Friday, January 22, 2010

The sacred placenta *graphic*

I've been thinking about this a lot the past few days. I know I said I'd come back and write about what we did to remember the anniversary of Yuna's death. Well I'm back. I know it's been an awful long time. But I'm like that. Perhaps it's all the rain. The thinking about life in general. The new year. The thriving tree instead of a thriving, bouncing and squealing baby?

I somehow miraculously, considering all else the hospital fucked up managed to save Yuna's placenta. Thanks mostly to a social worker and not crappy hospital staff. Actually come to think of it. I've no idea how amongst all the shit that was occurring someone said "hey keep that!" Amazing.

Anyway. I took the container wrapped in a hand made blanket given to us by the social worker, home with me the day I was released from the hospital. A whole four weeks after Yuna was born. Yep I got to take home a placenta in a bucket rather than a baby. Nice.

Even before I'd given birth I wanted to do something special with the placenta. It was important to me. Almost like a ritual. It was our last baby. Out of all three pregnancies this was the only placenta I would be keeping. It suddenly became even more important considering I didn't get the baby from this placenta. So there was room in the freezer. One day down the track, possibly on the baby's birthday we'd have a special day and plant it.

Fast forward. Dead baby, butchered womb-less mama and a placenta in a bucket. Keeping it in the freezer was eating at me. I needed to do something. I didn't know how or what to feel on the anniversary of her death. It was an odd sensation. Similar to the actual day the year before. A bit hazy yet so very clear. I thought it was time to plant the placenta.

The days were fast approaching. I stumbled across, well actually Charlie (2) knocked a Cherry tree from Bunnings over. Much to the horror of the staff. That was it. It was her tree! Perfect.

So here's me with a 2 year old trying to get this tree into the back of a car. Very unplanned purchase. Perfect all the same.

That whole weekend we prepared in the garden. I took the placenta out of the freezer and let it defrost. All the while never looking inside the container. I just couldn't do it. Not yet anyway. Maybe it was all part of some grand plan? Fate. Meh.

Everything was ready. I spent most of my time supervising the boys digging the hole whilst I painted a few canvases to do prints on. Something else I'd planned to do after our baby's birth. Placenta prints.

I was ready. I finally took the placenta out of the container to do the prints.
And there it was.
That sick feeling.
The pain like a bullet piercing my heart again and again.
The flashes of the surgeons face.
The hospital smell.
The trauma.
My beautiful placenta hacked into pieces, completely severed in half. Parts missing. The cord in pieces.
The tears. The pain. The shock.
I had no idea. No mention of it before we took it home. It was bad enough that we had to wash blue chemicals off it.

"How many more ways can they hurt us?"

B finally convinced me that I should still do the prints, despite the severed placenta.
It looked like a broken heart. Appropriate.

We tied her silk cord ties that I made before the birth on a piece of her cord and planted them in the Earth.

Despite the emotions that surfaced when I saw the placenta it felt so good to return it to the Earth.

Some kind of Peace.

1 comment:

  1. My first thought upon seeing the photo of the placenta was awe at it's beauty. Yes, it shows the signs of being through so much trauma but it is still a thing of wonder.

    Your placenta prints are lovely and the story of planting is with a cherry tree is beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing this.