I've been keeping a secret since November. Something I learned from a few of you that wrote to me or left comments under a post really intrigued me. I decided to do my own research which led me to the decision that I can now say was life changing.
I had my placenta turned into capsules and have been dutifully ingesting them since Hope was born. Basically - I'm eating my placenta.
Are you still with me?
It was actually a very cool experience! I found a woman in my area who came recommended and arranged for her to pick up the placenta from the hospital. My O.B. was very supportive - he wasn't sure he believed it would really do anything, but he agreed with me that it couldn't hurt to try. The placenta was set aside for me after the delivery - we brought a little cooler for it to be placed in (it was sealed up by the hospital) - and the woman we hired drove to the hospital late the night Hope was born to retrieve it. Then, she delivered the capsules to our house the day after we came home!
I hear your question already.
"Why in the world would you eat your placenta?!?!?"
Well, it is believed that consuming the placenta has benefits like replenishing depleted iron levels, increasing your energy levels, increasing milk production (this has been proven!), helping to balance your hormones, assisting the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state, reducing post-natal bleeding and helping to make your post-partum experience happier all around.
I can honestly say - I believe it helped me with all of these things. I suffered from post partum depression after the birth of Gavin and Brian. It was really bad after Brian. Like I told Ed when I brought up the idea of doing this placenta thing - if I can do something that may reduce the chances or even prevent post partum depression, I feel I have an obligation to try. Let's face it - losing Gavin and discovering I was pregnant within milliseconds of each other definitely put me into the "high risk" category. There was no way I was going to sink into depression after Hope - at least not without a fight.
Yes, I do know that I'm still at risk - post partum can strike months or even a year after birth. But I feel like I'm past the critical stage. Did the pills work? Possibly. Could it have been a "placebo effect?" Possibly. But who cares, really? I truly felt that taking the capsules - which were just like taking a vitamin supplement! - helped me with my energy. I felt great! And Ed definitely noticed a difference in my mood from previous pregnancies.
When the placenta capsules were dropped off, she also gave us something extra. She told us that as soon as she started to work with my placenta, she noticed right away that there was a knot in the cord. Something we hadn't even been told yet! She took it upon herself to save that portion of the placenta and dry it so we could see it. In this photo, you can see the knot at the top.
Looking at this is another reminder to me of what a miracle Hope is to our family. I don't even like to think of what might have been if she had gone to full term.
I'll let you do your own research about placentophagy (the scientific term) - but you can count me as one that would recommend it to anyone. It didn't seem or feel strange to me at all as I am a big fan of Eastern medicine... homeopathy... and other non-traditional practices. Remember, we're the family that had a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in their living room and have been seeing an energy healer for years. I believe in these things. And I now am a true believer that eating my placenta got me through a period of time that had the potential to bring me down. After the excitement of Hope's birth - I expected a big crash as everything started to sink in. It never came.
So if you're wondering if I read your comments... care about what you have to say... look into some of your suggestions... the answer is "all of the above." And to the readers that brought "Placenta Encapsulation" to my attention - something I had never even heard of until you - thank you. You truly changed my life. (And Ed thanks you, too.)
We're having yet another snowstorm in Pennsylvania! This one brings back memories of another big storm when Gavin was three and Brian was two and the three of us enjoyed a snowy day in our pajamas. As I aimed to balance Hope's needs with rousing games of Hungry Hungry Hippos... a SuperWhy board game... Pirates... Star Wars... and trains with Brian - I kept thinking about Gavin and that snowy day. How I miss the two of them together.
But we had a fun day - despite the challenges that come with having a needy infant and a preschooler that wants to play with you every minute of the day. When things got especially hairy, I declared that today was a dance party day! And not just ANY dance party - a COSTUME themed dance party!!
The storm trooper (or clone trooper - or whatever the heck it is) was played convincingly by Brian Leong:
The sleeping ballerina was played brilliantly by Hope Leong:
And the "amazing" dancer in the video (ha ha to that one) that is dressed like a lady that longs for summer is played by me.
Are you snowed in? Have a dance party! And if you're brave enough - post the video on the Chasing Rainbows Facebook page so we can all see it. I shouldn't be the only one humiliating myself around here. Sheesh.