A print of my placenta. You can see where the knot was located about half way down the cord.
Yes! You read it correctly, My Amazing Afterbirth. I'm so bummed we didn't get a picture of it. I always take pictures of everyone else's but forgot to take one of my own. It was a beautiful placenta, bright red with lots of capillaries and veins. It was pretty dang sexy if I may say so myself. Even my midwife and her assistant commented on how good it looked.
My dried umbilical cord. The knot is at the top left.
Here's my umbilical cord story...
When Wren came out, the cord was wrapped around his neck twice, his body once, and there was a perfect knot in it. Around his neck not too much of a deal to me, it happens often. But it was the knot that was so amazing to me. At the time, I was just so happy he was here. But over the few days at The Farm we talked about it with Stacie. She said that she had only seen a knot 6 times in 15 years. And one time it didn't turn out well. There were other issues going on, but the knot didn't help. Wren must have tied the knot early on in the pregnancy when he could swim a lot more. He would have had to swim in one direction and then back through the cord again. From what I remember my midwife sharing with me, she had done some research on knots after the one didn't turn out well. Some research suggests that women with low blood pressure tend to have more "cord accidents." Women who have low blood pressure and get a knot in their cord (which isn't that common) are more likely to have the knot tighten down. There is less blood being pushed through the cord making it easier for the knot to tighten and slow down the oxygen.
I've always had low blood pressure but with this pregnancy it was even lower. I was mainly in the double digits. But here's what is so interesting...Yes, this is speculation from Stacie and me but interesting nonetheless. I started seeing Lyle, an acupuncturist at East Nashville Community Acupuncture. At first I went for Moxa trying to turn Wren from breech. Well, that worked after one or two treatments. I continued going to acupuncture because I wanted help with regulating my gestational diabetes and raising my blood pressure. YES! I wanted to raise my blood pressure. Something inside me told me to do it. A mother's intuition is so freaking wise!!! With Lyle's help, we got my blood pressure into the triple digits. It was an accomplishment. I kept going for those reasons because not only had Wren turned vertex but now I was having success with my diabetes and my blood pressure. Speculation....Receiving acupuncture throughout the pregnancy to raise my blood pressure might have saved Wren's life. Because raising it may have pumped more blood through the knot keeping it loose. Thank you, Lyle, my Life Saver!!
Here's a photo of my tincture. I haven't delved into that yet. I could save it and use it for menopause.
With River I had a little more than the normal Postpartum Blues off and on. I had a bit of depression that didn't completely clear up until around 8 months to a year. In all honesty, I absolutely love being a mother and I have been since Day One. I couldn't quit kissing either of my Sweet Babies when they come out, even if they are covered in amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix. It was the sleep deprivation, not having much extra time for cooking meals and showering, topped with a gassy baby who cried a lot and being self-employed. I found it difficult at times to relax into my new role as a a mother. I didn't talk much about it because of the work I do. I was embarrassed. It's the weirdest thing...to be absolutely in love with this little creature and struggle meeting your own needs. This time I knew I needed to make some changes.
Placenta Encapsulation is supposed to help your hormones balance, give you energy, and help with milk production. It does a lot more, but those are the ones that stick out to me. I contacted Heather Crandall with Beautiful Dawnings. She came out within 24 hours and picked up my placenta. She dried it and encapsulated it for me. She also made a liquid tincture, a print of my placenta, and dried my umbilical cord. She kept the knot in for me. I didn't even have to ask. She knew it was special. I've been taking my "mommy pills" everyday. And I SWEAR by them. For the most part, my hormones haven't been wacky (with the exception of the unavoidable sleep deprivation crankiness), and I have more energy. Ryan can tell if I've missed taking them for a day or two. I've always promoted the idea, but now I will even push it harder for women. It has changed my life and my postpartum journey thus far.
Cheers to the Placenta!!