- Yoga was pretty much the most boring thing a person could do and in no way could or should be considered exercise.
- The "Center for Spirituality and Healing" department at the University I attended was hella creepy with it's meditation promoting ways and whatnot.
- Co-op grocery stores were stinky and had weird foods. And Whole Foods was almost as weird, just bigger. WHERE WERE THE BRAND NAMES?
- Yoga is important to me and essential to my pregnancy and I crave it like I crave dessert.
- Not only have I taken a meditation class at the Center for Spirituality and Healing in recent years, but I use hypnosis techniques (very much like guided meditation) to prepare for childbirth on a daily basis.
- I not only shop at co-ops, but I am a card carrying member. I don't buy many conventional brand names anymore.
And now I'm about to share something with you that I never, ever, EVER in a million years thought I would do, let alone admit out loud. It shows just how different I am from the person I was a decade ago.
(Take a deep breath and brace yourselves...)
I'm going to have my placenta encapsulated.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!
I'll let you process that one while I go outside to raise my freak flag up the flag pole.
This is actually something that came up during Bella's pregnancy. I heard about it for the first time back then, but it seemed like a super extreme and bizarre thing to do. Something those wackadoodle ocean-dwelling orgasmic birthers who yodel through labor might partake in. For those that have never heard about it, basically the concept is that consuming the placenta after birth provides several benefits including: a quicker recovery, improved lactation, restored energy, replenished iron stores, and the big one - a reduced risk of postpartum depression. Consuming your own placenta delivers medicinal benefits that are matched exactly for you since your own body created that placenta. The common argument for placenta ingestion is that most mammals in the animal kingdom eat their placenta, so why shouldn't humans do the same? In fact, placenta is translated into "mother cake" in many languages. And cake is definitely something you eat. I would know. Some people eat the placenta raw (GAW!) or cook it and grind it up and put it in a smoothie (BLEGH!), but many (most?) go for placenta encapsulation - basically letting someone else make it into harmless supplement pills. All the benefits with none of the gag-inducing grossness. You can read more about placenta benefits and placenta encapsulation here.
Back to being preggo with Bella. While the benefits to placenta encapsulation sounded all very well and good, I really wasn't interested. I mean, gross, right? Then Husband asked about it at our Hypnobirthing class (I just about died) and it turned out one of the other couples there was actually going to do placenta encapsulation. Whhhhhat? For reals? But I guess cool. For them. Not me. (Seriously: gross.) Husband, however, kept bringing up the topic and thinking we should do it, too. He was worried about me developing postpartum depression given my history of depression. So I told him that if he set it up, I would do it. I knew he would never, ever in a million years get that one coordinated all on his own in the middle of wrapping up his MBA studies and working full time and applying/interviewing for a new job and managing the rental properties we own and thus it never happened. Ha! I tricked you, Husband. BOO YA!
Fast forward two years.
I have been thinking a lot about the postpartum period after Oliver and I am somewhat worried about developing postpartum depression. This concern is greater than it was with Bella, mostly because I know my level of sleep deprivation will be higher. I know myself well enough to know that crap sleep has a terribly negative effect on me. And so the idea of placenta encapsulation began to creep into my head as a possibility. And then it became more than a possibility; it became a why not?
So I did some research, asked for referrals at yoga class (had to stifle the urge to SHHHHH! the yoga instructor/doula when she casually called out to another doula about who she would recommend for placenta encapsulation), and then made a call. And now I got a contact in my phone called "Placenta Lady Kelly", there is a large glass bowl with a lid in my hospital bag to put the placenta in (someone else can so be in charge of that step!) and Placenta Lady Kelly will be swinging by the hospital after I deliver to pick up the placenta. From there she will do the encapsulation at her house using OSHA standards and then bring it back to our place. All this for $150. Most other states require that you do the encapsulation in your own home due to legal issues, which means cooking it in your own oven. Luckily Minnesota's law is not as strict and therefore it will not be done in my own home. I will have you know that Placenta Lady Kelly mentioned that "men can find the smell of placenta cooking to be off-putting" to which I say WOULD NOT EVERYONE FIND THE SMELL OF PLACENTA COOKING TO BE OFF-PUTTING? ZOMFG!
Ahem. I think I'm still getting adjusted to the fact that I'm actually going to do this. But to bring it back to the question I asked myself about placenta encapsulation earlier - Why not? It's relatively inexpensive, I don't have to worry about whether it's compatible with breast-feeding the way I would have to consider with some anti-depressants, I'm spared the ick factor of having to handle the actual placenta, and if for some reason I don't want to keep taking the pills, I can just stop. Simple as that. The benefits outweigh the bizarreness and for me, it's worth it.
So there you have it. I'm currently making myself a mother cake and I'm going to eat it, too. Funnily enough, I still don't know if I can handle looking at the actual placenta after delivery (I didn't last time). I've changed in many ways over the years, but the thought of looking at a big meat-slab-looking placenta grosses me out. I am not inspired by placenta art and would be squeamish about handling it for the purpose of burying it in my yard under a tree. I sure as hell won't be indulging in a placenta smoothie at any point in my life, no matter how hippie dippie I might get. I'll take my mother cake in the pill form, thankyouverymuch.
Now I turn it over to you - does this totally weird you out? Have you changed your mind about this or something similar in recent years? Anyone else want to come out of the woodwork and admit to doing something freaky with your placenta, too?