, it was rinsed off and the cord was removed.  Then my mom steamed the placenta, cut it into little chunks, and put it in the food dehydrator overnight.  She also took the cord and wound it in a little coil and put that in the dehydrator too.  It came out looking really cool.  It should keep for a very long time as it is completely hard & dried out.  I don't have a picture of it, but it kind of looks like one of those dog treats made from some weird bovine body part... only it's way cooler once you know what it is, and I'm psyched that I get to keep our umbilical cord forever  :)
After the placenta pieces were dehydrated, my mom ground them in a coffee grinder.  They turned into a very fine powder, and we then put the powder into capsules.  I have been taking 4 each day (2 in the morning and 2 at night) since about 1 week post-partum.  
I could tell you all sorts of things about how awesome I'm feeling despite having about 40 risk factors for PPD, or about how I lost all my pregnancy weight by 3 weeks after the birth, or about how light my lochia was and how it barely lasted 4 weeks, or about how I'm producing enough breastmilk to feed half the orphans in Africa... but the truth is, I don't know how much of this really is because I'm taking my placenta and how much of it would have happened anyway.  The research still needs to be done to verify these and many other benefits that people claim you can get from ingesting your placenta.  But I figure if I don't do it, and wind up with PPD (my biggest fear, and my main reason for taking it), I will always regret not doing everything I possibly could have that might have helped me stay sane.  So if it is a coincidence or just placebo effect, I don't really care.  As long as I'm feeling well, I'm not going to obsess over it  :)
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Meat curtainsdanica on August 26th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
Fricking COOl, I'm totally encapsulating with this baby!! I bled like a stuck pig for what seems like forever, I was in SUPER UBER pain, and boob milk, I made enough, but no MAJOR surplus.

I love everything aboot this!
one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
Yay!
one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC)
Though I must add that having a major surplus comes with its own unique set of challenges. I wake up drowning in breastmilk in the middle of the night. I have to sleep with bath towels and they get absolutely saturated. I have yet to find any nursing pads that I can't leak through. I have squirted Danica in the eye on accident more times than I can remember. She chokes on the output from Fire Hose Booby (that's the left one) on a regular basis. I get painfully engorged if I skip even a single nursing. I've already had a mastitis scare, complete with fever & chills, but was able to sleep it off.
I'm able to hand express easily & have frozen about 20 ounces so far, but am trying to ease up on that because as long as I keep expressing all the extra, my body will keep producing WAY MORE than I need for one little baby. My doula (who is also a LLL leader) says my body will learn to regulate my supply to how much my baby needs within the next couple weeks, so I am looking forward to that and trying not to screw with things too much in the mean time.
zandperl: Daisyzandperl on August 26th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Have you considered donating the excess?
one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
The local milk bank doesn't want mine because I take medications. They're VERY selective. Plus they turn around and sell it for $9/oz, so it doesn't even go to the people who NEED it, it only goes to the people who can afford it :(
Maybe we'll have to make cheese or something!
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one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm going to keep what I have for now (about 20 oz). I have half of it at home in the freezer and the other half in my mom's freezer, since Danica spends a lot of time there. If something happens to me, or even if I'm running errands or something and I can't make it back to her in time to breastfeed, I want there to be some on hand for whoever is watching her.
If I wind up with a TON extra sometime in the future, more than I could possibly use before it would go bad, I will see if anyone in LLL needs some.
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one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
Did they tell you that you couldn't?
That's BS.
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one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I probably wouldn't have had it in me to put up a fight by that point either. And maybe they count on that.
But dammit, it's my body part, I grew it, give it back to me!
If Sheila hadn't been on the ball, my placenta probably would have wound up in the trash. Like I said, they were halfway down the hall with it when she chased them down. It wasn't even on my mind at the time. I was a LITTLE preoccupied with the newborn on my chest.
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one4theroadone4theroad on August 26th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I wonder what the difference is... why can they not let you take it if you have a c-section? I don't understand how that makes any sense.
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