Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eat This

If you spend any time around childbirth issues at all you've probably come across the increasingly common (though still very uncommon) practice of 'eating' your placenta after childbirth. 
Usually dehydrated and made into capsule form some people cook and eat it as food.
They do this for it's many potential benefits including being rich in nutrients to help with healing, increased lactation, reduced postpartum depression.
The Chinese have been practicing this for thousands of years while Italians and Hungarians practice aspects of it as well. 
When I first heard of it I thought it was kind of gross, in the way that liver is gross, and a little strange but I realize that people generally think ideas that are new to them,  ideas different from what they are socialized with, are weird whether they have merit or not.  
Recently I read some comments on the topic reacting to it as disgusting, which I could understand.  
However what I could not understand were the comments from males referring the placenta itself (not the ingesting of it)  is as being like a 'Safeway bag full of blood', and 'one nasty bit of flesh'.
While I will not be ingesting my placenta, in pill or any other form, I am disgusted at this attitude toward this very important organ.  
Would they feel this way about all organs outside of the body?
If so, fine.
Though when people see a heart or a kidney aren't they more likely to be fascinated and amazed than repulsed? 
What about one of their own organs?
What about an organ that didn't have to do with women's reproductive system?
Or an entire dead body?
These are treated with much respect, it follows that the individual parts receive the same treatment. 
I find it disturbing that they have this attitude toward this part of the female body.
They don't have to eat it, look at it or even think about it in anything more than an abstract way so why is it so repulsive to them?
Bodies are not repulsive, they are wonders of science and creation.
Except for women's reproductive parts I guess.
but how about if it weren't for their 'organ' no squeamish male minds would be able to be troubled by a woman's gross placenta at all. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You're looking amazingly fat today/ I'm sexy and I know it (but by sexy really I mean confident)

With all the comments I've been getting lately it's going to be an interesting four (or more) weeks.  That's okay though, I like people and I like talking with them. 
There's nothing like a big preggo belly to start a conversation, seriously it's better than a puppy!  I think I have spoken with more strangers in the last week than I have in the whole last year, probably. 
So all the, "Wow, you're prospering nicely!" (?!?) 
and "You look ready to pop!"s 
 (that mostly I hear at church)
 I can just smile benignly at because a very hipster mom told me I 'look beautiful'  across the grocery store parking lot the other day 
and the admissions woman told me I 'look wonderful' at the leisure center 
(on a different day!)  
and picking up big E from school the Grandma gave me a crinkle eyed smile with a little tummy rub while the library lady walked passed smiling with all her might 
and the new big scary neighbor towards whom I have been directing unkind thoughts because all of his non-parking-spot-respecting-friends turned out to be friendly and nice and talked to little E about the baby 
and the Chinese lady who can tell it's a boy by the shape of my stomach.
and the approval I feel emanating from groups of middle eastern men
(it's the same way Italian men look at you just for being alive and a woman, it is good) 
Also because I made friends with another Muslim woman this afternoon which I love so much and can't explain but I think partly it's because we feel a kinship in each other through our much reproductiveness.  
(also my Honey says I look like them)
And while I can hear the parents who are watching swimming lessons wonder how far along I am (almost as if it's an affront to them that I...what? Haven't announced it over the pa system for their benefit, have allowed my stomach to get to this size, which is exactly the size it is supposed to be, btw)  
I feel dang good in my swimsuit!
(don't they wish they looked this good)
(I only thought that once)
I really like my pregnant shape,
I like my curves,
I love my belly and what it signifies, what it holds.
So I will keep on enjoying these next few weeks of friendly, interesting and amusing exchanges. 
I will laugh about how odd it is that's it's socially acceptable for anyone and everyone to comment on a woman's pregnant belly but we generally don't make any comment on other physical features of people we don't know well, or at all. 
('Wow sir, you've really got a large stomach there, how long has it been like that?)
 I will only sigh about how I get much friendlier looks from multigenerational Canadians when I am alone or have only one child in tow instead of two. 
I like feeling special, 
being pregnant is special.
I am savoring it
and enjoying all the interactions it brings.
I am soaking it up and it will help tide me over in a few months when I am just another tired, flabby mom of three (gasp) who does not look special at all.
But I will try to still feel it.