Remember when Suri Cruise was born? The internet was full of rumors on how Tom Cruise was eating Katie’s placenta like a nice steak dinner. Well, for purposes of this story, I’m Tom Cruise in this one. You’ve been warned.
When the pregnancy started, I was all, oh, schedule that c-section now. Then, I was all, natural birth and hypnobirthing. Then I was all, I’m naming the baby after the nice man who gave me the epidural. I guess you can say that I changed my position a lot.
One thing remained constant: I’m all kinds of afraid of post-partum depression. I’ve had depression for a long, long time. I did not want to go down the dark and twisty road of PPD. I know too many who have suffered.
And then I heard about the placenta… You see, if you ingest your placenta, it’s supposed to be really good for your moods and hormones. A huge factor in avoiding PPD.
While the idea repulsed me on many levels, I knew it was important to investigate. Because, let’s face it, if it was potentially going to help me stay on track, I wanted to explore the option.
I called the placenta pill people. The price was acceptable. It seemed easy enough. I was in.
Here’s a brief description of the process, complete with bullets.
- Give birth.
- Placenta comes out.
- Placenta is placed into a plastic container for freezing.
- Because placenta is medical waste, placenta can’t come home with us and has to be picked up three days after birth.
- The Friday before Christmas – go to pick up placenta with small cooler purchased specifically for placenta pick up.
- Cooler is too small. Very frozen placenta is placed in a plastic bag. Fortunately, not a bio-hazard bag, which I’m told is sometimes done.
- Call and get everything scheduled. Placenta begins thawing in sink. Husband has seen some scary things in the past few days, so this does not faze him.
- Placenta prep comes directly to your home.
- Placenta gets boiled, sliced and put into a dehydrator. (I think this was everything. I was upstairs feeding the baby for part of it.)
- Placenta looks kind of like a london broil at this point.
- Dehydrator goes for 12 hours. Dehydrator must be warm because cat likes it and sits on top of it. Cat sitting on your dehydrating placenta is a sort of weird thing to see in your kitchen, but when you are about to ingest your placenta, you don’t question a lot.
- Once dehydrated, placenta is ground up and put into capsules. I had a good haul and got about 130 capsules.
- I took my first dose immediately. That was it. I did it.
A couple of weeks after the birth, I had a couple of really emotional days and I was scared that I was veering into PPD territory. I took an extra dose, which I was told was fine to do. It helped. A lot.
While the process might be a little weird, it is based on traditional Chinese medicine. It has made a huge difference for me. At the three week growth spurt, I thought I was going crazy due to lack of sleep. Some extra placenta helped a lot to get me through it with some grace.
Now, for the gross stuff.
- You get a keepsake made from the umbilical cord. It was a dehydrated cord heart in a little sachet. I’m not going to lie – it smells like jerky. And we were warned to keep it away from the cats. Since I’m taking pills made from an organ, I figure I am not that easily grossed out. Except the thought of finding my cats eating my baby’s dehydrated umbilical cord… Well, that’s a whole new level.
- The pills have a distinct taste/odor. I’ve described it as swallowing a pill made of scabs. Maybe that is dramatic and it is just very rich in iron. I hold my nose and make the best of it because they work.
- Something about selling either the pills or my placenta involves organ trafficking. I was really tired during that part of the conversation, but I like to think that I’ve got some serious contraband in the house. Plus, who doesn’t want to think they could make big money on the black market from some of their own medical waste…
That’s it. I’m taking placenta pills and I love them. And, maybe someday, my cats will have a special treat of their own and then I’m going to have to live with that forever.