On April 7, Layna was born. It has been three and a half years since we’ve had a grandbaby. I was anxious to drink in the amazing smell of new life. To touch her cheek that is so soft it barely registers as sensation to my fingers. To look at those ten tiny toes. To gaze into the dark pools that are her eyes. To watch my daughter embrace her child. Amazing.
I have happily been on grandma duty. Can it really be a quarter of a century since I greeted my fourth child? Am I really watching my daughter do the same? How can this be? Amazing.
Some things haven’t changed. Labor hurts. Birth makes you not care about the pain. Bonding is indescribable. You are in love. Amazing.
Some things have changed. Daddy wears his street clothes. He cuts the cord. I am a witness. Amazing.
Some things are strange to me. The placenta, for instance, was something we didn’t think too much about. I delivered my baby, then the placenta and never thought about it again. Today, that is not necessarily the case.
Here are some things I’ve learned that you can do with a placenta. I read about someone getting butcher paper and pressing the placenta on it to make a print. You can encapsulate it and use it for postpartum nutrition. You can mix it with fruit and have a smoothie. You can eat it raw. You can plant it in the ground; wait a year and plant a tree over it. The weird winner is you can have it turned into a teddy bear. Silly me, I chose to leave mine in the hospital and let them dispose of it. My daughter and I were in agreement there.
So there you have it. You can celebrate a lot of things surrounding a birth, but I hope we never celebrate any part of it more than the baby. As we took Layna’s three older siblings to meet her, I told them that it was Layna’s birthday. Of course it was Ella who said, “You mean she’s one already?” Time really does fly. It is amazing.