Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Blood and The Beauty: Placenta Prints

The first time I gave birth, they took the placenta away. They didn't ask. They just took it, and of course, I didn't notice. I was busy, waking up from the dream of birth, and falling in love with the first creature I laid eyes on.

Weeks later, in the darkness of night, I remembered. Where was it? I had wanted to keep it. What had they done with it? Could I get it back? No. It was gone, and strange as it sounds, I cried.

Not so much for the piece of my flesh - lost. I cried for the bigger loss it somehow stood for - the birth I wanted, but didn't get.

Somehow, the birth I wanted got replaced with the birth they wanted. And, in the birth they wanted, nobody keeps their placenta. Why would they want to do that?

So I cried, for the flesh lost, and the dreams disregarded.

The second time I gave birth, they took the placenta away. They didn't ask. They just took it, and of course, I didn't notice. I was busy, waking up from the dream of birth, and falling in love with the first creature I laid eyes on.

In the kitchen, I heard rustling, the giggles of my toddler, the quickening breaths of creativity. Moments later, with some pride, a procession appeared, midwives-toddler-all, carrying three large pieces of paper, on which they had made pictures - the imprints of the placenta.

Strange! Why would they want to do that? And yet I treasure them, these bloodied pages, even now they transport me straight to that moment, to the blood and the beauty, to the love and the care and the oxytocin, and the transformation, of something base and animal into something of meaning, and deeply deeply human.

Everything leaves its mark.





1 comment:

  1. They're beautiful! My husband really wouldn't get this. He actually understands me wanting to consume my placenta more than wanting to take a print.

    ReplyDelete