Christmas time, I asked my partner to buy me a ‘I Have a Placenta in My Freezer’ t-shirt, which I think is the best t-shirt ever, but he didn’t seem to find the humor in it that I did. I thought his lack of humour was strange given that we had Adiva’s placenta in our freezer for nearly three and a half years, moved it to three different states, five different freezers (one deep freeze) before planting it at the base of a native tree at my family’s beach house last year.
But this time we’ve been more efficient with Jedda’s placenta. It spent just four months in our freezer and we planted it this evening g. We decided that our beautiful home, and our front garden, was the perfect place to plant our placenta – for this was the home where we grew and birthed Jedda.
We all took part in preparing the space, digging the hole and planting the frangipani tree (its our family’s favorite tree). Adiva wore her fairy wings and blessed the sacred space with her wand. Jase dug the hole and tossed together the compost and top soil. We then all explored our placenta together before planting – stretched the meaty umbilical cord, opened up the membrane and peered inside at the arteries that sustained Jedda and I for nine months. We talked about the different colours, textures, shapes, and weight of our placenta; the medicinal properties (placentophagia, the eating of the placenta, which curbs postpartum depression and hemorrhage), and how many cultures plant a placenta tree as a ritual of life. Just as the placenta nourished Jedda, it can also now nourish the tree, and in turn, the tree fills the needs of humans and animals – a perfect example of the circle of life.
We then all gave blessings of gratitude: Jason gave thanks to me for growing and birthing our baby Jedda. I gave thanks to Jase, our friends, and in particular our homebirth midwife Andrea and then cried. Adiva thanked the placenta directly: ‘Thankyou la-centa’ she said patting the flesh, and then offered thanks to the butterflies and bees of the world. We then decorated the base of the tree with Adiva’s treasures that she had collected, creating a circle of stones, rocks, shells and pinecones around the tree, before she became distracted with a cane toad that turned up to enjoy the festivities. Jedda slept through the whole ritual.