Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Lotus Birth

This is another in a long line of "p.s.'s" to Ilana's birth story...

So, in case you're not up to date on the latest in left-wing birthing, let me explain that a lotus birth is when the umbilical cord and placenta are left attached to a newborn until they naturally fall off.

For us, it was just a logical step in trying to welcome our babies as gently as possible into the world. We had tried it with Penina and chickened out and ended up cutting the cord before leaving the birthing center a few hours after her birth. We had a home birth with Ilana, so we didn't need to deal with fitting baby plus placenta into a car seat!

After the placenta was delivered into the birth pool she was born in, we floated a plastic strainer in the pool and put the placenta in that until I was ready to get out. We then put a "chux" pad in the bottom of the strainer when Ilana, placenta and I moved to the bed (we did make jokes about it being "just the three of us"). Later, the placenta was wrapped in an all-in-one cloth diaper after we sprinkled it with salt and rosemary. We made sure to wrap the cord in a wide circle around her future belly button.

So, that first day, all was well. Over the next few days, things got less
than fabulous, although never dangerous or awful or anything like that.
Despite my efforts, the cord fully dried one night while we slept, and it
dried sticking straight out. This caused Ilana some discomfort if she/it
got jostled. Also it did start to smell a bit, perhaps b/c we kept it
covered pretty much all the time inside a diaper. Or perhaps just b/c
drying placentas smell! My kids were really grossed out by this, so they
would run screaming from the room when it was time to salt or flip the
placenta, which we did several times a day.

It did make it harder to hold and nurse her as well, esp. once the cord
dried in that funny way. We would pack it up like a little package, but it
was still a bit harder to nurse with said package needing to be moved

Lastly, it was hard to find any clothes that fit! I had to rustle up some 12 month clothes and put "little sister" (as some call the placenta)inside the clothes with her.

Her placenta came off four days after her birth leaving her with a perfect "innie". We've frozen the placenta and are planning to plant it on her first birthday.

Lots of people DO have very positive experiences withLotus Birthing, but
this is probably the one left wing thing that I wouldn't do again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Amelia Earhart's house

Batsheva, who is in 6th grade, has been working on a report on Amelia Earhart. Luckily, AE (as she is referred to in BH's report)spent three years living in the town next to us. So last night, BH and I went on a field trip.

One of the interesting things about coming back to live near where I grew up is being able to take a "grown-up" view of the area. I went to Jr. High just a few blocks from AE's house, but didn't even know it existed! The closest I got to AE was hearing that my friend Jodi and her family were friends with Muriel Morrissey, who was vaguely famous, but I never asked why. (I now know she was AE's beloved sister).