Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smiling Graham

Graham is 2 months old today. He has been smiling for a few weeks, but laughed hysterically at Gwen yesterday for the first time. By the time I got the flip to capture the moment, Gwen saw what I had and the moment was over. He thought her jumping on the bed singing loudly and unintelligibly was so funny. Gwen is pretty hilarious.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tree of Life

Warning: this is gross.
One thing that I have learned being a Mother is life is messy. Even before the baby arrives, crazy things happen during birth, and after the baby comes out, it isn't over, the afterbirth needs to be birthed (just when you thought you were done!). The placenta is an amazing organ created by the Mother for the sole function of nourishing the baby that wants to grow inside her. In some cultures the placenta is believed to have nourishing properties for the Mother as well, after birth. Like most animals, these Mothers are encouraged to ingest the placenta after birth to replenish themselves from the ordeal. I considered this. I wasn't going to take a bite of it raw, though some do. And I wasn't going to cook it and eat it, well not exactly. There are some of us out there who have, or have considered, steaming the placenta, drying it, pulverizing it into capsules, and then investing it in a less threatening capsule form for all its benefits (including warding off postpartum depression). Though, even these women usually hire someone to do this for them. When I read this, struggling to care for Gwen with my numerous months pregnant self, I thought, "I should do that, I am gonna need all the help I can get to stay sane after this baby arrives." So I did. For you do it your selfers, and those who are curious, this is what I did:

1. Sent the placenta home the day it was born with Mother in Law who put the biohazard bag in a zip-top bag for me and tossed it in the freezer so I could start this project at my convenience.
2. Five days later I pulled out my frozen placenta, rinsed it with hot water, put it in a steamer basket on top of a bed of sliced lemons and fresh ginger, and steamed the heck out of it.

3. I rinsed it off again. The 'meat' of the placenta is encased in a sack, and it seemed like it should come off (and I had read that you could have blood clots under it- and I was not interested in that).
4. I then sliced it up.
5. I got a tray from the dehydrator, laid a piece of parchment down, and laid out the slices.

6. I then dehydrated following the directions for jerky.
7. I got the food processor out and dumped in the pieces of jerky (which were very crispy and overdone).
8. It took forever to pulverize the placenta into a powder.
9. I was going to take my powdered placenta and put in, vegan gel caps size 00. Yes, I picked out vegan gel caps because I try and avoid gelatin, because I am a VEGETARIAN.
10. Ingest. I was going to take one capsule with meals (so 3x a day).

I knew there was a chance I would not be able to follow this project to the end. I surprised myself in that I enjoyed the process. I was surprised by Spencer who was thoroughly disgusted by the process, but sincerely encouraging about me ingesting my capsules.

I can not bring myself to complete step 9 and have a little plastic container of my powdered placenta. What I am stuck on is it smells like liver. It handled like liver, and it smells like liver...and I feel relatively good anyway and am not sure I need to go so far as ingest my placenta. The process was really cool, and I am satisfied with that. We are going to purchase a small ornamental fruit tree (I think a Kumquat) and I will sprinkle it in the pot to help nourish my baby Kumquat tree, in remembrance of my babies and how I nourished them.