This post, is going to gross a lot of people out. For some reason, thinking about/talking about/seeing placentas make people want to gag/vomit/die/etc. Honestly, I don’t really get what the big deal is, but if you don’t want to see a picture of T1′s placenta (and especially if you don’t want to see me holding it in my hand!), I suggest you skip this post.
This is T1′s placenta, wrapped up in several chux pads. At the time this photo was taken it had been sitting in our freezer for 3 months. My mom wasn’t a fan, as it slid out and almost hit her in the head several times. There aren’t many things crunchier than keeping a placenta in the freezer!
I have no idea when I first learned that women were making prints of their placentas, but I immediately liked the idea. I saw some pictures that looked like a tree, and it made me think of the Tree of Life spoken of in the Book of Mormon. To summarize, in the Book of Mormon a prophet named Lehi speaks of a tree called the Tree of Life that represents the Love of God. I’m not sure I know of any more tangible representation of God’s love than the opportunity to shepherd one of His children through mortality. This placenta nourished T1 for 40 weeks, and from now on it’s my responsibility.
I know a lot of people will find this whole thing to be absolutely disgusting. I personally find it to be very symbolic and beautiful.
I decided to make it out on my porch and assembled all of the necessary components:
Acid free paper
Wrapping paper (we had extra so I used this under the placenta to prevent a mess
I washed and dried the placenta thoroughly and applied ink all over the side filled with veins, as this is what gives it the “tree” look.
After inking the placenta several times over, I flipped it over on the first sheet of paper.
Hmmm, not quite the effect I was going for, but you can see the tree a little bit, right?
I used the towel to dry it some more, and stamped it several more times, really rubbing to try to get the ink in the crevices. I also used my fingers to squish the placenta into the paper once I laid it down.
This is what I came up with the second time. T1′s tree of life!
I made several more, and came up with one other that I liked, and I’m still trying to decide between the two. Once T1 has a dedicated bedroom I’ll choose a favorite and frame up. Odds are that the majority of people will have no idea what they are looking at when they see it! I’m considering finding a local calligrapher to write his name, birth date, time, weight, and length on it as well.
I know I’m going to get lots of “ewwwws” and “blech!” and links that say “look at this nutjob who made a print with her son’s disgusting placenta” but I don’t mind. I love it and plan to do one for each of my subsequent children.