"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." (Aldo Leopold) Apparently, I cannot.


How My Placenta Helped Us Name Baby #3

Yup, you read that right.

Fair warning: If the word “placenta” in the title skeeved you out a little bit, you probably don’t want to read this post. It is in large part about, well, my placenta. And other things related to birthing a baby. Similarly, if you know me personally but don’t want to get this personal, stop right here. You have been warned.

Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, talking about my placenta. It did in fact help Super and I decide on a name for our third child. Most parents use more traditional methods for naming their children: They use family names, compare favorites lists, consult a number of baby name books, or even conduct a poll on Facebook.

Not us, nope. We used my placenta. Before giving birth, I had read somewhere on the interwebs that there was some ancient Incan ritual you could do with your placenta whereby the placenta would actually tell you the name of your baby. You know, like what the baby wanted to be named. After all, the baby and placenta are pretty cozy down there for 9 months, so your placenta should be in the know. At first Super was a little hesitant about this, but when I told him some moms and dads actually ate the placenta, and I was thinking we should do this instead, he quickly hopped on board.

So, after my placenta was delivered, my midwife performed the prescribed ancient chant and, with the doctor’s permission, lit some incense. We were then supposed to wait until the smoke from the incense formed our baby’s name in the air…

Ok. That was all complete BS. Not the part about my placenta helping us name our child, but the whole Incan chant and incense mumbo-jumbo. (Although if this an actual practice somewhere that I don’t know about and I have somehow offended anyone reading this who would currently follows or would consider following such a practice, I apologize.) But, you have to admit that my Incan version was sounding pretty crazy interesting, and I can tell you, it is definitely much less disgusting than what actually happened with my placenta and how it came to help us name our third baby.

If you’re not scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on here and you’re still with me, good for you. Here’s what actually happened…

Rewinding just a little bit, I should tell you that Super and I did not want to find out the sex of our third child. We didn’t find out with the first, but we did find out with the second. After having both experiences, we decided we liked not knowing until the birth. So, that was our plan with #3. Until my ultrasound tech accidentally let it slip. Just to me. And then Super still didn’t want to know. So, I had to keep the baby’s sex a secret from every blessed person I know. Do you know how hard that is? DO YOU???

But I digress…Because Super did not know the sex of the baby, we still had to play the name game for both sexes. To throw him off, I’d text him random names for both boys and girls throughout the day as potential options. And I had to pretend to be equally excited about all of the names I was suggesting, even though I knew half of them were already off the table. Although on the plus side, I was able to feign excitement over some of the names he liked that I didn’t because I knew we wouldn’t use them anyway. (Hi babe.)

After a few months, we had narrowed our list down to a few for both a boy and a girl. But that’s as far as we got. Unlike with our first–in which we had THE boy and THE girl name picked out early on–and our second–when we finally picked the name a few weeks before delivery–we just could not agree on a name for either a boy or a girl. So we threw our hands up and decided to wait and see the baby before deciding on a name. Because you know, that purple, gooey, wrinkly thing that comes out definitely screams one name or another.

Ok, fast forward to my delivery. (“Hallelujah, she’s finally getting to the point!”) We delivered at the local university hospital, which of course means it’s a teaching hospital. Which means in addition to all of the normal hospital staff members getting a good look at my area–the doctors, nurses, cleaning staff–there was a med student added to the mix as well. In fact, my delivery was the very first birth he was witnessing in real life. And wouldn’t you know, his name, “Eli,” was on our short list for boys’ names. And we had a boy. All of the stars seemed to be aligning for us to finally pick a name.

But it wasn’t until my OB and the med student were delivering my placenta that it became clear we absolutely needed to go with this name. You see, apparently my placenta was being a royal a-hole and not coming out properly. So my OB was helping to manipulate it out when all of a sudden it felt like a big, slippery gob of goo was flying out of my lady parts. And in fact, this is exactly what was happening. My placenta just flew on out of there. Like a jet initiating a power thrust to reach 3 Gs. My OB had just enough time to catch that sucker before it went bouncing off into the hall.

Unfortunately for our med student, he was directly in the line of fire for all of the other birth matter that came flying out with my placenta. The splash was epic, people. I’m serious, it splattered all over the floor and came out with such force that it made it onto the wall across from my bed. It sounded like what I imagine it sounds like when football players dump their Gatorade all over their coach after they win a game. Only instead of Gatorade it was amniotic fluid and blood and lochia. (Hey, I warned you.) Even my doctor was like, “What the ef?!”

The poor med student was covered. And although he was wearing a gown, he did not have on shoe covers. My doctor and the nurses joked with him that he’d have to clean his shoes up real good and remember the shoe covers next time. But I’m pretty sure he went and immediately burned his shoes. And probably his clothes, too. I know I would have if I ended up with someone’s birth matter all over me. I felt so bad! Even though it was out of my control, I kept apologizing to him, and he kept sheepishly saying, “It’s ok.”

After about 5 minutes of apologizing, I knew what we needed to do. I looked at Super and raised my eyebrows at him. “So, ‘Eli’ it is, then?” He concurred. He had to, I mean we (ok I) had just covered the poor guy with what amounted to 9 months’ worth of the our baby’s waste material mixed in with all of the other ooooey goodness that goes into growing a human being. The matter was settled. And even though the med student smiled and managed a “wow, super” when we told him we’d be using his name for our baby, I think he was too preoccupied wondering how he’d ever get himself clean again (and silently cursing us out) to actually care.

And that, my friends, is how my placenta helped us name our third child.

Sidenote: This is what a post looks like from me when I’m sick as a dog and haven’t gotten much sleep. If I could blame it on being under the influence of some cold medicine, I would. Unfortunately, because I’m still nursing the little one, I can’t take anything that would make me this crazy. This is all natural right here. Hope I haven’t frightened anyone off.