Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow Day Confessions...

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.



16 comments:

  1. Hey if it works for you cool! Looks like a cool snow day :)

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  2. You rock, I love reading all your posts!

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  3. I wish I'd known about this when my children were born. I had a placental abruption with our second and suffered from several issues following her birth (including nursing issues that arose with our third as well). This may have helped alleviate some of those afflictions. I'm so glad to hear about this and will recommend it to my friends who are expecting. Thank you for sharing--I'm so glad to hear that you and your family are seeing some benefits!!

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  4. My grandkids had that jungle toy the boys are playing with in the video... I know every word to every tune and often catch myself singing them whilst washing up or vacuuming - five years of grandbabies hitting the button have affected my brain LOL LOVE your dance parties... we do that here too - kids just love to dance don't they? Another awesome supermum moment from you Kate. Thanks for sharing

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  5. I am SO GLAD you did this! I was one of the commenters that suggested this (yeah!) and I am so glad it is working for you. Now you too will be the "crazy lady" who tells every pregnant lady you meet about eating their placenta :-) So glad you and Hope are doing well!

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  6. I wish it snowed where I live!!!! Living in SouthWest Florida, its summer weather today!! I wish it was cold though. Its better then humidity

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  7. The placenta thing is very interesting and it makes sense! I think I would have tried it too, if I would have known about it back in the day when my babies were born. We are in PA too and our 'snow day' was comfy, cozy with our son at home. LOVED your dance party and seeing your well-deserved happiness! As always, thank-you for sharing.

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  8. Made me smile this evening...thanks!

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  9. Wow!! This is so cool!! I'm going to look into this for future reference!

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  10. Rosie has that same ballerina outfit! When I saw it, I couldn't resist. I'm sad she only wore it twice before outgoing it. Hope is too cute for words.

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  11. LOVED your costume dance party!!! Brought a big smile to my face when I've been very worried about these last few weeks of pregnancy! Would love to see more dance parties.

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  12. I am *completely* with you. I tried placentophagy with my last little one too. There was a particular day, just a couple of days after giving birth to my girl, where I was just falling apart, couldn't stop crying, and couldn't tell you why (I knew it was PPD/hormones, but knowing that doesn't mean it just stops!). I was a bit more extreme... I tried a placenta smoothie vs. encapsulation... but the effect was dramatic and almost immediate. I was back in my right mind by that evening. Maybe it was placebo, maybe not, but who cares? It helped!! So much love for you and your little ones, and delighted you were able to use the advice here in your comments to (in theory, at least! :D) really impact your ability to be here and present and feeling good for these precious first months!

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  13. I had been wondering where you were getting your energy from. I have had two c sections and was in rough shape. Wish I had known about it.

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  14. My first child had what they called a complete knot in his cord. He was born vaginally and I was told later that he was lucky he survived. The did call for the NICU crash team as he was coming out. Had they know they would have done a C-Section on me.

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  15. I didn't know it increased milk production! I wasn't able to produce enough with my first but desperately want to give it another try with my second. We are not snowed in here in sunny California but I wish you warm weather soon.

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