Placentas? Thinking out the box – literally

We always say that a placenta client is one that researches beyond the status quo, and  “thinks outside the box” – but on this occassion I had to think myself “INTO” the box!!

In September I excitedly received a text from a new dad to tell me that his baby had been birthed and the placenta was ready for me to collect and encapsulate.

When I arrived at the hospital the labour ward co-ordinator invited me to wait in their staff room with a cup of tea until the placenta was brought out.  I sat and chatted with some midwives on their well earned break for around ten minutes until a midwife that I had known for many years appeared at the door and cheerfully said “Hi Sarah – here you are, all ready for you!”

I smiled at her greeting before looking down to see that she was holding a locked “sharps bin” – you know, one of those mini yellow buckets that are made to safely transport used medical needles in. – and the smile drained off my face.

You see, these bins are specifically made with an intention that once closed they CANNOT be opened. The midwife seeing my face said “I know – as I locked it I suddenly thought “oh no! Sarah won’t be able to get in it” – but it seemed like such a great idea for you to transport it safely!”

As I left the unit I went to say goodbye to the new dad but couldn’t see the storage and chiller system that we provide to every client, or indeed the instructions on how to safely prepare your placenta for transport. He was skin to skin with his beautiful new daughter, and I didn’t want to ask him where it was – in fact I don’t think he even realised that the midwife hadn’t used it although I guess he had handed it over!

Anyway when I got home I figured the only way I was going to get into the bin was with a very sharp blade – and after a number of attempts with my domestic version of a Stanley Knife I began to panic – realising it wasn’t going to be that simple and there was a very strong chance that this mum wouldn’t be able to benefit from her placenta – and she had been SO excited about booking her range of placenta remedies…

And then an idea struck me…..

I carried the bin with a placenta ‘slopping about’ in it across the road to a neighbouring house where a large renovation is taking place and figured I would play the “damsel in distress card” if an older guy came out.  Instead I bumped into a young handsome man – many years younger than me, and realised that flirtation was not going to get me anywhere!!

With my heart sinking I started the following conversation:

Him: You alright love?

Me:  Er, not really – I wondered if you can help me out – I need to break into this bin – but I haven’t got the strength, or the right blade to cut into it……

Him: Oh okay, I can probably do it – What’s in it?

Me: Um, you might not want to know?  But I should warn you that it has got blood in there and I don’t know if it is sealed in a bag inside or not.

At this he looks a little wary – whilst gently shaking the bin back and forward….

Me: It’s a placenta – the midwife thought it was helpful to put it in here, but obviously it wasn’t.

At this point I expect him to drop it on the floor, jump up and down, and run around saying “EUGH!” like most of the other people I mention placentas to.

And then the most beautiful moment happened – as he looked at me and said “Oh, my wife had hers encapsulated both times!  Home birth was it?  We had both ours at home – it was fabulous!”.

Some times I have to thank my Placenta Guardians (yes, I do believe that I have some!) – What were the chances of that happening – on that day – as that builder was working at a neighbours house??

With a quick change to a brand new blade on his knife he made a simple job of getting into the box, and we thankfully discovered that indeed the placenta was in a bag so could be processed safely.

Turns out he was called Mark – so if you know a builder in Warwickshire that isn’t squeamish and has supported his wife through two home births, AND a complete stranger to get her placenta pills, essence and tincture – please say thank-you to him for me!!

What a star!!

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