Monday, December 1, 2008

The Placenta Tree

When you're knocked up, you find yourself asking a lot of questions. Should I strive for a natural birth? Will I ever lose the baby weight? Where the hell are my toes?!?

Apparently, there's another question I need to be asking myself.

After the baby is born, what do I do with the placenta?

Like many of the other woefully ignorant mothers to be, I figured the doctor would just take it and toss it down the hospital garbage disposal. Then, the other day, I saw our neighbors and their family gathered in a circle, celebrating the planting of a placenta tree in their backyard. Like, they kept the placenta, put it in the ground, and stuck a fruit tree on top of it, so that one day they could totally freak their kid out and turn them off to lemons for the rest of their lives.

Or, maybe, they're just hoping that the placenta tree can open up lots of discussions about life, lemons, and the downfalls of symbolically representing your kid with a tree.

"Mommy, where did that lemon tree come from?"

"Well, after you were born, we buried the placenta under the tree, so that we could watch the tree grow as you grow."

"Then, why is the tree dead?"

"We forgot to water it."

So, now I've come to realize there is a whole world of options for post-birth placenta functionality. We could plant a tree or a nice decorative placenta hedge, but seeing as our dog has become very adept at digging up yard treasures and eating them, that might not fare so well. We could seal it in a Lucite box and turn it into a paperweight, which would be both practical and make a great graduation gift. Then again, we could always eBay it or turn it into a nice pair of mittens for our newborn.

After turning all these ideas around in my head for several minutes, I couldn't get over the fact that none of these really felt right - nothing seemed to completely capture both the longevity and fragility of life. And that was when I had a placenta epiphany.

I figured, if our neighbors can plant a placenta tree, I can make jerky out of mine. All I'd have to do is set it and forget it, and the life sustaining quality of my placenta would get a shelf life that'd rival a Twinkie. Eat your heart out, Ron Popeil (though, not literally, as heart jerky would obviously just be gross).


Dave said...

Kristin, your way with words is both impressive and horrifying at the same time.

I think you should send this piece to some of the parenting magazines and get it published.

S said...

hahahaha! It's so thoroghly disgusting and hilarious at the same time.