Monday, May 26, 2008

The constant gardener



This is Harrison today, at 5 months, enjoying his first picnic in the park, after which we decided to go home and plant my placenta. I took it out of the freezer last night, as if it were a piece of steak, but somehow it just did not seem right sticking it in the ground frozen. This morning, I couldn't look at the plastic Ziploc bag anymore and made haste to buy a plant to go in the ground. I chose a climbing rose bush with fragrant peachy blooms. I dug a hole in the one spot in the garden where the rose bush would fit, hard by a tree stump. I couldn't dig quite so far because I kept hitting roots. So I eyeballed the depth and, with sweaty brow, unwrapped the placenta and its loooong cord, marveled at it, was thankful for it, and tried not to wretch. I put it in the ground, placed the bush on top and began back filling. Of course, the hole was not deep enough. The only other place to plant it was in a large whiskey barrel. I dug a hole there, yanked up the bush, and then kept digging looking for the placenta. Suddenly, I felt like I was living an episode of CSI. What was wrong with me? I glanced up to see if any neighbors were looking. I grabbed the earth-encrusted placenta, dangling from its cord, and placed it in the planter, dropped in the bush, and covered it all up quickly.

I can't wait to see -- and smell -- it bloom.

10 comments:

kim said...

tina

i am 36 weeks approaching what i hope will be a successful HBAC (second attempted homebirth). i read your blog months ago from start to finish. (i think you had just finished the story. lucky for me, because i read it in one sitting) my midwife had recommended it to me, as she knew i had had a hard time finding stories i could relate with in this process of pregnancy and birth. however, your story was very inspirational to me at that early point of thinking about this concept of HBAC. since then it has been on my mind in and out of all i have gone through with this pregnancy.

lately i have been feeling a bit worn out and as a result a bit scared. so i decided to read it again. i don't know why i didn't recognize it before, but our stories are so similar down to the house built in the 1800's (though we live in sf). i want to thank you for your blog and let you know that for tonight at least, it has given me a new sense of strength.

i sent the link to my mom a few days ago. she too has now read it and seems to be affected by the story as well. in fact she wishes she had read it before my first attempted homebirth 2 1/2 years ago. for all of this i thank you.

and congratulations on the placenta planting. it took us two years to get around to breaking the concrete up in our backyard and start the garden with the planting of her placenta under our new japanese maple. we set it out in the morning and had an afternoon toast as my husband poured it all out into the dark earth beneath our house. it was at this moment that i wondered if there were any other placentas beneath our feet...

maybe i too will chronicle my birth after this creature arrives. my blog currently is mostly photos, but feel free to check it out. i feel like a bit of a voyeur, so to offer up a bit of the same in return you can check out our blog: http://familiarconversations.blogspot.com/

sincerely, kim

pinky said...

Your son is adorable!!Your placenta story made me laugh.

Tina Cassidy said...

Kim, you made my day! I am elated that you found my story helpful. I know you will have a successful HBAC because you are informed, have a midwife and family who are supportive. There is no reason to doubt yourself. (I highly recommend the pool.) And just think of the alternative -- checking into a hospital? Send us pictures when you are done! Best wishes.

AnnD said...

Harrison is a doll! So snuggable! It's really neat that it gave Harrison life for months and now it will give a tree life forever! Imagine how cool Harrison will think that is to know that's "his tree."

pinky said...

Tina at my hospital we are not "allowed" to give parents their placenta to take home. I have been told it is an Osha "Law" Since it is a "BIOHazzard." Makes me so wicked angry. I think it is because the folks who run out hospital are uptight ethnocentric jerks....But I digress.

Do you know of any "Law" that says a person cannot have their placenta? I figured it was the parents property. I would be prettty steamed if you told me I could not have my placenta if I wanted it. I don't but if I did, I would be mad.

Tina Cassidy said...

Pinky that is outrageous. But I have heard of that happening elsewhere. In the UK, hospitals were trading placentas to cosmetics companies which were using them for face cream, etcc. True story.

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