That’s a print of Ada’s placenta. It was shaped like a heart.
Maybe it seems gross to some, but to me it’s special. The placenta is what nourishes the baby, helps the baby to grow big and strong, and what filters out harmful things. The placenta is what secures the baby’s life inside of the womb.
After Baby J died because the placenta detached from my uterus, Ada’s healthy placenta was even more meaningful.
When the placenta detaches from the uterine wall it causes severe cramping and hemorrhaging. The OB explained to me that it was fluke. For some reason the baby’s placenta didn’t attach right, didn’t grow correctly, and the baby wasn’t able to get enough nutrients. Only enough to stay alive. This is why my uterus kept growing, and we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat loud and strong up until the day before the gushing blood started at 12 weeks. Prior to the bleeding everything seemed normal. I didn’t have any ultrasounds, but the baby sounded healthy and my belly was growing.
Once it started, the blood couldn’t stop gushing because the placenta was hanging by a thread inside.
The baby died, and everything was stuck in there because of that faulty placenta. Not only did the placenta cause the death of my baby, it also caused a very traumatic miscarriage experience and resulted in the emergency D&C, which in turn left me with nothing. No baby remains, no proof that the baby was ever real other than the precious memories of listening to the heartbeat. The hospital wouldn’t even give me a copy of the ultrasound they did. They didn’t understand why I would want an ultrasound photo of my baby after death. I requested it with my hospital records but they still wouldn’t include it.
In some ways I think that’s the hardest thing–having no physical reminders of the baby’s existence. Nothing to look at and remember the entire trimester this baby lived in my womb. No one talks about it. No one remembers except for me. I will never forget how much he was loved, or how excited I was when I heard his heart beating.
The only evidence of his existence is in my medical records. “Fetal remains found in cervix.”
Dear Dr. Greene, You were the only person to hold my baby.
Then the fetal remains became medical waste. I can’t even think about that. My baby as medical waste, disposed of in a biohazard waste can…
The results of the biopsy showed a healthy baby. Normal genes, nothing wrong.
Placentas are important.
They should be considered sacred, they should be honored. It’s because of a healthy placenta that we are all here today.
While I was pregnant with Ada I prayed daily that her placenta was growing, and that it was firmly attached where it should be. I focused on imagining it super glued to my womb. I like that it came out heart shaped.
I’m not sure what to do with Ada’s placenta prints. I want to do something with them, something beautiful. I’m waiting for inspiration to strike, I guess.
One day I hope to hang the final print on the wall, when I figure out what I want to do to embellish it. Or you know, maybe I’ll just frame it the way it is.
I can’t decide.